32 Years Ago: NAPALM DEATH record their first Peel Session

Daily Noise - / 2019

32 Years Ago: NAPALM DEATH record their first Peel Session

We had to hire equipment - we had no amps, drums or cymbals - because we hadn't started touring then and had recorded on equipment available in studios. Anyway, we turned up. "How long are your songs?" Dale [Griffin] asked. "Pretty short, we'll do twelve numbers," we said. "Well, that's OK by us," they said, but I could see they weren't sure.

We literally blasted our way through it. I really enjoyed it. I was so happy with the sound that day. It was just a blinding vicious sound coming straight back at you. What Dale and the engineers didn't know was that the twelve songs came to only 5' 40" in all, the shortest ever Peel Session.

That first Napalm Death session had a huge impact. It was nearly perfect. It was like doing a great live recording, but more relaxed, a good experience. I think Peel enjoyed it too. He repeated it three times.

Mick Harris, The Peel Sessions, 2007

NAPALM DEATH recorded their legendary first Peel session on this day in 1987, broadcast just over a week later. The session has been released on record, but for the best experience listen to it as it aired on 22 September 1987 below:

Listen out for the nod to REPULSION ("The Stench of Burning Death") at the beginning of the second set of songs.

At early Napalm Death shows you could often hear drummer Mick Harris directing the set list to the other members in front of him - he'd be yelling "Lets do Repulsion intro" or "Lets do it with the Swans intro, how chuffed" etc. It was a bit of a trademark, and was to pay homage to bands which influenced them and the intention was to make those bands more widely known to their fanbase. Those two intros had become a standard part of the Napalm Death live set by the time they recorded the Peel sessions.

Digby Pearson, Ask Earache, 2010

Visit the John Peel Archive to watch Shane Embury explore John's collection, which includes a test pressing of this session.