The Damned, Sessions of the Damned (Strange Fruit, 1993)
If you ever heard “New Rose” and wondered how these losers got credit for making the first punk record, check out the 1976 version-and keep a bucket handy to catch your face.
Joy Division, The Complete BBC Recordings (Strange Fruit, 2000)
Rawer than the band’s finished albums, these three 1979 sessions demonstrate just how exciting (and off-key) singer Ian Curtis could be.
PJ Harvey, Too Pure-Peel Sessions (Strange Fruit, 1992)
Polly Harvey was signed moments after her recording of “Sheela-Na-Gig” blew up transmitter towers from Penzance to John O’Groats.
Autechre, Peel Session 1/Peel Session 2 (Warp, 1999/2001)
Peel invented the song titles for the minimalist electronic duo’s sessions-who can forget the first time they heard “Gaekwad”?