John Peel

John Peel, the beloved late BBC DJ and music-discovery agent, had one of those legendarily huge record collections that makes people cry with envy and reconsider their life choices. And now the website the Space is slowly making that entire collection available for perusal as part of an interactive project revolving around Peel’s office. The site features photos and archived Peel shows and stuff like that, but the real selling point is the record collection, cataloged alphabetically, with 100 albums going up this week. This week, you can find the first 100 albums in the A section, and if you click on, say, Low Rent Rendezvous, the 1975 album from R&B trio Ace Spectrum, you’ll find a scan of Peel’s card-catalog entry for the album and a Spotify link to listen to it. This seems like a good way to kill way too many hours. Investigate further here.

Comments (6)
  1. Michael_  |   Posted on May 1st, 2012 +1

    This layout to go through the collection is pretty easy to navigate. Did this also hit anyone else with the realization of wondering what you’re going to do with your music collection down the road? The older I get, the more I understand why someone might want to start going digital when every corner of the house has a rack full of music in it.

  2. The only thing bigger than his record collection…his forehead

  3. I have just watched the video about his collection at, its amazing that his methodical record keeping will allow others to share his love of music.

  4. While looking through the collection, I could not help thinking about how Thomas Jefferson’s book collection was so large, that after the Library of Congress burned down in 1815, he sold 6,500 books to them for replacements, some of which are still used today: Jefferson’s two-volume 1764 edition of the Quran was used by Rep. Keith Ellison for his swearing in to the House of Representatives.

    Although I assume the Library of Congress has most, if not all, of these records, I am always amazed how extensive these personal collections are, and what will happen to them after Peel passes.

    The navigation on the website is amazing, and the details regarding the album are amazing (pictures of the front, back, and inside sleeve. The only thing I could ask for is a picture of the record itself, and I cannot give a compelling reason for why, I just want to see it out there…..

  5. @Alex Manning – “and what will happen to them after Peel passes.” Peel did pass away in 2004. So this is what some very good people are doing!

  6. I was surprised there wasn’t more Ac/DC and a lot of Accused, even the Abused.

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