Thursday, October 09, 2008

A new day will dawn

I've been listening to recordings of John Peel's Festive Fifty shows from 1978, and developing a grudging admiration for the old-school rockers who managed, in the face of a barrage of gob, to vote 'Stairway to Heaven' into 14th place. They remind me of the Japanese soldiers who stayed on their remote Pacific islands for decades, refusing to believe the war had been lost.

6 comments:

Geoff said...

Was 1987 the year it was alright to like black artists?

Del said...

It's a good point. Whilst the nostalgia shows claim that punk had taken over, in reality most people were listening to Fleetwood Mac.

Betty said...

Gulp. I'm old enough to remember listening to those shows at the time. No wonder Peel ended up changing the Festive Fifty to a "best tracks of the year" list rather than a "best tracks of all time" list. Otherwise the Led Zep fans would've still been voting for Stairway To Heaven in 1990 ( ... and the old punks would've still been voting for Anarchy In The UK too).

Further to what Geoff said, I seem to remember that Public Enemy and Eric B had a couple of tracks at the lower end of Festive Fifty circa 1987/88, so he's probably right. Cough.

oyebilly said...

A lot of people who listened to Peel (myself included) like to imagine they have a varied a taste in music as he did but we didn't.

So we pretended to like some of the stuff he played.

M.A.Peel said...

Tim, you are quite the analogy machine these days. I was reminded of Moody Blues "Nights in White Satin" the other day from the Sonny Steelgrave Wiseguy arc. Did that land somewhere in the old countdown?

Tim Footman said...

Geoff/Betty: That's right, PE's there, peering out from between Sonic Youth and the Smiths. Prince and the Cookie Crew as well.

Del: And still were 10 years later, as discussed in that definitive socio-cultural statement, 'I'd Rather Jack'.

Billy: ...and then voted for white boys with guitars anyway.

Nights failed to make the cut, Mrs Peel. Representatives of the old guard that did squeeze through include Van Morrison (Madame George), Pink Floyd (Shine On You Crazy Diamond) and Lynyrd Skynyrd (Free Bird). Incidentally, did you know there's a Turkish airline called Free Bird? Which, bearing in mind the fate of the band, is a tad unnerving...