Following the lead of the mighty Fades In Slowly, the title of this series featuring the entire recorded output of the Festive Fifty changes as it reaches the end of the millenium. The chart that year was broadcast on 23, 28 and 29 December, so JP was given a little more breathing space than the massive blocks he was relegated to by evil BBC programme planners in 1997 and 2002. This year also saw the initiation of three other series that ran on the Peel Show for some considerable time: the Pig’s Big 78 (which continued up to the man’s very last show), the Peelenium (which lagged over to the first month of 2000), and the second All-Time chart (the first had been in 1982), but this was held over until January 2000, so I get away without writing about that one.
The most reprehensible feature of this listing is that it features at number one a track that had also got to number 4 in the charts in the UK, namely the ‘acquired taste’ (a polite expression to use when you fucking hate something) of the Cuban Boys’ Cognoscenti Vs Intelleigentsia. To be honest, John’s liking for this bunch of confidence tricksters has never ceased to amaze me…but that’s for another time. Hefner were the stars of the show here, with five entries, and number 19 is unique in that it is a Peel Session that has never been available on record. Pavement said farewell to the chart after inhabiting it for much of the nineties, and Half Man Half Biscuit scored with a session track that would turn up again in the end-of-year FF of 2000.
Well, the year saw much optimism for the future, but a huge wave of nostalgia for the past also, with retrospectives around every corner. Prince had already said in 1984 that he wanted to ‘party like it’s 1999’ (also suing websites for offering illegal downloads of his music…how little has changed), and many revellers took him up on it, no doubt cheered by belligerent pisshead Boris Yeltsin’s resignation as Russian president in the last gasp of the dying 1000 years.
It served to bury a year in which Jill Dando was murdered on her own doorstep, 31 people died in the Ladbroke Grove rail crash, Texas Governor George W. Bush announced he was to seek the Republican Party nomination for US President (and it’s taken ten years to get rid of the cunt), and the Columbine High School massacre ensured that 12 students would never see the new century.
Apple released its first i-Book, Microsoft admitted failure to get it right the first time with the release of Windows 98 Second Edition, there was a total solar eclipse in Europe and Asia, and Gary Glitter got banged up for having kiddie porn on his PC…quite rightly too. Girls were definitely on top this year, with B*Witched, Britney Spears, Jennifer Lopez and Christina Aguilera set to plague the airwaves for years to come.