Retrospectives are always gloomy things to write: one inevitably finds that it becomes a lament for things that have gone, never to return. 2007 brought me personal joy in the form of this blog, and I owe it all to London Lee. I used to download songs from his soul blog, but when he started his Blighty nostalgia and mp3 blog, Crying All The Way To The Chip Shop, I realised that this was the kind of social community I wanted to join.
To begin with, I’d had bad experiences of bitchery and false friendship from Yahoo! Chat, their 360 (my blog never got read), and My Space, so I was looking for a way of getting to know people who were interested in what I was interested in. JP’s Festive Fifty seemed a good place to start, since it seemed no-one was concentrating on this area, and I have never looked back. In addition, I started, with my typical idiosyncrasy, a Christmas blog back in June, which, although my sanity was questioned by my compatriots at the time, was getting well over 200 regular readers in December.
That’s not to say it’s been all sunshine and roses in the blog arena. I half-heartedly crossed swords with other bloggers over the tribute record played by JP for Ian Curtis, a question that has still not been resolved. Moreover, some wonderful blogs that supported me and were worth reading have fallen by the wayside (in particular, Retro Music Snob and Hey Charlie!) and some friends had an extended hiatus (Tutu Vicar, ally and Crash Calloway were all off the scene for some time).
In the outside world, August saw the death of Factory Records founder Tony Wilson and tributes from myself and dusty sevens.
Happier times were ahead, though: I won ally’s music competition in December, and I got a small but positive response to my Best Of The Best Of The Best poll, which basically asked readers for their three favourite Festive Fifty tracks (one kind person responded with 25, which allowed me to flesh out a list of 80 songs). The number one was, somewhat predictably, the same record that topped Peely’s All-Time chart in 2000, Joy Division’s Atmosphere; I am considering another vote for this winter based on your favourite Peel session tracks. However, I have learned my lesson from this one, and will not be restricting it to three tracks!
I changed my host to Media Fire in October, and would recommend it to anybody (despite one or two hiccups). As a result, I present a list of my top blog downloads from this blog
(bearing in mind that it only covers the last three months):
10 Wedding Present, Bewitched
9. Fall, Eat Y’Self Fitter
8. Dave Edmunds, I Knew The Bride (When She Used To Rock’N’Roll)
7. Cocteau Twins, Pandora
6. Cocteau Twins, Ivo
5. Bauhaus, Bela Lugosi’s Dead
4. Vibes, I’m In Pittsburgh And It’s Raining
3. Bette Davis And The Balconettes, Shergar The Wonder Horse
2. Mogwai, Xmas Steps
1. Specials, Ghost Town
It was also a year of discovery: first, Fades In Slowly posted a Peel show from late 1977 that proved Peel had made a Festive Sixty in that year (up to that time, only a top 13 had been available), As if this wasn’t surprise enough, 27 September brought the Holy Grail in the form of Ken Garner’s reconstruction of that chart. This was the fruition of my subscription to the Yahoo! Peel Group, another institution I would recommend to anyone.
Finally, a shout and a hug to all the people I have met and who have become firm friends:
- Davy (The Ghost Of Electricity)
- Mick (Raiding The Vinyl Archive)
- Adam (Fades In Slowly)
- Adam (Pretending Life Is Like A Song)
- ally (dusty sevens)
- Ed (17 Seconds)
- Gary (John Peel Everyday)
- Gary (Rare Indie Classics)
- Iain (Down With Tractors)
- Dave (Fruitier Than Thou)
You’re all the best there is, and I hope to have the pleasure of your company for many years to come!! Here’s to 2008 and more Peel discoveries.