Box Sets, Tracklist — September 21, 2009 at 11:10 pm

John Peel box set to feature unreleased session tracks by The Cure, Elvis Costello

John Peel

The late John Peel — the legendary BBC DJ who turned generations of music fans on to new and obscure bands during his nearly 40-year career — will be celebrated this fall with a 4CD, 73-track box set called Kats Karavan: The History of the John Peel Show that features 21 never-before-released recordings.

Due out Oct. 26 in the UK, the collection — named after the program on Dallas radio station WRR on which Peel made his broadcast debut in the early 1960s — features singles, album cuts and Peel Session recordings by some of the DJ’s favorite artists, although well-known Peel faves The Undertones, Joy Division and The Chameleons are notably absent.

The set is divided by era, with the 1960s and ’70s represented on Disc 1, and the subsequent three discs each covering the ’80s, ’90s and ’00s. The collection features a number of rarities, including, on the ’80s disc, previously unreleased Peel Session recordings by The Cure (“A Forest”), Elvis Costello (“High Fidelity”) and Soundgarden (a cover of The Beatles’ “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey”). The most obscure inclusion, however, is a recording of Free’s “Walk In My Shadow” that was thought to have been destroyed; it recently was discovered on some old reel-to-reel tapes.

Compiled by Universal Music with the approval of Peel’s family, the set is an attempt to recreate one of the DJ’s radio shows, even going so far as to include bits of Peel’s own between-song chatter that has been recovered from old cassette tapes. The collection also includes rare and unseen photographs, as well as personal recollections from many of the participating artists who pay tribute to Peel five years after his death.

Full tracklist and cover art after the jump…

'Kats Karavan: The History of the John Peel Show'

Tracklist: Kats Karavan: The History of the John Peel Show

Disc 1: ’60s and ’70s
1. “I Can Take You To The Sun,” The Misunderstood
2. “Coloured Rain,” Traffic
3. “If I Were A Carpenter,” Tim Hardin
4. “Lazy Sunday,” Small Faces
5. “Walk In My Shadow,” Free*
6. “Whiskey In The Jar,” Thin Lizzy
7. “Listen, Listen,” Sandy Denny
8. “Fear Is A Man’s Best Friend,” John Cale*
9. “Dry Land,” Joan Armatrading
10. “Back To Africa,” Aswad
11. “What A Way To End It All,” Deaf School
12. “New Rose,” The Damned
13. “Africa,” Rico
14. “Slip And Slide,” Medicine Head*
15. “In The City,” The Jam
16. “When The Summer’s Thru,” The Fabulous Poodles
17. “Looking After Number One,” The Boomtown Rats*
18. “Love And Romance,” The Slits
19. “Ku Klux Klan,” Steel Pulse
20. “Life After Death,” Funboy Five

Disc 2: ’80s
1. “There Goes Concorde Again,” …and the Native Hipsters
2. “High Fidelity,” Elvis Costello*
3. “Art Nouveau,” The Bodies
4. “A Forest,” The Cure*
5. “I’m In Love With A German Film Star,” The Passions
6. “C ‘n’ C Hassle Schmuk,” The Fall
7. “Reggae Fi Peach,” Linton Kwesi Johnson*
8. “Turkey Mambo Momma,” Pulp
9. “Pass The Dutchie,” Musical Youth
10. “Song Sung Blue,” Altered Images
11. “Sunspots,” Julian Cope*
12. “Blue Canary,” The Frank Chickens
13. “Don’t Be Late,” Nick Haeffner
14. “Big Decision,” That Petrol Emotion
15. “You Sexy Thing,” Cud
16. “Convenience,” Bob
17. “System Enslavement,” Extreme Noise Terror
18. “The Big E,” A Certain Ratio
19. “Everybody’s Got Something To Hide Except Me And My Monkey,” Soundgarden*

Disc 3: ’90s
1. “Back Side Of The Moon,” The Orb
2. “Sheela-Na-Gig,” PJ Harvey
3. “Fascist Boom,” Marxman*
4. “Olympia,” Hole*
5. “Raindrops,” Tindersticks
6. “Protective Custody,” Dave Clarke
7. “Ping Pong,” Stereolab
8. “Monica Webster,” The Delgados
9. “Icicle,” The Tiger*
10. “Why?,” The Sweeney
11. “Sun Moon And Stars,” Thievery Corporation*
12. “IPC Sub Editors Dictate Our Youth,” Clinic
13. “Hawaiian Island Wranglers,” Grandaddy
14. “Real Action,” Justin Berkovi*
15. “Jam,” Ivor Cutler
16. “Oh My God! They Killed Kenny,” Cuban Boys
17. “Freckles,” Gorky’s Zygotic Mynci
18. “Xeroxy Music,” The Samurai Seven

Disc 4: ’00s
1. “Not The Tremblin’ Kind,” Laura Cantrell
2. “Little Rhymes,” Mercury Rev*
3. “Taking On The Sides,” Spare Snare
4. “She’ll Break Your Heart,” The Loves
5. “All The Records On The Radio Are Shite,” Ballboy
6. “Another Morning Stoner,” …And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of Dead*
7. “Archie Bunker Disciples,” Bong Ra*
8. “Fink For The Man,” The Datsuns*
9. “Maps,” Yeah Yeah Yeahs*
10. “By The Grace Of God,” The Hellacopters*
11. “Tulips,” Bloc Party
12. “Itsuko Got Married,” Bearsuit
13. “John Peel Is Not Enough,” CLSM
14. “I Am Connecting Flight,” YOURCODENAMEIS:MILO*
15. “Bored,” Steveless
16. “Does This Train Stop On Merseyside?,” Amsterdam

*Previously unreleased



  1. Great news for John Peel fans everywhere.

    I have yet to see however, anyone put together a compilation of the REAL obscure bands he used to feature!

    I bet for example, the much-lamented Trixie’s Big Red Motorbike would love to see one of their efforts reproduced in lament of the great man himself.

    Good review.

  2. Was their a distributor for this in the USA? This is a must have

  3. No, at this point it has only been released in the UK. You can order it on import through Amazon and other retailers, though.

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