The Furtive Fifty

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

The All Time Festive 50 (1999/2000)
If Peel was the arbiter of all that was Good Music during his lifetime (and I think we all agree, he was), and the Festive 50 were the best 50 tunes from his show for a given year, then surely the All Time FF represents the best 50 tunes of our time ?
Actually, the preponderance of Joy Division tunes, especially in the top 10, leads me to believe that it says more about our generation than I feel quite comfortable with, but leaving that aside for a minute, these three CD's do contain some pretty damned essential material.
I listened to the first one in the car on the way to work this morning (VERY LOUD) and had trouble getting out of the car when I arrived - there are some tunes that it's just downright rude to turn off before the end, and with so many of them on one CD, you'd be well advised not to listen to these in your car if you plan to get anywhere on time. As Peely once said during the course of a show "D'you know, I think I've given myself a headache - and I don't care!"
As mentioned below, this is a reconstructed FF (sorry Peel purists - just the music again), because I was round at a friend's house during at least part of it's broadcast, so I didn't get to record all of it. And anyway, tunes like these deserve better than cassette quality (even if they do end up getting .mp3'd, but that's a debate for another time...)
I happened to have most of these tunes already, and those that I didn't have weren't that hard to find, with one notable exception, which was My Bloody Valentine's "You Made me Realise"; damn that was hard to find! Or at least it was hard to find a decent copy of the original - there are quite a few live versions out there, but without exception, they turned out to be 10+ minutes of serious noise n' grunge, which is OK when you're in the mood for it, but wasn't what I was after.
You can find the track list here (yeah, I know you can get them at the Beeb's Peely pages too), and you may notice that this is actually the second 'All Time' FF that Peely did, the first being back in 1982 - and check out that track list! It reads like one of those "The Best Punk CD Ever" tracklists (actually, I have that CD, and it's awesome). I feel another reconstruction coming on....
I have included CD case inserts as .pdf's and you will have to compile the tracks in reverse order (ie. starting at no.50) if you want to use these. I recommend also that you burn the CD's with zero gaps between tracks, and note that depending on what software you use to compile & burn, you might find that the track numbers are taken from the .mp3 tags, which, of course, are not the same as their respective position in the ATFF. Wtf, it's worth the effort.

Disc1(50-32) pt.1

Disc1 pt.2



Monday, June 19, 2006

OK, so I'm new to this game and obviously missing something... My download stats are not exactly spectacular, and I'm guessing it's because nobody knows I'm here. So I'm all ears to any experienced blogheads who want to tell me how things work.
For one thing, I'm assuming that if you link to other pages, they are more likely to link to you, but try as might, I can't see a way to add a side bar to put links on. I'm no web whizz, but I can muddle by with HTML & Dreamweaver, but then I thought all this blog stuff was meant to be for idiots and technophobes anyway ? So where's the Easy Peasy Add Links Here template, eh ?
In the meantime, I am busy sorting out stuff in the background, so it's not all wasted time. In particular, I'm recompiling the All Time Festive 50 that was broadcast on the eve of the Millenium - I did record it, but a) didn't get all of it and b) what i did get is only on comcrap cassette, so I've been chasing up quality recordings of all the tracks, and have just one left to get now - can ya guess what it is yet ?

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Of course Peely's wasn't the only show on Radio One to ever play good music - not quite, anyway; there was (and still is) One World, though like all good music shows on the Beeb, it's been pushed into ever later and more obscure time slots, presumably on the basis that only weirdos listen to this kind of stuff, and they probably don't sleep much anyway.
The upside of the Beeb's candle-burning is that you have to set up a recording in case your other half wont let you stay up half the night listening (they just don't get it, do they?), and with One World being a two hour show, the only way to guarantee you record the lot, is to use a two hour tape, which of course means DAT.
Sadly, on the occasion of this particular broadcast (05/04/02), which was a fantabulous set from Peter Holdsworth and Adrian Sherwood, of Pressure Sounds and On-U respectively, atmospheric conditions weren't perfect in my part of Wales (insert Welsh Weather Joke here), so there's a dose of FM noise on the recordings. At the risk of irking the purists however, I'm not totally opposed to a bit of noise, whether FM or surface, on reggae recordings - somehow it seems to work better than with other genres.
It was a great set anyway, and just right for this time of year - after all, we're nearing end of the second week of my Hawaiian shirt collection.
The first CD is the Pressure Sounds half - edited, as usual, into one seamless mix, but including the odd rather irritating station ident. It will be followed by the On-U set, which, well, more On-U than reggae, but still contains some fine material.

Track List - Pressure Sounds

Heptones - 'Revolution' (Pressure Sounds)
Donovan Carlos - 'Be Thankful' (Pressure Sounds)
Burning Spear - 'Travelling' (Pressure Sounds)
Big Youth - 'Cool Breeze' (Pressure Sounds)
Earth & Stone - 'That's The Way You Feel' (Pressure Sounds)
Little Roy - 'Christopher Columbus' (Pressure Sounds)
Ken Boothe - 'Who Gets Your Love' (Pressure Sounds)
Wayne Smith - 'Time Is Moved' (Pressure Sounds)
Half Pint - 'Mr Landlord' (Pressure Sounds)
Lloyd Hemmings - 'Rude Boy' (Pressure Sounds)
Burning Spear - 'Spear Burning' (Pressure Sounds)
Johnny Osbourne - 'Purify Your Heart' (Pressure Sounds)
Garnet Silk - 'Mystic Chant' (MPCD 001)
Junior Tucker - 'Praise His Name' (MPCD 001)
Far I - 'Psalms for I' (Pressure Sounds)

1 World Pressure Sounds CD

And Adrian Sherwood's half of the show :
(I have the tracklist somewhere, but I'm not sure that it corresponds exactly with what's on the disc...)

1 World On-U CD

Monday, June 12, 2006

Festive 50 '04 ? Not so festive really. What with there being no Peel, I barely managed to force myself to make a recording. In fact I only seem to have nos. 20-1, but seeing as how it's not True Peel, no-one will mind that I've edited out the chatter, whereafter it fits very neatly onto a single CD - and there are some stonking good tracks on it too, which somehow manages to at least lend it the feel of the Festive 50.
You've got to feel sorry for Rob Da Bank, because Peel was, and still is, an impossible act to follow; I guess you just have to enjoy the massive kudos of being allowed to attempt such a task, and accept that no-one will ever truly love you because you're just not Peel.
Tech note; this year I tried to record the FF directly from my newly aquired digi box, on the assumption that as it is in effect DAB, the quality should be top notch - I coupled it directly to my DAT via SPDIF, so it should have sounded pretty damn shit hot; sadly however, there is a subtle but annoying little digital 'pop' every few seconds throughout the recording, which, other than going down to sample level and individually drawing out every damn one of them (and I am not quite that sad), cannot be shifted. Technology, eh ?

Festive Fifty 04 20-1 pt.1

Festive Fifty 04 20-1 pt.2

Monday, June 05, 2006

To Peel, or not to Peel ?
There's been a couple of comments about the lack of Peel on my Festive 50 CD's. I'm not sure what John would have made of the whole Cult of Peel thing - probably been rather embarrassed by it all, though I suspect that, ethics of music sharing aside, he'd at least be pleased to know that there were folks still discussing (and even listening to!) his kinda music.
I also have a feeling that his response to the 'wot - no Peel?' posts might have been a resounding chorus of 1/2 Man's "Hang the Purists", but as I confess to having been a big Home Truths fan too, it must have been about more than just the music...
Anyway, to reiterate my excuse, I originally edited the FF's to fit onto CD's so I could listen to them in the car on the way to & from work; having recently moved a bit closer to work, I only get time to listen to half a CD each way, so much as I love the banter, it had to go - and let's face it once you've heard John say "and at that all-important no. 23 slot..." half a dozen times, you can just about live without it.
But in the spirit of sharing and lilly-livered compromise, I will dig out the masters and make torrents of 'em, Peel and all, and post links here. However, as my CD's are already compiled complete with meta-tags & all that, you'll forgive me if I continue to post them as they are, I hope ?
So watch this space...

In the meantime, here's something Peel, but not Peel; the first of 3 CD's that I made from the tribute programs that appeared on Radio 1 shortly after we so tragically lost our John; the DJ's were just the usual Beeb underlings, so you wont mind me editing them out (howl in protest if you like - I actually can't remember who hosted the shows, so apologies if it was anyone worth remembering), but there's a good, if rather predictable selection of some of John's fave raves. CD's 2 & 3 to follow...

Peel Tribute CD1

Peel Tribute CD2

Peel Tribute CD3

A couple of peely highlights (from the poignant to the rediculous): last track on CD 2, John's last 'phone call back home, asking the home team to check out the Peruvian dance music scene for him, and on CD 3, track 15 is Peelie himself singing "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" ! Listen, and weep...