John Peel’s Record Collection


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If you had a passion for new sounds in the 1970s, 80s or 90s, you knew the name John Peel. He was a pioneering British disc jockey who, over the course of a long career on the air at the BBC, championed the early careers of many of pop music’s most influential acts. When he passed away in 2004, he left behind a record collection consisting of some 26,000 albums on vinyl and tens of thousand additional singles and compact discs. In short, one of the most amazing record collections ever.

John Peel’s Record Collection

Now his family, in conjunction with The John Peel Centre for the Creative Arts, is digitizing a huge portion of that collection — not the whole thing, but enough to give us a good idea of what treasures lay within.

“The project will release the names and song titles of 100 records a week from the collection, for 26 weeks between May and October, featuring the first records from one letter of the alphabet each week.”

The first hundred, from the letter A, are out now. Unfortunately, it appears that you can listen to the actual music only if there is a corresponding album available on iTunes or Spotify, which is a shame. Still, having a peek at what Peel collected is a bit like getting to peek behind a magic curtain. Read more about the project here, and browse the collection here. (The interface is disappointingly literal, but in case you can’t tell I’m too excited about this to complain.)



  1. Very cool. I have several “Peel Sessions” CDs in my collection. The very last LP in the A’s (so far) is an Adam & The Ants album cover I’ve never seen. And I have everything Ants-related. Awesome!

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