Friday, May 9, 2014

"Is The Peel Session Version Really Better?!"

((me at Peel's attic, where the 7" Singles were stored ... circa 1989))

Good evening comrades,

I was wondering recently whether I’m all alone in my opinion that the vast majority of songs recorded for John Peel’s BBC program is way better than their “regular” versions, the ones you and me know by heart.  There might often be just minor differences, I admit, but those differences make the Peel Session versions somewhat special.

Recently I had one of those rare evenings when Little Loser slept early without making all too much fuzz beforehand plus Mrs Loser was out, so I took the chance and compiled a little mix thing of old punk and punk/wave related stuff … there shouldn’t be a single tune included which you can’t sing along to if you are approaching your 50th birthday:  something which by and large is true for each and every reader of this blog, I’m afraid (apart from JC who is even older, but there you are …). This of course meant that I could forget about preparing a second mix, one with the original versions, because, so I’m sure, you all know them anyway.

 I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent on preparing this mix and I hope you’ll enjoy it too!

So almost all of you should easily be able to compare when you listen to the mix. I’m sure it’ll bring back memories … and perhaps there might even be one or two amongst you who’ll find something brandnew in it. I doubt that though …

Three little remarks:

  1. If ANYONE of you English guys is able to provide me with the lyrics of the first tune, I’d be eternally grateful: I will include you in my last will and testament, promised!!
  2. The sound quality of the second track is rather dodgy (compared to the rest), but don’t let that put you off and shut the thing down: this tune is so good (and this version is not heard all too often) that I definitely wanted to include it.
  3. I am by no means a mixing professional (as you will easily be able to tell very soon), this was “recorded” in one take with some cheap freeware, plus I had two bottles of beer along with it, so bear with me please!

So HERE we go, an hour and a bit of pure unadulterated fun for you and your families … pogo time even ... if your back agrees:


  1. Basement Five – ‘Last White Christmas‘ (1980)
  2. The Rezillos – ‘Somebody’s Gonna Get Their Head Kicked In Tonight’ (1978)
  3. Ian Dury & The Blockheads – ‘Sweet Gene Vincent’ (1977)
  4. Madness – ‘The Prince’ (1979)
  5. The Members – ‘Sound Of The Suburbs’ (1979)
  6. The Only Ones – ‘Another Girl  Another Planet’ (1978)
  7. Joy Division – ‘Transmission’ (1979)
  8. Sisters Of Mercy – ‘Alice’ (1982)
  9. Siouxsie & The Banshees – ‘Mirage’ (1977)
  10. The Fall – ‘Container Drivers’ (1980)
  11. The Adverts – ‘Looking Through Gary Gilmore’s Eyes’ (1977)
  12. Stiff Little Fingers – ‘Suspect Device’ (1978)
  13. Sham 69 – ‘Hey Little Rich Boy’ (1977)
  14. The Buzzcocks – ‘ESP’ (1979)
  15. The Jam – ‘In The City’ (1977)
  16. Magazine – ‘The Light Pours Out Of Me’ (1978)
  17. Wire – ‘I Am The Fly’ (1978)
  18. The Undertones – ‘Here Comes The Summer’ (1979)
  19. The Slits – ‘Love And Romance’ (1977)
  20. The Flys – ‘Love And  Molotov Cocktail’ (1978)
  21. Swell Maps – ‘Read About Seymour’ (1978)
  22. UK Subs – ‘Stranglehold’ (1978)
  23. The Stranglers – ‘Somethin’ Better Change’ (1977)
  24. The Cure – ‘Fire In Cairo’ (1978)
  25. X-Ray Spex – ‘Warrior’ (1978)
  26. The Beat – ‘Ranking Full Stop’ (1979)


Please let me know what you think: is it just me or are these versions really better/more interesting/superior?

Any comment is highly appreciated, of course!

Take good care,



drew said...

Really looking forward to this Dirk.

And I'm with you most Peel versions are better, probably all of the Fall ones are the definitive versions.

Swiss Adam said...

Cracking stuff Dirk

Anonymous said...

Yes you are right.the peel sessions rock.

TheRobster said...

Many of these are awesome - the Joy Division sound electrifying; Sisters sound like Joy Division; Siouxsie rarely sounded better; the Fall actually sound half competent; I could go on and on... BUT - nothing, no-thing will ever beat the original 'Another Girl Another Planet'. Nothing. Ever. Period!

drew said...

The Robster has a point. Nothing will ever beat the original of ANother Girl Another Planet. The exception that proves the rule, maybe.

george said...

Well, I'm going to disagree with those last two because i think THIS version of Another far superior. I'm not able to comment about most of the other songs, but when it comes to The Fall the Peel session versions are usually inferior.

Charity Chic said...

Controversial George
listening to this now and coincidentally have just got to AGAP
I'll sit on the fence and sat that both versions are terrific
The Peel Sounds of the Suburbs is far superior though

TheRobster said...

Just a question Dirk - be honest now - it that really you in the pic? And is that really John Peel's attic?

Walter said...

Magnificent arrangement Dirk! With the Peel sessions the perfection has never been in the foreground for me. Nevertheless, it was a matter of presenting new music live. And most bands have done it very well. Most pieces have a certain roughness in spite of all perfection. And about the discussion about AGAP: I prefer the original as well. And by the way - don't worry about your technical problems. I know them very well when I first tried to mix a file in a row.
Have a good time mate

Scott said...

Great stuff Dirk. I agree that most of the Peel versions do sound better. Although not on your mix, the Peel version of "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is far superior to the single version. Also love the Peel version of Culture's mighty "Lion Rock". I could go on and on, but can't as I have a Sexyloser Mix to listen to.

drew said...

George you are wrong, there is something about the Peel session versions of Fall tracks. The album versions are good but different but for me at least I always think that the session versions sound superior.

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Dirk said...

Hello friends,

thanks VERY much for all your comments: this is what keeps this site going by and large ... THANKS!!

I think I asked a question which cannot be answered all too easily because trying to (answer it) would mean to generalize things. But in my opinion the Only Ones 'regular' version of 'Planet' is better, that's one thing to be sure about!

And Robster: yes, it is Peel's attic in the picture (although only a very very small part of it) and it is indeed me standing there in all my glory. Me and a mate slept there when staying at Peel Acres for a few days in the late Eighties. Peel kindly invited us to Stowmarket on my first ever trip to London, because basically we couldn't afford London any longer. The only option would have been to return back home earlier than scheduled, so he proposed to stay at his place instead. In his view London sucked anyway and seeing London would not mean seeing England. So off we went and had a great time with him and his family, as you might imagine. After this I met up with him almost each time I went to London and although he never had all too much free time to spend, it always was great fun .... really miss him!

And Jay Kay: thanks! How did you know I needed advice on that?

Anonymous said...

Bit of a delayed reply (the Keeping it Peel stuff on the backburner for the summer). I've bookmarked and will feature this on Oct 25th.

Unknown said...

Hi Dirk! Saw your link in the yahoo group. Would you happen to have somewhere the Peel Session tracks by McCarthy?

Dirk said...

Sorry, Jay Jay: I don't have it alas ...

Take care,