Thursday, 16 June 2011

John Peel's Top 15 of 1975!

Broadcast on December 19th, 1975, this is a sort of precursor of the Festive fifty, and is a quite extraordinary selection I would say. It is during 1976 that Peel discovered punk, after which such a selection as this would appear absurd! I was 12 at the time, so do know some of the tracks quite well, but am only just beginning to start my own musical odyssey.

15. Peter Skellen, Hold on to love.

I actually quite liked this record as well, but in part I remember it best as a slightly re-written version in which one line was "hang on, hang on to your wellies", recording to Noel Edmond's show I think.

14. Laurel and Hardy, The Trail of the Lonesome Pine.

This is a great track. I remember seeing the film of this when it became a hit. I haven't seen it for years, but I may well have a look for it soon. I especially like the bit when Hardy hits Laurel with a plank of wood and he sings a verse in a female voice.

13. Mike Oldfield, In dulci jubilo.

I bought the 4 album set Mike Oldfield Boxed because of this single, and this might be considered my first serioud music purchase.

12. Joan Armatrading, Back to the night.

Don't know this track and not really a great fan of her. I do remember Love and affection though and quite liked that.

11. 10cc, I'm not in love.

Extraordinary choice.

10. Bob Sargeant, First starring role.

Don't know this one at all - indeed, never even heard of it.

9. Peter Frampton, Show me the way.

I bought the live album Framption comes alive during 1975 and still love one or two tracks from it, especially Lines on my face. Not sure I'd heard the studio version of this tracks before.

8. Bob Marley, No woman, no cry.

I was listening to this track just last week, after reading some reviews of a new biography of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer. I have also recorded the Rainbow live concert film off Sky, which I really should watch soon.

7. Joan Armatrading, Dry Land.

The only artist in twice. Don't know this track either.

6. John Lennon, Imagine.

Actually recorded in 1970 or 1971, but only released as a single in 1975. Sounds very dated to me, and wildly idealistic.

5. Rod Stewart, Sailing.

Peel was always a big fan of the Faces and had been closely associated with them in their early days. Indeed he is quite upset by their split in 1975. I bought the album this is from, Atlantic Crossing, which I haven't heard for maybe 30 years. I prefer the earlier album, Every picture tells a story.

4. Roy Harper, When an old cricketer leaves the crease.

This remained a Peel favourite after punk. I saw Roy Harper last year as support for Joanna Newsom in London. Don't really know his music well, though I do have a few of his albums.

3. Jack the Lad, Gentleman soldier.

Never heard this track before.

2. Millie Jackson, Loving arms.

Nor this one.

1. Bebop deluxe, Maid in heaven.

Perhaps the first hint of punk's imminent approach. I haven't heard a track by them for years, but may have a dig around. I did quite like some of Bill Nelson's solo stuff though, from the early 1980s.

So there it is - quite an amazing selection. If I had known about this selection, it is exactly the thing I would have written to Peel about.

I actually had a correspendence of about a dozen letters with Peel, mainly emails, and had 3 or 4 read out on his show. Sadly these emails, and Peel's reply, were lost when a PC crashed some years ago.

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