A Career Like No Other – John Peel, 1939-2004

Between 1967 and 1978, the legendary BBC DJ broke more important artists than any other individual, from The Ramones to Rod Stewart...

On 25th Oct 2004, John Peel OBE died in Peru of a heart attack, aged 65. He was the BBC’s longest-serving radio DJ (a title now held by Annie Nightingale) and the first DJ to introduce The Ramones, Roxy Music, The Smiths, Rod Stewart, Blur, the Sex Pistols, T. Rex and countless others to the masses. Described as “the single most important person in popular music from 1967 through 1978, he broke more important artists than any other individual.” (Paul Gambaccini)

Peel was widely known for the Peel Sessions – live studio sessions from an enormously diverse set of artists (during 37 years at the BBC over 4,000 sessions were recorded by more than 2,000 artists), that covered the gamut of electronic music, from Adamski to Benjamin Zephaniah, Aphex Twin to Zion Train, and in particular yielded classic CD releases from New Order, Orbital and The Orb. Peel is widely acknowledged for promoting artists working in various genres, especially those that received little exposure elsewhere, including drum and bass, hardcore, British hip-hop, techno, dub and ambient.

I’ve always imagined I’d die by driving into the back of a truck while trying to read the name on a cassette and people would say, ‘He would have wanted to go that way.’ Well, I want them to know that I wouldn’t.

📸 johnpeelarchive.com

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