When this collection was first mooted, John Peel was very much alive. The nightly playing of a suitably capricious selection from his ever-burgeoning stock of crackly 78 rpm records – introduced by his wife Sheila as ‚The Pig’s Big 78‘ – had been a valuable 21st-century addition to the Peel Show liturgy. And the idea of corralling the best of these relics together into a single digital paddock would have seemed like an uncontentious bit of fun.
On one level – now Peel and his programme are no more, and his draft running order has been lovingly finessed into a finished product by his wife (in the same way as his autobiography was) – it still is that. From Olly Oakley’s formal banjo opening to Freddy Dosh’s unhinged impressions of tube trains, from the atmospheric noodlings of unknown Chinese folk musicians to the South African township kwela of Elias & His Zig-Zag Jive Flutes, this 24-track selection is full of maverick antiquities. The Guardian
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„John Peel was the only important DJ left in the world.“Jack White, The White Stripes
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