THE PEEL SESSIONS


CD1
1. Moon in June 
2. Esther's Nose Job
3. Mousetrap/Noisette/Backwards/Mousetrap Reprise
4. Slightly All the Time
5. Out-Bloody-Rageous
6. Eamonn Andrews
CD2
1. Facelift
2. Virtually
3. Neo Caliban Grides
4. Drop
5. As If
6. Dedicated to You But You Weren't Listening

Mike Ratledge: keyboards
Robert Wyatt: drums
Hugh Hopper: bass
Elton Dean: alto sax, saxello
Lyn Dobson: soprano sax, flute
Mark Charig: cornet
Nick Evans: trombone

Recorded: between1969-1971 for BBC Radio 1
Released: 1990


The French cd-cover (Dutch East India Trading, 1991)


another front - same disc (Strange Fruit Records, 1991)


John Peel

John Peel was a music lover, talent scout and always looking for the newest, weirdest, most remarkable music. He loved the early Soft Machine and followed the group throughout their more jazzier career. The bands he liked were invited to come over to the BBC recordings studios and play live for BBC 1 Radio. Together with John Walters he produced many fine performances. This set was the first release of a compilation of Soft Machine´s recording sessions at the Beep or Auntie. It was a rather confusing release with three different covers, but the one I choose is the most common one and is also used for the lp-release. Later on HUX-records released their two more complete BBC-sessions albums, but if you don’t want to have them all, this definitely is the set to have. When I first heard it I was stunned, it is full of the best recordings of the compositions I already liked, but these are just outstanding. The first disc opens with a remarkable Moon in June with complete new text from Robert! As is written in the tiny liner notes: ‘Robert Wyatt sat quickly in the back of the busy BBC recording booth, balancing a paper cup of tea and pulling on a cigarette as he penned down this special dedication’. (you can find the words for this special dedication under ‘Memories’ elsewhere on this site). Hugh fuzzes fine and Mike’s solo is a vibrant one. More surprises with Esther’s Nose Job and the Mousetrap-medley; it is the augmented band, with added brass and woodwinds. All these tracks were also on the lp-box set ‘Triple Echo’ but the sound of these cd’s is so much better, it is more dynamic and the bass sounds even more aggressive. Mousetrap has a surprising trombone solo. Slightly all the Time, Out-Bloody-Rageous and Eamonn Andrews are performed by the trio with Elton Dean. Disc two continuous with the excellent performances by the now new quartet. A little surprise at the end: Dedicated To You etc. is played by Robert on an old or treated piano, he sings and you can hear the clicks of the echo-machine; it’s a mysterious performance.

Paul Lemmens © 2014