Mercury Music Prize 1992-1994

The Mercury Music Prize launched in 1992, and has always stuck to its guns – in September, a list of the finest albums of the year will be nominated, and then in October a winner is announced. Simple as that. Despite some speculation in recent years that it may have lost its way somewhat, it’s still a good guide to what might be going on in the world of “real” music. Here’s a guide to what happened over its first three years…

Mercury Music Prize 1992

According to The Guardian, the award was devised by Jon Webster, the Managing Director at Virgin Records, who hoped it might become “the Booker Prize of the music industry”, independent of the music industry but with its endorsement. The panel is led by Professor Simon Frith, and chosen by the event’s organiser David Wilkinson.

The prize name, by the way, is purely from the event’s sponsor, the now largely defunct telecoms company Mercury. The first awards took place at The Savoy Hotel, 8th September 1992.

Nominees:

  • Barry Adamson – Soul Murder
  • Jah Wobble – Rising Above Bedlam
  • The Jesus and Mary Chain – Honey’s Dead
  • Bheki Mseleku – Celebration
  • Primal Scream – Screamadelica
  • Saint Etienne – Foxbase Alpha
  • Simply Red – Stars
  • John Tavener and Steven Isserlis – The Protecting Veil
  • U2 – Achtung Baby
  • Young Disciples – Road to Freedom

Winner: Primal Scream

Mercury Music Prize 1993

Nominees:

  • Apache Indian – No Reservations
  • The Auteurs – New Wave
  • Gavin Bryars – Jesus’ Blood Never Failed Me Yet
  • Dina Carroll – So Close
  • PJ Harvey – Rid of Me
  • New Order – Republic
  • Stereo MCs – Connected
  • Sting – Ten Summoner’s Tales
  • Suede – Suede
  • Stan Tracey – Portraits Plus

Winner: Suede

Mercury Music Prize 1994

The 1994 awards were controversial, as nobody actually seemed to like the winners very much. The Independent even suggested that they might have won due to positive discrimination. Took place on 13th September 1994.

Nominees:

  • Blur – Parklife
  • M People – Elegant Slumming
  • Ian McNabb – Head Like a Rock
  • Shara Nelson – What Silence Knows
  • Michael Nyman – The Piano Concerto / MGV
  • The Prodigy – Music for the Jilted Generation
  • Pulp – His ‘n’ Hers
  • Take That – Everything Changes
  • Therapy? – Troublegum
  • Paul Weller – Wild Wood

Winner: M People, although Paul Weller thought he should have won

Further information

1 thought on “Mercury Music Prize 1992-1994

  1. Pingback: Mercury Prize Winners 1992-2013 | Music for stowaways

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