John Peel Wiki
Festive Fifty
1976 1977 1978 1979
1980 1981 1982 1983 1984 1985 1986 1987 1988 1989
1990 1991 1992 1993 1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999
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"Listeners in the month of November were invited to send in a list of their three favourite tracks ever and I was going to... in order, y'know, whether they be album tracks or singles, and I have worked these into an attractive chart to be broadcast between now and, well, Tuesday week, tomorrow week. And it's difficult to say, actually, because I never count the cards to be honest, but I suppose that probably something of the order of 6 or 7000 people bothered to write in."

  • "The stamped addressed envelopes have been pouring into the BBC - well at least to Brian and myself - during the past couple of days, from people wanting copies of the Festive Fifty. Photocopies of the list that I so neatly typed myself too, which has got maybe messed up slightly with pencil marks made by Walters, but it still looks a pretty neat bit of typing. Not a single mistake on it, y'know, on the whole thing. And you also get #51 - 65 if you ask for a copy of it. What you have to do is send us a stamped address envelope - and you won't get one unless you do, frankly, because we can't afford them to mail out millions of them - stamped addressed envelope to Music-Loving Johnny Plee, care of BBC Radio One, London, W1A 4WW, and mark your envelopes, if you would, 'Sheena Easton', so that we know that it's a copy of the Festive Fifty that you're after."
  • "And at #1, and with more than twice the number of votes that "Atmosphere" had, this again."


The Festive Fifty Of 1980

  1. John_Peel's_All_Time_Festive_Fifty_-_1980

    John Peel's All Time Festive Fifty - 1980

    Sex Pistols: Anarchy in the UK (LP - Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols) Virgin
  2. Joy Division: Atmosphere (12” single) Factory
  3. Joy Division: Love Will Tear Us Apart (7” single) Factory
  4. Jam: Down in the Tube Station at Midnight (LP - All Mod Cons) Polydor
  5. Clash: (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais (7” single) CBS
  6. Dead Kennedys: Holiday in Cambodia [single version] (7” single) Cherry Red
  7. Undertones: Teenage Kicks (LP - The Undertones) Sire
  8. Damned: New Rose (LP - Damned Damned Damned) Stiff
  9. Stiff Little Fingers: Alternative Ulster (LP - Inflammable Material, 1979) Rough Trade
  10. Joy Division: Transmission (7” single) Factory
  11. Public Image Ltd.: Public Image (LP - Public Image) Virgin
  12. Sex Pistols: Holidays in the Sun (LP - Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols') Virgin
  13. Jam: Going Underground (7” single) Polydor
  14. Joy Division: Decades (LP - Closer, 1980) Factory
  15. The Clash: Complete Control (7” single - 1977) CBS
  16. Stiff Little Fingers: Johnny Was (LP - Inflammable Material') Rough Trade
  17. The Undertones: Get Over You (LP - The Undertones) Sire
  18. Cure: A Forest [album version] (LP - Seventeen Seconds) Fiction
  19. Ruts: In a Rut (7” single) People Unite
  20. Joy Division: New Dawn Fades (LP - Unknown Pleasures) Factory
  21. Fall: Totally Wired (7” single) Rough Trade
  22. Joy Division: She's Lost Control [12 version] (12” single) Factory
  23. Sex Pistols: Pretty Vacant (LP - Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols) Virgin
  24. Stiff Little Fingers: Suspect Device [single version] (7” single) Rough Trade / Rigid Digits
  25. Sex Pistols: God Save The Queen (LP - Never Mind the Bollocks, Here's the Sex Pistols) Virgin
  26. Fall: How I Wrote 'Elastic Man' (7” single) Rough Trade
  27. Stiff Little Fingers: Wasted Life [single version] (7” single - Suspect Device) Rough Trade / Rigid Digits
  28. Only Ones: Another Girl, Another Planet (LP - The Only Ones) Columbia
  29. Damned: Love Song (LP - Machine Gun Etiquette) Chiswick
  30. Adam & The Ants: Kings of the Wild Frontier (LP - Kings of the Wild Frontier) Epic
  31. Dead Kennedys: California über Alles (7” single) Optional Music
  32. Specials: Gangsters (Specials, 1979) 2 Tone
  33. Public Image Ltd.: Poptones (LP - Metal Box) Virgin
  34. Public Image Ltd.: Careering (LP - Metal Box) Virgin
  35. Killing Joke: Requiem (LP - Killing Joke) E.G. ???
  36. Killing Joke: Psyche (7” single) Malicious Damage
  37. Siouxsie & The Banshees: Jigsaw Feeling (LP - The Scream) Polydor
  38. Fall: Fiery Jack (7” single) Step-Forward
  39. Clash: Armagideon Time (7” single - London Calling) CBS
  40. Spizzenergi: Where's Captain Kirk? (7” single) Rough Trade
  41. Joy Division: Twenty Four Hours (LP - Closer) Factory
  42. Damned: Smash It Up (LP - Machine Gun Etiquette) Chiswick
  43. Teardrop Explodes: Treason (LP - Kilimanjaro) Fontana
  44. Siouxsie & The Banshees: Switch (LP - The Scream) Polydor
  45. Siouxsie & The Banshees: Icon (LP - Join Hands) Polydor
  46. Clash: Bankrobber (7” single) CBS
  47. Siouxsie & The Banshees: Hong Kong Garden (7” single) Polydor
  48. Clash: White Riot [single version] (7” single) CBS
  49. Fall: Rowche Rumble (7” single) Step-Forward
  50. Gang Of Four: Damaged Goods (LP - Entertainment!) EMI

  51. Siouxsie & The Banshees: Love in a Void (7” single) Polydor
  52. Killing Joke: Wardance (LP - Killing Joke) E.G.
  53. Adam & The Ants: Dog Eat Dog (LP - Kings of the Wild Frontier) Epic
  54. Ruts: West One (Shine on Me) (7” single) Virgin
  55. Who: My Generation (LP - My Generation) Brunswick
  56. Mo-Dettes: White Mice (7” single) Mode
  57. Stiff Little Fingers: Tin Soldiers (LP - Nobody's Heroes) Chrysalis
  58. Stranglers: No More Heroes (LP - No More Heroes) United Artists
  59. The Jam: The Eton Rifles (LP - Setting Sons) Polydor
  60. Pink Floyd: Shine On You Crazy Diamond [parts I - V] (LP - Wish You Were Here) Harvest
  61. Magazine: Shot by Both Sides (LP - Real Life) Virgin
  62. Public Image Ltd.: Death Disco (7” single) Virgin
  63. Led Zeppelin: Stairway to Heaven (LP - IV) Atlantic
  64. Joy Division: Dead Souls (7” single - Licht und Blindheit) Sordide Sentimental
  65. Wah! Heat: Better Scream (7” single) Inevitable Music

Peel's Typed Version

Signed by the great himself. (Many thanks to User:SunnyWaite.)

John Peel Festive 50 1981.jpg


This Festive Fifty is available as a number of different recordings; unfortunately, these only contain the Festive Fifty itself & John's links, and not any of the other music played during these five shows.

Four mp3s are available from the Peel newsgroup. These are FF80.1.1.mp3, FF80.1.2.mp3, FF80.2.1.mp3 and FF80.2.2.mp3. However, FF80.2.1.mp3 is currently a duplicate of FF80.1.2.mp3.

Five recordings are also included in John Peel Torrent Compilation 1 of 17.

  • 1980-12-00 Festive Fifty 50-32.mp3
  • John Peel Festive Fifty 1980 part2 No's 31-20 128K.wma
  • John Peel Festive Fifty 1980 part3 No's 19-01 128K.wma
  • John Peel Festive Fifty 1980 part 1 No's 50-32 128K.wma
  • John Peel Festive Fifty 1980 part 1 No's 50-32.mp3

The first and last of these are identical, and they are both 128kbps mp3s of John Peel Festive Fifty 1980 part 1 No's 50-32 128K.wma . These three files actually comprise #50-36 (and John Peel Festive Fifty 1980 part2 No's 31-20 128K.wma includes #35-20.)

Finally, all 65 tracks are included in John Peel Torrent Compilation 2 of 17 as individual mp3s. However, only #40-8 & 6-1 are actual recordings from the shows; the others are the original tracks (unsurprisingly for #65-51!).

To my ear, the individual mp3s on Torrent Compilation 2 have the best sound quality, and, aside from #50-41 & 7, they include all the links featured on the other recordings, and reinstate some parts missed at the ends of tapes. Thus, through a combination of these recordings, it is possible to collect the entirety of this year's Festive Fifty. Please see the individual show pages for further detail.