John Peel's The Space online record collection goes live


John Peel's wife Sheila Ravenscroft explained the selection process for the archive

The names of the first 100 albums of the late DJ John Peel's record collection have been published online.

The John Peel Centre, in Stowmarket, is behind the project, called The Space, which aims to recreate the late broadcaster's home studio and library.

Peel, who died in 2004, had a collection of about 25,000 vinyl albums. The names of about 100 will be added in alphabetical order each week.

Among the first artists are Abba, ABC, AC/DC and Adam & The Ants.

The website does not allow users to listen to the albums but there will be links to other websites which offer this.

There should be 2,600 album names put online by October, which is the period covered by Arts Council funding for the project.

Covers and cards

The website also features a video interview with Mike Absalom, a singer-songwriter, poet and artist whose Save The Last Gherkin For Me (1968) was 001 in Peel's card index system.

Eye Film & Television, based in Norwich, has produced new films for the project and digitised the album covers and Mr Peel's index cards.

Mike Absalom Mike Absalom playing the phonofiddle in Kensington, London, in 1967

Charlie Gauvain, Eye's managing director, said: "These cards have been scanned, often with typos, so we have tried to make it personal and make it feel the way that John kept his LPs.

"People will be able to trawl through the site, find a lot of information, link out and start lots of discussions, but the whole thing is about introducing people to stuff they hadn't heard of."

Andrew Stringer, a director of the John Peel Centre, said: "This is just the first step and a fantastic portal to give the career of John Peel the justice it deserves.

"Whether people listened to his shows or not, their social history has been influenced by him because nothing was deemed 'out of the box' and it encouraged people to expand their horizons.

"Would punk have been the movement it was without John? I very much doubt it."


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  • rate this

    Comment number 135.

    I grew up listening to the John Peel show, he ensured that I would look beyond the charts for music and introduced me to many different artists whose work still brightens up my life. His greatest ability was to make me feel like I was the only person listening to his show, that he was there in the room with me (albeit on a radio), his major purpose being to inform, educate and entertain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 134.

    This is awesome !!! I would much rather have this than not have this no matter what the content.

    All complainers keep your negative comments to yourself, if you don't have something positive to say don't say anything at all.

  • rate this

    Comment number 114.

    This would be quite interesting if it bore any relation to his taste rather than just being a repository of random albums he was presented with in the hope he might play them. Lots of dross and not really representative of the great man himself.

  • rate this

    Comment number 107.

    I think the website is great. It feels like you're really browsing through his collection. I don't know what people are complaining about.

  • rate this

    Comment number 100.

    Funny how John Peel still seems to be around in so many people's fond memories. I can hear him speaking now in my head - not just pop music,his Saturday morning Radio 4 'Home Truths' show was extraordinarily well done. Clever,witty,dry,informed and very human...They broke the mold when they made John,and he died far too young.


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