• 1979-12-26
  • The third of five shows featuring the 1979 Festive Fifty.
  • Partially available as hour-long mp3 (see below) and Festive Fifty compilation (see 1979 Festive Fifty). Also available as a composite recording.


  • Repeats of the year's best sessions, including (but not necessarily limited to):


JP: "You'll be pleased to hear that I plan in this programme to make no cumbersome observations about Christmas excess nor shall I talk about football; a quiet and dignified silence has always been my position, win lose or draw" (Liverpool had just beaten Manchester United 2-0 at Anfield)
JP: "Ahh, we keep the hits coming on Radio One. That's Gary Numan, and "Cars", recorded back in May, the 29th of May in fact, when he was in some kind of intermediate stage between being Tubeway Army and Gary Numan."
JP: "It's not all that easy to envisage Gary Numan's conversation, really... and on Thursday night's programme - that's tomorrow night's programme - we've got sessions from the UK Subs, the Merton Parkas, the Selecter, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Buzzcocks, Magazine, and then of course, more of the Festive Fifty. And on January the 1st we'll be ending the Festive Fifty, I mean going up to #1, and starting the new decade off in a very positive fashion with a lot of old stuff - the Police, the Beat, Lene Lovich, the Ruts, Capital Letters and the [Leyton] Buzzards."

Session tracks appear on files (a) and (c).

1979 Festive Fifty

  1. Pink Floyd : 'Shine On You Crazy Diamond [parts I - V] (LP-Wish You Were Here)' (Harvest)
  2. The Undertones: 'You've Got My Number (Why Don't You Use It?) (7 Inch)' Cooking Vinyl)
  3. Public Image Ltd : 'Death Disco (7 Inch)' (Virgin)
  4. The Jam : 'Strange Town (7 Inch)' (Polydor)
    JP: "Almost every track that the Jam have recorded received some votes in the Festive Fifty voting, thus emphasing, 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."
  5. The Clash: 'White Riot (7 Inch)' (CBS)
  6. Buzzcocks: 'Boredom (Spiral Scratch EP)' (New Hormones)
  7. Led Zeppelin : 'Stairway to Heaven (LP-IV)' (Atlantic) [not on tape]
  8. Gang of Four : 'Damaged Goods (LP-Entertainment)' (EMI) [not on tape]
  9. The Damned: 'Love Song (7 Inch)' (Chiswick)
  10. Siouxsie and the Banshees: 'Love in a Void (Mittageisen 7 Inch B-side)' (Polydor)

Tracks 30, 28 (part), 27-26 and 22 appear on file (b). Tracks 30-25, 22 and 21 appear on file (c).


  • a) FF80.2.2.mp3
  • b) 1979_Festive_Fifty_Part_1.mp3
  • c) JP19791226.mp3
  • d) John Peel 1979.12 Best of 1979 Pt 1 Specials-Damned -Numan.mp3
  • a) 06:23 - 1:02:35 (file is preceded by two tracks from the end of the 1980 Festive Fifty)
  • b) 29:59 - 55:33
  • c) 1:32:34
  • d) 43:13 (31:47 on) 3:13 of unique content
  • a) 97,791 kB; vbr
  • b) Mistagged as Festive Fifty 1992 Tape 1 Side 1
  • c) Made from a composite of files (a), (b) and additional off-air recordings, all speed-corrected; 192k stereo mp3. Lots of hiss!


  1. Ken Garner, The Peel Sessions (BBC Books, 2007) ISBN 978-1-8460-7282-6, p. 267
  2. Garner (2007) p. 315
  3. Garner (2007) p. 317
  4. Garner (2007) p. 332
  5. Garner (2007) p. 334

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