Take my 20-minute Christmas Quiz!

It’s officially the festive season and there’s now plenty of spare time to fill (and, who knows, perhaps a bit of time over the Christmas period in work to goof off) so why not utterly waste 20 minutes to find out if your musical knowledge is any better than everyone else I know* and see if you can beat my challenge? Simply watch the video and try to identify all the tracks you can hear – and give the name of the act that made them a hit that year.

In just one take and using the same minimal pedal effect, I play 28 bits from 28 tracks, each from a different year, so that’s 56 answers. As it’s one take and there’s a lot of notes and chords to get right, I have of course made a few mistakes. Can you make fewer than me? I’ve made 9 mistakes in 20 minutes (denoted by the asterisks after each year) so can you score more than 47 (56 – 9)?

I’ve chosen one track from each year between 1973 (the year I was born) and 2000 (for no reason other than it was a nice round number) and no act is included more than once. I’ve tried to strike a balance between different genres so you probably won’t get 100% if you’re only familiar with one type of music – but to be honest, if you haven’t heard the majority of these, you shouldn’t really be allowed to have an iTunes account. I apologise in advance for cocking up 1999 – and also for the mistake on 1990 when I was already starting to worry that I hadn’t practiced 1999 enough and it was coming up soon.

It’s all a bit arbitrary, I know, but it’s my game so do you wanna play? As with the Danny Baker Show on BBC Radio 5 Live, the winner will take home “the prize of nothing more than our very best wishes” and, of course, some bragging rights. Good luck!

Simply copy and paste the below and over-write the answers accordingly:

1973 – _________ by _________
1974 – _________ by _________
1975 – _________ by _________
1976 – _________ by _________
1977 – _________ by _________
1978 – _________ by _________
1979 – _________ by _________

1980 – _________ by _________
1981 – _________ by _________
1982 – _________ by _________
1983 – _________ by _________
1984 – _________ by _________
1985 – _________ by _________
1986 – _________ by _________
1987 – _________ by _________
1988 – _________ by _________
1989 – _________ by _________

1990 – _________ by _________
1991 – _________ by _________
1992 – _________ by _________
1993 – _________ by _________
1994 – _________ by _________
1995 – _________ by _________
1996 – _________ by _________
1997 – _________ by _________
1998 – _________ by _________
1999 – _________ by _________

2000 – _________ by _________

Tie Breaker Questions:

Please answer the following questions to decide the winner in the event of a tie.

1) While no named act is repeated in the list, there are at least three individual musicians who appear on more than one of the tracks from these years. What are their names, and on which two tracks do they appear?

a) _________ plays on _________ and _________
b) _________ plays on _________ and _________
c) _________ plays on _________ and _________

2) The name of which act featured in one year also appears as a lyric in one of the other 27 tracks? I know of at least one.

a) _________ appears on _________ by _________

3) You may recognise one of the tracks as the theme tune to a popular TV show. Which of the 28 acts are mentioned by name or are referenced by song at any time in any script of that show? I know of at least three.

a) _________
b) _________
c) _________


A ‘mistake’ is defined as playing the wrong note in the sequence or a note catastrophically out of time. Dead notes or ‘bum’ notes do not count or the number would be huge, which would lead me to have to spend hours doing multiple takes to minimise that number, so sod that. Due to time constraints, some 2-line and 4-line sequences were shortened deliberately so a lack of total adherence to the recorded track does not constitute a mistake. I will remain the final arbiter of what constitutes a mistake, thank you very much. No correspondence will be entered into and I can’t believe you’re still reading this far down to see what the rules of a free, fun quiz are, even though there are no prizes other than a sense of smug satisfaction. Seriously?

* Everyone else I know who can also be arsed to take this challenge.


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