• v/a
  • BBC
Release date
  • 1969
  • LP
  • This compilation LP of Top Gear session tracks from artists without record deals, recorded Aug-Oct 1969, can be seen as a companion to the John Peel's Archive Things album, also released on BBC Records, featuring items from Peel's other Radio One show of the era, Night Ride.
  • (JP, sleevenotes): "In addition to featuring some well-known, albeit under-exposed, musicians "Top Gear" also tries to direct the wandering attention of its listeners to a torrent of lesser-known people. A selection of the latter will be found lurking within."[1]
  • While Ron Geesin and Bridget St. John became regulars in Peel show playlists and White Noise developed a cult following in later decades, Sweet Marriage and Welfare State remained obscure. The former band were, according to Peel's sleevenotes, "brought to my attention by a lady called Germaine Greer whose unconventional beauty has brought her much criticism and my love". Welfare State were a multi-media art college group from "the excellent city of Bradford". They collaborated with Lol Coxhill on a 1975 album[2], but were best known for their theatre and performance art work and lasted - as Welfare State International - into the 2000s [3].
  • Producer John Walters also contributes to the album sleevenotes, giving his own view of the show: "We try to maintain our standards. The pop business has often been called a jungle. In that jungle Top Gear is an outpost where we always dress for dinner".
  • Peel himself features both at the start of the record, in a spoken monologue with voice treated and electronic effects by Brian Hodgson and Deilia Derbyshire of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and at the end of the second side, playing the Top Gear theme tune on jew's harp. Hodgson and Derbyshire were also both active in White Noise, with David Vorhaus.
  • The front cover shows Peel and then-girlfriend Sheila Gilhooly together, pictured below knee height in sneakers and bare feet, respectively - the latter credited to "Pigsfeet Enterprises".


Side One
John Peel Presents Top Gear (full album, 1969)

John Peel Presents Top Gear (full album, 1969)

Side Two

See Also


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