• 1997-12-23
  • The 1997 Festive Fifty, which actually has only 31 tracks (which John curiously falls into the habit mid broadcast of calling the "pretty Festive 31"), in one 4-hour show, broadcast between 6.30-10.30 p.m., augmented by a session repeat and records chosen by family and listeners. The name of the person who chose each record is listed in bold.
  • Start of show: "Evening."
  • Before the Pavement session, JP warns them not to leave any long pauses in between songs, otherwise an emergency tape featuring an Oasis record ("and an old Oasis record!") will kick in.
  • Peel bemoans his lack of German, which consists mainly of the ability to count to twelve ("when you've done that once, there's no point in doing it again"), but manages to introduce numbers 18 and 17 in that language after coaching from occasional producer Susan. Then at number 10, after a suggestion from a listener's fax, he starts a countdown in Punjabi.



  • Propellerheads: 'Take California (Short One) (CD single)' (Wall Of Sound) Kevin Lewis (listener from Darlington) $
(JP: 'Music loving John Peel here with you for the next four hours here on Radio 1....Quite a few of the bands that you'll hear in the next four hours would have been in that Scottish chart that you heard about on Newsbeat. We've also got Pavement playing live, well, not exactly live, but it was live when it was done originally, and most entertaining it is too, about twenty minutes of that will crop up at some stage in the programme, and also a sort of Festive 51 (sic). In addition to that, several of the records in the programme, quite a few of them in fact, have been selected by you, the listener.')
  • Velocette: 'Get Yourself Together (CD single)' (Wiiija) Paul McCarthy (listener from Burton-On-Trent)
(JP: 'We don't really bother on the programme that I do normally with kind of exclusives, although if they come our way we're always grateful for them, and about the biggest exclusive we had during the year was this.')
  • Pulp: 'Help The Aged (CD single)' (Island) Simon (listener from Liverpool)
(JP: 'It's amazing the number of people I've met in the past few months who've said, "I've always been into Cornershop since 1974."')
(JP: 'My daughter Flossie's rather keen on this, and shockingly all of my children's favourite records of the year will be coming up later in the programme as well. Grotesquely self-indulgent, I'd say.')
(JP: 'There's no point in sending me faxes now saying, "We'd really like to hear such-and-such a track", because quite clearly I don't have access to the record library at this time of night, and haven't brought in all of my records, so the programme's pretty much pre-ordained, but nice to get those faxes nevertheless.')
  • Starky Banton: 'Weeping & Wailing (12 inch-Rastaman Chant)' (Fashion) Darren Parry (listener from Holyhead)
  • Suckle: 'Symposium (7 inch)' (Detox) Alex Powell (listener from Peterborough)
(JP: '"Not the Festive Fifty", or if you'd rather the Festive 31, really put together at the last minute, but you know, these things are interesting, and I always quite enjoy doing them, that'll be starting at something like 13 minutes and 40 seconds past 8, I think, according to my calculations....There are one or two choices of mine in the programme, not very many as a matter of fact, because quite clearly, I have the whole year to choose records, you know. I play them three nights a week, so it would be a bit daft for me to fill the programme with a lot of my choices, but there are one or two things which were chosen at random which I thought, "I'd like to hear that one again", and here's a case in point.')
  • Cuff: 'Evaporate (7 inch)' (Spangle) John Peel (DJ)
  • Idlewild: 'Chandelier (7 inch)' (Fierce Panda) Richard Perry (listener from West Midlands)
(JP: 'Only one person's had two choices of records in this programme, which goes on till 10.30 on Radio 1, and that's Sheila, my wife, aka The Pig. I'm glad she only had one choice of husband. Here are her two choices back to back.')
  • Vinyl Junkie: 'Can't Forget (12 inch)' (Junkie Vinyl) Sheila Ravenscroft (DJ's wife)
  • Velodrome 2000: 'Charity Shopping (7 inch EP-Charity Shopping)' (Popstar) Sheila Ravenscroft (DJ's wife) $
  • Panacea: 'Stormbringer (CD-Low Profile Darkness)' (Position Chrome) William Ravenscroft (DJ's son)
  • Verve: 'Sonnet (CD-Urban Hymns)' (Virgin/Hut) Alexandra Ravenscroft (DJ's daughter)
  • Blur: 'Beetlebum (CD single)' (Food) Alison Howe (Peel Show producer)
  • (trailer for Radio 1 breakfast show)
  • DJ Hype: 'Peace, Love And Unity (12 inch)' (True Playaz) Susan (occasional Peel Show producer)
(JP: 'Always like any record with a bit of backward spooling on it...I asked our son Thomas what his favourite record of the year was, and he said he hadn't heard a decent record for two years. But then to my surprise nominated this.')
  1. Date With Ikea
  2. Fin
  3. Grave Architecture
  4. The Classical [1]
(JP: 'You've made an old man very happy....That will obviously be bootlegged and on sale in Camden Market and other places throughout the country.')
  • Junior Reid: 'Mashing Up The Earth (12 inch)' (JR Productions)

1997 Festive 31: Numbers 31-01

(JP: 'There's no Festive Fifty this year, for the benefit of regular listeners, because the Christmas schedules were a little uncertain, and when they came out I didn't really have enough programmes to do a Festive Fifty, it is a bit late anyway, so Alison the producer organised, well, a Festive 31, and people sent in emails, faxes, letters and cards, and incidentally on the subject of emails, because we've had rather a grisly autumn at home, I am coming to terms with these emails, and wil try and answer as many of them as I can over Christmas and New Year: I've got plenty of time to do it, after all, so I will give that my first attention, well, reasonably full attention anyway. So Alison put together this chart from these emails, faxes, letters and cards, the Festive 31 if you like, and this is at number 31.')
(JP: 'This is number 27 in your sort of quite Festive 31. Would have been a lot higher in mine, I suspect.')
  • 27: Delgados, 'Pull The Wires From The Wall' (Peel Session)
(JP: 'That is wonderful, I think...the sooner that comes out on record, the happier I shall be.')
(JP: 'I wish we'd got somebody to shout out the numbers so it wasn't my voice after each one...This in fact is going to be the first part of a Radio 1 twin spin.')
(JP: 'A fax here from Alison and Andrew of Iodine Records, saying, "What's poor David Gedge going to do with his infamous Festive 50 statistics now that this year's is only a Festive 31? We're concerned!" Well, so am I, I dare not ask him, to be perfectly honest with you. But he'll have worked out something, of that you can be certain.')
(JP: 'I always like a good football record, and that's a good football record, no question about it. There aren't many of them, though.')
(JP: 'A fax from David Gedge saying, "Good question. Here's to 98!"....Apart from the music, you know, the radio programmes, one or two other bits and pieces, it's been a terrible year. The second half of the year, anyway.')
(JP: 'This is another record which would have been a great deal higher in any Festive Fifty of mine.')
(JP: 'Couldn't really talk over that, could you?...This, I think, the first record to appear so far that doesn't have its origins essentially in the UK or Ireland.')
(JP: 'Gave our transmitters a bit of a workout when Damon started shrieking there....I was tempted to play the one that was recorded in our garden, but I thought that would seem almost like bragging.')
  • 10: David Holmes, 'The Holiday Girl (Don't Die Just Yet-Arab Strap Mix) (CD single)' (Go! Beat-white label) $
  • 09: Clinic, 'IPC Subeditors Dictate Our Youth (7 inch)' (Aladdin's Cave Of Golf)
(JP: 'That would have figured pretty prominently in any chart of mine, I think.')
(JP: 'And this, quite rightly, at number 4.')
(JP: 'You seem to have chosen a lot of records in your Festive 31 that got louder and louder and louder, and in this case softer again, which has caused me a great deal of inconvenience here in the studio. How dare you....All that remains is for me to play you the number 1 record in your Festive 31, and this is it.')
(JP: 'Have a good holiday, and I hope you'll join me on January 6 on Tuesday with Comet Gain. Thanks very much for listening, and after the news you're going to be Breezeblocking with M A Hobbs.')
Tracks marked $ also available on File e


  • a) Peel Show 1997-12-23
  • b) 1997f31
  • c) ff97.1.1 & 2, ff97.2.1 & 2, ff97.3.1
  • d) 1997-12-23pt1.mp3, 1997-12-23pt2.mp3, 1997-12-23pt3.mp3
  • e) 1997-12-xx-1998-01-xx Peel Show LE385
  • a) 03:57:31
  • b) 02:17:04
  • c) 00:46:03, 00:48:19, 00:48:35, 00:50:34, 00:50:48
  • d) 01:20:04, 01:20:25, 01:16:36
  • e) 1:32:17 (10:58-16:29, 1:04:08-1:23:05)
  1. A Fall cover.
  2. Taken from a Peel Session.
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