Saturday, 2 April 2016

Various John Peel Right Time Wrong Speed

Various John Peel Right Time, Wrong Speed CD1/CD2

Get It At Discogs

This tribute album encompasses thirty-eight tracks by bands championed by the late great John Peel; largely focussing on the punk, indie and post-punk genres with which his work was most associated, but including a wide range of bands and styles. Some of the bands and songs featured here, such as the Buzzcocks' 'What Do I Get' and Joy Division's 'Atmosphere', are well-known classics and likely to already feature in many music-lovers' collections, but the knowledge of others, such as 'O Superman' by Laurie Anderson is less widespread. 'Right Time Wrong Speed' offers something for everyone, whether it be an existing favourite or a previously undiscovered gem. CD1 opens with 'What Do I Get' by the Buzzcocks, a safe choice given its enduring popularity at indie clubs and the bands status as being one of the finest of their genre. It is a wise choice nevertheless, and induces a sense of excitement and anticipation for the rest of the album through it's bouncy beat and catchy tune. Although more typically "punk", the second track 'Alternative Ulster' by the Stiff Little Fingers prolongs the mood initiated by the previous track and leads nicely into (the original version not found on later 'Best Of' compilations of) 'A Forest' by The Cure, one of the band's finest early tracks and a pleasure to hear any time, any mood, anywhere. The remainder of the CD contains many, many good songs too many for each to be described individually. Notable highlights include The Slits' 'Typical Girls', a treat for anyone with an interest in riot grrrl and/or female bands in general; and 'Pasi Pano Pane Zviedozo' by The Four Brothers, which manages to conjure a Jamaican vibe even in the coldest of Scottish living rooms. Laurie Anderson's 'O Superman' is the most intriguing track on the album, an experimental piece that makes an early use of electronic effects. There are a few well-known classics on here that will appeal to even the most rookie observer of John's work, such as The Only One's 'Another Girl Another Planet' (which was recently featured on a mobile phone advert) and the sumptuous 'Just Like Honey' by The Jesus and Mary Chain, which features on the 'Lost In Translation' soundtrack and hence is likely to be already loved by indie kids everywhere. Upon switching to CD2 one is immediately greeted by the sound of Joy Division's 'Atmosphere', not one of the band's most well-known songs (such as 'She's Lost Control' or the anthemic 'Love Will Tear Us Apart') but a favourite of many fans and an ideal, if not obvious, choice to open the second disc. 'Musette and Drums' by the Cocteau Twins follows, again not one of the band's best-known or catchiest songs, but still a track that follows on well from 'Atmosphere' and one that may well win the band new fans and greater awareness there certainly isn't anything like it in today's indie mainstream. The Smiths' 'There Is A Light That Never Goes Out' rounds off the opening threesome, a track that, unlike its predecessors, is known and loved by all Smiths fans and most indie fans. It's hard not to wonder whether such a popular track was chosen in order to increase interest in the compilation and encourage sales, but The Smiths are such a brilliant and unique band, and this is one of their best songs, that it's hard to stay suspicious or annoyed for long. Although for the most part CD2 consists of indie music, with frequent nods to reggae (such as Poet And The Roots' 'All Wi Doin' Is Defending') and new wave ('Just Fascination' by Cabaret Voltaire for example) there are a few cheesy pop tunes too such as Grandmaster Flash's 'The Message' which are guaranteed to raise a smile or liven up a party. Bjork fans will appreciate the inclusion of 'Birthday' by the Sugarcubes, arguably one of their best tracks despite its slightly sinister lyrics. Goths are likely to find amusement in The Birthday Party's 'Release The Bats' which combines old style rock'n'roll with heavier modern day ROCK (the capital letters are necessary to convey the true sense in which the word is meant here) and lyrics about vampires. Gang Of Four's 'Damaged Goods' is also a noteworthy inclusion, combining a jaunty beat with poisonous lyrics to produce a track that manages to be both cheering and sinister. 'Right Time, Wrong Speed' is one of the best compilations to be released this year. Although different tracks will appeal more to some listeners than others, there isn't a single bad or unoriginal track on either disc. By not always choosing the most well-known song by each band we are reminded by the compilers that every band has to start somewhere, and by not only including the most famous artists to feature on Peel's show we are introduced to new tracks and artists as well as old favourites. Perhaps the only downside of such an outstanding collection is that it shows up the majority of modern mainstream indie for the repetitive trite that it really is.


-= Faith Healer =- said...


thank you for this great compilation!

I used to collect PEEL SESSION EPs and amassed over 50 of them in the 80s alone. I had so many of them in the original pressing (bronze with raised pressing).

The guy was never afraid of new genres and released Peel Sessions with Napalm Death and Extreme Noise Terror, before Grindcore was even a thing!

One day, I will make it my mission to collect EVERY Peel Session (there's an idea for a blog)


katweasel said...

This looks great - a mega link please - gosh I am sounding like a broken record.

Aid00 said...

Here Go Katweasel Mega Link!CssgGCBD!MCh1p4JTYOlSrhjKf8dVhSfc2KYpWvKZS3snHT8SUn8

katweasel said...

Mate this is so cool, spoilt in Japan for internet access but now back in China, and the internet struggle starts all over again. Thanks so much for this.

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