- (Adapted from last.fm)
Capital Letters were a reggae band from Wolverhampton, England. A move to Shepherds Bush, Middlesex, in 1977 set them in place to become one of the Greensleeves label's first signings. Their single "Smoking My Ganja" blew the woofers out of UK sound systems throughout '78, and propelled them into the studio to record a full-length. The resulting LP, Headline News, was Greensleeves' seventh release and one of the more critically acclaimed reggae records of 1979.
Unfortunately, Capital Letters were also relatively short-lived as a band. After Headline News, they only released one other LP, Vineyard, on a minor German label in 1982.
In 2013, Capital Letters reformed. The albums Wolverhampton and Wolverhampton In Dub followed in 2015, both on Sugar Shack Records, and Vineyard was re-issued with bonus material (including Peel session tracks).
Links to Peel
Peel was a huge fan of the band’s debut single, "Smoking My Ganja", which he claimed in November 1978 to be “the best British record of the year”. The session that followed was later repeated as one of the best of 1979. Equally enthusiastically received was the 12” double-header "UK Skank / Run, Run, Run" – described by the DJ as “really ridiculously good” – while the Headline News LP also enjoyed repeated plays on his show.
After 1980, however, Peel seemed to lose track of Capital Letters, and currently available tracklistings suggest that he failed to air anything from 1983’s Vineyard LP. In 2002, responding to a listener request for "Smoking My Ganja", he noted that the single had "disappeared into the BBC Record Library in 1979 (and) this is the first time that it's been out, which I think is really sad."
Festive Fifty Entries
One session. Released on Vinyard, CD expanded re-release, 2015 (Greensleeves GRE2099).
- Fire / Smokin My Ganja / Rasta Say
Other Shows Played
(The following list was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive. Please add more information if known.)
- 20 October 1978: Smoking My Ganja (12") Greensleeves
- 31 October 1978: Smoking My Ganja (12”) Greensleeves
- 13 November 1978: Smoking My Ganja (12") Greensleeves
- 13 November 1978: Natty Walk (12" - Smoking My Ganja) Greensleeves
- 27 November 1978: Smoking My Ganja (12") Greensleeves (JP: 'The best British record of the year. How's that for a contentious remark?')
- 28 May 1979: UK Skanking (12") Greensleeves (At the start of the show, Peel trails “really ridiculously good new singles from Capital Letters and the Ruts, both sides of both of those”.)
- 28 May 1979: Run Run Run (b/w UK Skanking - 12") Greensleeves
- 30 May 1979: Run Run Run (LP - Headline News) Greensleeves
- 26 June 1979: Run, Run, Run (b/w 'UK Skanking' 12") Greensleeves (Wrong Track Moment – Peel had intended to play the other side)
- 30 June 1979 (BFBS): U.K. Skanking (7") Greensleeves
- 06 August 1979: Run Run Run (12" Single) Greensleeves
- 16 August 1979: Run Run Run (12” single) Greensleeves
- 04 October 1979: Run Run Run (LP - Headline News) Greensleeves
- 11 October 1979: Out Of Africa (LP – Headline News) Greensleeves
- 13 October 1979 (BFBS): Out Of Africa (album – Headline News) Greensleeves GREL 7
- 16 October 1979 (Virgin In-Store): Unemployed (LP - Headline News) Greensleeves
- 01 July 1980: Bread & Water (7" EP) Greensleeves
- Rebel Yell: Unemployed
- 1990s and 2000s
- 06 April 1991: Smoking My Ganja (12") Greensleeves (JP, before playing track: "Older listeners may recall that there was a band called Capital Letters who had one of our favourite records back in 1978.)
- 25 February 1999: Smoking My Ganja (12") Greensleeves
- 13 February 2002: Smoking My Ganga (12" single) Greensleeves (Played in response to a listener request. Peel says the record "disappeared into the BBC Record Library in 1979 (and) this is the first time that it's been out, which I think is really sad.")