heard on the wire

Back to school

School starts again tomorrow, which means that the flow of music onto these pages will necessarily slow to a trickle.

But tomorrow leaves just enough time for a round-up of some of the tunes that have brightened some of the many grey days we’ve had recently.

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The birds fly a lot better than we do

Dandelions

Since it began broadcasting in 2006, the estimable Dandelion Radio has been the home of the “official” Festive Fifty, the annual listeners’ chart that John Peel started in 1976.

That first chart was compiled from listeners’ favourite records of all time and, with Led Zeppelin at number one, stands as a pre-punk anomaly. Henceforth the top spot would be shared by the Sex Pistols and Joy Division until 1982, when Peel retired the all-time list and introduced an annual chart. The ’82, ’83 and ’84 versions are perhaps the finest end-of-year countdowns ever compiled, reflecting a time when Peel truly was shaping the musical landscape. Later, 90s charts tended more to the dull and predictable, to the extent that Peel threatened to abandon the rundown altogether, not least because he was still totting up the votes by hand. But it survived, the last Peel 50 being chosen and broadcast in the wake of his untimely death in 2004.

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I’ll give it all to you

Alleyway Love

You may think that this blog is dashed off in the few minutes that I have between lessons and listening—and you’d be right. But occasionally there is a little research beforehand, which naturally amounts to sticking a band’s name into Google or Wikipedia.

This would, of course, be the height of laziness were I writing about the likes of New Order, but utterly necessary when attempting to string together a few words about the Adelines, for example.

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about

heard on the wire is a blog about music old and new, but mostly new. It occasionally uses 21st century file formats that may not be supported by 20th century web browsers. For best results use Safari or Chrome. And If you like the music posted here, please think of the effort and expense that has gone into making it and consider buying a copy of your own.

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copyright

All the music on this site is posted to encourage listeners to enjoy it and then rush out and buy as many songs by the artist as they possibly can. Any artist, record label boss, publisher or other rightsholder who doesn't want their works featured here only needs to get in touch and the offending file(s) will be removed at the earliest opportunity.