Festive Fifty
1976 1977 1978 1979
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Logo 5

"Only five tracks from this year's chart could be said to be beyond the influence of punk and its aftermath - even fewer than the previous year - and only three were pre-1976. However, much of the chart was little more than last year's Festive Fifty reshuffled: nine of the top ten were in last year's fifty, and Peel must already have been harbouring legitimate doubts about whether an all-time chart had a future as an annual event." (Whitby, M., The Festive Fifty, Nevin Publishing 2005, p.8.)

The 1979 chart straddled Christmas and the New Year, spilling over into a new decade, and contained few surprises. JP noted that between seven and eight thousand people sent in votes and propelled a large percentage of Jam tracks into the list, "thus emphasising, I suppose, the fact that in terms of the Festive Fifty a band with only a few popular records is liable to benefit at the expense of a band with a stack of releases." The band with the largest number of entries was Siouxsie & The Banshees with seven. Only two songs remained from the inaugural 1976 chart, and 23 songs were new entries, although only 19 of these were 1979 releases, indicating that if Peel had allowed this to remain an all-time chart, most of the same music would still be in it. John rebuffed those who claimed that the chart was fixed by pointing out that not only did Teenage Kicks fail to hit the top spot, as it would have done if this were true, but that the Pistols track received twice as many votes.


(Late December 1979: Assorted extras)

The Festive Fifty Of 1979


  • Considering that most of the previously unavailable 1976 Festive Fifty has subsequently been unearthed, this is now the most poorly served chart of all with regard to available audio. Only one of the shows featuring it is complete, and those that are are mostly in substandard quality. However, an attempt has been made to reconstruct these using available material (see individual pages for details).


  1. Features numbers 49 - 48, 47, 44, 34 - 33, 31, 30, 28 [part], 27 - 26, 22, 20, [closing music] - [news]. 85,260 kB; 192 kbps. 01:00:37
  2. Features 19 - 16, 14 - 11 - [closing music] - [news], 9 - 3, 2 - 1 - [closing music]. 93,395 kB; 192 kbps. 01:06:24.
  • These both run distinctly slowly. A file circulating the Net claiming to feature the top 10 'in glorious medium wave' is a spurious compilation made after the fact.

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