The Evolution of John Peel is a five-part BBC Radio 6 Music series, first broadcast in September 2017, celebrating John Peel and his pioneering work in on Radio One. Each episode follows a specific theme and is a montage of non-chronological selected tracks (records and sessions) usually with introductions and comments on each one made by Peel at the time of broadcast.

  • "Ever since he came off the pirate ships and joined Radio 1 in 1967, John Peel was a champion of new, exciting and occasionally challenging music like no other DJ. Today BBC Radio 6 Music lives on in that pioneering spirit, with its presenters continuing the passion and love he showed for new music."

Original transmission dates: an attempt has been made to identify original transmission dates of each track and is given in brackets, where identified on the basis of recordings and information available on this site, and linked to relative Wiki page. In case of uncertainty, the date is followed by a '?' and is not linked. Unknown dates are marked '??'. Notes are given where possible transmission dates can be excluded, based on recordings available (not linked).

Please add or correct as necessary.

1970s Evolution


First broadcast: 2017-09-03 13:00


anecdote by Liz Kershaw

1970s Revolution


  • "companion show to The Evolution of John Peel, broadcast Sunday at 1PM, with more highlights of John's shows in the seventies."

First broadcast: 2017-09-03 01:00

1980s Evolution


First broadcast 2017-09-10 13:00

  • "Mary-Anne Hobbs presents the second show in this five-part series, which this week covers the 1980s. Highlights include alternative, independent music from The Smiths and The Fall, world music from African Connexion, reggae from Black Uhuru and the beginnings of acid house with MARRS. Plus 6 Music DJ Mark Radcliffe will give his favourite memories of working with Peel, including a 1984 session from The Triffids that he produced."


Mark Radcliffe anecdote

1980s Revolution


first broadcast 2017-09-10 01:00

  • "Mary-Anne Hobbs presents this companion show to the Evolution of John Peel, broadcast Sunday at 1PM, with more highlights of John's shows in the eighties." Producer: Dina Jahina.

1990s Evolution


first broadcast 2017-09-17 13:00

  • "Mary-Anne Hobbs presents the third show in this five-part series, which this week covers the 1990s.

1990s Revolution


first broadcast 2017-09-17 01:00

2000s Evolution


first broadcast 2017-09-24 13:00

  • "Continuing the series that explores John Peel's developing musical passions with a look back at some of his Radio 1 shows from 2000 until his sad death in October 2004. Complementing Radio 1's 50th anniversary celebrations and introduced by Mary Anne Hobbs."


anecdotes on Glastonbury by Lauren Laverne and Chris Hawkins.[23]

All-time Festive 50 (from 2000)


first broadcast 2017-09-24 01:00

  • "Continuing the series that explores John Peel's (and also his listeners') developing musical passions, with an abridged look back at the all-time Festive 50, compiled from votes from his listeners and first broadcast in January 2000.
  • Complementing Radio 1's 50th anniversary celebrations and introduced by Mary Anne Hobbs."

Programme features an abridged montage of the All-time Festive 50 with intros, short clips of each track and selected comments by Peel.[26]

In the week after its original broadcast the programme title was changed to "All-time Festive 50 (from 2000 and abridged, sorry!)" and then removed from the BBC i-player.

External links


  1. 7" single released May 1979.
  2. "the new single" released 12th November 1971
  3. possibly same show as above, or 15 December 1971 same show as Marmalade track below)
  4. 1978 "current single"
  5. not 09 July 1979
  6. possibly same show as above
  7. not 23 October 1978
  8. not 07 July 1978.
  9. Peel mentions the song was played on the 'concert programme' the night before.
  10. not 18 June 1979. Peel announces 'the A side is Boys Don't Cry, the B side is Plastic Passion, but then proceeds to play the A side)
  11. Italian language version of As Tears Go By, first issued in 1968. Peel says he had been looking for it for sometime and finally found it in Oxford Street. Played sometime after mid-1978 as Peel also mentions Jimmy Pursey and The Kids Are United, which would never be made in Italian.
  12. not 21 August 1978.
  13. Peel mentions that on that very day they had signed a deal with Polydor records. According to band history this happened in June.
  14. 14.0 14.1 14.2 14.3 BBC programme page gives recording date.
  15. "new single". The BBC do indeed make a mistake by giving it the wrong title in the Music Played section.
  16. possibly same show as Wedding Present above, and Jesus And Mary Chain below.
  17. track also featured on Keeping It Peel - possibly same?
  18. see also MARRS and Wedding Present tracks.
  19. Italian version of One Step Beyond.
  20. session track although recording date not mentioned on programme site.
  21. 21.0 21.1 technically not "1980s" as recorded and first broadcast in 1979. Repeated as part of the 'ska' sessions special.
  22. wrongly introduced as Solex, who comes up next.
  23. Laverne wrongly recalls the falling in ditch incident as happening at Glastonbury 2002.
  24. comment on grandson Archie from 25 December 2003 show edited in between this and the next track here
  25. final Pig's Big 78 track played by JP himself.
  26. Only Atmosphere by Joy Division, the no.1 song, is played in its entirety.