Thursday, December 28, 2006

V.A. "John Peel Presents Top Gear" 1969

Very rare, and very odd, compilation of performances broadcast by Peel on the BBC's Top Gear show in late 1969. Bridget St. John, the gentle-voiced folk singer who would record several albums for Peel's Dandelion label, has four tracks, including covers of John Martyn and Joni Mitchell songs. Experimental composer Ron Geesin has three items that, unsurprisingly, recall the most out-there passages of late-'60s Pink Floyd, whom Geesin worked with for Atom Heart Mother. The Welfare State's one offering is similarly avant-garde, and Sweet Marriage weigh in with a couple of pretty faceless progressive rock numbers; there's also an experimental treatment of "John Peel's Voice," and the "Top Gear Signature Tune." The juxtaposition of wildly different underground styles, as well as the rather unimpressive quality of the music itself, limits the record's appeal almost exclusively to hell-bent collectors. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide

Welfare State:
Art college freaks from Bradford, Yorkshire, represented by a single track on the John Peel Presents Top Gear album (BBC REC 52S) issued in 1969 and comprising selected sessions from his "Top Gear" radio show. The track in question is Silence Is Requested In The Ultimate Abyss and features backward vocals, hypnotic rhythms, psychedelic noise and a lyric, recited rather than sung, which seems to concern a body being seared and broken. The electronic treatment, under the direction of David Vorhaus, is by White Noise whose album An Electronic Storm (Island ILPS 9099) will be known to some. This mixture of "alchemists, an earth goddess, facts (?), monsters, perspex lutes, poets and freaks" - to quote Peel from the sleeve notes - is weird but interesting.

01. John Peel's Voice
02. Sweet Marriage - Mort
03. Bridget St. John - The River
04. Ron Geesin - Agitation in Anticipation of Offspring Part W
05. Bridget St. John - Song To Keep You Company
06. Welfare State - Silence Is Requested In The Ultimate Abyss
07. Bridget St. John - Night In The City
08. Sweet Marriage - Titania
09. Ron Geesin - Agitation In Anticipation Of Offspring Part X
10. Bridget St. John - Lazarus
11. Ron Geesin - Agitation in Anticipation of Offspring Part Y
12. John Peel - Top Gear Signature Tune

Sample pic: 1, 2

Download link in comments.


Blogger Lizardson said...


28 December, 2006 00:05  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks! see and download Ron Geesin 'a rise of eyebrow' in

28 December, 2006 04:09  
Blogger DuffPaddy said...

Great post! I've wanted this for ages, but am not prepared to pay the sort of money it goes for on eBay. Many thanks!

Now, has anyone out there got "John Peel's Archive Things"...?

06 January, 2007 06:45  
Blogger David said...

I had the vinyl album from the day it came out. Sold it in the early 80's , fool that I was, probably for less than a £1.
Many thanks for the chance to hear it again and go back in time.

14 January, 2007 20:47  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did the same sold this for pence in the late 80s and missed it ever since Thanks SO much for posting this and all the other fantastic stuff on your site

14 May, 2007 02:16  
Blogger harangue said...

many thanks for posting this hard to find and too expensive album. That Welfare State track is demented. shame they didn't make a few more.

09 July, 2007 06:17  
Blogger harangue said...

Thanks. that welfare state track is demented. shame they didn't make a few more.

09 July, 2007 06:19  
Blogger MrC said...

totally goddam excellent!!

many thanks :)

14 July, 2007 04:02  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greetings lizardson - This is a message for you rather than a comment for your blog. I am looking for a lossless copy of track 1 of this LP - John Peel's Voice. I am also wondering how this track was described on the LP sleeve - and especially if the sleeve mentions Delia Derbyshire. I have an extensive music trade list, which I'd be happy to share with you. Feel free to contact me at with 'John Peel' as your subject. THANK YOU for your consideration! - cheers, Philip Lee

03 March, 2008 00:09  
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you make my time worth while

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