If the 1978-82 Festive Fifty period can now be categorised as very much the punk honeymoon period, 1983 had signalled the emergence of a mid-to-late eighties era that had started off very prmisingly, but would come to be categorised by declining numbers of voters and an increasing conservatism as the decade wore on. 1984 offered evidence of this in the shape of the threatened dominance of the chart by a small number of promiment bands (a threat that would soon be realised); most notable here are the Smiths, New Order and, in a golden year for them, the Cocteau Twins. Despite this, mid-eighties political voices remain healthily in evidence, though less so than in 1983. Gothic rock, diametrically opposed to it in pretty much every respect, reaches it peak with Sisters Of Mercy having their best year, and they're joined by tracks from teh Cult and Flesh For Lulu. Such stylings sit uneasily in the year of the miner's strike as Thatherism, bolstered by that second election victory, showed still great arrogance and inhumanity - can there ever have been a more disgraceful term for British workers than "the enemy within"?  Fortunately, we still had Robert Wyatt, Billy Bragg and the Redskins, among others, refusing to lie down before the steamroller, or indeed flee from it. (Whitby, M., The Festive Fifty, Nevin Publishing 2005, p.19.)
02: Cocteau Twins, 'Pearly Dewdrop Drops (12 inch-B side of The Spangle Maker)' (4AD)
01: Smiths, 'How Soon Is Now (LP-Hatful Of Hollow)' (Rough Trade)
The chart rundown sections of each show are available, along with varying proportions of the session sections. Please contact the Peel Mailing List if you have complete recordings of the above dates
↑In reality, Thatcher was referring to the unions and their part in the miners' strike when she told the 1922 Committee, "We had to fight the enemy without in the Falklands. We always have to be aware of the enemy within, which is much more difficult to fight and more dangerous to liberty."