10 classic John Peel Sessions for synthpop and dark music fans

Listen to amazing early recordings from Tubeway Army, Front 242, New Order, Sisters, and more.

Tubeway Army

One of the biggest stories in the music world this week is the treasure trove of John Peel Sessions that are available on YouTube. A blogger named Dave Strickson indexed nearly 1,000 classic recordings into an A-Z catalog. You can view his complete list here.

Most of these are bootleg recordings of John Peel’s show that fans uploaded to YouTube. Peel was a legendary broadcaster for BBC Radio 1 who recorded more than 4,000 live sessions with more than 2,000 artists, often early in their career before they became known. Peel died in 2004.

There are many recordings that will interest fans of synthpop, industrial, and goth music. For instance, I had no idea that Front 242 recorded a Peel Session. It’s amazing. There’s also a Tubeway Army session from 1979 that features a fantastic recording of “Down In the Park.” There are three New Order sessions, including one that features them playing Joy Division’s “Atmosphere.”

Here are ten sessions that I found exciting.

Tubeway Army – Peel Session 1979

  1. Me I Disconnect From You
  2. Down In The Park
  3. I Nearly Married A Human

Front 242 – Peel Session 1986

  1. No Shuffle
  2. Funkahdafi
  3. Don’t Crash
  4. Body To Body

New Order – Peel Session 1998

  1. Isolation
  2. Touched By The Hand Of God
  3. True Faith
  4. Paradise
  5. Atmosphere

The Cure – Peel Session 1978

  1. Boys Don’t Cry
  2. Fire In Cairo
  3. 10.15 Saturday Night
  4. Killing An Arab

The Sisters of Mercy – Peel Session 1984

  1. Walk Away
  2. Emma
  3. The Poison Door
  4. No Time To Cry

Pet Shop Boys – Peel Session 2002

  1. London
  2. If Looks Could Kill
  3. A Powerful Friend
  4. Try It (I’m In Love With A Married Man)

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – Peel Session 1980

  1. Dancing
  2. Enola Gay
  3. Pretending To See The Future
  4. Motion And Heart

Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Peel Session 1982

  1. Two Tribes
  2. The World Is My Oyster
  3. Krisco Kisses
  4. Disneyland

A Flock of Seagulls – Peel Session 1981

  1. Talking (It’s Not Me Talking)
  2. Messages From The Rings Of Saturn
  3. I Ran
  4. Committed

Siouxsie and the Banshees – Peel Session 1981

  1. Halloween
  2. Voodoo Dolly
  3. But Not Them
  4. Into The Light

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