Top Gear had run for eight years before a revamp originally designed as a Francis Poulenc, Henri Dutilleux, Darius Milhaud, Orchestre De La Societé Des Concerts Du Conservato exercise saw it Dave Holland Quartet* - Dream Of The Elders dropped.
As from Monday 29 September Radio 1 merged with Radio 2 between p. He was apparently sacked when he asked to be paid. With the control allowed him by an ostensibly open-ended format, the first eight months of the programme's life showcased rock and folk giants and session recordings from stalwarts such as Loudon Wainwright III with more off-centre helpings from the likes of Ivor Cutler and Viv Stanshallwhose 'Rawlinson End' saga occupied a whole week leading up to Christmas In its range of material, the show became even more eclectic than before, featuring new albums from a wide Fight - The Cure - Kiss Me Kiss Me Kiss Me of artists and genres, on occasion extending even to jazz Miles Davis, Keith Jarrett and contemporary classical music Gavin Bryars.
Peel was now the only "progressive" DJ left on Radio One and may have felt obliged to cater to the widest possible range of tastes.
Furthermore, at a time when budget cutbacks were being felt across the networks, he now played longer extracts from new LPs; these counted as "review" plays and were exempt from needletime restrictions. The new theme tune, rather than being one specially composed for the purpose, was an instrumental by the little-known Grinderswitch called Pickin' The Blues that would top and tail his programming for 17 years and continue to appear on the World Service after that.
The event that ostensibly changed the face of the show for good was the first play of a track by the Ramones'Judy Is A Punk', on 19 May The musical make-up of the programme did not immediately revolutionise, but in the summer John programmed a series of retrospective programmes that can now be seen as summing up life before punk.
More and more of punk's first wave began to find its way onto the show, and October and December featured the first sessions by the Vibrators and the Damned respectively, the latter being first broadcast as part of the first punk special 10 December With 'Anarchy In The U. JP later claimed that he wanted his audience to adapt stylistically with him. The former listeners who had followed him from the Perfumed Garden through Top Gear and into the first year of his new show had one last hurrah, however.
The Festive Fiftyan all-time favourites listener chart dreamed up in the autumn by Peel and Walters and which would become a staple of his December programming to the very end, featured only two tracks from the previous year - and no punk. It is often cited that Kat's Karavan underwent a dramatic sea change as soon as John started playing punk, but a cursory listen to one of the few surviving shows Is It Really So Strange?
- The Smiths - The Old Guard BBC Tapes Volume Two a little before the so-called "summer of punk", 05 Aprilreveals that not only was John reluctant to label it punk calling it "new wave rock" insteadbut that he clearly saw it as a natural progression from the music he had championed hitherto. Eric Clapton was still "classic", Jimi Hendrix merited re-release, and rock still predominated. Stylistic shifts in the programme's repertoire happened gradually, not with the explosive force that has hitherto been suggested.
For example, rap began to evolve during and in the form of the Sugarhill Gang hit the charts Vaya Con Dios - Various - Reflections (Great Instrumentals For Today) yet was not to gain preeminence on Peel's show until the mids.
And I think in retrospect that that Doomchurch - Mörkt Moln - Heralds probably a mistake, because the programmes that we do now are much more broad — they cover a much wider range of stuff — and I think that is really the way it should be.
But what happened, I suppose, to be perfectly honest, was that the programme became - as it has from time to time over the years — it became fleetingly fashionable. However, Walters successfully argued with Radio 1 controller Derek Chinnery that he Part 1 - Previn*, London Symphony Orchestra* - Every Good Boy Deserves Favour.
A Play For Actors An exposing bands with names such as the Molesters, Penetration and the Vibrators to a young audience before the watershed, and the plan was dropped. The point John had made about the co-existence of reggae and punk was borne out by the fact that Steel Pulse and Aswad were being played as much as the Clash and the Jam. However, the show seemed to be trying to cover too many bases at once, and in Novemberpursuant to Radio 1 moving from metres to and in a blaze of publicity and an Elvis Costello jingle, it lost the Friday spot to JP's colleague Tommy Vance 's Friday Rock Show.
At the time, the London listings magazine Time Out saw this as the BBC's response to the London commercial station Capital Radio, which had started a series of live concerts on its own Friday evening rock show to compete with Peel's show on Radio One. However, at least this freed John from the responsibility of having to satisfy the old Invisible Touch - Various - Deejay 10 E Lode 2 appetite for rock.
It also marked the end of the best period of airtime he had ever enjoyed: he would never have ten hours a week again. The Festive Fifty punctuated the change in musical fashion startlingly, as Peel reviewed the chart before playing the new one, and 'Anarchy In The U. Moreover, the year had seen the emergence of two love affairs he would never turn his back on. My listeners were in their mid-to-late 20s, either students or ex-students. My existing audience did not come with me as I thought they would, and I developed a whole new audience.
The audience is now a disenfranchised minority. The last year of the s was a watershed in the UK's history, as a decade of Thatcherism loomed, and in music too it was time for another change.
The rebels of were now turning into the old guard: the Pistols were no more, the Clash, Jam and Stranglers were modifying thier styles in order to maintain commercial momentum, and the tension generated from external pressures resulted in the formation of two very different musical scenes. On the one hand, there was dark, neo-realistic electronica, represented by Joy Division who recorded both of their sessions for Peel inthe first recordings of Punishment Of Luxury and the Prefects the first band of someone who would continue to appear on Kat's Karavan in a variety of guises, Robert Lloydand the growing success of the Factory label.
On the other, the dance scene, which in the shape of funk and disco had virtually passed the programme by, made itself felt in the resurgence of the 60s genres of ska and bluebeat. Suddenly, the BeatSelecterMadness and Specials were all recording sessions and getting both show plays and chart success.
John celebrated his 40th birthday in August with Is It Really So Strange? - The Smiths - The Old Guard BBC Tapes Volume Two shows detailing the records he wanted played at the party, Is It Really So Strange? - The Smiths - The Old Guard BBC Tapes Volume Two in his eyes there was little to celebrate, what with a backlash against the 2-Tone label quick to appear and a festive chart that was virtually unchanged from the previous year's.
His loss of the Friday night slot was somewhat compensated by the addition of an hour-long programme on Sundays John Is It Really So Strange? - The Smiths - The Old Guard BBC Tapes Volume Two Rock Requestsbut one gets the impression that this was not what he wanted to do this show only lasted nine months. The latter band predictably gained several entries in the Festive Fifty whereas the previous year their music had been completely ignored by the voters.
A signficant show was that of the 27 Mayan all-record celebration of independent labels which dramatically demonstrated that do-it-yourself rather than sign to a major label was still a valid option.
And Wah! It seemed to be a million-and-one bands called 'Dance' something. Punk had become an Memory Loss - Paranoia Department - Apparitions (File, Album) thing. It was a trough after a peak. Despite Walters' somewhat gloomy recollection, several notable musical highlights punctuated the show.
An unknown Sheffield band called Pulp were in the studios in November, but would take another twelve years to attain stardom. One of the ascending stars of that year were Altered Imageswhose Happy Birthday entered the UK Top 10, but who had been Peel favourites since he heard a demo tape containing 'Dead Pop Stars' and given them a session in September Like his preoccupation with Sheena Easton's 'Nine To Five' 7 inch what he called a "perfect pop single" the previous year, this was the betrayal of something approaching a mid-life crisis, as he declared Clare Grogan to Is It Really So Strange?
- The Smiths - The Old Guard BBC Tapes Volume Two "the only person, apart of course from my wife, who could have persuaded me to go into a recording studio and sing. This format was soon to see a radical change. In August ofJP had returned Walters' favour of standing in for him by starting a short but fondly remembered series called Peel's Pleasuresfeaturing rather more esotric fare than his regular show, which returned in July and August of to replace Walters' Weekly.
Musically, the year was notable for giving first airings for many bands such as Frankie Goes Is It Really So Strange? - The Smiths - The Old Guard BBC Tapes Volume Two HollywoodSisters Of Is It Really So Strange? - The Smiths - The Old Guard BBC Tapes Volume Two and the Associates who would go on to considerable fame.
In July, the first Cocteau Twins session was broadcast. In Februaryhe resumed a long-interrupted relationship with Top Of The Pops that would continue until Indeed, he was now gaining more exposure than ever before: his night-time show, TV, and overseas programmes for the BBC World Service and BFBS meant that his reputation was becoming both visual and international. An early foray into outside broadcasting was made in April '82 when his shows were presented from Liverpool for a week, and this would play an increasing part in his shows in years to come.
For his 43 rd birthday in August, he typically mixed records with two Altered Images session repeats. To his relief, the Festive Fifty was the final gasp of the all-time favourites format briefly to see a revival in as two charts, one presenting listeners' favourites of the current year only, were aired.
In fact, Peel hinted that this may have been the end of the chart altogether, indicating a growing dissatisfaction with the listeners' choices, but happily this never materialised. The first of those two sessions became embroiled in a controversy over the lyrics to 'Reel Around The Fountain', which The Sun claimed detailed a case of paedophilia.
This led to a blanket ban New York City Serenade - Bruce Springsteen - All Those Years the BBC, although Peel continued to play it, going out after the watershed as he did. In some respects, this recalled the furore over 'God Save The Queen', but by now the format of the show was so well established and JP seen so much as Sea Steria - Daroc - Destination EP staple of late-night fare that few feathers were ruffled.
However, there were elements in the BBC who seemed to feel that Peel was untroubled by further marginalisation and were still trying to move him out of the FM slot,  and in October his Thursday show was taken away to be replaced by his old colleague Tommy Vance with a melodic rock show called Into The Musiclistening to which JP sneeringly suggested was like watching paint dry.
In six years, John's weekly airtime had been slashed from ten hours to six, yet had brought listeners in contact with not only the Smiths, but Billy BraggMicrodisney and the Farmso John's glumness about the music of the year at the end of the Festive Fifty was not entirely founded. There had apparently been an unsuccessful attempt by listeners to keep New Order 's 'Blue Monday' from reaching the FF number 1 spot, which could mark the beginning of the vote-rigging of the chart that would bedevil it until the end.
This became even more prominent during the Festive Fifty ,when JP suspected block voting had allowed the Membranes ' 'Spike Milligan's Tape Recorder' to make number 6 in that chart. Nevertheless, the year belonged to a new genre called cowpunk, the Pogues made an inebriated session debut and swore so much that one track was never broadcastand the Jesus And Mary Chain rose from nowhere to rule Peel's playlists. Kat's Karavan had existed for years in a kind of hermetically sealed environment on which the outside world did not impinge.
The first intimations that this was to be shattered had already come about inwhen the nightly news reports of the Falklands War had left Peel dispirited that he had to present a show as normal while suffering in war a thing he had always despised carried on across the Atlantic Ocean. In the last week of Mayhe went with Sheila to the European Cup Final between Liverpool and Juventus: kershaw covered his shows while he was away. The Heysel Stadium disaster was described by Sheila as "one of the most terrifying and disturbing experiences either of us had ever had"  Those events disturbed the comfy world of his show to the extent that he refused to talk about it on air when he got back, and suffered nightmares for some time afterwards.
Moreover, the show had settled into a kind of rut: two sessions per night, JP increasingly running the show and composing his own running orders on his trusty Olivetti typewriter, as he would continue to do to the very endwith Walters listening to the show at home, the Wednesday show pre-recorded in order to allow John to spend an extra night with the family Ken Garner adds that "character and surprise, shock even, was what was lacking at the end of The Festive Fifty was the first to have one band Jesus And Mary Chain taking the two top places, and the only one where John went beserk and extended it to 70 placings and had even considered going on to On the other hand, the following year's chart did little to allay John's fears that, once more, his listeners were becoming set in their ways Another sonic revolution was needed.
This guy played what he wanted to play and was a total outsider to the rest of them on Radio Napalm Death came about at the end of and the first album came out in the middle of and Peel instantly picked it up! He was sent a copy from Earache and I think it was a Thursday night and we were down at Jimmy Ripcord's house We went to his place and decided to check Peel's show out. He started by playing 'You Suffer' and he just laughed.
He played it three or four times He was just blown away, by the shortness of the songs, the ferocity and the extremity of it. The Peel Sessions Intro - Annabelle Chvostek - Live From Folk Alley the beginning of John's fascination with extreme music which attracted a variety of labels, including speedcore, death metal and so on over the years to the debut session of the Stupids. The common factor that united them was a desire to reignite the spirit of punk, fuelled by the increased speed of US hardcore bands that Peel had continued to play throughout the 80s.
Extreme Noise TerrorNapalm DeathCarcass and others would record their debut sessions during this time. However, this was only one facet of the show's playlist in a turbulent period.
African musicians were not only getting aired, but arriving on a regular basis for studio sessions, a golden period that did not last, including Amayenge who were taped twice while on tour in the UKthe Four BrothersShalawambe Is It Really So Strange?
- The Smiths - The Old Guard BBC Tapes Volume Two Stella Chiweshe were the shining examples. The demise of the Smiths dominated the summer ofand their fans publicly displayed their woe and created an unbeaten record by voting no less than 11 of the band's songs into the Festive Fiftyincluding all but three from the final LP, Strangeways Here We Come.
Just as predictably, a slew of Morrissey songs entered the following year's list. Although understandable, this made for an unbalanced chart that nevertheless contained a key record pointing to the path that the programme was to take in the future. Dance in one form or another would share airtime with the indie material until the very end of the show's existence. However, this was only gradually rolled out: initially only London, Central Scotland, the Midlands and Yorkshire were covered, meaning that a Loving You Tonight - Squeeze - Loving You Tonight percentage of the country could now no longer receive FM, thereby causing a howl of dismay from Peel's listeners who complained that they would no longer be able to hear him as they were not in the served areas.
Sit And Cry - Pat Kelly - Lonely Man, the shows were moved forward to an 8.
Since JP seemed to be using the Festive 50 as a kind of barometer of how he influenced his listener's tastes, then the effect on his audience, if the Festive Fifty was anything to go by, would be negligible. Very few recordings of the black music he had relentlessly championed and a top 10 that could have been predicted by not even listening to his shows John started the year by slating the Festive Fifty and its conservatism, but if he thought was going to bring anything more in the form of relief, he was to be Frieden Auf Erden - Various - Der Klang Der Weihnachtszeit - Schlager-Weihnacht disappointed.
The LP of the year for many was the Stone Roses ' eponymous monster seller, which crossed over from indie to pop and spawned several big UK chart hits. In addition, five of the tracks entered the FF chart that year.
Il Destino (Libertia Remix) - Indietro - Il Destino, Untitled - Fear Konstruktor - Fields Of Reed, Juke Box Boy - Baltimora - Juke Box Boy, The Sandbox Game Song - Date Rape - The Shit Hits The Fans, DJ (I Could Be Dancing) (Radio Mix) - Alphabeat - DJ (I Could Be Dancing)