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
2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009
2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019

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For the first time, Peel's favourite band made number one. Top act was the Wedding Present, with six entries in the chart, including one in the top 10.

There's even a tiny smidgeon of dance music to add a slight element of variety to what is, again, a pretty predictable chart. Yet, in one way, it was the most controversial to date, if controversy can truly be said to exist between two bands who may or may not have been aware of the tight tussle at the top of the Festive Fifty, and may actually not have cared. Did we get the right number one? Another close finish led to the second placed record being denied top spot by what Peel called a "slightly soiled" voting form. (Whitby, M., The Festive Fifty (Nevin Publishing, 2007), p. 31.


The Festive Fifty Of 1990

  1. John_Peel's_Festive_Fifty_-_1990

    John Peel's Festive Fifty - 1990

    Fall: "Bill Is Dead"
  2. My Bloody Valentine: "Soon"
  3. Ride: "Dreams Burn Down"
  4. Ride: "Like A Daydream"
  5. Sonic Youth: "Tunic (Song For Karen)"
  6. Paris Angels: "All On You (Perfume)"
  7. Wedding Present: "Make Me Smile (Come Up & See Me)"
  8. Happy Mondays: "Step On"
  9. Wedding Present: "Corduroy"
  10. Orb: "Loving You (Session)"
  11. Teenage Fanclub: "Everything Flows"
  12. Would Be's: "I'm Hardly Ever Wrong"
  13. Lemonheads: "Different Drum"
  14. New Fast Automatic Daffodils: "Big"
  15. Fall: "White Lightning"
  16. Morrissey: "November Spawned A Monster"
  17. Charlatans: "The Only One I Know"
  18. Wedding Present: "Don't Talk, Just Kiss"
  19. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds: "The Ship Song"
  20. Wedding Present: "Heather (Session)"
  21. Boo Radleys: "Kaleidoscope"
  22. Wedding Present: "Crawl"
  23. Nirvana: "Sliver"
  24. Pixies: "The Happening"
  25. Ride: "Taste"
  26. Ned's Atomic Dustbin: "Kill Your Television"
  27. Lush: "Sweetness & Light"
  28. Charlatans: "Polar Bear"
  29. Dinosaur Jr: "The Wagon"
  30. Fall: "Blood Outta Stone"
  31. Pixies: "Velouria"
  32. Happy Mondays: "Kinky Afro"
  33. Fatima Mansions: "Blues For Ceaucescu"
  34. Shamen: "Pro-Gen"
  35. Fall: "Telephone Thing"
  36. Sundays: "Here's Where The Story Ends"
  37. Spiritualized: "Any Way That You Want Me"
  38. Babes In Toyland: "House"
  39. Wedding Present: "Dalliance"
  40. Sonic Youth: "Kool Thing"
  41. Fall: "Chicago, Now!"
  42. Orb: "Little Fluffy Clouds"
  43. Teenage Fanclub: "God Knows It's True"
  44. Deee-Lite: "Groove Is In The Heart"
  45. Bastro: "Nothing Special" (split 7" with My Dad Is Dead) [1]
  46. Farm: "Stepping Stone"
  47. Farm: "Groovy Train"
  48. Pixies: "Alison"
  49. Pixies: "Dig For Fire"
  50. Inspiral Carpets: "Beast Inside"


  • All of the shows are available in complete recordings. Substantial parts of them are also available in the 'Festive 50's' folder of IAP's Tapes: the relevant files are identified on the date pages, and are of extremely high quality.
  • A dedicated torrent labelled 'John Peel - Festive Fifty (1990)' contains all the countdowns edited together in one file.
  • The torrent 'John Peel Torrent Compilation 2' contains the same material as the latter, but divided into 50 files.
  1. 'Nothing Special' is actually a song by My Dad Is Dead from their 1990 LP 'Shine(r)'. The version voted into the Festive Fifty is actually from an unusual split 7" by Bastro and MDiD. On it they recorded each other's songs: My Dad is Dead recorded a Bastro 'medley.'
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