"What a joy it was, during the week, to see Mark E Smith on Top Of Pops with the Inspiral Carpets."
(John Peel, 04 March 1994)

I Want You - Inspiral Carpets Feat

I Want You - Inspiral Carpets Feat. Mark E Smith

'I Want You' (featuring Mark E Smith), the 1994 Festive Fifty #1, on Top Of The Pops.

Inspiral Carpets are an alternative rock band from Oldham in Greater Manchester, England formed by Graham Lambert and Stephen Holt in 1983. Their sound is based around psychedelic keyboards and guitars. They came to prominence, alongside bands like the Stone Roses and Happy Mondays, in the 'Madchester' scene of the late 1980s. After a flexi-disc featuring Garage Full Of Flowers given free with Manchester's Debris magazine in 1987, followed by the Cow cassette, their first release proper, the 1988 Planecrash EP on the Playtime label received much airplay from Radio 1 DJ John Peel… (read more at Wikipedia)

Links to Peel

Peel was an early supporter of the Inspiral Carpets, who went on to record four sessions and have eight Festive Fifty entries, including the 1994 Festive Fifty #1, 'I Want You', which also featured the Fall's Mark E Smith.

In Jon Robb's "The North Will Rise Again" (p.324), Graham Lambert recalled Peel starting his 06 July 1988 show with 'Keep The Circle Around' as a landmark for the band:

"We got the Planecrash EP to John Peel in July 1988 and he started his show with it. I was in Scotland with Karen when he played it. I tried to find a phone box in the pitch black and phone the band but couldn't get hold of them. From then on it changed. We had a session and he played every track several times. It felt like we were on our way."

Perhaps predictably, Peel was highly enthusiastic about the hook-up with Mark E Smith for 'I Want You' and appears to have played the recording on as many as three of his weekly half-hour BBC World Service shows, which were limited to just seven or eight tracks. The song was later selected for the 1994 Peelenium.

In the 1993-4 football season, Oldham Athletic supporter Graham Lambert twice phoned in reports of his team's matches to Peel's show. (See 27 November 1993, 05 February 1994.)

Festive Fifty Entries

1988 Festive Fifty

  • Keep The Circle Around #11

1989 Festive Fifty

  • Joe #9
  • Find Out Why #21
  • So This Is How It Feels (session) #35
  • Directing Traffic (session) #49
  • She Comes In The Fall (session) #50

1990 Festive Fifty

  • Beast Inside (session) #50

1994 Festive Fifty


Four sessions. Official releases:
- Radio 1 Sessions (Strange Fruit, CD, 1999)
- The Peel Sessions (Strange Fruit, 12" EP/CD, 1989)
- Peel Session (Strange Fruit, 10" & CD EP, 1991)
-'Out Of Time' on Various Artists: The Peel Sessions 83-91: New Season (Strange Fruit, CD/2xLP, 1991)
-'Gimme Shelter' on Various Artists: Best Of Peel Sessions (Par Bernard Lenoir) (Fnac Music, LP/CD, 1990)
- 'The Beast Inside' on Various Artists: Radio Daze: John Peel Sessions (VOX magazine, cassette, 1992) and Various Artists: In Session Tonight (Strange Fruit, CD, 1993)
- 'Directing Traffic' on Various Artists: Manchester - So Much To Answer For (The Peel Sessions) (Strange Fruit, CD/2xLP, 1990)

1. Recorded 1988-07-17. First broadcast: 01 August 1988. Repeated: 05 September 1988, 28 December 1988

  • So Far / Monkey On My Back / Greek Wedding Song / Whiskey

2. Recorded: 1989-03-26. First broadcast: 05 April 1989. Repeated: 11 May 1989

  • Out Of Time / Directing Traffic / Keep The Circle Around / Gimme Shelter

3. Recorded 1989-08-17. First broadcast 09 October 1989. Repeated: 06 November 1989, 27 December 1989, 17 April 1990.

  • Sun Don't Shine / She Comes In The Fall / Song For A Family / So This Is How It Feels

4. Recorded 1990-05-20. First broadcast 05 June 1990. Repeated 07 October 1990.

  • Beast Inside / Grip / Weakness / Keep It In Mind


  1. Party In The Sky
  2. Generations
  3. Move
  4. Saturn 5
  5. She Comes In The Fall
  6. This Is How It Feels
  7. Joe
  8. Cobra

Other Shows Played

(The list below was compiled only from the database of this site and Lorcan's Tracklistings Archive. Please add more information if known.)

  • 15 June 1999: Keep the Circle Around (LP – Radio 1 Sessions) Strange Fruit
  • 31 August 1999 (featuring Mark E Smith): I Want You (60th birthday)
  • 14 September 1999: This Is How It Feels To Be (single) Mute (Supergrass get tour of Peel Acres, including Peel’s work room. Song was one of the first taped off the Peel show by an unnamed member of the band.)

See Also

External Links

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