This was the year when the Festive Fifty…didn’t happen. You see, John threw a wobbly right in the middle of voting and announced that, due to the lack of interest in the chart, he would not be having one that year. Thus, there was a selection of shows in which he played his favourite tracks of the year and a bunch of session repeats instead. At one point, I believed it was because he was so unhappy with the lack of variety in what was voted for that he thought he’d teach the listeners a lesson. Apparently not so. In any case, the number one, Nirvana’s Smells Like Teen Spirit, came as no surprise to anybody. Just in case you’ve forgotten what it sounds like, here’s the legendary Morrissey remix from Top Of The Pops.
We still got a chance to hear what six or seven thousand people voted for a mere two years later, when, due to repeated correspondence, he allowed a listener to compile the chart for him, and from the 8 January 1993, played one track per show, and was labelled ‘the Phantom Fifty’ by John himself. The poor guy who taped this, Andrew, was apparently dying for Peel to end it as he was about to get married!!! That’s dedication to the cause of JP for you. At the moment, only numbers 50-23 are available online: I have now uploaded the remainder for your listening delight.
The Chinese Year Of The Sheep began in warlike fashion, as Congress passed a resolution authorizing the use of military force to liberate Kuwait, the final step that precipitated the Gulf War. Meanwhile, at the same time, Soviet forces were attempting to put down a revolution in Lithuania, which instead led to the end of the Union on the last day of the year. Slobodan Milosevic faced an uprising in Yugoslavia: this was followed by the entire collapse of the country in June when Croatia and Slovenia declared independence.
Tim Berners Lee outlined the protocol for the Internet that you are using to read this, Sega released Sonic The Hedgehog, South Africa were readmitted to the International Cricket Council follwoing the abolishment of apartheid, the BBC broadcast in NICAM stereo for the first time, and we saw the demented scatalogia of Ren And Stimpy, apparently a favourite of John’s.