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Peel Sessions: The Lost Opportunities

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See also: Sessions That Never Happened

Background

  • The BBC's policy of wiping sessions made for Peel's shows was frequently referred to by John, especially in his later years (he suggested that the tapes were reused for 'Gardener's Question Time', and that he and Walters tried to hide the tapes from elements in the BBC that wanted to destroy them). Equally regretted were the sessions that were either made but never broadcast or ones that were never recorded in the first place. This page is an attempt to document those missed opportunities, and information is drawn from comments made in published Peel-related literature or comments made on his shows, with dates where possible.

Unaired Sessions

  • 4 Skins: Recorded in 1981, but unaired due (presumably) to the Southall riots. It has since been issued by the Captain Oi! label as The Secret Life Of The 4 Skins.
  • Brand X: Phil Collins' side project from Genesis recorded two sessions: the first (recorded 1976-02-26) contained a song that The Peel Sessions (p. 262) states was never broadcast, 'Ugly Face' (aka 'Dead Pretty'). However, it turned up on the LP Missing Period. Curiously, radio broadcasts of the track do circulate among fans. Either it was aired on the repeat two months later or it was broadcast by the BBC on some other program.
  • Gentle Giant: The first Peel session (and the band's overall third BBC session) was transmitted 07 January 1972 for the first time, with one track ("Funny Ways") planned for the repeat on 04 February 1972. However, the Decktician Logs for that episode do not list the track, so it was probably never aired. With the master tape of the session missing and, at the moment, no copy in circulation among fans, it seems that there's a very slight chance that this version of the song will ever be available.
  • Love Child: Recorded 1992-12-21. Ken Garner says (in The Peel Sessions, p. 304) that 'no BBC data or regular listener can find a trace of this having been broadcast. Considered opinion is that the session, which is just dandy, was simply overlooked on the shelf. It happens sometimes.'
  • Morrissey: A session was recorded in 1988 following the breakup of the Smiths, described by Peel as 'tentative', and never aired at the singer's request. However, two tracks from a live split session with Zane Lowe appeared on the 19 May 2004 show.
  • Pogues: When the band were still known as 'Pogue Mahone', their debut session (recorded 1984-04-10, TX 17 April 1984) contained a song named 'The Boys From County Hell' that initially didn't made it to air due to the amount of bad language. The track was eventually broadcast along with the rest of the session on 03 December 1985.

Abandoned Sessions

  • Clash: A recording date of 24 April 1978 was set, but an internal dispute during the session led to the band cancelling. There are conflicting reasons as to why this happened: see the band's page for more information.
  • Cure: Session #5 (recorded 1981-12-21) was to have included 'A Hanging Garden', but this was 'not completed or TX' (The Peel Sessions, p. 271).

Non-Existent Sessions

Main article: Sessions That Never Happened

  • Recordings purporting to be Peel sessions are widespread on the Internet, claiming that Radiohead, Soft Cell and Dillinger Escape Plan amongst others were in such illustrious company, but a combination of wishful thinking and urban legend are undoubtedly responsible for this. The main article discusses the documented reasons for unrecorded ephemera in more detail.

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