John Peel's record collection in interactive online museum - what are your favorites?

The enormous record collection of John Peel, the music legend and BBC radio presenter who died in 2004, is being made public through an interactive online archive. The collection consists of over 26,000 LP's, 40,000 singles and thousands of CD's. The online collection will be added to each month starting with 100 albums beginning with the letter 'A'.

Watch a video introduction about the archive or Check out the site here and click on the record crate to access the record collection.

What gems do you see? Add any discoveries or thoughts about Peel or the collection in the comments below.


This from the Guardian:

Every week, the Centre will expand the scope of its virtual museum, adding another 100 records, covering everything from Appalachian mountain music to zouk. "It's a very personal look at John's collection," producer Charlie Gauvain said. According to Sheila Ravenscroft, Peel's widow, curators will highlight one artist from each batch, picking through more than 65,000 items in his archive. Peel kept meticulous files about his records: each sleeve was given a typed filing card, with all sorts of information.

"There'll be information about the record sleeve, front and back, all the information about the record itself, as well as whether John rated the album or not," Ravenscroft explained. Although copyright prevents the centre from streaming the records, links will be included, when available, to purchase or stream the music on Spotify and iTunes. "I think people are going to be very interested as to what's in the collection," Ravenscroft said. "They will be amused and intrigued by it."

Besides the details of Peel's records, the virtual museum will also include videos, and incorporate Peel's own home movies. Producers discovered 30 hours of footage at his home in Suffolk, with everything from clips of bands to footage from Liverpool's Anfield stadium. The website will apparently launch with John Peel's Suffolk Comforts, a 1989 film "that's never been broadcast before", Gauvain said. "It's a real gem … [with] some really personal things in it."



Below is a four part documentary first shown in 2005, looking at the most prized records in John Peel's huge record collection, which he kept stored in a special box. Looks at the music and artistes featured in those special records and at the music tastes of John Peel. Also includes interviews with family and friends, including wife Sheila Ravenscroft, son Tom (who was also involved in its production) and brother Alan; DJs Mary Anne Hobbs, Paul Gambaccini and Marc Riley; artists Elton John, Ronnie Wood (Faces), Roger Daltrey (Who), Fergal Sharkey (Undertones), Jack White (White Stripes), Mark E. Smith and Brixa Smith (Fall), Francis Rossi and Rick Parfitt (Status Quo), Billy Bragg, Daman Albarn (Blur) and Pete Wylie (Wah!); plus schoolmate Michael Palin

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I knew about the collection going online but not the documentary , thanks Kyla , it's fascinating. Living in a very small town in Scotland , late 70's/early 80's , John Peel was a lifeline and an inspiration , i loved the man.

The Undertones & The Fall.'astonishing'.....stop it

I love pretty much everything about John Peel.  In the "Radio Shows" section of the site, it links to a 2 min audio clip (linked below) which I can get behind 1000%.

John Peel's Philosophy


     This is overwhelming. I feel like I'm standing in the biggest toy store I've ever seen!

     Funny, too, how the release of this vast collection falls into the category of Easy Ed's latest post on the changing access to the music we love.



This is great. But I dont get the White Stripes passion. Maybe I'm too stupid or not "hip" enough to get them.

26,000 LPs, 40,000 singles, thousands of CDs - the only one who might have liked them all is Peel (and even he probably went off some of them).   

I'm also from small town in Scotland and have fond memories of listening under the bed covers to Perfumed Garden and Top Gear on a transistor radio. My memory isn't great but my all time favourite piece of music I ever heard was a Christmas session featuring Rod Stewart, Robert Wyatt and Sonya Christina performing Silent Night. Don't know if it's in the interactive museum but I was very pleased to find out about it - here on No Depression. I loved Peel as he was one of the first to play Dark Star on British radio.

I was more the generation that loved him playing The Undertones, Joy Division, The fall , The Smiths etc Andy but it shows how great he was and for how long !

It appears we Scots are taking over a No Depression blog - cool!

I just thought of another great Peel tribute - Soft Machine recorded Moon in June on Soft Machine 3 but when they played it live on Top Gear, Wyatt totally changed the lyrics to incorporate Peel, BBC, Hendrix and Floyd in the lyrics.

Cheers, I always wanted to know who to blame for the turgidity of The Fall & Joy Division



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Created by No Depression Feb 17, 2009 at 9:06pm. Last updated by No Depression Sep 24, 2012.