The John Peel Archive invited acclaimed music writer Pete Paphides to curate a special record box dedicated to Nick Drake on his birthday (born 19 June 1948). He spent the day digging through John’s records examining the music that influenced Drake, discussing the influence he had, with the aim of giving the music he left behind it’s place in history.
After all, it’s easy to think of Nick Drake’s music as an island that exists entirely on it’s own, such is the quiet cloak of emotional power that isolates it. The ethereal quality of his songs, and the mythology surrounding his life which has grown in the years since his death, combine to render his art timeless.
This exciting project works like an annotated podcast, with audio clips intertwined with recordings of John’s actual records, and thoughtful notes expanding on the ideas. Which allows visitors to explore this virtual record box record by record. They can listen to recordings of John Peel’s records and view high resolution scans of sleeves, letters, photos and press releases, bringing this historic archive to life.
We all know John Peel – the legendary DJ was at the forefront of so many different movements within popular music, championing the artists that no-one else would take a chance on – but what was in his record collection?
The John Peel Archive launched its Record Box project earlier this year, in association with The Space, with the intention of not only answering that question, but providing the public with the historical and cultural context of this vast archive.
After all, they are not just dusty records on a shelf, they are a road map to the development of popular music as we know it, documenting countless scenes and movements that became integral components of our culture, the soundtrack to our nation’s identity and the source of a nation’s pride.
John Peel’s personal archive of music is one of the most important and eclectic in the world, he amassed an incredible collection of over 26,000 LPs, over 80,000 singles and many thousands of CDs and demo tapes.
Pete Paphides tweeted about the experience: “This might have been the most enjoyable afternoon of my professional life”.
James Leeds of the Peel Archive said:
“As generations of fans discover the catalogue of Nick Drake, we thought it would be a good idea to position his music within the context of what was going on at the time. Pete Paphides has done an amazing job discussing not just Nick’s influences, but the influence he left behind”
Enjoy it here: http://www.johnpeelarchive.com/pete-paphides/