• 1981-12-30
  • The last of five shows featuring the 1981 Festive Fifty chart. Session tracks and the chart rundown part of the show are now available.
  • New Part 1 added to Part 2 to create (nearly) complete show, but with some in-tape edits.
  • Information on sessions obtained from announcement by JP in previous night's show, confirmed with recording.


Coward / It's A Sell Out - released on (LP Riotous Assembly) Riot City Records
We Will Never Grow Old / Touchdown - released on (CD It's A Wonderful Life) Hux Records
  • Twinkle Brothers, one and only session (repeat). Recorded 1981-09-23. No known commercial release.
  • Pigbag, one and only session (repeat). Recorded 1981-09-09. No known commercial release.
  • Fire Engines, #1 (repeat). Recorded 1981-02-23. First broadcast 09 March 1981
(We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing / Discord - released on (LP /CD Fond) in 1992.
Discord / Candy Skin - released on (Discord) to commemorate the 25th anniversary of their first broadcast.


Tape starts with Claire Grogan's intro:

CG: "Hello, good evening and welcome. We're Altered Images... and we all thought we would just come down here tonight to sing you this sad old song, and it goes like this..."
JP: "Now can I do this without a sob in my voice. This is my last offering to you for 1981. We've got sessions from Vice Squad, The Twinkle Brothers, Pigbag, Fire Engines, The Higsons and Altered Images... Curiously enough Song Sung Blue very nearly made it to the Festive Fifty, though not strictly speaking eligible for it."
  • Higsons: Where Have All The Club-A-Go-Gos Went Went (Session)
  • Twinkle Brothers: Rasta Pon Top (Session)
  • Pigbag: Me And Your Shadow (Session) (tape flip mid song)
JP: "And amongst the numerous festivities that I have been failing to mention over the past few months are those featuring the Notsensibles who advise me they are holding Bobby Charlton look-a-like competitions at their events. Which is, I think a very good idea actually, I would like to see more of that as well...'
JP: "Much as I enjoy doing these Festive Fifty programs and things... well I don't enjoy them that much, 'cos the'er a bit routine..."
  • Pigbag: You Can Wiggle Your Toe To That (Session)
JP: "Incidently after my brief appearance on Top Of The Pops last week, when I called the Human League - ' The Human Leagues', which was my idea of a small and rather pitiful joke, quite a few people have written in already saying 'they are not actually called ' The Human Leagues' at all'. This is something I did know." [1]


  • Fire Engines: (We Don't Need This) Fascist Groove Thing (session) John thinks all sessions should contain a version of this song Only on File 4
  • Higsons: We Will Never Grow Old (Session)
  • Altered Images: Pinky Blue (Session)

1981 Festive Fifty: Numbers 10-01

  • 10: Clash: '(White Man In) Hammersmith Palais (7 inch)' (CBS)
JP: "Don't forget, if you're one of the tens of people who'd like a copy of the Festive Fifty, if you send us a stamped addressed envelope, we'll send you one. Put a stamped addressed envelope in an envelope itself, of course, and write 'Sheena Easton' on it: that's what I invited you to write last year so that I could identify them from the other admiring letters that come from people all over the world, it must be said, into the programme. Write 'Sheena Easton' on your envelope: don't write it on the one that we've got to send back to you. That'd be pointless. And address the same to 'John Peel, BBC Radio One, London W1A 4WW': that would seem to get it. We'll send you a copy of the Festive Fifty, or more accurately, actually, the Festive Sixty. If I have time, I'll give you 51-60 at the end of the programme, if I can catch you.'
  • 09: Dead Kennedys: 'Holiday In Cambodia (7 inch)' (Alternative Tentacles)
JP: "What a pity that the Dead Kennedys don't make records as vigorous as that these days."
  • 08: Cure: 'A Forest (12 inch)' (Fiction)
JP: "Are you getting excited, are you? Pretty tense, the palms sweating, that sort of thing? How disgusting."
JP: (naturally referring to the next track): : This would have been number one in any well-ordered chart, in other words, a chart put together by me."
  • 06: Undertones: 'Teenage Kicks (EP-Teenage Kicks)' (Good Vibrations)
JP: "As close as anyone has come, in my view, to making the perfect single.' 'This a very horrible irony indeed, most of the votes that I had from Poland, and there were about five or six of them, were for this.' (This page contains background relating to John's comment on the contemporary political situation in that country.)
  • 05: Joy Division: 'New Dawn Fades (LP-Unknown Pleasures)' (Factory)
  • 04: New Order: 'Ceremony (7 inch)' (Factory)
JP: "The B-side of that, incidentally, In A Lonely Place, was number 54, my old locker number at school. I'm sure you remember that"
  • 03: Joy Division: 'Love Will Tear Us Apart (7 inch)' (Factory)
JP: "If you were listening to Neil's programme earlier on, I emphasised there that the voting for the first two had been immensely close. I mean, two or three more votes for the second one would have made it number one, if you see what I mean." (He then lists numbers 51-60, a record of which can be found on this page).
  • 02: Sex Pistols: 'Anarchy In The U.K. (presumably from LP-Never Mind The Bollocks)' (Virgin)
JP: "Number one for the last three years, and number two this. End of an era, or what? I don't know."'


  • Part 2: (a) John Peel Festive Fifty 1981 Part 5.m4a
  • Part 2: (b) JP19811230.mp3
  • Parts 1 & 2: John Peel Show (1981_12_30).mp3
  • 4) 1981-12-30 Peel Show L584.mp3
  • Part 2: 0:45:02
  • Part 2: 0:54:25
  • Parts 1 & 2: 1:43:31
  • 4) 0:03:45
  • New Part 1 added to exisiting Part 2 to make a (nearly) complete show, but with some in-tape edits. Very good stereo 320 kbps, some FM background noise.
  • 4) Created from L583 of SL Tapes, digitised by SB


  1. See 25 December 1981 (TOTP). John had been playing ' The Human Leagues' for over 3 years. 31 July 1978
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