On today’s date in 1981 (which feels like a very long time ago as I type this…), Duran Duran recorded a performance for Peter Powell’s show on Radio 1 in the UK. It was not transmitted on this date, however…that came later in August of the same year.
I’m guessing that most people from the UK recognize the name Peter Powell, but for those of us in other parts of the world, his name may not be quite so familiar unless you’re very well-read on Duran history. Peter Powell was a DJ from Birmingham (of all places!). He was hired by Radio 1 in 1977 and shortly thereafter added being a presenter on Top of the Pops to his resume as well.
His shows on Radio 1 included the weekday late afternoon time slot (3:30-5:30 pm) but in 1981, the year that the band performed on the show – he took over the weekday teatime slot from 5-7pm. Here in America we call that the “drive home” time slot, incidentally! From what I read, he was paramount in getting new bands airplay by introducing new music on his show. He was a champion of bands like Duran Duran (Culture Club and Spandau Ballet are also cited), and he is still very influential in the industry by owning a large management agency in the UK.
There are four songs from the session included on what I believe is the latest EMI/Duran Duran remaster of the 1st album. If you have a Spotify account you can hear them there, or obviously if you’ve got the most recent remastering – they’re on disc 2 (after the Air studio and Manchester Square demos). The songs included are Night Boat, Girls on Film, Anyone Out There, Like an Angel and they are labeled BBC Radio 1 Peter Powell Sessions, recorded 19 June 1981 transmitted 11 August 1981.