ILR - The story


What a ride it was. Those first waves of commercial radio.

Enjoy here a frantic and, on occasions, emotional anorak through the first fifteen years of ILR. A vibrant tapestry of sound illustrating the years which brought us the first tier of UK commercial radio laid down across a suspicious UK.

In this labour of love, hear the first breaths of the vast majority of the stations which came on air in the IBA’s first and second tranches; before the mid '80s pause and the arrival of the ‘incrementals’ and ‘regionals’. Hear the early spirit of the stations and their jolly launch imaging. Witness the changes in styles as the years flow by from 1973 to 1988.

Listen for the first precious nineteen: LBC; Capital Radio; Radio Clyde; BRMB; Piccadilly Radio; Metro Radio; Swansea Sound; Radio Hallam; Radio City; Radio Forth; Plymouth Sound, Radio Tees, Radio Trent, Pennine Radio, Radio Victory, Radio Orwell, Radio 210, Downtown Radio and Beacon Radio.

Enjoy, from phase two: CBC, Mercia Sound, Hereward Radio, 2CR, Radio Tay, Severn Sound, DevonAir, Radio Tay, Northsound, Radio Aire, Centre Radio, Essex Radio, Chiltern Radio, Radio West, Essex Radio, Moray Firth Radio, Chiltern Radio, Radio Wyvern, Red Rose Radio, Wiltshire Radio, Saxon Radio, County Sound, Gwent Broadcasting (GB Radio), Southern Sound, and Signal Radio.

Hear the valedictory words from Centre Radio as the liquidators moved in; and early words from Marcher Sound , Viking Radio, Leicester Sound, Radio Broadland, Invicta Sound, and Radio Mercury.

Then the final hiccoughs, as Radio West closes and assumes the Wiltshire Radio duties as GWR; whilst Red Dragon replaces an ailing GB Radio, bringing CBC alongside. Capital, alongside half a dozen stations stations, experiments with a toe in the water of AM/FM frequency-splitting; then Radio Victory closes down prematurely, clearing the way for a larger replacement Ocean Sound.

Crank it up. Close your eyes. Remember a generation.

Any you want to hear in full? Go to!launches/cer5

Jul 16, 2013, 07:07 PM
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Philfothergill - about 4 years ago

Well done David. Glad you found it.


davidlloyd - about 4 years ago

Swansea Sound now duly installed, thanks to John Evington.


Philfothergill - about 4 years ago

Loved this. Really brilliant. Swansea Sound seems to be missing, and i know coz I was there!


davidlloyd - about 4 years ago

Thanks for all the comments and RTs etc! And the help with the bits I could not find! Wish I had found West Sound launch, Swansea Sound launch, Mercury launch - and no-one has any audio at all of GB Radio!


Jevington - about 4 years ago

Fantastic piece of production. Wonderful memories from those truly special early days of ILR.


thersw - about 4 years ago

A wonderful listen. The pioneering spirit of the early days really comes across.