Sunday, April 26, 2009
Marco On The Bass Podcast Series: 2-Tone Era Peel Sessions Featuring The Selecter, The Beat, The Specials, Laurel Aitken & Unitone and Madness
This week's podcast changes things up a bit and pays homage to John Peel and the live sessions he recorded with the cream of the 2-Tone crop including The Specials, The Selecter, The Beat, Madness and Laurel Aitken & The Unitone (which was The Ruts in disguise)for his BBC radio show.
Before we get to the music, here is a video interview with Peel. His influence on the culture of the UK and the world can't be overstated. At BBC’s Radio 1, Peel helmed his own show from 1968 until his death in 2004, and first introduced UK listeners to reggae, punk, and hip-hop. T-Rex, David Bowie, the Faces, the Sex Pistols, Fairport Convention, Pink Floyd, the Clash, the Buzzcocks, the Cure, Joy Division, the Wedding Present, Def Leppard, Pulp, the Smiths, and the White Stripes have all credited Peel as a major boost to their careers. He championed thousands of bands, but also had much to do with bringing the sound of 2-Tone and reggae to the masses and for that he is owed and unmeasurable debt.
Here are highlights about the bands and performers in this week's podcast:
The Selecter recorded two Peel session. This is the first of the two and it features songs from their first album. It was recorded on October 9, 1979 at Maida Vale Studios and was produced by John Sparrow and engineered by Mike Robinson.
The Beat recorded three Peel sessions. He was a big fan of the band and trumpeted their music regularly on his show. The songs in this podcast were recorded September 3. 1980 at Maida Vale and featured tracks from their overlooked second album 'Whappen' including 'Psychedlic Rockers', 'Monkey Murders' and 'Walk Away' which are personal favorites of mine. The session was produced by Bob Sargeant (who worked with the band on all three of their albums) and was engineered by Mike Engles.
The Specials session was recorded on October 29, 1980 at the Maida Vale Studios and was produced by Bob Sargeant and engineered by Nick Gromm. I quite like this session because it features 3 songs that were not part of the band's regular set list including one their earliest sonngs 'Raquel' from their days as The Coventry Automatics as well as Rico's 'Sea Cruise'.
Laurel Aitken & The Unitone is one of my favorite Peel sessions. I love the unlikely pairing of Aitken with The Ruts. The session was recorded on April 28, 1980and was produced by Tony Wilson and engineer by Dave Dade
Surprisingly, Madness only recorded one session for John Peel on August 14, 1980 and it featured songs from their first Stiff Records release including 'Bed & Breakfast Man' and 'The Prince'. The Session was produced by Bon Sargeant and engineered by Mike Robinson.
Here is the podcast track list:
The Selecter - They Make Me Mad
The Beat - Psychedelic Rockers
The Specials - Raquel
Laurel Aitken & The Unintone - Rudi Got Married
Madness - Land Of Hope & Glory
The Selecter - Danger
The Beat - Monkey Murders
The Specials - Sea Cruise (with Rico Rodriguez)
Laurel Aitken & The Unitone - Big Fat Man
Madness - Bed & Breakfast Man
The Selecter - Carry Go Bring Come
The Beat - Walk Away
The Specials - Stereotype
Laurel Aitken & Unitone - Rock Me Baby/Caledonia
Madness - The Prince
Marco On The Bass Podcast #9