Ah the legendary Mr. Peel. Famous quotes (many more of which can be found here
Peel’s compering debut on TOTP: “In case you’re wondering who this funny old bloke is, I’m the one who comes on Radio 1 late at night and plays records made by sulky Belgian art students in basements dying of TB.”
And of course, his comment about Aretha Franklin’s duet with George Michael ‘I Knew You Were Waiting’:”You know, Aretha Franklin can make any old rubbish sound good, and I think she just has.”
First up, from one of the greatest travelling albums of all time, Big Science, Laurie Anderson’s deeply spooky ‘O superman’
Laurie Anderson -‘O Superman.’ mp3 (1981 Festive Fifty no.34)
The Wedding Present had 47 entries in the various Festive Fifties between 1986 and 2004, including two entries in the millennium Festive Fifty as well as doing nine sessions. David Gedge’s other band, Cinerama had 13 entries in the Festive Fifty, and did ten Peel sessions. (When I have more time on my hands I will work out who did best out of David Gedge, Morrissey and Mark E. Smith)
Cinerama -‘King’s Cross.’ mp3 (1999 Festive Fifty no.18)
Throughout 2004, it was clear that Bloc Party were very definitely gathering pace, and they had three entries in the final ever Festive Fifty, including this:
Bloc Party -‘Little Thoughts.’ mp3 (2004 Festive Fifty no.44)
The stranglers were accused of being bandwagon jumpers during punk, Johnny Rotten labelling them short-haired hippies, but they did have some fantastic songs. Best of all was this:
The Stranglers -No More Heroes (1978 Festive Fifty no.33, 1979 Festive Fifty no.45, 1980 Festive Fifty no.58)
My all-time favourite single by The Jam:
The Jam-‘Strange Town.’ mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.27)
And a handful you might be a little surprised to see made the Festive Fifty. After all, weren’t they a little, y’know, poppy? What the hell, I think they’re great tracks and so did many of his listeners, evidently:
It’s easy to heap scorn on Gary Numan/Tubeway army, due to his sheer …what?, but he is slowly becoming critically rehabilitated over the advancing years, and this is a stellar track.
Tubeway Army – ‘Are Friends Electric?’ mp3 (1979 Festive Fifty no.39)
According to the website, Depeche Mode never did any sessions for Peel, nor had any entries in the Festive Fifty (nor did Erasure,, for that matter), but Vince Clark did score with two of his other, less-long lasting projects. The first ended up being a one-off, featuring none other than Fergal Sharkey on vocals (the Undertones had split up a few months previously)
Assembly -‘Never Never.’ mp3 (1983 Festive Fifty no.23)
…then the two albums only project that was Vince and none other than Alison Moyet.
Yazoo -‘Don’t Go.’ mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.60)
Is this a guilty pleasure? Oh, whatever. I’m not the only one.
Blancmange -‘Living On The Ceiling.’ mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.34)
This was the only entry Tears For Fears had, in those hallowed days of ‘new pop.’ It is a fantastic tune, and seems to have actually dated quite well, IMHO.
Tears For Fears -‘Mad World.’ mp3 (1982 Festive Fifty no.5)
This is my 35th post this month, or something BTW. Hope you are enjoying them. Please leave feedback, I don’t bite!