I remember very well fine tuning my shortwave radio to static filled BBC broadcasts of the late John Peel’s influential radio program. At one time these groundbreaking sessions would serve as the primary source for my voracious musical appetite. This was the one program that I could guarantee I would hear music that barely any one on the planet had ever heard before. Hearing the Fall for the first time was transformational on my young musical sensibilities. I miss the man and everything he did dearly.
John Peel spent decades digging up amazing music and bringing it to the masses, and sure you can still find low quality mp3’s and compilations of some of his sessions if you dig. Great news (thanks Amity) has emerged though at and now we'll get online access to Peel’s entire music collection. It's a new BBC-backed project called The Space, and it goes live in May. The Space will feature music from John Peel's 25 000-deep vinyl LP library as well as 40 000 vinyl singles and CDs.
"We're very happy that we've finally found a way tomake John's amazing collection available to his fans, as he would have wanted," said John Peel's widow Sheila Ravenscroft when speaking to the BBC. The plan for The Space is to make 100 new albums from the collectionavailable online each week, with the goal of hitting 2,500 by October.
"What we're hoping to do is create an online interactive museum which which answers the question 'what is in John Peel's record collection?' but also provides the audience with a visualisation of it.We hope that giving them access to a particular band or their first album orlistening to his show will inspire people to tell us their stories," said Tom Barker, director of the John Peel Centre.
I cannot tell you the palpable joy that this news brings to me. I’ll be sure to update when further details emerge.