Echo & the Bunnymen Peel Back History

All of Echo & the Bunnymen’s recordings for John Peel’s BBC Radio 1 program are being compiled on a 2-LP set that Rhino Records intends to release Sept. 6 – in the UK only.

The 21 tracks on The John Peel Sessions 1979-1983 span the Liverpool group’s formative years up through material that landed on their classic 1984 album Ocean Rain. Four of the early recordings were released on the group’s Peel Sessions EP in 1988, a handful of others were sprinkled throughout the four-disc Crystal Days set and a chunk were lumped onto a limited-edition bonus disc with some copies of 1997’s Evergreen, but a few of these sessions have never been officially made available before and almost all are out of print and hard to find.

As guitarist Will Sergeant puts it, “Without John Peel sessions, Echo & the Bunnymen, in my opinion, would not exist! It’s that simple. The band got so much support from him and [Peel’s producer] John Walters. Recording a Peel Session was essential to the development of our songwriting skills while at the same time giving us amazing exposure and self-belief.”