To start a slight history lesson. It was a month on from the spilt with Jimmy Pursey and they had just only recently finished playing with the The Undertones on tour, how is it one of England's finest upcoming bands didn't have a recording contract? When out of the blue came a request for them to do a Peel session, and as it says in the inner sleeve to get a Peel session meant you were on your way.
Recorded on the 3rd July 1979, the four tracks were, Something's Missing, Maybe Tomorrow, It's No Use and Now It's Gone. What's so important about these first four is it is the first time the band got the sound they wanted in the studio. The playing is tight and Buddy is given it his all on the drums. The doesn't sound like there is many overdubs other than backing vocals, I would imagine the sound being representative of their live sound from the time.
Something's Missing is no different in arrangement, and as the single version the lyric omits the 'F**k' word and is replaced with 'Hell'. Maybe Tomorrow arrangements is as the demo from the 'Anthology', i.e. no half chorus, the middle 8 is longer and the all important no 'Maybe Tomorrows' on the last chorus. Billys Rickenbacker has classic 'Townsend' buzzes on the intro and middle 8. It's a brilliant version and the first highlight of the CD.
'It's No Use' again doesn't differ in arrangement with only a slightly longer ending. The song is played with more abandument than the lp version, with Martin and Buddy sound like they are getting carried away. Buddy drops the odd beat but, then at the speed the band are going I'm surprised that he doesn't get more wrong a testament to his ability's as a drummer.
'Now It's Gone' really packs a punch again the band sound like they are playing for their lives. Again this version along with the 'Pursey' version is much better than the single version.
Alone the first four tracks are worthy of this cd release alone. The band really sound like they are having fun, and are playing with all their might. Being able to hear this session and put it into context along with the 'Anthology' means the band must have been blistering live in early 79. As a debut session for 'Peel' this beats most and the only others I can think that come close in quality are 'Billy Bragg' and 'The Redskins'.
8 months on the band are in for their second session. These tracks are much more considered, the band have learnt to slow down abit and put more emphasis on the songs. The songs in this second session from 24th March are 'Tumbling Down', 'Happy Families' and 'So Far Away'.
This session coincided with the LP release and hence the tracks featured. The arrangements are like the LP versions and all that is really different is sonically, Buddy's snare has more of a click and the guitars not so wall of sounding.
Last on the CD is a version of 'Circles', from the 'Who's' 'Ready steady go' ep a good spirited version. The only bad thing about it is the audio quality but as it points out in the sleeve notes, it came from Martin Mason's private cassette collection. Similar to the Beatles anthology you want to hear anything by the band regardless of quality, but repeated plays are properly not on the cards.
It has been mentioned what about the rest of the Kid Jensen session, well there are cassette copies about, but there are extremely rare. I have yet to hear one, but the version of 'I'm Not Sure' is meant to be the best yet.
So the all-important question is it worth having, of course it is, the first four tracks are super charged mod anthems. I've played it loads, but then I would, but really it is good. Some people have wrote to the site concerning the price that HMV and the likes are charging four the cd, £14 is steep for 8 tracks, My advice is to get the CD or Vinyl from www.detourrecords.co.uk dizzy does mail order and can take credit cards over the phone.