It’s nearly that time of year, when the man on the right used to invite his listeners to vote on their favourite tracks of the year and publish the results in a chart of 50 songs (or 70, or 65, or 61, or 60, or 31, or on one occasion not at all!).
Since his untimely demise, the chart has been hosted by Radio One and Dandelion Radio when the BBC lost interest in it. My remit, as I have stated before, has been solely the charts from 1976 to 2004, in other words the ones Peel either directly had an influence on or presented himself. The reason for this is purely the fact that, with over 1400 tracks and 40 charts to cover, I had to draw a line somewhere. (N.B. I am aware that my friend Adam has made a track that he is hoping will make it to this year’s chart, so, assuming that it does, as I am sure it will, I will make an exception!)
However, the whole idea of a chart gave me a bright idea for one of my own. Therefore, I am making an open invitation for ALL readers of this blog to send me their favourite three tracks out of all the Festive Fifty charts form the above dates. If you have little or no idea what they contained, click here to access the BBC’s own charts: but bear in mind that their lists are incomplete (1977 has only the top 13, and 1997 the top 31). Or browse my own column for inspiration. The voting will remain open until December 10, in order to give me time to compile the chart, and it will be published and all the tracks featured in due course right here.
Send your entries to the e-mail address at the top of the page, and look forward to an All-Time All-Time list to go with your turkey and stuffing. As a prompt, here is a song I would probably never have heard were it not for this chart, yet is now one of my all-time favourites. It is apparently the story of a family of freaks in a travelling circus, and was a single that the band paid for themselves. They were rewarded with FF 1992 #1 and a classic JP quote: “Even if they never made another record, they’ll have achieved more than most of us do in our entire lives.” They parted company after record company problems in 1996. Stan Lee, the bass player, and Elizabeth Freeth, the singer, married and had a baby this year. All together now…aaaahhhh. And get those votes in: make your voice heard.
Three years on, and I finally have the session to share with you too.
Bang Bang Machine, Peel Session
Justine / Monkey / A Charmed Life / Say It Again Joe