• 2000-12-19


  • Various live performances.


(JP: 'Always was a mighty record with which to start a programme, that's Dick Dale and 'Nitro', which got to number 26 in 1995 in the Festive 50. And what we're doing here is celebrating some 25 years of the Festive 50, recreating the hits of yesteryear as we DJs call them, and one or two hot cover versions and also an exhilarating pop quiz, so lots of things that you won't want to miss I suspect. And Billy Bragg over the years has had twelve tracks in the Festive 50 and is now going to recreate two of those, tracks that got to number 12 in 1996 and number 30 in 1998. Go for it, Billy.')
(JP: '...and also interspersed through the programme are going to be rounds from a pop quiz that we recorded earlier on today in the traditional manner.')
  • Sharp cut to Pop quiz round 1, a montage of 20 tracks that the teams are invited to identify.
(JP: 'Well, that deeply stimulating experience was the first round of our pop quiz, there'll be more later on, obviously. And now we're going to go over to J Mascis and the Fog who are going to be recreating three numbers - not of theirs, actually - which have made the Festive 50 over the years. Starting now...')
(JP: 'And what a little gem that is too. Hefner, live here in our Maida Vale studios, 'Hymn For The Alcohol', number 3 last year, and if you want to find out which Hefner tunes if any got into this year's Festive 50, we'll be broadcasting that on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of next week. And here's a record which was number 2 in 1980 and number 1 in 1981.')
(JP: 'Well Joy Division pretty much dominated the Festive 50 in the early days of the chart. That was number 2 in 1980, 1 in 1981. 'Atmosphere' of course. Now it's time for round 3 of our pop quiz.')
  • Pop quiz round 3. 10 questions of 'Guess the band' from the given clues.
(JP: 'That's round 3 of the pop quiz and as you can imagine the tension here in the studio is building mightily. This is a record that got to number 17 in '87. Should have been higher.')
(JP: 'I tell you what, we could do with getting Kenny Dalglish back again I think. That's Barmy Army from 1987 and 'Sharp As A Needle'. And now David Gedge is going to take a moment off from being the invigilator in our pop quiz, in his role of Judge Gedge, and recreate a track that got to number 15 in 1994. David...')
  • David Gedge: Swimming Pools, Movie Stars (live)
  • Pop quiz round 4.
(JP: 'In the noble traditions of the programme - a tradition of which I have to say I'm genuinely ashamed and irritated - playing records at the wrong speed, which does happen from time to time. So what we're going to do is play you records at the wrong speed to identify the record.')
(Billy Bragg: 'I'm proud to say the first ever radio play I had ever anywhere in the world was you playing 'Milkman of Human Kindness' at the wrong speed. Halfway through you realised though...')
(JP: 'Yeah, but it was an LP that played at 45, effectively.')
(Billy Bragg: 'It did say so, on the...')
(JP: 'But listen, come on! Be fair. How often have you seen that the speeds recorded down incorrectly on records? Happens all the time.... I can actually eclipse any of that because once years and years and years ago we had a couple of specially recorded things by Brian Eno and Robert Fripp and they were about 25 minutes long, each of them. After we'd played them both, at the end of the programme Robert Fripp I think it was, phoned up and said, "you do know don't you that you played both of those backwards?". But they sounded fine! We never did play them forwards. We can perhaps do that early in the new year. But perhaps not.')
(JP: 'That was round 4 of our pop quiz and the final round coming up shortly. This was number 6 in 1985:')
(JP: 'We're enormously grateful as you might imagine to all of the people who've turned out for this 25th anniversary celebration of the Festive 50, the people taking part in our pop quiz and will continue to do so, and the people who've come in to perform particular numbers for us. Particularly excited about getting Gary Numan to come in and do a number which got to number 39 in 1979 when he was a member of Tubeway Army. Thanks very much for coming in Gary.')
(JP: '...Before we head for the final round of our Festive 50 pop quiz, this got to number 28 in 1988. Overlord X:')
(JP: 'Well there you have it, our exciting pop quiz. The final scores 102 to 59 if I have remembered that correctly and the specs won, obviously, that's Jarvis, Darren and Graham. Congratulations to them. They get no benefit from it at all of course beyond the sheer pleasure of having won. Just one more live track for you and rather a special one again. This is a tune which got to number 17 in 1979 as performed by Magazine, but here performed by Mansun:')
(JP: 'That was Mansun and their version of Magazine's 'Shot By Both Sides', which got to number 17 in 1979. And our thanks to Mansun and to Gary Numan, to Hefner, J Mascis and Fog, Billy Bragg, David Gedge for research and his music and for the pop quiz questions. And also thanks to those people who couldn't make it, Justine out of Elastica, sidelined by flu, and Pete Wylie and Lauren Laverne, stuck in various places on trains or waiting for trains. Lauren, I think, still stuck in Darlington waiting for a train which has yet to arrive and probably will never arrive. One final computation from David Gedge is a kind of all-time assessment of those bands that have featured most frequently in the Festive 50. There are 3 at 8 equal with 12 entries each - the Jesus & Mary Chain, Pulp and PJ Harvey. At number 7 Pavement with 13. At number 6 the Pixies with 16. At number 5 the Cocteau Twins with 17. At number 4 New Order with 20. At number 3 the Smiths with 34. At number 2 the Wedding Present happily enough, with 45 and at number 1, inescapably, the Fall with 69 entries in the Festive 50 over the past 25 years. Next week's programmes, on Wednesday night we've got a new session from Polly Harvey, on Thursday it's Christmas carols from Peel Acres and this year's Festive 50 you'll be able to hear it in its entirety on Tuesday and Wednesday and Thursday night of next week between 10 and midnight. We're going to leave you tonight with my all-time number 1. Thanks very much for listening.')

File c ends after the word "entirety"


  • a) 2000-12-19a Billy Bragg, J Mascis, Hefner, David Gedge, Gary Numan, Mansun
  • b) 2000-12-19b Billy Bragg, J Mascis, Hefner, David Gedge, Gary Numan, Mansun
  • c) jp001220 NOTE: file misdated
  • a) 01:02:07
  • b) 01:00:14
  • c) 01:58:01
  • c) Many thanks to max-dat.