John Peel Wiki

In September 2010, with the end of the 400 Box project in sight, the Peel Mailing List started a new group project, to digitize the Peel-related tape collection of list member Steve Lowman. Following the example of the 400 Box, this page was created to track and catalogue the "SL Tapes." On Sept. 5, 2010, Steve Lowman sent a message to the Peel mailing list outlining the contents of his collection. Many thanks to Steve!

Most of the tapes have now been digitised, with the second last batch being completed in June 2020, though one batch seem to have been forgotten about.......

Tape, Date pages

Tape ID numbers will follow those of Rocker's spreadsheet. Data on the individual tapes can be accessed on the appropriate tape pages (L001, etc). An overview of the current status and other details of the various tapes is available at SL Tapes (tapes).

Dance Edit Tapes in date order

Tape number Tape Label Tape wiki page Shows covered
L064 91 Tec Dance Rap 29 September 1991 05 October 1991 06 October 1991
L060 JP Dance 91 L060 06 October 1991 12 October 1991 13 October 1991
L053 Dance 3 13 October 1991 19 October 1991 20 October 1991
L063 Weird Fat And Vegas 20 October 1991 26 October 1991
L054 Dance 5 27 October 1991
L013 Dance 6 02 November 1991 03 November 1991
L056 Dance 7 03 November 1991 09 November 1991
L061 Tiger 91 10 November 1991 16 November 1991 17 November 1991
L014 Dance 10 17 November 1991 23 November 1991
L015 Dance 11 23 November 1991 24 November 1991
L011 Dance 12 24 November 1991 30 November 1991
L062 Dance 13 Dance 13 01 December 1991
L012 Dance 14 07 December 1991
L019 Dance 15 14 December 1991 22 December 1991
L624 Dance 21
L625 Dance 22
L626 Dance 23
L627 Dance 24

Ripping Hints

All shows appear to have been recorded in FM Mono, with no Dolby.

The 1991 tapes are second generation tapes. These have been created from master tapes containing the complete show, which were probably subsequently reused. The shows were split into two streams.

One stream contains (very broadly) guitar based or other non-dance music. These tend to be chunks of shows with some JP links, but with audible edits. The tapes are generally recorded in date order, side a to side b, so an individual tape may span 2 shows. They are easy to date due to hints in the links and the fact they generally have sessions.

The second stream contains just the dance tracks from each show, and because there are fewer of these, each tape tends to span several shows. These are generally JP link free and are harder to date, unless there is a dance session. On occasion some dance tracks were actually taken from Andy Kershaw shows.

The complete running order of the originating shows can be deduced, but clues are normally required. On occasion a track or a link will make an appearance on both the guitar and dance edits, providing some reference points. Then if the audible edits on the guitar edits match the number of dance tracks then they probably splice in naturally, though edits may also be made in the guitar edits for other reasons such as news (11.30pm and 1:00am) and unwanted jingles.

Where there are complete show recordings from other sources it highlights how the SL Tapes edits were created.

The sound quality tends to be quite muddy due to the re-dubbing process, which can't be entirely eradicated through azimuth adjustment.

The 1992 tapes are mostly first generation containing unedited blocks of John's shows as well as Andy Kershaw's Saturday shows. Correct azimuth adjustment on playback is required, the record azimuth did seem to vary according to the recording date. Some of the tapes do have a wavering treble, either due to tape age or wandering azimuth on record; this can't be entirely removed by playback adjustment.

As Steve said in his Mailing List message, these were mainly recorded using the following sequence:

Tape 1 side a

Tape 2 side a

Tape 1 side b

Tape 2 side b

Though tape 1 and 2 may be widely separated in the SL tape numbering system.

It is therefore rare that on an individual tape, side b follows on directly from side a. It's therefore best to create files from side a and side b separately, unless it is known for certain that they do follow on - if Steve was caught out by a long track running right to the end of side a then he flipped straight over to side b. Also on rare occasions Steve has gone back to a 10-minute blank bit at the end of a tape to record the end of a show if it will clearly fit in.

If as a ripper you are not also going to be creating the wiki pages or attempting to date the shows, then it's best just to follow Roger's example of just createing files by sides, naming them L060a L060b etc.

If you are going to split the files by show and date them, then create files by show blocks with the dates and tape information as part of the file name.

For example in the fictional case where Tape L260 had two separated portions of the 11th July 1992 show, preceded by the end of an Andy Kershaw show, then create files named

AK Show 11th July 1992 L260

1992-07-11 Peel Show L260a

1992-07-11 Peel Show L260b

Having the date at the start of the file means that the files can easily be displayed in date order on the Mooo, computers etc.


It's best to distinguish the SL tape recordings from shows or bits of shows from other sources. In general we try to label show portions as a b c d e etc and other sources as 1 2 3. As the number of files for a given show won't be clear until all bits have been ripped. In the above case, one may find that File a of the show is indeed 1992-07-11 Peel Show L260a but File b comes from another tape, 1992-07-11 Peel Show L229a.

See 04 September 1992 for an example of how the wiki page will look for a show with both SL Tapes and other sources. Note that some portions have yet to show up though one can guess how many files there will be.