English radio host and DJ John Robert Parker Ravenscroft aka John Peel was one of the most influential pop music experts in history. He discovered numerous styles of music for his listeners, and promoted numerous bands, mainly from the independent scene. The so-called Peel Sessions are legendary. These were parts of his radio broadcast and allowed the bands to record their songs live without a major production. He presented artists that other DJ´s did not care and was therefore largely responsible for many great careers.
John Peel was considered incorruptible. He did not care about trends or specifications but always has followed his taste in the song selection. After the more than 40 years of his career at the British BBC he became a legend. Peel discovered the music styles such as punk, reggae, and hip hop for himself and helped them to become popular in England through his show. He was known for broadcasting his show from home. The noise was not a problem. This became a part of the show and was commented by him in a humorous way.
DJ, Door Opener and Record Label Boss
He had no less than 4,000 bands in the studio. They appeared during the peel sessions. The first appearance took place in autumn of 1967. The band Tomorrow was the first guest. A week later Pink Floyd came to the studio. Numerous shows were released as sound recordings. For this, the moderator and DJ founded his record label. This should prove to be one of the most successful independent record labels. The most of songs were selected from which an EP then emerged. New Order was the first band to appear in 1982. The Smiths, PJ Harvey, Joy Division, Madness, The Cure, The Jam, and Tim Buckley were also there. Bands and singers such as U2, The Clash, David Bowie, or Nirvana owed him a lot. Despite his age, John Peel never lost interest in new and interesting music. His favorite band was The Fall. He discovered them in the late 1970s and admired the band throughout his life. The group attended the Peel Sessions and set their records for 32 times.
Ahead of His Time
Nick Mason the great drummer of Pink Floyd once recognized John Peel as a door opener for several genres. In his opinion, many underground bands only found their audience through him. Mason sees the reason that there is only a little more exciting music to listen to because there is no one left to play it. John Peel did not like the mainstream throughout his life and was always far ahead of his time. In his shows, he combined a wide variety of musical styles into one great, exciting overall sound. That made him one of the most influential and respected DJs in the world. John Peel died because of a heart attack in 2004. His career and influence on popular music have remained unique to this day.