This chart shows considerable variety in style throughout, only becoming predictable at the very top end. Even so, nine different tracks feature in the top ten, and we did get, to date, the highest ever entry for a Japanese band. Small labels dominate the chart, with Chemikal Underground, Warp and Pickled Egg (somewhat curiously) top dogs with four entries each. The case of Pickled Egg would become instructive in years to come, as the spectre of vote-rigging began to cloud the chart, culminating in the fiasco of 2002. (Whitby, Mark, The Festive Fifty, Nevin Publishing, 2005, p. 48)
- Top act was the Delgados with three entries, including a track at the top that had already made the Festive Fifty the year before in the Peel Session version.
- Only two Peel Session tracks made the chart (Fall and Quickspace), two (Elbow and the Cuban Boys) were in limited editions not readily available in the shops, and one (Spiritualized) was played in a recording from Meltdown that was not an official release.
- The number 43 entry by Hefner was the only track not previously played on Peel's show.
- The number two track by Mogwai was interrupted by what appeared to be the emergency tape cutting in.
The Festive Fifty Of 1998
- Delgados: "Pull The Wires From The Wall"
- Mogwai: "Xmas Steps"
- Belle & Sebastian: "The Boy With The Arab Strap"
- Ten Benson: "The Claw"
- Pop-Off Tuesday: "Unworldly"
- Cuban Boys: "Oh My God They Killed Kenny"
- bis: "Eurodisco"
- Pulp: "This Is Hardcore"
- Delgados: "Everything Goes Around The Water"
- Helen Love: "Long Live The UK Music Scene"
- Jesus And Mary Chain: "Cracking Up"
- Daniel Johnston: "Dream Scream"
- Clinic: "Cement Mixer"
- Badly Drawn Boy: "I Need A Sign"
- Cinerama: "Kerry Kerry"
- Plone: "Plock"
- L' Augmentation: "Soleil"
- Boards Of Canada: "Aquarius"
- Solex: "Solex All Lickety Spit"
- Evolution Control Committee: "Copyright Violation For The Nation"
- Massive Attack: "Teardrop"
- Spiritualized: "Oh Happy Day"
- Solex: "One Louder Solex"
- Melys: "Lemming, Chameleon Of Feelings"
- Half Man, Half Biscuit: "Turn A Blind Eye"
- Belle & Sebastian: "Sleep The Clock Around"
- Clinic: "Monkey On Your Back"
- Fatboy Slim: "Rockafeller Skank"
- Super Furry Animals: "Ice Hockey Hair"
- Billy Bragg: "Way Over Yonder In The Minor Key"
- Freed Unit: "Widdershins"
- Male Nurse: "My Own Private Patrick Swayze"
- Mercury Rev: "Goddess On A Highway"
- Elbow: "Powder Blue" (EP - Noisebox)
- Gorky's Zygotic Mynci: "Sweet Johnny" (LP - Gorky 5)
- Gorky's Zygotic Mynci: "Hush The Warmth" (LP - Gorky 5)
- Melt Banana: "Stimulus For Revolting Virus" (LP - Charley)
- Delgados: "The Actress" (LP - Peloton)
- Quickspace: "If I Were A Carpenter" (Peel Session)
- 60ft Dolls: "Alison's Room" (LP - Joya Magica)
- Boards Of Canada: "Roygbiv" (LP - Music Has The Right To Children)
- Derrero: "Radar Intruder" (CD Single)
- Hefner: "Pull Yourself Together" (7")
- Rooney: "Went To Town" (EP - Got Up Late)
- Sodastream: "Turnstyle" (EP - Enjoy)
- Sportique: "The Kids Are Solid Gold" (7")
- Ten Benson: "Evil Heat" (LP - 6 Fingers Of Benson)
- Autechre: "fold four wrap five" (LP - LP5)
- Fall: "Shake Off" (Peel Session)
- PJ Harvey: "Is This Desire?" (LP - Is This Desire)
- All shows are complete and available in good, albeit slightly over-recorded, sound: see the date pages for links.