The Art of Curation: Remembering John Peel

john peel record collection

Curation is the difference between what you think people will like versus what you know they’ll like.

John Peel said something like this once. It’s one skill to discover art, another to educate people about it.

Peel mastered curation by using his radio shows to expose the world to all forms of music, including reggae and punk when they were underground genres.

Peel challenged us all to share our good taste and get over the smugness in finding something first. After all, mass adoption is a vindication of visionaries.

Be happy when the world embraces your style; keep pushing until they get it.

Peel discovered, shared, and blossomed. He remains the greatest rock DJ to this day.

Brian Eno takes a trip around the John Peel Archive

Digitizing John Peel’s Record Collection

John Peel was the greatest DJ of all time. He introduced reggae to the UK and tempted his listeners with what he thought people would like rather than playing the sure hits.

The BBC and the English Arts council announced that they are digitizing his record collection, spanning 40,000 vinyl singles and 25,000 vinyl LPs.

Even though the actual music won’t be digitized, we’ll still be able to google away at his collection. I’m sure half is his collection can’t be heard or found. Peel went that deep into music.

One of the last records Peel made was a mix for Fabric, the progressive London night club. It might be the most educational record you’ll ever hear, combining rock, reggae, drum n bass, and commentary from Peel’s favorite football club Liverpool.

I miss Peel. I made a poster of him after he died. It reminds me to keep discovering.