"Although Peel didn't go overboard with his criticisms, his mumbles early in the chart about the number of 'cute white kids' in there was his most outright expression of dissatisfaction with the results of the vote for many years, and certainly this was a fair overview of the chart's content, though admittedly some of those kids were very cute and their records even cuter...this was not a Festive Fifty without its highpoints...The better American bands, predictably but gratifyingly, had a very fine year; indeed the number of records by American bands in the chart was the highest since 1994, although most of these were supplied by the Strokes and the White Stripes. There was, also, some startling talent that was subsequently showcased, and a top twenty that stood comparison with most." (Whitby, M., The Festive Fifty, Nevin Publishing, 2005, p. 56.)
- Top act of the year was the Strokes with five entries, all from the 'Is This It' album.
- Chart stalwarts The Fall only managed one entry, and that from a limited edition 7 inch which JP reminded his listeners was now completely sold out.
- One record, by Mercury Rev, had never been played on the show before.
- For the first time since 1982, no session tracks made the chart.
- The number 10 entry, by Mogwai, was interrupted by the Radio 1 emergency tape, which seemed to upset John considerably. This had happened to Mogwai before, during the 1998 Festive Fifty.
The Festive Fifty Of 2001
- Melys: "Chinese Whispers"
- White Stripes: "Hotel Yorba"
- Cinerama: "Health & Efficiency"
- Bearsuit: "Hey Charlie, Hey Chuck"
- Strokes: "Last Night"
- White Stripes: "Fell In Love With A Girl"
- Strokes: "Hard To Explain"
- Camera Obscura: "Eighties Fan"
- New Order: "Crystal"
- Mogwai: "My Father My King"
- Meanwhile, Back In Communist Russia: "Morning After Pill"
- Saloon: "Impact"
- Half Man Half Biscuit: "Bob Wilson Anchorman"
- Miss Black America: "Human Punk"
- Detroit Cobras: "Shout Bama Lama"
- Half Man Half Biscuit: "Vatican Broadside"
- Belle & Sebastian: "Jonathan David"
- Strokes: "The Modern Age"
- Pulp: "Sunrise"
- Squarepusher: "My Red Hot Car"
- Super Furry Animals: "Rings Around The World"
- Mogwai: "Two Rights Make One Wrong"
- Cuban Boys: "Drink, Drink, Drink"
- Greens Keepers: "Low & Sweet"
- White Stripes: "Dead Leaves & The Dirty Ground"
- Ballboy: "They'll Hang Flags From Cranes"
- Lift To Experience: "These Are The Days"
- Strokes: "New York City Cops"
- Pulp: "Trees"
- Fall: "I Wake Up In The City"
- Hefner: "Alan Bean"
- Belle & Sebastian: "I'm Waking Up To Us"
- Ikara Colt: "One Note"
- Cinerama: "Superman"
- Melys: "I Don't Believe In You"
- PJ Harvey: "This Is Love"
- Seedling: "Sensational Vacuum"
- Antihero: "Who's Looking Out For Number One"
- Lift To Experience: "Falling From Cloud Nine"
- Radiohead: "The Pyramid Song"
- Ballboy: "I've Got Pictures Of You In Your Underwear"
- Miss Black America: "Don't Speak My Mind"
- Shins: "New Slang"
- Mercury Rev: "The Dark Is Rising"
- Stereolab: "Captain Easychord"
- Strokes: "Someday"
- Hives: "Hate To Say I Told You So"
- Rock Of Travolta: "Giant Robo"
- Saloon: "Freefall"
- Pico: "Chard"
- All shows are complete: links can be accessed from the date pages.