In the 1970s I was vaguely aware of the name John Peel from the radio listings at the back of the Scotsman. It was only when I got my first clock radio at the age of 15 that I was able to tune in
to the programme. Needless to say the sound quality from such a device did not really do justice to the show, and it was only when I upgraded to a Grundig Satellit shortwave radio with a 7W amp and 2-way speaker that I really came to appreciate the deep sounds of dub and reggae and the novelty of hearing crashing cymbals in the clarity of FM (or VHF as it was better known then). Most of Radio 1's output was in muddy MW/AM at the time so top marks to whoever successfully kicked Radio 2 off the frequency for those last two precious hours of the evening!


Technics ST-7300

It wasn't until 1982 that I actually had a means of recording the shows and this was on a mono portable attached to the radio. In my student days I relied on snap judgements to hit the record button in time to catch a track, though when I was home at weekends and out of term time I had the luxury of being able to record higher quality sounds on my dad's separates system, a Technics ST-7300 Analogue tuner and a Dual C814 cassette deck.

In 1988 I started recording entire shows when I was working on night shifts, using a stereo hifi video recorder attached to my Denon tuner. The sound quality was so much better than I could achieve on any cassette deck at the time, and a 3-hour tape could record 6 hours of audio with no apparent loss of quality. This recording method was then used to create my mixtapes but with a greater facility to go back to the start of a track that I decided I liked half way through!


courtesy FTF

I have therefore amassed a large selection of tapes of tracks and sessions from around 1982 onwards. Each one of these is like a microcosm of a Peel show, with dub tracks segueing sharply into thrash into minimalist dance. I just wish that I had had unlimited funds and tapes to record and keep all the shows!

List of tapes






All items (293)

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