Monday, December 29, 2008

- 1976: The Full List

So, here they are then, the tracks you voted for. I'm glad that many of you voted for what you were actually listening to at the time, rather than what you feel you should have been listening to. I had great fun putting this together and will definitely be tackling another chart next year.

Thanks again and have a great new year everyone.

01 Sex Pistols - Anarchy in the UK
02 Ramones - Blitzkrieg Bop
03 Damned - New Rose
04 Junior Murvin - Police and Thieves
05 ABBA - Dancing Queen
06 Queen - Somebody to Love
07 Joan Armatrading - Love and Affection
08 Candi Staton - Young Hearts Run Free
09 Pere Ubu - Final solution
10 Thin Lizzy - The boys are Back in Town
11 Donna Summer - Love to Love you Baby
12 Osibisa - Sunshine Day
13 David Bowie - Golden Years
14 Be Bop Deluxe - Ships in The Night
15 Augustus Pablo - King Tubby Meets Rockers Uptown
16 Bob Marley & the Wailers - Johnny was
17 Peter Frampton - Show me the Way
18 Saints - Stranded
19 Buzzcocks - Boredom
20 David Bowie - Station to Station
21 Steve Miller Band - Fly Like an Eagle
22 Thin Lizzy - Cowboy Song
23 Bob Dylan - Hurricane
24 Manfred Mann's Earth Band - Blinded by the Light
25 Blue Oyster Cult - (Dont Fear) the Reaper
26 Peter Frampton - Baby, I love your Way
27 Queen - You're my Best Friend
28 Billy Ocean - Love Really Hurts without you
29 Eddie & the Hot Rods - Teenage Depression
30 Rick Springfield - Take a Hand
31 Electric Light Orchestra - Rockaria
32 Walter Murphy & the Big Apple Band - A Fifth of Beethoven
33 War- Low Rider
34 ABBA - Knowing Me, Knowing You
35 Electric Light Orchestra - Evil Woman
36 Sensational Alex Harvey band - Boston Tea Party
37 Richard Hell - Blank Generation
38 Max Romeo & the Upsetters - War in a Babylon
39 Vicki Sue Robinson - Turn the Beat Around
40 Steve Miller Band - Take the Money and Run
41 ABBA - Money, Money, Money
42 Thin Lizzy - Jailbreak
43 Tina Charles - I Love to Love
44 Wild Cherry - Play that Funky Music
45 Sailor – Girls, Girls, Girls
46 Kiss - Beth
47 Leroy Smart - Ballistic Affair
48 Rose Royce - Car Wash
49 David Soul - Don't Give up on Us
50 K.C. & the Sunshine Band - (Shake, Shake, Shake) Shake your Booty

- Countdown to Festive Season #11: All New 1976 Part Three - 20 to 1

This is what albums looked like in 1976

Just like Steve over yonder at Teenage Kicks, I'm coming to terms with the increasing inappropriacy of the title to these threads, as the countdown is pretty much over. The second part of his Peel Sessions 50 is finally with us and what a belter it is. Not to be outdone, I've cobbled together the third and final part of my 1976 opus, and here it is...

Download and listen at your leisure:

Download the file

86 mb for an hour and a hlaf of sheer listening bliss. As ever, you can listen now:

This time round there are three video clips for you; numbers 18, 14 and 12. Hope you've all had a lovely Christmas and I wish you all the best for the coming year.

Friday, December 26, 2008

- Countdown to Festive Season #10: 1990

Hope everyone had a nice time yesterday. Ok, first up it’s joke time:

One sunny day end of January, 2009 an old man approached the White House from Across Pennsylvania Avenue, where he'd been sitting on a park bench. He spoke to the U.S. Marine standing guard and said, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush." The Marine looked at the man and said, "Sir, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here." The old man said, "Okay", and walked away. The following day, the same man approached the White House and said to the same Marine, "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush." The Marine again told the man, "Sir, as I said yesterday, Mr. Bush is no longer president and no longer resides here." The man thanked him and, again, just walked away. The third day, the same man approached the White House and spoke to the very same U.S. Marine, saying "I would like to go in and meet with President Bush." The Marine, understandably agitated at this point, looked at the man and said, "Sir, this is the third day in a row you have been here asking to speak to Mr. Bush. I've told you already that Mr. Bush is no longer the president and no longer resides here. Don't you understand?" The old man looked at the Marine and said, "Oh, I understand. I just love hearing it." The Marine snapped to attention, saluted, and said, "See you tomorrow, Sir."

Now on to business… in 1990, the Leaning Tower of Pisa was closed to the public due to safety concerns. Something to do with it leaning a bit, apparently. February was a pretty big month as history goes. In South Africa President F.W. de Klerk allowed the African National Congress to legally function again and promises to set Nelson Mandela free. This he fairly promptly did: Mandela, a political prisoner for 27 years, was freed from Victor Verster prison outside Cape Town. Also, an agreement was reached for a two-stage plan to reunite Germany which, as we know, worked out so well. Indeed, East Germany hastily accepted the Deutsche Mark as its currency, thus uniting the economies of East and West. Later in the year Latvia proclaimed independence and the first post-Communist presidential and parliamentary elections were held in Romania. In November, destroyer of towns Margaret Thatcher resigned as the Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, which was nice.


In the world of computing, the Windows 3.0 operating system was released by Microsoft to wide lack of acclaim and Paperback Software were found guilty by a U.S. court of copyright violation for copying the appearance and menu system of Lotus 1-2-3 in its competing spreadsheet program (that's the abacus equivalent of Excel for all you young 'uns). The first known World Wide Web page was written in November. Interestingly, on 8th July or 7th August, depending on how (un)American you are, the time and date was 12:34:56 7/8/90.

This was the future of dance music

This year’s Festive 50 was broadcast between 22nd and 30th December. This was the first chart for a while (ever?) to include a genuine pop chart #1 (OK, I’ll give you a clue, it went in at that all-important #44 slot, although officially it only made #2 in the pop charts – can you remember why?). If my memory serves me well (which it probably doesn’t), this was the closest I ever came to voting for an FF #1 (I went for MBV’s epic ‘soon’). There are a shed load of different downloads for this particular fifty, so I’ll try and make it easier for you not to get lost in them all:

22nd – here, here, here and here
23rd – here, here and here
29th – here, here, here, here and here
30th – here, here, here and here

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

- Countdown to Festive Season #9: All New 1976 Part Two - 35 to 21

This is what people looked like in 1976

In case you're worried, I'm officially declaring this part of the chart a David Soul-free zone. This then is the second part of the chart, running down from that all-important #35 to the very brink of the top 20. My apologies in advance if you find me taking the piss out of any songs that you chose.

Podcast available in download and keep format:

Download the file

56 mb for just over an hour's entertainment. Alternatively, listen now:

There's just one video clip in this part of the chart, it's #23 and you can download it here. Stay tuned for the top twenty some time between now and the new year.

Monday, December 22, 2008

- Countdown to Festive Season #8: All New 1976 Part One - 50 to 36

Welcome to 1976 from David Soul

So here we go then with part one of the 2008 1976 Festive Fifty. I think you'll find it's somewhat different to the original chart. In this first part, we'll be going from #50 through to # 36.

Here's the link to part one (50 to 36):

Download the file

54 minutes and 51 mb. Alternatively, listen now:

I couldn't get hold of mp3s for #47 or #45, so you can get hold of them by clicking here (45) and here (47). Thanks to Steve, these are also now available in mp3 format (see comments for details).

Friday, December 19, 2008

- Deleted Post Retaliatory Move

See comments for details of how to view my first ever deleted post...

- Countdown to Festive Season #7: 1986

Why the bloody hell didn't I do this in order? I'm only seven 50s into the marathon and I've already lost count and have to go back and check what I've already done. On to 1986 then. This was the year that Spain and Portugal were admitted into the European Community, there was the first induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ray Charles, Fats Domino, Everly Brothers, Buddy Holly, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elvis Presley) and Space Shuttle Challenger exploded just after takeoff killing all seven astronauts onboard.  Even worse, Sandra Kim won the thirty-first Eurovision Song Contest for Belgium singing "J'aime la vie" (I love life). 

In an interview with Playboy magazine, science fiction writer Arthur C. Clarke came out as a bisexual and  US President Ronald Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev met in Reykjavík, Iceland, in an effort to continue discussions about scaling back their intermediate missile arsenals in Europe. In Ukraine, a nuclear reactor at the Chornobyl (Chernobyl) nuclear plant exploded, creating the world's worst nuclear disaster. I should warn you, this clip doesn't make for comfortable viewing...

Aftermath of Chernobyl

This year's Festive 50 was broadcast between 22nd and 31st December and is one of the greats, especially if you happen to be a Smiths fan. #47 has long been a personal favourite of mine...

Camper Van Beethoven's Take The Skinheads Bowling

If you're one of the tens of people who might actually be interested in listening to the shows, you can do so here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. Notice how I carefully avoided mentioning any hand of God type incidents?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

- Countdown to Festive Season #6: 1994

The year 1994 was designated as the "International Year of the Family" and the "International Year of Sport and the Olympic Ideal" by the United Nations. For me, it was the international year of getting drunk in different countries as I embarked on my first and so far only round the world trip. It was also the year that I gave university life a second, and eventually successful, try. Hence, a lot of Peel shows were listened to around this time with people of a like minded disposition.

Famous slaphead Telly Savalas died this year, as did Richard Nixon, A-Team legend George Peppard and East German bastard Erich Honecker. Newt Gingrich led the United States Republican Party in taking control of both the House of Representatives and the Senate in midterm congressional elections, the first time in 40 years the Republicans secured control of both houses of U.S. Congress. George W. Bush was elected Governor of Texas. Russia and the People's Republic of China finally agreed to de-target their nuclear weapons against each other. Michael Schumacher cheated his way to his first Formula 1 World Championship and Colombian footballer Andrés Escobar was shot dead in Bogotá. His murder is commonly attributed as retaliation for the own goal Escobar scored in the 1994 FIFA World Cup against the United States.

The Festive Fifty for this year, given my student status at the time, remains one of my favourites. It was broadcast on 17th and 23rd December. Anybody who doesn't think the #25 isn't just wonderful is in big trouble...

Mazzy Star's Fade Into You

Hope you weren't as freaked out by Tarantino's sudden appearance at the end of that clip as I was. this was, of course, the year of Pulp Fiction. It's almost impossible to choose a definitive clip so here's the trailer to the film with the best soundtrack ever.

Travolta was well and truly back

It's the middle of December and it's a balmy 20 degrees C here in Istanbul. Listening to all these Festive charts is the only thing keeping me in the Christmas mood, I'm telling you. To enjoy the many delights of the 1994 chart, click here, here, here, here and here.

- Far from Moscow New Look

My favourite Russian inspired music site Far from Moscow has got a new look. That's all I have to say about it, really.

Monday, December 15, 2008

- My Name is Yon Yonson, I Work in Wisonsin

I'd completely forgotten about this for the best part of 20 years and have no idea why it popped back into my mind. This is just fantastic, if you've never heard it before you're in for a real treat:

- Countdown to Festive Season #5: 1992

There was never enough hip hop in the festive 50 for either my or Peel's liking, but when it did make it into the chart it did so in some style. For those of you who still doubt the genre, listen to this absolute classic which charted at a lowly #30 in 1992.

Disposable Heroes Of Hiphoprisy's Language Of Violence

Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain married Courtney Love in February, 1992, while in March, Microsoft launched the, er, crap Windows 3.1. Michael Schumacher won his first Formula One race at the Belgian Grand Prix that year and the Toronto Blue Jays became the first non-US team to win the World Series. Absolutely Fabulous aired its first episode on BBC1.

Ab Fab: The first 10 minutes

The Festive 50 had truly moved into the 90s following the 'debacle' of the 1991 chart (soon to be detailed at the ever marvellous Teenage Kicks blog). I believe this was the beginning of the kind of fifties that Peel wanted, very few comparatively established mainstream artists appear, the chart appearing to be a championing of the causes of the upcoming stars. Fair enough, there's still a healthy representation of the Fall and the Wedding Present, but that's par for the course.

For those of you who haven't been keeping up, Steve has been doing the odd years while I've been doing the evens. Hence, you need to pop over to Teenage kicks. OK, I'll make it easy for you. Here are his posts for 1977, 1979, 1981, 1983, 1985 and 1987. Back to 1992... the chart for that year was broadcast between 19th December, 1992 and 1st January, 1993. If you want to give it a listen, and I'm sure you do, you can do so here, here, here, herehere, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

- Countdown to Festive Season #4: 1984

'Why festive season and not Christmas' I hear hardly any of you ask? Well, living in a predominently Muslim country means that I've gained a bit of perspective on how others view this time of year. Sadly, they've gone the whole hog as far as the commercial aspect goes, but the true meaning it seems is being lost just the same as is the case elsewhere. Tradition here in Turkey is that people exchange presents on New Year's Eve, which is good news for my young 'uns who basically get two sets of presents.

On to business... 1984 was a big year for me. I moved to the North of England from the South, which had quite an impact on how my life panned out from that point on. Elsewhere, big brother wasn't watching that closely just yet, although lots of stuff did happen. Hulk Hogan won the World Wrestling Federation Championship from the Iron Sheik, in New York's Madison Square Garden. Hulkamania was born as a consequence. Konstantin Chernenko succeeded Yuri Andropov as general secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union and famously appeared in this video with Ronald Reagan, who defeated Walter Mondale to be re-elected in one of the largest electoral landslide in United States election history.

Great video for this year's FF #25

This also happened in 1984...

Torvill and Dean in Sarajevo

This year's Festive 50 marked the start of The Smiths' short-lived but nonetheless remarkable domination of the chart. The Cocteau Twins were also at the height of their FF activity, while elsewhere there were entries for, ahem, Peel favourites The Cult and The Sisters of Mercy. There were also some classic entries from best band ever The Fall, most notably (if you ask me) at #9. The chart was broadcast between 18th December, 1984 and January 1st, 1985. Those of you who are interested in listening to the shows can do so here, here, here, here and here.

My long-lost (now found) half sister Gemma also arrived this year.

Monday, December 1, 2008

- Countdown to Festive Season #3: 1980

1980 was a busy year. There was a Military coup here in Turkey, the Solidarity trade union was formed in Poland, Björn Borg won his fifth consecutive Wimbledon title, while in Australia the State of Origin rugby league series, possibly the world’s greatest sporting spectacle, was born. To make you feel really old, Christina Ricci, Chelsea Clinton, Venus Williams, Jessica Simpson, Macaulay Culkin and Jake Gyllenhaal were born in this year. Lest we forget, this was the start of the decade of debauchery, greed and excess, which could have been predicted when Ronald Reagan was elected the 40th US president in a sweeping victory. Hero of the year was a certain Alan Whipper Wells, who benefited greatly from loads of people not showing up at the Olympics to win the 100m men’s title in a time of about 15 seconds that wouldn’t even have got him to this year’s final.

A Flying Scotsman

In December, shortly before the broadcast of the Festive Fifty, Mark David Chapman murdered former Beatle John Lennon in New York. As a seven-year-old, I clearly remember the night it happened, I guess I was just about at that age where you can gauge the importance of events like this.

BBC NEWS reports John Lennon’s death, December 8th, 1980

The Festive Fifty was still ostensibly an ‘all-time’ list in 1980, although you’d be hard pressed to find anything in the top 50 dating back much further than 1977. You have to look to the extended 65 list to find a few old gems from the likes of Pink Floyd and The Who. Indeed, it was probably fear of this year’s one and two duking it out for top spot in the following years that prompted JP to change to the year’s best format that we came to know and love. If you’d like to listen to the shows, broadcast between 22nd and 30th December, 1980, you can do so here, here, here and here.

While we’re on the subject of festive charts, I should mention that this will be a joint operation between myself and Teenage Kicks Steve, who has just begun his half of the shift with the 1977 chart.

- CD Cover Printing

I got to thinking the other day about my own exploits in the world of music, as limited as they have been. What would I do if people actually started listening to the bloody stuff? Where would I get CDs pressed, who would design the CD sleeve and how much would it cost to produce? Idle thoughts at present and probably forever, but it got me thinking and doing a bit of internet research into how I’d go about it if I ever needed to. PSprint is a prime example of the kind of online resource that could help me should I ever need CD cover printing for 10000 units in a hurry. PSprint prints custom posters for businesses, artists, as well as special events and promotions. Additionally, they offer customized CD cover printing and DVD sleeves for artists, musicians, movie makers or anyone else who may need such products.

So, how easy would it be for me to use PsPrint? Put it this way, the company has even developed CD/DVD packaging product templates to make it easier for its customers to prepare print-ready files in graphic design software programs such as Adobe Photoshop or Quark Express. These templates can be downloaded from the website and give information on product dimensions, layout, bleed, safety zone, and any folding or mailing guidelines for those of you who want to design your own sleeves.

The cost of getting sleeves produced is clearly displayed on this site and as you’d expect, buying in bulk makes for a more economic process. The service also offers full color poster printing, which I’ll think about later on my path to world music domination.

Who was John Peel?

The philosophy of this blog is a celebration of music in the spirit of the late John Peel. For those of you who want to learn more, click here.

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