Playing tracks by
14. The Smiths, 13. Billy Bragg, 12. New Order, 11. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, 10. The Redskins and more.
Compiled from listeners who sent in their top three tracks of the year, John Peel’s annual Festive Fifty was essential Xmas/New Year listening for anybody needing inoculating against the mediocrity of the mainstream. 1984 was less varied than the amazingly eclectic 1983 Festive Fifty, setting the trend for the mid-Eighties staples of The Smiths, The Fall, New Order and the Cocteau Twins / This Mortal Coil - all still brilliant of course. 1984 saw Peel unleash the Jesus and Mary Chain on an unsuspecting world with their debut single 'Upside Down' (no. 37). There was no other show on a national UK radio station that could get away with playing this alongside the haunting Berntholer single 'My Suitor' (no.34, pic left), the African rhythms of The Unknown Cases' 'Masimbabele' (no. 29), low-fi Leicester post-punkers Yeah Yeah Noh's 'Bias Binding (no. 32), jazz outfit Working Week with political ballad 'Venceremos' (no. 50) or the industrial-electro thump of Hard Corps’ ‘Dirty’ (no.46).