• 1979-12-20
  • The first of five shows featuring the 1979 Festive Fifty.
  • Complete show available from the Derby Box. Some tracks appear on a compilation tape (file (a) below).
  • Peel describes the Misty session as "one of my favourite sessions of all time."
  • "About six weeks ago I invited listeners to nominate their three favourite tracks of all time, and I would say that - and I'm guessing - I would say that about 7000, 8000 people responded"
  • Tracks marked § appear on file (b), not in broadcast order


  • Repeats of the year's best sessions, including:


  • Files c and d start of show
JP: "Good evening to you boys and girls. As we stumble towards the end of what has been another vintage year for music we repeat some of our finest sessions from the year. Namely those from Misty, the Jam, Killing Joke, the Skids, Cockney Rejects and the Undertones. And in the second hour of the programme we start working our way up the festive fifty, starting... at number fifty. How did you guess?"
JP: "This next is for the staff of the NME 'cos this week's issue is a gem, despite never mentioning these programmes and I can't offer anyone a warmer compliment than playing them a track by my favourites."

1979 Festive Fifty

  1. Buzzcocks: 'What Do I Get? (7 Inch)' (United Artists)
  2. The Clash: 'Police & Thieves (LP-The Clash)' (CBS)
  3. Siouxsie and the Banshees: 'Hong Kong Garden (7 Inch)' (Polydor)
  4. The Ruts : 'Babylon's Burning (LP-The Crack)' (Virgin)
  5. Siouxsie and the Banshees: 'Helter Skelter (LP-The Scream)' (Polydor)
  6. The Stranglers : 'No More Heroes (LP-No More Heroes)' (United Artists)
  7. Siouxsie and the Banshees: 'Playground Twist (LP-Join Hands)' (Polydor)
  8. The Cure : '10:15 Saturday Night (LP-Three Imaginary Boys)' (Fiction)
  9. Siouxsie and the Banshees: 'Jigsaw Feeling (LP-The Scream)' (Polydor)
  10. The Mekons : 'Where Were You? (7 Inch)' (Fast Product)

Tracks 49-48, 47 and 44 appear on file a. Tracks 50, 49-48, 47, 45 and 44 appear on file b.

  • File d end of show


  • a) 1979_Festive_Fifty_Part_1.mp3
  • b) JP19791220.mp3
  • c) John Peel 1979-12-20 incomplete.mp3
  • d) 1979-12-20 John Peel Radio 1 DB137+DB138.mp3
  • a) First 16:45 only
  • b) 00:37:27
  • c) 01:16.24
  • d) 01:59:20
  • a) Runs slowly
  • b) Made from a composite of file (a) and additional off-air recordings, all speed-corrected; 192k stereo mp3. Lots of hiss!
  • c) AM mono recording of sessions only. File created from T197 and T199 of 400 Box, digitised by Dr_Mango
  • d) Created from DB137 and DB138 of Derby Box, digitised by RF


  1. Ken Garner, The Peel Sessions (BBC Books, 2007) ISBN 978-1-8460-7282-6, p. 268
  2. Garner (2007) p. 297
  3. Garner (2007) p. 300
  4. Garner (2007) p. 310
  5. Garner (2007) p. 330
  6. Garner (2007) p. 342

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