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Peel Sessions Plus (BBC Version)

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Album Review

The 16 songs here cannot even begin to take in the full range of music that the Teardrop Explodes recorded for the BBC between October 1979 and July 1982: at least a dozen sessions for DJs across the corporation, and some of the most vibrant performances in the band's entire canon. But incompleteness does not dent the sheer power and beauty of this set, which kicks off with the still unknown group's debut for John Peel and killer versions of "Brave Boys Keep Their Promises," "Went Crazy," "Chance," and, best of all, "Ha-Ha I'm Drowning," then marches through the bulk of the gestating Kilimanjaro LP and onward to the band's low-key finale, the utterly apt farewell of "You Disappear from View." It is not an altogether easy listen; the band's own mid-career musical shift can certainly distract unwary ears. But persevere and it is clear to see how this band ascended to modern legend. There has never been another group like it.


Formed: 1978 in Liverpool, England

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s

One of the pivotal groups to emerge from the Liverpool neo-psychedelia community during the late '70s, the Teardrop Explodes was a showcase for Julian Cope, a notoriously eccentric figure whose unfashionable love of Krautrock and hallucinogenic drugs set him distinctly apart from the prevailing punk mentality of the era. Cope formed the band in 1978 after a tenure in the Crucial Three (also comprised of Echo and the Bunnymen's Ian McCulloch and Wah!'s Pete Wylie); taking their name from a panel in...
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