• 1996-12-21
  • The first part of the 1996 Festive Fifty, compiled this year by his wife and one of his daughters.
  • This features the first time that Peel is totally unable to locate a track in the chart (number 43): see notes below.
  • Newly available File 4 is possibly a sound upgrade


  • None


(JP: 'Has to be Dick: I want him and I want him now...In the course of this programme, we'll embark on the Festive Fifty, starting logically enough at number 50. I'm not exactly sure when that is, because I haven't worked it out backwards yet, and also I have to admit to you now that one of the tracks has caused us a great deal of anguish, because we can't identify it. I suppose we could have bluffed our way, and just dropped it and so forth, but that would have been cheating. Number 43, we've not been able to identify at all. But let's soldier on. No problems with the moment.')
(JP: 'I must admit, I thought they'd packed it in, so good to know they're still going.')
(JP: 'This next is a track which I used to play a great deal back in 1974 when it first came out. I have to say that obviously, ideologies have changed a great deal since I played this record. There are one or two concepts in there which would not go down well with the modern audience, it must be said. Things along the lines of, you know, a woman kind of just without a man, that kind of thing, but it's still a great record.')
(JP: 'Does that mean it's not in the Festive Fifty, or is it a double bluff? Does anybody really care?...Let's hope that next year is going to be a Light User Syndrome kind of year and not a Worthing gig [1] year for them')


(JP: 'As you may guess from the presentation of this programme, I'm beginning to panic slightly about the Festive Fifty, because I just can't get it to work out at all timewise. Something's gone wrong somewhere, but anyway it'll all be resolved, and I'm not doing this in order to make it sound more dramatic: pathetic, but not that pathetic.')
(JP: 'I was also trying to work out some kind of exciting competition, but frankly I can't be bothered, so it comes right down to this. I've loads and loads of Christmas cards, and a lot of them addressed to the Pig, expressing hopes for her continued improvement, which seems to be on the cards at the moment, [2] so thanks for all of those, and I've only received two that have been kind of pre-printed, out of all of the cards that I've got, two that have been pre-printed. I was going to have a competition to see if you could possibly guess from whom those two cards might have come, but I don't think you'd have got it, so I might as well tell you: Prince Charles and Kenickie. They don't get mentioned together very often. The Prince Charles one came about as a result of having a friend who works for the Prince's Trust, that came along with some uplifting thoughts of course from himself, and the Kenickie one came from presumably their record label, but both of them treasured in their own way. I've got some from years ago: I've got a printed one from Cliff Richard, and from before even that I've got a printed one from Dusty Springfield, so they're in fairly august company, I'd say.')
(JP: 'This is a record, there's been a certain amount of mail about this, a lot of people wanted to know where you could get it, and I'm still not entriely certain, but if you enquire at your favourite dance music shop, they might be able to help you. Also, I've had a lot of mail from people saying it's not a Foreigner tune that it's built around, it's actually a Chicago performance. This may well be the case [3] : I have to admit that it's an area in which I'm far from expert, I mean, Chicago and Foreigner's a great record, and if you've not heard this before, I recommend you listen to your radio as loud as you can without causing offence to your neighbours.')
(JP: 'Surely, if it had come out a bit earlier, it would have been Festive Fifty top ten.')

1996 Festive Fifty: Numbers 50-38

(JP: 'To the Festive Fifty. For those of you who don't know what I'm talking about, this is listener's favourites of the past year from sessions, or from LPs, or from singles or whatever, one track we don't know where it came from, because we can't find it or anything. But it's not this one.')


(JP: 'Thanks to my daughter Flossie for lending me her copy of the LP 'Fuzzy Logic' so that I could play that to you. Also thanks to Flossie and the Pig for putting the Festive Fifty together this year: they did all of the voting, sorted out all of the votes, added up all of the scores and so forth, and have come up with the results which I'm now about to display to you. A quarter of them this evening, and then another quarter tomorrow night between 8 and 10, and then the same next weekend. It'll all be terrifically exciting.')
(JP: 'I'm tempted to say that that's the longest record that's ever appeared in the Festive Fifty, but I know that if I do that somebody will write in and say, "Actually, you're quite wrong, and something a minute and a half longer than that appeared in the Festive Fifty." That someone might turn out to be David Gedge, and by happy coincidence...')
  • 46: Wedding Present, 'Go Man Go (CD-Mini)' (Cooking Vinyl)
  • 45: Urusei Yatsura, 'Kewpies Like Watermelon (LP-We Are Urusei Yatsura)' (Ché Trading)
  • 44: Soulbossa, 'Sore Loser (7 inch)' (Dishy Recordings)
  • 43: (JP: 'Every time I do the Festive Fifty, I mean, I don't know, it's been going on for twenty years, apparently, off and on, and I always get really nervous before it in case something goes terrifically wrong. Up until now, there hasn't been that much wrong: the occasional record at the wrong speed, and on one occasion I think I played the wrong track, but only one person noticed it.[4] There may have been others, but this is the first time I've really run into very serious trouble. I could have cheated and pretended it hadn't happened, but this is the number 43 record in this year's Festive Fifty, or more accurately, it isn't, because I can't identify it. It's by Half Man Half Biscuit, and people voted for 'Paintball's Coming Home'. I phoned Probe Plus Records to try and discuss it with them, and they said, "Well, Nigel changes the titles of things a lot", so I thought it must be one of the tracks they did when I was being Mark Radcliffe, so I got the people at Radio One in Manchester to send me a DAT of the session, and I went through them, trying to find something that's got a reference to 'Paintball's Coming Home' in it, and I did that this afternoon, and it isn't there. So I just simply can't remember where 'Paintball's Coming Home' comes from, so I haven't got it to play, obviously. If you know anything about it, 0645-110-100, I'd be very pleased to know. I tried to phone Nigel, but I assume he's gone to the match or something, so who knows what's going on. That would have been number 43 if we knew what it was. At number 42, no problems with this one.') [5]
  • 42: Manic Street Preachers, 'A Design For Life (CD-Everything Must Go)' (Sony Music Entertianment)
(JP: 'I think any chart you made for 1996, whether it's records, or books. or sportsmen or sportswomen of the year, that's gonna be in it.')


(JP: 'Oddly enough, I've never been terrifically keen on that, but it sounds alright, doesn't it?')
(JP: 'Thanks very much for listening to all of's Danny Rampling.')
Tracks marked # available on File 2
Tracks marked @ available on File 3


  • 1) JP961221 a-d
  • 2) dat_120.mp3
  • 3) dat_121.mp3
  • 4) 1996-12-21 Peel Show MY05.mp3
  • 1) 00:48:50, 00:44:19, 00:47:45, 00:42:56
  • 2) 04:00:03 (from 03:08:31)
  • 3) 04:04:17 (to 00:35:39)
  • 4) 53:54
  • 1) Parts c and d are labelled the wrong way round. The timings above and links below reflect the correct running order.
  • 2,3) Many thanks to Max-Dat. Dat 120 Dat 121
  • 4) Created from MY05 of Mystery Tapes, digitised by Weatherman22
  1. See this page (at the bottom) for some idea of the train wreck John is talking about.
  2. See 'Margrave Of The Marshes, p. 421-6, for a detailed account of Sheila's near-fatal brain haemorrhage.
  3. The 'tune' used is 'Hard For Me To Say I'm Sorry': this writer apologises for knowing that information.
  4. He's probably referring to playing the wrong Stereolab track during the 1995 countdown.
  5. It was indeed from that session, and was found and broadcast the following weekend. A listener later claims by fax that this is their version of 'Three Lions', which it isn't: that song is merely alluded to in the title.
  6. John claims this is from a release on the Hut label, but no trace can be found of this version.
Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.