Revealed: John Peel's 142 favourite records

featuring Status Quo, Sheena Easton (twice) and Bill Oddie. Bill Oddie?

The names on the records will not mean much to most. How many of us can claim familiarity with the works of Easy Teeth, Anemic Boyfriends and Big Stick? Yet these were the items he set apart from the vast bulk of his record collection. But tucked in among the highly desirable blues, rock'n'roll, psychedelic and authentic punk nuggets are songs by Sheena Easton, Bill Oddie and Status Quo.

Peel, who died a year ago while on holiday in Peru, was an obsessive hoarder of vinyl. His collection amounted to more than 100,000 discs, which lined his walls in rough chronological order. But the cream was stored inside this simple box. They include the kind of obscurities that Peel favoured - the earsplitting grindcore of Electro Hippies, a reggae version of the Coronation Street theme, electronica from Boards of Canada, guitar thrash from Hooton 3 Car. There are even a few mainstream items, such as a three-track single by the Beatles: "Come Together", "Something" and "Octopus's Garden". Marc Bolan is also represented, but only in the form of an interview that was pressed on vinyl and issued the year he died, 1977.

The existence of the box, contents of which will be revealed in a Channel 4 documentary next month, was news to many. Even his close friend Andy Kershaw had been unaware of its existence. The significance of the contents may always remain a mystery, though.

Peel's widow, Sheila Ravenscroft, said: "When we looked through the box when John died, I was actually quite surprised. Quite a few of [the records] didn't seem to make any sense and I was quite desperate to ask him why certain things were in it. But we'll never know."

By far the most sizeable contribution by any single act is by Peel's recent favourites, the White Stripes, who weigh in with no fewer than 10 singles. Their frontman Jack White was astounded by his popularity with the DJ. He said: "I really wanted to become better friends with [John] because I liked talking to him. I guess we really did connect with him. He's got so many of our records in here, it's a big compliment to have even one."

Oddly, there are no contributions from one of all-time Peel's favourite bands, the Fall. But the DJ's son, Tom Ravenscroft, said: "He had a whole area of his collection dedicated to the Fall, so he knew exactly where to find them if he needed them. The box was more for some of his obscure records which he might otherwise have difficulty finding."

Among the more bizarre inclusions are Bill Oddie's interpretation of "Ilkley Moor Baht 'At", delivered in the style of Joe Cocker. Another oddity is Sheena Easton's top three hit "9 to 5", which Peel loved so much he kept two copies. The DJ's widow said: "That was big - he used to play it at all his gigs."

Peel also retained a soft spot for the boogie hitmakers Status Quo, despite the fact that they were deeply unfashionable for many years. Frontman Francis Rossi said it was a "real honour" to find "Down Down" in the collection.

Nevertheless, Peel cognoscenti will probably be more intrigued by the presence of certain obscurities. Phil James, singer with punk band the Users, is delighted to find his "Sick of You" in the box.

"We were just middle-class kids who wanted to be Iggy and the Stooges," he said. "Until recently I had 3,000 copies of the record under my bed - and I decided I needed to get rid of them because they were just taking up space."

Sic transit gloria mundi.

John Peel's Record Box will be screened on Channel 4 on 14 November as part of the UK Music Hall of Fame season

Arts and Entertainment
The Rolling Stones at the Roundhouse in London in 1971: from the left, Keys, Charlie Watts, Mick Taylor and Mick Jagger

Music ...featuring Eric Clapton no less
Arts and Entertainment
In the dock: Dot Branning (June Brown); Union boss claims EastEnders writers are paid less than minimum wage

TV

Arts and Entertainment
Roger Christian wrote and directed the 1980 Black Angel original, which was lost until 2011

film
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Green (Hand out press photograph provided by Camilla Gould)

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Game of Thrones reviewWarning: Spoilers aplenty
Arts and Entertainment
Matthew Healy of The 1975 performing on the Pyramid Stage at the Glastonbury Festival, at Worthy Farm in Somerset

music
Arts and Entertainment
booksThe Withnail and I creator, has a new theory about killer's identity
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
tvDick Clement and Ian La Frenais are back for the first time in a decade
Arts and Entertainment
The Clangers: 1969-1974
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Rocky road: Dwayne Johnson and Carla Gugino play an estranged husband and wife in 'San Andreas'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Nicole Kidman plays Grace Kelly in the film, which was criticised by Monaco’s royal family

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emilia Clarke could have been Anastasia Steele in Fifty Shades of Grey but passed it up because of the nude scenes

film
Arts and Entertainment
A$AP Rocky and Rita Ora pictured together in 2012

music
Arts and Entertainment
A case for Mulder and Scully? David Duchovny and Gillian Anderson in ‘The X-Files’

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Impressions of the Creative Community Courtyard within d3. The development is designed to 'inspire emerging designers and artists, and attract visitors'

architecture
Arts and Entertainment
Performers drink tea at the Glastonbury festival in 2010

GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival

Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister

TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride

Arts and Entertainment
Jesuthasan Antonythasan as Dheepan

FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head

Arts and Entertainment
Måns Zelmerlöw performing

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Graham Norton was back in the commentating seat for Eurovision 2015

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
Richard Hammond, Jeremy Clarkson and James May on stage

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The light stuff: Britt Robertson and George Clooney in ‘Tomorrowland: a World Beyond’
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Reawakening: can Jon Hamm’s Don Draper find enlightenment in the final ‘Mad Men’?
tv reviewNot quite, but it's an enlightening finale for Don Draper spoiler alert
Arts and Entertainment
Breakfast Show’s Nick Grimshaw

Radio
Arts and Entertainment

Eurovision
Arts and Entertainment
'Youth' cast members Paul Dano, Jane Fonda, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, and Michael Caine pose for photographers at Cannes Film Festival
film
Arts and Entertainment
Adam West as Batman and Burt Ward and Robin in the 1960s Batman TV show

Comics
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Syria civil war: Meet the military commander who says his soldiers will not rest until every inch of their war torn country is free of Islamist 'terrorists'

    ‘We won’t stop until Syria is back to normal’

    Near the front lines with Islamist-controlled towns where Assad’s troops were besieged just last month, Robert Fisk meets a commander confidently preparing his soldiers for battle
    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation may undermine Hillary's chances

    The inside story of how Bill Clinton built a $2bn global foundation...

    ... and how it may undermine Hillary's chances in 2016
    12 best olive oils

    Extra-virgin, cold-press, early-harvest, ultra-premium: 12 best olive oils

    Choosing an olive oil is a surprising minefield. Save yourself the hassle with our handy guide
    Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

    Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

    Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
    Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

    Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
    Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

    The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

    Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
    The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

    The future of songwriting

    How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
    William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

    Recognition at long last

    Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
    Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

    Beating obesity

    The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
    9 best women's festival waterproofs

    Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

    These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
    Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

    Wiggins worried

    Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Liverpool close in on Milner signing

    Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
    On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

    On your feet!

    Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
    With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

    The big NHS question

    Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
    Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Thongs ain't what they used to be

    Big knickers are back