Sounds was a music paper published weekly in the UK from 1970-10-10 to 1991-04-06. It was founded to compete with Melody Maker and New Musical Express in the developing "progressive" music market. Its first editor Jack Hutton (previously editor of MM) managed to persuade a number of noted writers from other papers, such as Penny Valentine (from Disc & Music Echo), Steve Peacock and Jerry Gilbert (from MM) to join the new publication,.Sounds never attained the fashionablity of its rivals but gained a loyal readership, particularly among fans of progressive and heavy metal rock.

Following his previous stints as a columnist with International Times and Disc & Music Echo, Peel contributed a regular piece for Sounds from 14th July 1973 to sometime in 1981.

In the 80's, Sounds released various compilation albums and singles, and Peel played some tracks from them on his shows.

Peel Columns

More than a few of Peel's weekly columns for Sounds were republished in The Olivetti Chronicles:

  • 1973-12-01, Osmonds 3, pg. 204-7
  • 1973-12-15, Osmonds 2, pg. 201-3
  • 1974-07-20, Lena Zavaroni, pg. 350-2
  • 1974-08-03, Robert Wyatt, pg. 347-9
  • 1974-03-01, Roadshows 2, pg. 263-5
  • 1975-04-05, Tommy, pg. 297-8
  • 1975-04-19, The Mourning of the Golden Flask, pg. 166-8
  • 1975-07-01, Knebworth, pg. 133-5
  • 1975-11-08, Peel and the Mighty Gorgon, pg. 211-13
  • 1976-01-10, The Party’s Over, pg. 208-10
  • 1976-02-07, Bores, pg. 27-29
  • 1976-04-10, A Boy Named Zuma [1]
  • 1976-04-17, Please listen to my programme, pg. 230-2
  • 1976-04-24, Pen Pal, pg. 220-2
  • 1976-08-14, Babies, pg. 12-14
  • 1977-05-21, Hippies, pg. 117-18
  • 1977-06-04, Virginity, pg. 320-3
  • 1977-06-18, God Save The Queen, pg. 104-7
  • 1977-09-10, Reading Festival 2, pg. 245-50
  • 1977-10-22, Fab Pic Contest!, pg. 77-9
  • 1977-11-05, Fab Pic Contest 2, pg. 80-3
  • 1977-12-31, Fab Pic Contest 3, pg. 84-7
  • 1978-05-27, Pink Pop, pg. 226-9
  • 1978-06-24, Wine-tasting with Walters, pg. 341-4
  • 1978-07-01, Shaving, pg. 270-2
  • 1978-08-26, Old Bill, pg. 191-4

Please add further information on Peel's pieces for Sounds if known.



  • Oct. 16 "John Peel In The Talk-In". Peel interviewed by regular Sounds contributor Steve Peacock. "I'm a starving man - any radio I get I grab". JP talks about his radio career and the frustrations of working at the BBC. He'd recently lost his position as sole presenter of the Radio One Concert shows, says he was "hurt" by the reduction in his weekly hours of airtime and had started doing shows for Radio Luxembourg (read more)


  • May 26 "Peel gets back to mono" Article on the stereo systems Peel uses - at home and in his car (read more)
  • Jul. 14 (Peel's first written piece in Sounds) Gosh, Dorothea! On the horizon... isn't that the original teenage vegetarian millionaire playboy? You guessed it's John Peel. With a smile, hovering, yes, hovering about my lips - the lips still bruised from the excess of passion and... (read more)
  • Aug. 4 MR. PEACOCK and I have just stepped out for a glass of lunch. Having completed the totally rivetting singles reviews that you'll find elsewhere in ZOUNDS I was recking my small and perverse brain for a lively topic with which to delight you ... (read more)
  • Aug. 11 "ERE", (and how exactly do you represent a Manchester accent on paper?) "when are yer gonna stop playin' all them weird records that are not on?" "Weird" records eh! Must mean Tangerine Dream, the Cheviot Ranters, Beefheart, someone like... (read more)
  • Sep. 1: Singles Reviews
  • Sep. 29: "Life With The Lions" Describes his holiday in Kenya and Tanzania.  HELLO! HELLO! I'm back again, having sported myself royally for a week or so in the fleshpots of Africa and Yorkshire, and stand ready in helm and breastplate to do battle on your behalf in the blood-stained lists of rock-a-boogie. Was it not Bottom who said... (read more)
  • Oct. 6: As befits the season of the year I am in a gentle and reflective mood. However, do not fret, tiny creatures, I have no plans to bore you with tales from my past. Until another day the story of the night I slew fifty and six... (read more)
  • Oct. 6: Singles Reviews
  • Oct. 27: Singles Reviews
  • Dec. 22: "It's not too much to ask" Some of us chaps here at ZOUNDS have just returned from a sort of awfully jolly pre Christmas romp at a neighbouring hostelry. As I have a heavy cold, which has resulted in my normally patrician nose turning a... (see more)


  • Jan. 5: 1973 Top Ten Albums
  • Jan. 26: Singles Reviews
  • Feb. 23: Singles Reviews
  • Mar. 9: Singles Reviews
  • June. 22: "My mate Gary's OK OK!" BET YOU missed Gary and me and Jim Stafford on "Roundtable". That's Gary Glitter but, well, I call him Gary and he calls me John. Just like that. Gary and John - well, why not? The only other time I've been adjacent to the lad was way way back when I was an... (read more)
  • Aug. 10: THIS AFTERNOON (Sunday) a detachment of us were planning to cruise into Norfolk to observe a spot of motor racing at Snetterton. Sadly our plans have been aborted by torrential rain.... .Writes about his dog Woggle and a bad Peel Roadshow gig in Bexley (read more)
  • Aug. 24: HERE'S SOME good news for ELP and Focus fans. Fresh from the wind-swept and rain soaked slopes of Snowdon (which is, despite what you may have been taught at school, at least 20,000 feet in height) I have sat and listened to an LP by a German trio named Triumvirat... JP is unimpressed by them, but shows more interest in Austrailan bands Ariel and Daddy Cool (read more)
  • Sep. 7: I'LL WAGER my carefully catalogued collection of European and Commonwealth knicker elastic, some of it dating back to the reign of George VI, that the very last thing you care to read about this week is the Reading Festival . "Why" you may well remark... JP "enjoyed Reading hugely" and namechecks many of the acts who appeared: Traffic, Fumble, Barclay James Harvest, Pink Floyd, Beckett, Jack The Lad, Focus, George Melly, Georgie Fame and the Blue Flames. Peel and Jerry Floyd hosted the festival. (read more)
  • Nov. 2: "Same again Rod" HIS SHIRT hanging awkwardly over voluminous trousers, Paul leaned over and kissed the Pig on the cheek. "MAny happy returns for tomorrow, Pig," he said, putting a hand on her arm and squeezing it affectionately. Unfortunately the featured... "Paul" is Paul Gambaccini, about to leave the UK for radio work in Boston. Peel also mentions a Tangerine Dream concert at the Rainbow and appearing on Rosko's Round Table with Rod Stewart and Kenney Jones. (read more)
  • Nov. 2: Singles Reviews
  • Nov. 30: "T.Dream or not T.Dream"  Reports on a Tangerine Dream concert in Guildford and defends the band against their critics.  "WELL", CONTINUED Kevin, wiping the chip grease from his mouth with the back of a swollen hand, "I Thought I was on this sort of a planet, you see." Sparky and Graham laughted sardonically but Kevin pressed onwards regardless... Also mentions Eno, John Lee Hooker and enjoying plays on Radio 4 and the BBC World Service. (read more)
  • Dec 27: John Peel Section: Peel lists his favourite things relating to music, TV and radio, separated into British and International sections.


  • Jan. 4: Top Ten Albums Of 1974
  • Jan. 4: 1974 Top Fifty One Singles / EVER WONDERED why every third person in London is Australian? A letter from a man who describes himself as an "ELP, Yes and Focus freak" might give you a sort of clue... (read more)
  • Jan. 4: 1974 HAS been a good year for singles - and a bad year as well. What I mean is ... any year in which a record as manifestly awful as "The Streak" can become Number One in the charts has got to have something dramatically wrong with it. On the other hand ... (read more)
  • Feb.1: IT's SIX-thirty on Monday morning. The shipping forecast is blaring out of our ailing radio, having temporarily replaced Simon Bates, who left us with a charming little number by Max Bygraves. TypealongaMax. Despite the air of electronic... (read more)
  • Feb.1: Singles Reviews
  • Feb. 8 (an excerpt from an incomplete image of the article): From the poll, let us turn to our attention to the Belgian charts - Number One is 'You Ain't Seen Nothin' Yet' by Bachman Turner Overdrive. We must aim for an interview with that ... (read more)
  • Apr. 26: WHO, PLEASANT reader, is this rough 'n' tough, oh-so-out-doorsy, he-man doing battle against thigh high flood waters? See how resolutely he fights his way through the raging torrent, effortlessly holding two heavy cases above the boiling... (read more)
  • Apr. 26: Singles Reviews (the article, where Peel reviewed the Goodies' The Funky Gibbon single, and apparently got beaten up by the group after he gave a damaging verdict on their record)
  • Jun. 7: NOW THE truth can be told. The irregular appearance in this journal of this column is recent weeks, has been due entirely to my decision to stop writing it. For some time I have felt that at 19 I am too old to be winning the admiration, nay, adoration, of so many... (read more)
  • Jun. 7: Singles Reviews
  • Jul. 5: "GET OFF with you, you old silly!" I hear you cry, as I settle down in a comfortable chair with a large glass of a rather intriguing Rhenish wine, to discuss the events of Saturday, June 21. "We have," you might reasonably continue... (read more)
  • Jul. 5: Singles Reviews
  • Jul. 12: IT IS 7.30 on Sunday morning. Peel, his firm and manly features most appealingly outlined by fresh white linen, is asleep. He has been asleep for five and a half hours, recovering after the exertions of the affair at Knebworth. The phone rings and the sensitive... (Peel mentions the musicians he met at the Knebworth Festival - Captain Beefheart (who later phoned him) Steve Miller (who told Peel that in his youth in Texas he too listened to Kat's Karavan) and Roy Harper  (read more)
  • Jul. 12: Singles Reviews
  • Oct. 18: "A Peelet's on the way": YOU KNOW, it seems such a long time since we last sat down together and had a little chat about this and that. Yet here we are again and I have a feeling it is going to be just as much fun as it was before.... The principal difference in the complex pattern of my days is this...I am now gainfully employed on Entirely Wonderful Radio One for five nights a week... (read more)
  • Nov. 8: WHAT A dull column that was last week, eh? I'm most dreadfully sorry about it. Here's a bit of action to make up for it. Ned crept across the rocks towards the smugglers' lair. Close behind him moved the silent figure of his new friend Earl, the... (read more)


  • Jan. 24 CORRECT ME if I'm wrong, but wasn't it Bill Medley who said, or rather sang, 'You Never Close Your Eyes Anymore?' I think it must have been. And there's no point denying that Bill knew his stuff. William Robert Anfield Ravenscroft (alias Peel) edged his way uncomfortably into... (read more)
  • Apr. 10 I'M SORRY. I know this isn't a football paper. Now which of you typed that then? Come on, I'm not fooling with you. I want to know. You're not leaving the room until one of you owns up and that's that. Was it you, Vendrome? You, Frobisher? Erg-XL2? How about you, Gilhooly? ... (read more )
  • Jun.12 ALTHOUGH THE sun outside is effulgent to the point of folly the air is filled with merry twitterings of droves of songbirds, the Peel heart is heavy. I have sat for some 12 minutes now, my grizzled old head cupped in a gnarled hand (also mine), trying to think of... (read more)
  • Aug. 14 YES I remember how sensitive you are, and normally, as I'm sure you're aware, I wouldn't think of mentioning it. But - don't turn around right now - he's still lying there on the tiles and staring up at me. From the expression on that part of his face which is ... (read more)
  • Sep. 4 BY HECK I missed you. Missed the soft touch of your hand, the silvery elfin tinkle of your laugh, the warmth of your body against mine. Mind you, I did have a pretty rare old time in Cornwall, consuming generous quantities of ... (read more)
  • Dec. 4: IT SAYS here "John Peel plus one," you know', murmured the oh-so-lovely creature on the door, peering at the guest-list. I smiled one of those sudden smiles of mine that seem somehow to light the whole room, fingering reflectively the... (read more)
  • Dec. 25 1976 Top Ten Albums


  • Jan. 8: THIS VERY first bulletin of the New Year - for those among you with an eye for detail, it is 1977 - comes to you direct from Radio 1's cosy Continuity C studio, the same studio from which such universal favourites as David Hamilton and... (read more)
  • Mar. 19: "Hip Nip Snip Trip". JP quotes oddly-phrased sleevenotes from an album by Japanese group the Far East Family Band;  "THE REACTION of the listener of progressive rock sound is like participating in an imaginary game which has no limitations more special rule. Originally, all kinds of music including rock is a stimulating deed in sensitivity within time vector. Except the time... "  He goes on to discuss the album and other imported LPs he'd recently got from the Virgin Records branch at Marble Arch (read more)
  • July. 2: "Was it something I played?" Peel responds to letter of complaint from listener; I AM WRITING this letter on behalf of many pissed off John Peel Show fans. I remember when his one hour show used to feature rock music (we're not all punks, John!) Now his two hour show consists of any crap he can dig up. As far as DJs go he's not exactly ... (read more)
  • Dec. 24: 1977 Top Ten Albums


  • Feb. 11 I suspect, angels, that those placed in authority over the BB's dormitory areas have a device for routing late sleepers from their beds and sending them, choking ever-so-lightly, out into the streets to attend to the Corporation's business … (read more)
  • Oct. 7 John Peel returns from holiday with another thinly disguised puff for the dubious delights of his so-called 'roadshow' (read more)
  • Dec. 30 1978 Top Twenty Albums


  • Feb. 3 I had a rollicking good time last weekend in Brighton, to which spa I had travelled to see the Piranhas. A 308 mile round trip, you understand. I work devilishly hard on your behalf. The Piranhas were, you know, wizard ... (read more)
  • Oct. 20 OVER THE past fortnight some achingly lovely words of Mrs Heman's have, as she herself would have expressed it, oft returned unto me! I'm sure you know the ones I mean. 'Gaze on - tis lovely! - Childhood's lip and cheek. Mantling beneath its earnest brow of thought!' I have spent the weekends so lately flown ankle deep in the ... (read more)
  • Dec. 29 1979 Top Twenty Albums


  • Jan. 12 MED HOVEDGRUNNEN til at dek ikke lar seg gjore a skrive ned disc-jockeyenes lyrikk, er ikke spraket. And I'll thank you to remember that next time. You know, serpents, I was thinking only this morning, as I was hanging the bloodstained... (read more)

Sounds v/a Compilations

Plays by Peel of various artist releases from Sounds. 

(v/a 7" - Sounds Showcase 1

(v/a 7" - Sounds Showcase 2

(v/a 7" - Sounds - Waves 2)

(v/a 7" - Sounds - Waves 3)

See Also


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