Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five were an American hip hop group formed in the South Bronx of New York City in 1978. Composed of Grandmaster Flash, Melle Mel, The Kidd Creole [not to be confused with disco recording artist and Coconuts frontman Kid Creole], Keith Cowboy, Mr. Ness/Scorpio and Rahiem, the group's use of turntablism, break-beat DJing, and conscious lyricism were significant in the early development of hip hop music.
In 1981 Grandmaster Flash released ‘The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel’. This was a multi deck live recording of one of Grandmaster Flash's routines featuring, Queen's ‘Another One Bites the Dust’ and Chic's ‘Good Times’. It also marked the first time that scratching & turntablism had been actually recorded on a record.
The group is widely regarded as among the most influential hip hop acts. Their biggest single and acknowledged masterpiece "The Message" (1982) is often cited as one of the greatest hip hop songs of all time. In 2007 they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, making them the first hip hop group ever to be inducted.
(Read more at Wikipedia.)
Links to Peel
Maybe the most remarkable single of the year ... Grandmaster Flash’s ‘Adventures on the Wheels of Steel’, on Sugar Hill Records. Radio 1 DJs David “Kid” Jensen and John Peel both had their minds blown by this when it came out … , sounding like excitable schoolkids as they swapped notes on air. … It challenged every preconception, whether you were a year zero punk or a music-press smart aleck. This was a genuine revolution and you’d have to make your own mind up.
(Bob Stanley (of Saint Etienne), “Forget 1966, because 1981 was pop's year of revolution”, 17 Dec 2015, Guardian) 
Peel was quick to recognize the innovative qualities of ‘Adventures on the Wheels of Steel’, with early UK airtime in 1981, while ‘The Message’ was voted #3 by listeners in the 1982 Festive Fifty and later picked by the DJ for the Peelenium 1982. Other than these landmark releases, however, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five appear to have received relatively few plays by the DJ, although there was airtime for ‘White Lines’ and other tracks credited to Melle Mel after the original group split.
In 1986, Peel saw Grandmaster Flash live at “UK Fresh 86” in Wembley Arena, reviewing the event with little enthusiasm for the Observer on 27-07-86 (reprinted in Margrave Of The Marshes, hardback edition, p 317):
Three headline acts were, in truth, rather dull, wearing costumes that would have brought a whistle of disbelief from Elton John and behaving both on and offstage in a manner more reminiscent of early 1970s rock stars than of Mean Street survivors. Grandmaster Flash even urged us to shout out our zodiac signs.
Festive Fifty Entries
- 1982 Festive Fifty: The Message #3
- Peelenium 1982: The Message
Other Shows Played
- 14 September 1981: The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel (12") Sugar Hill SHL 557
- 21 September 1981: The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel (12") Sugar Hill SHL 557
- 27 September 1981 (BFBS): The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel (12") Sugar Hill SHL 557
- 30 December 1982: The Message (7 inch) Sugar Hill FF#3
- 26 December 1983: The Adventures Of Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel (12") Sugar Hill SHL 557
- 18 February 1997: Coldcut vs Grandmaster Flash (as part of Coldcut live mix)
- 31 August 1999: Grandmaster Flash On The Wheels Of Steel (as part of Scratch Perverts live mix in Peel birthday show)
- 08 December 1999: The Message (12")' (Sugar Hill) Peelenium 1982
- 19 October 2004: Scorpio (The Sugar Hill Records Story) (Rick Smith and Karl Hyde of Underworld sit in for Peel)
- Rebel Yell: The Message
- Melle Mel
- 30 November 1982 (& Duke Bootee): Message 2 (Survival) (7") Sugar Hill
- 17 October 1983 (Grandmaster &): White Lines (Don't Do It) (single) Sugar Hill
- 17 October 1984 (& The Furious Five): The Truth (LP – Work Party) Sugar Hill
- 03 January 1985 (TOTP) (& The Furious Five): Step Off