"Only five tracks from this year's chart could be said to be beyond the influence of punk and its aftermath - even fewer than the previous year - and only three were pre-1976. However, much of the chart was little more than last year's Festive Fifty reshuffled: nine of the top ten were in last year's fifty, and Peel must already have been harbouring legitimate doubts about whether an all-time chart had a future as an annual event." (Whitby, M., The Festive Fifty, Nevin Publishing 2005, p.8.)
The 1979 chart straddled Christmas and the New Year, spilling over into a new decade, and contained few surprises. JP noted that between seven and eight thousand people sent in votes and propelled a large percentage of Jam tracks into the list, "thus emphasising, I suppose, the fact that in terms of the Festive Fifty a band with only a few popular records is liable to benefit at the expense of a band with a stack of releases." The band with the largest number of entries was Siouxsie & The Banshees with seven. Only two songs remained from the inaugural 1976 chart, and 23 songs were new entries, although only 19 of these were 1979 releases, indicating that if Peel had allowed this to remain an all-time chart, most of the same music would still be in it. John rebuffed those who claimed that the chart was fixed by pointing out that not only did Teenage Kicks fail to hit the top spot, as it would have done if this were true, but that the Pistols track received twice as many votes.
- 20 December 1979: #50 - #41
- 24 December 1979: #40 - #31
- 26 December 1979: #30 - #21
- 27 December 1979: #20 - #11
- 01 January 1980: #10 - #01
(Late December 1979: Assorted extras)
The Festive Fifty Of 1979
- 50: Buzzcocks, 'What Do I Get?'
- 49: Clash, 'Police And Thieves'
- 48: Siouxsie & The Banshees, 'Hong Kong Garden'
- 47: Ruts, 'Babylon's Burning'
- 46: Siouxsie & The Banshees, 'Helter Skelter'
- 45: Stranglers, 'No More Heroes'
- 44: Siouxsie & The Banshees, 'Playground Twist'
- 43: Cure, '10.15 Saturday Night'
- 42: Siouxsie & The Banshees, 'Jigsaw Feeling'
- 41: Mekons, 'Where were You?'
- 40: Fall, 'Rowche Rumble'
- 39: Tubeway Army, 'Are "Friends" Electric?'
- 38: Siouxsie & The Banshees, 'Switch'
- 37: Skids, 'Into The Valley'
- 36: Specials, 'Too Much Too Young'
- 35: Siouxsie & The Banshees, 'Icons'
- 34: David Bowie, '"Heroes"'
- 33: Dead Kennedys, 'California Uber Alles'
- 32: Who, 'My Generation'
- 31: Undertones, 'Jimmy Jimmy'
- 30: Pink Floyd, 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond'
- 29: Undertones, 'You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It?)
- 28: Public Image Ltd., 'Death Disco'
- 27: Jam, 'Strange Town'
- 26: Clash, 'White Riot'
- 25: Buzzcocks, 'Boredom'
- 24: Led Zeppelin, 'Stairway To Heaven'
- 23: Gang Of Four, 'Damaged Goods'
- 22: Damned, 'Love Song'
- 21: Siouxsie & The Banshees, 'Love In A Void'
- 20: Only Ones, 'Another Girl Another Planet'
- 19: Jam, 'The Eton Rifles'
- 18: Stiff Little Fingers, 'Wasted Life'
- 17: Magazine, 'Shot By Both Sides'
- 16: Sex Pistols, 'Pretty Vacant'
- 15: Stiff Little Fingers, Johnny Was'
- 14: Sex Pistols, 'Holidays In The Sun'
- 13: Sex Pistols, 'God Save The Queen'
- 12: Undertones, 'Get Over You'
- 11: Ruts, 'In A Rut'
- 10: Damned, 'New Rose'
- 09: Public Image Ltd., 'Public Image'
- 08: Stiff Little Fingers, 'Suspect Device'
- 07: Specials, 'Gangsters'
- 06: Stiff Little Fingers, 'Alternative Ulster'
- 05: Clash, 'Complete Control'
- 04: Jam, 'Down In The Tube Station At Midnight'
- 03: Clash, '(White Man) In Hammersmith Palais'
- 02: Undertones, 'Teenage Kicks'
- 01: Sex Pistols, 'Anarchy In The U.K.'
- Considering that most of the previously unavailable 1976 Festive Fifty has subsequently been unearthed, this is now the most poorly served chart of all with regard to available audio. Only one of the shows featuring it is complete, and those that are are mostly in substandard quality. However, an attempt has been made to reconstruct these using available material (see individual pages for details).
- Two Peel Mailing List files which have been included in subsequent reconstructions.
- Features numbers 49 - 48, 47, 44, 34 - 33, 31, 30, 28 [part], 27 - 26, 22, 20, [closing music] - [news]. 85,260 kB; 192 kbps. 01:00:37
- Features 19 - 16, 14 - 11 - [closing music] - [news], 9 - 3, 2 - 1 - [closing music]. 93,395 kB; 192 kbps. 01:06:24.
- These both run distinctly slowly. A file circulating the Net claiming to feature the top 10 'in glorious medium wave' is a spurious compilation made after the fact.