This blog post is dedicated to one of my all time music heroes – John Peel. John died seven years ago today and this day (quoting the blog Keeping it Peel) is ‘designated for bloggers, tweeters and facebookers, who tuned in to Radio 1 every night to hear John Peel’s dulcet tones…on this day – October 25th – we commemorate and celebrate the memory of one of the most influential DJ’s who ever was. How we do that is by posting on Facebook or writing a blog, or tweeting a link (using the hashtag #keepingitpeel’). I’ve already done the latter today so here is my blog post tribute to John.
I was about 14 years old when I discovered John Peel. At the time I was listening to such bands as Then Jerico and the Thrashing Doves (yep, I can’t really remember them either!) As I tweeted earlier, if it wasn’t for John, I’d probably still be listening to these kind of bands!
It was my older brother who introduced me to him, he was 4 years older so was slightly ‘cooler’ than I was. At that time he was listening to such bands as The Smiths, New Order and The Fall. I used to hear ‘True Faith’ pumping from his stereo so I turned ‘Big Area’ up louder – our mum was probably the first person to ever experience a New Order / Then Jerico Megamix. Thankfully it didn’t last long.
I sometimes think that musical taste is a bit like beer. When you’re young you hate the taste of beer / the sound of good music but as your tastebuds / ears mature, you start to realise that it makes you feel bloody good!
So, I eventually gave in and started taking a keen interest in what my brother / John Peel were playing – I remember listening to ‘The Man Whose Head Expanded’ by The Fall for the first time, it was weird but brilliant. I then started listening to John Peel on a regular basis in my bedroom at night. Recording shows when my parents told me to go to sleep and then sneakily listening sometimes when they didn’t realise I was still awake.
One of my fondest memories of the time, however, was ‘John Peel’s Festive 50’ – the rundown of John’s listeners’ favourite songs from that year. I’ve just looked back at an archive (c/o Rocklistmusic.co.uk - Festive 50 Archive) of some of the artists I discovered over that period, because of John, and they bring back so many happy memories – from the 1989 - 1991 'Festive 50' archive : Ride, Sonic Youth, Happy Mondays, The Wedding Present, Teenage Fanclub, The Lemonheads, The Boo Radleys, Ned’s Atomic Dustbin, Lush, The Charlatans, Dinosaur Jr, The Pixies, The Inspiral Carpets, Slowdive, Chapterhouse, James, Cud, The Stone Roses, The Telescopes, The Senseless Things and The Family Cat. I could go on but I think that’s enough now.
So, as you can see, he’s had a massive influence on me over my lifetime and he’s still influencing me to this very day.
I would now like to introduce my next playlist to you that will start when my current one ’24 Sub-two minute Wonders’ finishes next week. I wanted this to be similar to the ‘Festive 50’ to truly pay homage to the great man.
My first task was to come up with a name so I typed ‘festive’ into an online Thesaurus to see what it threw back at me. If you are already familiar with my blog / playlists, you will know that I believe the optimum number of songs to put on a playlist is 24 (if you can be bothered to find out why, you can read about it here – What is the optimum number of songs to put on a playlist?). So, as well as finding a word similar to ‘festive’, I also needed something that would sound catchy with the number 24. I have therefore decided to call my next playlist ‘musodad’s Yuletide 24’ and it will showcase my 24 favourite songs of 2011. ‘What’s that?!’ I hear you cry, ‘didn’t John’s listeners pick the songs by voting for their Top 3 songs of the year and then John collated them into the ‘Festive 50’?’ Yep, you’re right, however, I think, on average, only about 15 people read my blog after each post. If only 10% of those respond I won’t even have two people voting! Therefore, first of all I am going to reveal my 24 favourite songs of the year but, if you keep reading, you’ll soon see how you can get involved.
Anyway, before I do that, here is the smallprint for the ‘Yuletide 24’:
- Each song will either have been released as a single in 2011 or appeared on an album released in 2011
- Songs from Greatest Hits compilations, unless they are brand new this year, or songs from re-issued albums will not be permitted (how strict, am I?!)
- Only one song allowed per artist
- No song that has appeared on a previous musodad playlist may be considered. The following excellent songs, which were all released this year, will therefore not be included in the ‘Yuletide 24’ and there are some corkers here : ‘Cruel’ by St. Vincent, ‘Money’ by The Drums, ‘Buy Nothing Day’ by The Go! Team, ‘Fake Blood’ by Squarehead, ‘Brittle Heart’ by Brett Anderson and ‘Jesus Fever’ by Kurt Vile. If you want to listen to the first ‘musodad playlist’ you can do so here - The musodad playlist
- The songs need to be on Spotify
In addition to this, and sort of mentioned above, I’d like to announce something very exciting – Ladies and Gentleman, it’s time to get interactive!!
For my next blog post I am going to let you know how you can get involved in voting for / talking about your songs of the year. Yep, shortly I am going to launch the ‘TOTMAP award for Song of the Year’. TOTMAP stands for ‘Top of the Mums and Pops’ (can you see what I’ve done there?!) and it’s a chance for all bloggers to help build a 24 song Spotify playlist with me (if you don’t have Spotify, let me know your songs and I will see if they are on there. If they’re not, you get to choose again) – working in the same way as voting for ‘John Peel’s Festive 50’ did.
By the way, I’d just like to add that this isn’t solely open to Parent Bloggers – the reason the award mentions mum and dads is because a majority, if not all, of my readers are parents. If you’re not a parent though, please don’t let this stop you getting involved – it is open to music lovers from all life stages.
Anyway, like I said, that’s for next time, for now I’d like to end this blog post by thanking John Peel for making me the ‘music anorak’ I am today – you will be sorely missed by a lot of people for years and years to come. Without you I wouldn’t just be listening to Then Jerico now, but I’d probably be writing a blog about them as well, and I very much doubt any of you would be reading this…