• 1977-12-27
  • Fourth of four shows featuring the legendary 1977 Festive Fifty (actually Festive 61, with tracks chosen by Peel rather than listeners).
  • Recording of numbers 14-1 finally available. Many thanks to Steven for the recording.
  • Bill S! Original files remastered and Stranglers concert were available, but were removed from Megaupload after their service were shut down. Many thanks to Bill (from North Wales) for both of these!
  • Additional information on the show courtesy of Ken Garner, who first published details of the 1977 Festive Fifty in The Peel Sessions. Many thanks, Ken!


  • Stranglers: private tape of the London Roundhouse gig of 1977-11-06. No commercial release but parts of this show appeared on "Live (X Cert)" (United Artists Records, 1979).


  1. No More Heroes
  2. Dead Ringer
  3. Sometimes
  4. Dagenham Dave
  5. Hanging Around
  6. Bitching
  7. Burning Up Time
  8. I Feel Like A Wog
  9. Straighten Out
  10. Something Better Change
  11. London Lady
  12. Peaches

1977 Festive Fifty #16-#1

File d begins

(JP: 'Thanks, thanks terrifically. That's the irrepressible Johnny Moped, as he'll doubtless be described in the papers, at no. 15 on Chiswick with Incendiary Device. And this...I'm wheezing again tonight, I'm sorry about that...this is at no. 14.')
(JP: 'Well, I think 1977's been a year in which many of our idols have demonstrated that they've been owner operators of feet of clay for a number of years. Pink Floyd came up with a goodie though in Animals, and from that at number 14 is Pigs: more tokenism really, the whole LP should be in there. At number 13...')
(JP: 'And at number 13, that's Truly, with the Jays and Ranking Trevor, and reggae buffs tell me that really Ranking Trevor, pretty much of a minor talent: well, I think he's got a really good voice, I like it very much indeed. People who are similarly into new wave music will tell you the same thing about the Lurkers too, saying that they're pretty much of a second division band, but I like 'em very well indeed, and this is at number 12.')
(JP: 'Well I know there's something terribly out of tune in the backing of that, but I don't care very much. The other side of that, Love Story, was at number 31, and that's at number 12, Shadow by the Lurkers, and at number 11....')
(JP: 'Most folks seem to agree that that's the least of the Sex Pistols' four singles, but it's still good enough as far as I'm concerned to get to number 11 in me favourite chart, or me chart of favourites of the year, favourite tracks of the year, and that brings us to the top 10, and at number 10...')
(JP: 'Frankie Miller from the LP Full House, and that's Be Good To Yourself, and that's at number 10, and this is number 9.')
  • 09: Clash, 'Complete Control (7")' (CBS)
(JP: 'One of my hopes for 1978 is that the Clash will grow out of all this kind of inverted elitist nonsense and record a session for us: at least, if not for my benefit, which is not really, but for the benefit of all of those people who can't get along to the Clash's gigs because of wherever it is that they live. Those are the Clash at number 9 and that's Complete Control (the same thing holds true of the Sex Pistols, incidentally): this is at number 8.')
(JP: 'Well, I know that that was recorded in November 1975 but it was release in 1977. Neil Young and Like A Hurricane, and that first appeared on the LP American Stars 'N Bars, and then subsequently on the...')

File d tape flip

(JP: '...a golden two hours of Neil Young. This is at number 7, and it's a reggae record that wasn't on anybody else's charts either, but I thought it was quite magnificent and I can't get enough of it.')
(JP: 'At number 7 that's Merlene, or Marlene Webber, and that's called Right Track, and without giving away too much about the top 6, I will tell you that's the highest placed record on the Spiderman label, and at number 6 the highest placed record on the Refill label.')
(JP: 'And just before the holidays started, I had a phone call from the Desperate Bicycles to tell me that they were doing their first gig, but typically in all of the rush and everything, I've forgotten where it is and indeed when it is, but that's at number 6 anyway, the Desperate Bicycles' first single release and it's called Smokescreen, and their third record due to be released early in the new year, I'm advised. And that brings us to number 5.')
(JP: 'John Cooper Clarke and that's number 5, Suspended Sentence on the Raybid or Rabid record label, and regular listeners probably guess what me top four are gonna be, although they may not be able to guess the exact order of 'em. This is at number 4.') Peel then mistakenly plays the beginning of the next Cooper Clarke track, Innocents.
  • 04: Rezillos, 'I Can't Stand My Baby (7")' (Sensible)
(JP: 'And at number 4, the best Scottish record of the year, the Rezillos and that's...(clears throat)...excuse me, I Can't Stand My Baby: we have a session from them on Friday night's programme, along with Blue, Dick Gaughan and Five Hand Reel. And at number 3, a record which actually seems to have become warped over the holidays, and it may jump a bit at the beginning: if it does, I apologise, but it's a great record and anyway, this is number 3.')
(JP: 'That's right, and at number three that's the Motors and You Beat The Hell Outta Me, and at number two a record which is on the verge of the BBC's chart, so maybe when we get round to the New Year we'll discover whether it's actually made it into 'em or not: I hope it does, and I expect Paul Burnett will get all of the credit for getting it into the charts. Althea & Donna.')
(JP: 'Well, Kid Jensen faded the last thirty seconds off that when he played that the other day. And he's taken his stereo cans out of the studio, so I'm back listening in mono again: and very painful these cans are too. So if you're listening Kid, let's have 'em back here. I'll give you a rental or something. That's number two anyway in my chart for the year, Althea & Donna, Up Town Top Ranking. When we started all of this last Thursday we played you the Sex Pistols’ ‘God Save The Queen’ and suggested then that it had been removed really from consideration as part of my top 60 and placed in some sort of Hall Of Fame as the most important “sniggle” of the year. And even if it was still in contention, I think it would only be first equal with this magnificent record.')
(JP: 'Well, you probably won't agree with that but that's me number one record of the year anyway: the Motors, from their LP 1 and Dancing The Night Away, and they'll be on tomorrow night's programme, along with Frankie Miller, Lurkers, Steel Pulse, Elvis Costello, the Stranglers, the Fabulous Poodles, June Tabor, Slits and the Boomtown Rats, so hope you'll be able to listen to that, and thanks very much for listening to this one. Goodnight to you.')
  • John then realises he has a few seconds left, and adds over the sig: "Well, didn't quite take us up to the news. Oh well."

File d ends


  • a) #Festive Fifty 1977 no 13 - 4.MP3
  • b) #Festive Fifty 1977 no 3 - 1.MP3
  • c) Peel FF 77 (Remastered) v1.mp3
  • d) 1977-12-27_John_Peel_Radio_1__Incomplete_.mp3
  • e) Festive 50 Top 14 1977 Radio Taping
  • a) 00:41:58
  • b) 00:43:25
  • c) 00:55:49
  • d) 01:40:28
  • e) 01:09:51
  • This is so far the only night of Peel's self-made chart to surface in a substantial form (or any form at all until it arrived in November 2008), although even the longest current version has around 20 minutes of missing material. Details below, (4). The only other recording of Peel's rundown currently available is the #51 snippet from 22 December 1977.
  • a) #13-#4
  • b) #3-#1 of the Festive Fifty. At around 14 minutes, the closing comments morph into part of the latter stages of the following evening's best sessions of the year show. See 28 December 1977 for details.
  • c) Remastered version of (1) and (2), featuring #13-#1 in one file. Cuts the part of (2) with the section of the best of year sessions show.
  • d) Adds Stranglers concert recording to (3). Around 8 minutes of the show remains to be unearthed. The missing parts seem to be Peel's opening comments/intro to the Stranglers concert, #16-#15 of the Festive Fifty, and Peel's full wrap-up at the end of the show.
  • e) Between #14 and #01 of the Festive Fifty. Many thanks to Steven.
  1. This starts with a grunt, to which John breaks his dictum of not talking over the music to say, "That's not me, it's the record."
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