This is, unquestionably, the most ambitious posting I’ve ever done.  50 songs in one go.  Broken down into five chunks mind you.

It’s here to mark the eleventh anniversary of the sad and untimely death of John Peel.  It’s also here as it is probably the Festive Fifty that I have most of in terms of vinyl (and where possible, I’ve used the vinyl when recording the songs which explains some pops and crackles – it also explains why the track which was #1 sounds a bit iffy as the vinyl is a tad on the worn side.  Maybe it’s a bit of a duff copy as the distinctive drum sound is very muffled…..but hey ho, you’ll all have the track anyway without needing it from here.

I’ve also gone for 1983 as it genuinely is a jaw-dropping rundown in terms of just how many songs, all these years later, are deemed as classics.  Also interesting to see at least one act in there that will raise a few eyebrows….

mp3 : Various – Festive Fifty 1983 (50-41)  (41 mins 50 secs)

Tom Robinson – War Baby
The Cure – The Walk
Elvis Costello – Shipbuilding
Strawberry Switchblade – Trees And Flowers
The Birthday Party – Sonny’s Burning
New Order – The Village
Cabaret Voltaire – Just Fascination
The Birthday Party – Deep In The Woods
Danse Society – Somewhere
U2 – New Years Day

mp3 : Various – Festive Fifty 1983 (40-31) (44mins 23 secs)

The Fall – Wings
S.P.K. – Metal Dance
Cocteau Twins – Hitherto
Sophie And Peter Johnson – Television Satellite
Luddites – Doppelganger
The Fall – Kicker Conspiracy
Tools You Can Trust – Working And Shopping (Peel Session)
The Smiths – Handsome Devil
Xmal Deutschland – Qual
The Chameleons – Second Skin

mp3 : Various – Festive Fifty 1983 (30-21) (37mins 31 secs)

Redskins – Lean On Me
Aztec Camera – Oblivious
Cocteau Twins – Peppermint Pig
Sisters Of Mercy – Alice
10,000 Maniacs – My Mother The War
New Order – Leave Me Alone
Elvis Costello – Pills And Soap
The Assembly – Never Never
Echo And The Bunnymen – The Cutter
The Fall – The Man Whose Head Expanded

mp3 : Various – Festive Fifty 1983 (20-11) (45 mins 50 secs)

Siouxsie And The Banshees – Dear Prudence
Sisters Of Mercy – Temple Of Love
New Order – Your Silent Face
Echo And The Bunnymen – Never Stop
Cocteau Twins – From The Flagstones
The Cure – The Lovecats
The Cocteau Twins – Sugar Hiccup
Xmal Deutschland – Incubus Succubus
Public Image Limited – This Is Not A Love Song
Red Guitars – Good Technology

mp3 : Various – Festive Fifty 1983 (10-1) (48 mins 32 secs)

Naturalites And The Mystics – Picture On The Wall
The Smiths – Hand In Glove
The Fall – Eat Y’Self Fitter (Peel Session)
Billy Bragg – A New England
The Smiths – Reel Around The Fountain (Peel Session)
Cocteau Twins – Musette And Drums
This Mortal Coil – Song To The Siren
New Order – Age Of Consent
The Smiths – This Charming Man (New York Vocal)
New Order – Blue Monday

I’m not expecting anyone to listen to all five downloads, but for a little bit of fun, and as a tribute to the great man, I deliberately have the first five seconds of one of the tracks by one of the better known bands play a little bit more quickly. No prizes for finding it and naming it, but I wonder if anyone can find it…..

Worth mentioning that this particular Festive Fifty was broadcast, in the same batches of ten songs, on the shows of 21,22,27,28 and 29 December 1983.



10 thoughts on “THE JOHN PEEL FESTIVE FIFTY OF 1983

  1. Wow, what a post, thanks JC! All fine stuff indeed, and I always thought it’s great that The Naturalites’ tune made it up to # 10!

  2. Brilliant idea JC. I simply wouldn’t have the patience to put a post together like this, or if I did it would have to be 5 seperate posts to justify the hard work.

  3. Lovely idea. Thanks for taking the time to record & upload for us JC. I’ll be listening to these at work tomorrow & I’ll be disappointed if you haven’t accidentally recorded the B side of one of them by mistake 🙂 Cheers.

  4. Massive Post JC!! and wow but 83 was a really good year! Gold Star for arranging them in Drive Time sets of 10 to cruise the streets of Tampa!

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