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. It 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.

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 Article on Peel's stereo systems he uses (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: 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. 27: Singles Reviews


  • Jan. 5: 1973 Top Ten Albums
  • Jan. 26: Singles Reviews
  • Feb. 23: Singles Reviews
  • Mar. 9: Singles Reviews
  • June. 22: 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 and we find ourselves staring morosely out of the ... (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... (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... (read more)
  • Nov. 2: 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... (read more)
  • Nov. 2: Singles Reviews


  • Jan (unknown date): Top Ten Albums Of 1974
  • 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. 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. 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... (read more)
  • Jul. 12: Singles Reviews
  • 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. 25 1976 Top Ten Albums


  • Unknown date: "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

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