Hopefully, like me, you have been enjoying BBC Radio 1’s entirely wonderful pop-up radio station BBC Radio 1 Vintage, which I think we can all agree is a timely reminder that things aren’t as good as they used to be – we’ll probably just differ a little on when exactly they were better.
It existed, briefly, to celebrate BBC Radio 1’s fiftieth birthday at the end of September, and featured highlights from over 50 of the station’s shows. There’s also a lengthy series of podcasts, if you want to hear more.
Personally, I’ve been harking (excuse the pun) back to the 1990s, and working through Simon Mayo, Mark and Lard, The Radio 1 Roadshow, Adrian Juste, Radio 1 Comedy Shows, the late lamented John Peel and Kevin Greening, and many others. Whatever era you belong to, I wouldn’t doubt that you’ll find something to your tastes. You could well find yourself asking yourself important existential questions, such as where exactly Wyclef Jean is going to be between now and November.
If you don’t listen to anything else, definitely check out The Best of the Official Chart, here.
Browsing through someone else’s record collection is always very rewarding. You learn so much about the owner!
Although I’m sure none of us really needed to learn much about John Peel‘s beautifully eclectic tastes. If there’s anyone who didn’t worship him as a living God when he was around, then I’d be fascinated to know why. And if there’s a music fan out there who doesn’t know where they were then they found out he’d sadly died, then I’d be very surprised.
If you are the one person on the planet who wasn’t aware, then he was probably the finest DJ in British radio history. After some time in the world of piracy in the mid 1960s, he joined fledgeling BBC pop station Radio 1 when it started in 1967 and stayed there right up until his death in 2004. He was responsible for starting the careers of so many big name bands that it’s not even worth considering listing them, and his Peel Sessions remain a household name worldwide.
And this year, 45 years after he joined Radio 1, his estate have been working on a wonderful project to digitise his record collection, and they finally reach the end of the alphabet this week. Starting initially with the first hundred records from each letter, the archive of a few thousand records is quite compelling. Check it out here.
I’m sure I’ve missed plenty, but here are a few of the things which have caught my eye in his collection on my quick browse. Obviously I’m a lot less open minded than he is, but then neither was I going to list all 2,600 entries here! I’ve copied their links where appropriate, but I’d strongly recommend that you go and browse them for yourself!