• 1980-01-01
  • The last of five shows featuring the 1979 Festive Fifty. Several different versions of the show are available.
1) Most of the Festive Fifty songs are included on a compilation tape (see 1979 Festive Fifty).
2) Ken of Peel Mailing List says of this second version:
"What did I find in my old mate Jem's handful of tapes, but one side of a C90 labelled "Festive Fifty 10-1 1979". Could this be a genuine complete version of the Top 10, to lay to rest the errors, myths, omissions of that widely-circulated edited mp3?. So, I put the tape in the machine about an hour ago, set the pitch adjust, fiddled with the signal (pretty weak, pretty rough, only right channel, doubled it, flipped it, etc), then rewound after only two minutes and started again, ripping it throughout without touching the keyboard or tape deck at all. This is the first run through. I even left in Jem's tune-in at the start for authenticity. And lo, it is indeed Peel bringing us the Top 10 that night, unedited, with the right records in the right order. Enjoy!"
3) Peel Mailing List member ray_b2's recording is of the same material (topped and tailed with other snippets) but in vastly improved sound. The tracklisting below reflects this version.
4) Peel Mailing List member Jim's version contains session tracks missing from the first part of the show. The Lene Lovich and Leyton Buzzards sessions are entirely edited out.
  • As Peel notes, the Public Image Ltd track at number 8 is the only one in the entire chart to remain at the same position as it had been the previous year.

Session Repeats


(JP: 'And may I be the last person to wish you a happy New Year, gang.')

File d begins

  • Beat: 'Tears Of A Clown' (Peel Session)
(JP: 'It's not the same without Ranking Roger, is it, really?')
  • Ruts: 'Babylon's Burning' (Peel Session)
(JP: 'Trouble is, so is everywhere else.')
  • Police: 'Can't Stand Losing You (The Bit We Left Out)' (Peel Session)
  • Capital Letters: 'Rasta Say' (Peel Session)
(JP: 'I keep thinking I ought to say something profound about the fact that it's 1980, or do a piece, you know, The 1970s In Retrospect - Some Thoughts By Peel Of The Remove, but I can't think of anything: I'll just press on with the programme, I think.')
  • Lene Lovich: unknown (Peel Session) (edited out)
  • Beat: 'Big Shot' (Peel Session)
  • Police: 'Next To You' (Peel Session)
(JP: 'Oh all right, but just keep your hands to yourself.')
  • Capital Letters: 'Smokin My Ganja' (Peel Session)
  • Ruts: 'Savage Circle' (Peel Session)
  • Beat: 'Ranking Full Stop' (Peel Session)
  • Police: 'Message In A Bottle' (Peel Session)
(JP: 'That Sting, eh? Pretty as a picture, if you ask me.')
  • Beat: 'Mirror In The Bathroom' (Peel Session)
(JP: 'These things are far too short, you know....We'll be back with the Festive Fifty in, what, oh something like a quarter of an hour now. Bet you can't wait, eh? Getting all excited, little palms sweating? Disgusting.')
  • Leyton Buzzards: 'Sweet Dreams Little One' (Peel Session) (edited out)
  • Police: 'The Bed's Too Big Without You' (Peel Session)
(JP: 'Going to get back to the Festive Fifty after this next, which is the last from the Beat.')
  • Beat: 'Click Click' (Peel Session)

1979 Festive Fifty: Numbers 10-01

(JP: 'And now, back to the Festive Fifty. I don't think there's a lot of point actually to be gained from ny reading you out everything from 50 up to number 11. I will tell you, though, that the list is going to be printed, for those of you who care about these things, and I'm sure there are one or two of you that do, I mean I do, so there must be others who do. It's going to be printed in at least one of the music papers this week. So to number ten, and this is up from number 13 last year.')
(JP: 'Great stuff...and for those of you who don't know what the Festive Fifty is, let me remind you that we invited listeners at the beginning of November, I think, to send in a list of their three favourite records of all time, and from that crafted this glorious chart.')
(JP: 'Not goodbye at all in fact, because we have a session from Public Image Ltd on tomorrow night's programme, along with UB40. I'll be 41 this year.')

File d ends with a fadeout of the above track

(JP: 'And at number 7, the highest new entry. You can probably guess what this is.')
(JP: 'First Two-Tone record of the lot...23 new ones in the Festive Fifty, and I was very pleased about that, I must say.
Mike Read was saying that he was going to go home after his programme and listen to this to find out exactly where the Trainspotters records cropped up in the Festive Fifty. Well, I'll tell you this, Mike: neither of them are at number 6.')
(JP: 'I should have had a competition actually, that's what I should have done, for anybody who could guess or could work out what the Festive Fifty, or at least the top five thereof, would be. I could have given them some kind of exotic prize, half of my kingdom or the hand of my only daughter in marriage, something like that. I bet a lot of you would have got it, actually.')
  • 04: Jam: Down In The Tube Station At Midnight (7")' (Polydor)
  • 03: Clash: '(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais (7")' (CBS)
  • (Countdown of numbers 20-03)
  • 02: Undertones: 'Teenage Kicks (7")' (Good Vibrations)
(JP: 'Very pleased indeed about that, I must say...and in case you're thinking to yourself, "Peely must have fixed this", listen, if I'd fixed it, it would have been #1. Instead, and I'm sure you've probably worked this out for yourselves, at #1 and with twice as many votes I must say as "Teenage Kicks", this again.')
(JP: 'So that's it. The Festive Fifty tucked away for another year, Anarchy In The U.K. still number one and by a mile, it must be said....On tomorrow night's programme, I shall be sinking my yellowing fangs into the 1980s.)'
  • (News with Tim Gudgeon: death toll in the Canadian nightclub fire has reached 41, 25 people have been killed in an earthquake in the Azores, and from Scotland Yard a new letter bomb warning)


  • a) See 1979 Festive Fifty
  • b) Peel 1980-01-01 F50 1979 Nos 10-1 unedited
  • c) John Peel Show 1980-01-01
  • d) John Peel 1980.01.01 Best 79 sessions Beat-Police BALANCED
  • a)
  • b) 00:33:15
  • c) 00:36:09
  • d) 00:48:40
  • a) Edited, variable quality.
  • b) Mono at 128 kbps. Many thanks to Ken (and Jem)!
  • c) Excellent 256 kbps sound.
  • d) Very good FM stereo at 256 kbps: many thanks to Jim.
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