For 37 years, John Peel effectively ran a pirate radio station from inside BBC Radio 1. His broadcasting technique consistently broke convention: he was the first DJ to give out titles, distribution details, and label information; he played tracks in their entirety, without talking over them; instead of a playlist, he employed an 'arbitrary, childish, and unfair' system; and he was first to play the same record twice in a row. Born John Parker Ravenscroft in Heswall near Liverpool, he was educated as a boarder at Shrewsbury School. John's life was changed by rock 'n' roll; he devoured the music throughout the fifties and, after serving National Service and moving to America, put his encyclopaedic knowledge to use by guesting on local radio. Soon after, he was to host his own shows in Oklahoma and California, and in 1967 he returned to the UK, where a brief stint on Radio London preceded his joining the BBC. In his time at the station, John became a pioneer of new genres, bands, and DJs. From 1998, he hosted Home Truths for Radio 4, and in addition syndicated a weekly show to Radio Eine in Germany.
At fabric we have the pleasure of releasing John's first-ever DJ mix CD. The compilation captures the spirit of his appearances at our nightclub, the first of which - on February 1st, 2002 - he described as 'one of the greatest nights of my life'. An eight-month-pregnant woman sat on the stairs listening, and the crowd were singing 'Teenage Kicks' and chanting his name a full fifteen minutes after his set (he was still attempting to leave the room at that point).
John won a multitude of industry awards, garnered seven honorary degrees, and was appointed an O.B.E in 1998. He is survived by his wife, Sheila, their two sons, and two daughters. fabric will donate a percentage of proceeds from every copy sold, to Médecins Sans Frontières, which was a cause close to John's heart.
"This CD isn't supposed to be mood-establishing. If anything, it's mood-demolishing. These are some of my favourite songs... there's a real risk I'll listen to nothing else ever again." John Peel 1939 - 2004
John Peel was undoubtedly Britain's most risk-taking DJ. After his spectacular soundclash at the 2000 Sonar Festival, he was invited to host a 'Peel Session' room at FABRICLIVE. This is his only mix CD and it captures his all-out approach to club DJing.