The Bonzo Dog Band

Unpeeled

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These BBC sessions from 1967-69 were titled Unpeeled since all but one track were recorded for John Peel's Top Gear radio show. Most of the songs are from the Bonzos' first four albums, including some of their more renowned numbers ("I'm the Urban Spaceman," "Canyons of Your Mind," "Can Blue Men Sing the Whites?") and some of rather faint renown (several tracks from Keynsham). For the most part these aren't too different from the studio versions, though there are memorable highlights here and there, like the raunchier vocal of "Do the Trouser Press" and Legs Larry Smith's showcase "Look at Me I'm Wonderful." Only a couple cuts didn't make it onto any of their studio recordings: the throwaway "Give Peace a Chance" parody "Give Booze a Chance," and the variety program satire "The Craig Torso Show." The latter's actually a pretty good piece, with brief but riotous takes on the Beatles' "With a Little Help From My Friends," the Diamonds' "Little Darlin'," and Frank Ifield's "I Remember You," and justly inane patter from the master of ceremonies linking the anarchic musical snippets. Note that the Strange Fruit EP The Peel Sessions has two 1969 BBC tracks ("We're Going to Bring It On Home" and "Sofa Head") that don't turn up on either Unpeeled or in studio versions on any of their five proper albums.