John Peel Wiki
  • v/a
  • BBC
Release date
  • 1970
  • LP
  • According to Ken Garner's The Peel Sessions (pp.49-50), Peel's Night Ride show grew out of an idea by producer John Muir for a "non-needletime" programme drawing on the BBC's store of archive recordings from around the world. This meant that not only were the shows cheaper to produce, but that they also reflected the hippy era's growing interest in exotic cultures.
  • As Peel remarks in the album notes, there was a positive audience response to some of the "Archive Things", as he called them, so a selection of the most popular pieces appears on the LP. However, Night Ride ended in autumn 1969 and this album was issued in the following year, so there was little chance of it finding airplay on other, more conventional Radio One programmes. In 1970 BBC Records was a small-scale, non-commercial enterprise which did not publicise its releases to any great extent, and "world music" as a popular genre did not exist; so the LP was condemned to obscurity.
  • The LP was enthusiastically reviewed by Richard Williams in Melody Maker ([1]). Williams claimed that Night Ride "was vastly more adventurous and far more rewarding than Top Gear, because it took us into new, unfamiliar realms of music which, like travel, truly broadened the mind". The album "teaches us the international communication and universal beauty of music, and in many cases it provides clues to music's earliest history. Anybody who can see beyond Cream/Taste/Zeppelin can't fail to enjoy it, and get something out of it"
  • Peel himself commented on the release of the album in his column for Disc & Music Echo of 1970-06-20 (many thanks to Peel Mailing List member Mick for this information): "If you can recall the Wednesday "Night Ride" I used to help with, then you'll remember the curious things from the BBC archives that were played. Some of the best are gathered together on BBC Radio Enterprises REC 68M which will be easily as hard to get hold of as the "Top Gear" LP was. It's called "Archive Things" and is quite a laugh--brings back memories of a programme that I still miss a lot."


(As per the style of the album cover, which gives a basic title and place of origin for each track, as well as a brief description. Many of the artists were unknown.)


John Peel's Archive Things (BBC - Vinyl LP 1970)

John Peel's Archive Things (The Full LP)

Side One
  • Traditional Children's Rhyme: I Know A Little Girl (Liverpool)
  • Zulus: Wellington Boots (South Africa)
  • Ubud: Jew's Harp Duet (Bali)
  • Rumanian Radiotelevision Folk Orchestra: Hora - Rumania - Traditional dance (Rumanian Radiotelevision)
  • Gong Gede: Oleg Tambulilingan (Dance Of Bees) (Bali)
  • Ethiopian Christian Orthodox Church: Sunday Morning Service (Ethiopia)
  • Bugandan Royal Court: Xylophone (Uganda)
  • Sidamo Tribe: Heroic Song (Ethiopia)
  • Traditional Cantonese: Fearless Bird (Hong Kong)
  • Arisili Village: Live Beetle Jew's Harp (New Guinea)
  • Choir Of St. Judes Anglican Church: A Friend Of Sinners Who Died (Ebutemeta, Nigeria)
  • Brno Radio Folk Orchestra: Cymbalom Dance (Traditional dance from Slovakia) (Czechoslovakia)
  • Monks Of Kume Tarsang Monastery: The Eternal Voice (Tibet)
  • Gerhard Kammerlander: Trumpet Imitation - Austria
Side Two
  • Aboriginal Children: Traditional Song (Australia)
  • Radio Ceylon Orchestra: 'Pop' Music (Ceylon)
  • Semai Senoi Tribe Nose Flute Quintet: Nose Flute Quintet (Malaysia)
  • Batuta: Traditional Dance (Romania)
  • Traditional Love Song: Beautiful Things (Turkey)
  • State Choir Of Georgia: To Our Lady (Caucasian hymn) (Georgia, U.S.S.R.)
  • Ndau Tribe: Mbrira (South Africa)
  • Malaysian Girls: Hydro-Percussion (Malaysia - Three girls splashing water called 'ketimum' or 'water splash music')
  • Semai Senoi Tribe: The Chicken Has Laid An Egg (Malaysia)
  • Khuda Bux Mondrani: Lero - Baluchistan - Modern love song
  • Johannischer Chor Berlin: Berceuse (Germany)
  • Prince Buu Luc: Joyous Air (Vietnam - Recorded on the roof of a fifteen-storey building in Saigon)
  • Azerbaijani Music: Air (Azerbaijan, USSR)
  • Hungarian Music: Cigany Zenekara! (Hungary)





  1. Peel called them the Zulu Miners on that show.