Chinese New Year – Year of the Horse

Let’s take a quick break and celebrate the Year of the Horse with this beautiful track from Moby‘s 2009 album Wait for Me. Here’s Pale Horses:

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The BRIT Awards 1995

Alexandra Palace in London was the venue on 20th February 1995, and Chris Evans took to the stage to present the awards, now with a “voting academy” (I’m sure you were just as excited as everyone else was).

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1994 ceremony here, and the 1996 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Best British Album

Presented by Cindy Lauper. Nominees:

  • Blur – Parklife
  • Eternal – Always and Forever
  • Massive Attack – Protection
  • Oasis – Definitely Maybe
  • Pink Floyd – The Division Bell

Winner: Blur

Best British Dance Act

Nominees:

  • Brand New Heavies
  • Eternal
  • M People
  • Massive Attack
  • The Prodigy

Winner: M People

Best British Female

Presented by Jarvis Cocker. Nominees:

  • Kate Bush
  • Des’ree
  • Michelle Gayle
  • Eddi Reader
  • Lisa Stansfield

Winner: Eddi Reader

Best British Group

Presented by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Eternal
  • M People
  • Oasis
  • Pink Floyd

Winner: Blur

Best British Male

Nominees:

  • Eric Clapton
  • Elvis Costello
  • Morrissey
  • Seal
  • Paul Weller

Winner: Paul Weller

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Ray Davis. Nominees:

  • Echobelly
  • Eternal
  • Oasis
  • PJ and Duncan
  • Portishead

Winner: Oasis

Best British Producer

Nominees:

  • Ed Buller
  • Flood
  • Nellee Hooper
  • Trevor Horn
  • Stephen Street

Winner: Nellee Hooper

Best British Single

Presented by Lisa I’Anson. Nominees:

  • Blur – Girls and Boys
  • Blur – Parklife
  • China Black – Searching
  • D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better
  • East 17 – Stay Another Day
  • Michelle Gayle – Sweetness
  • Tom Jones – If I Only Knew
  • Oasis – Whatever
  • The Grid – Texas Cowboys
  • Wet Wet Wet – Love is All Around

Winner: BlurParklife

Best British Video

Presented by Simone Angel and Tommy Vance. Nominees:

  • Blur – Parklife
  • Jamiroquai – Space Cowboy
  • The Rolling Stones – Love is Strong
  • Seal – Prayer for the Dying
  • Suede – The WIld Ones

Winner: Blur

Best International Female

Presented by Jimmy Nail. Nominees:

  • Tori Amos
  • kd lang
  • Madonna
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Sinéad O’Connor

Winner: kd lang

Best International Group

Presented by Des’ree. Nominees:

  • Counting Crows
  • The Cranberries
  • Crash Test Dummies
  • R.E.M.
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Winner: R.E.M.

Best International Male

Nominees:

  • Bryan Adams
  • Warren G
  • Youssou N’Dour
  • Prince
  • Luther Vandross

Winner: Prince

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Tom Jones. Nominees:

  • Carleen Anderson
  • Counting Crows
  • Marcella Detroit
  • Warren G
  • Lisa Loeb

Winner: Lisa Loeb

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Nominees:

  • Elton John and Hans Zimmer – The Lion King
  • Various Artists – Forrest Gump
  • Various Artists – Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Various Artists – Philadelphia
  • Various Artists – Pulp Fiction

Winner: Pulp Fiction

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Sting.

Winner: Elton John

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: corrected Echobelly’s entry and added Tom Jones’s missing nomination.

Front Line Assembly – Civilization

As one of the most prolific acts on the planet, Front Line Assembly (pretty much the same people as Delerium, Conjure One, and a whole list of other artists you could be forgiven for never having heard of) are surprisingly little known. In the FLA guise, their style is dark, industrial, almost electro-metal. They draw influence from Nitzer Ebb and Front 242, and there are audible influences (and often samples) from the likes of New Order, but otherwise they sound almost entirely unlike anything in the charts.

Civilization was their twelve millionth album, released early in 2004. Since they have never really seen commercial success with this particular hat, it’s difficult to explain how it fits into their career timeline. For me, it was the first of their albums that I came across, and perhaps that’s why I like this one the best. You may know better.

The first track is Psychosomatic, which is not one of the strongest on the album, but it serves as a good introduction for the uninitiated. Deep, pounding bass sounds, and throbbing acid effects are punctuated by a reverb-filled piano and wailing female vocal. You should have the idea where this album is likely to be heading by now.

Next up is the first of two singles, Maniacal, which as with many Front Line Assembly tracks mixes some very strange influences. It opens with a female choir sample, and quickly builds into a throbbing but also brooding piece of industrial electronica, with a very angry vocal indeed.

As with much of FLA’s output, it also contains some very strange English (“obliverate,” which they have used a few times but definitely isn’t a word), and so should probably be interpreted as being more about the mood than the actual lyrics. The chorus though – whatever it’s actually about – is very powerful indeed.

Transmitter is my favourite track on the album. It’s the most melodic (the users on the band’s forum used to love the word “cheesy” to describe anything that contained more melody than shouting) and probably the most easily accessible, but it still hides some interesting experimental production. As always, it is driven by the cutting bass sound and atmospheric acid noises, but this time the vocal (“Let’s all march together until the world ends,”) seems more important and meaningful.

Vanished is strong too, and was justifiably the second single, despite their decision to remove all the good bits from the single version. As with the previous track, the lyrics are particularly strong, and the piano line, again full of reverb, seems to bring exactly the right feel to the piece.

Front Line Assembly boast an enormous cult following, particularly in the USA and Germany, and justifiably so. If they had been doing much in the 1980s, a few low end chart placings might not have gone amiss, but they don’t belong on the Top 40. And yet it’s difficult to know what the fans might make of the central track on the album Strategic. It’s only little, clocking in at just under two minutes, but it’s essentially acid rather than industrial.

The second half of the album is no less atmospheric or powerful. Civilization – as with most tracks mysteriously misnamed or misspelt on the album sleeve – is perhaps the slowest track on the album, but is still dark and dreamy. Until the chorus turns up, again using the invented word “obliverate,” but otherwise it’s pure metal.

Fragmented and Parasite are just as powerful, mixing darker and gentler elements to produce quite excellent sounds, still completely unlike anything you’ll hear on the radio. The penultimate track Dissident is particularly alien and otherworldly.

The closing track Schicksal is perhaps a little less powerful than some of its predecessors, but it’s still closing an extremely good album. Dark, perhaps even depressing at times, but always full of atmosphere and emotion, and definitely highly recommended.

You can find Civilization through all the usual physical and download stores, such as here.

The BRIT Awards 1992

 

On 12th February 1992, the venue shifted to the Hammersmith Odeon in London; Simon Bates once again presented the show via an out-of-body experience; and The KLF brought a dead sheep to the BRITs dinner venue.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1991 ceremony here, and the 1993 ceremony here.

Best British Album

Presented by Cilla Black. Nominees:

  • Beverley Craven – Beverley Craven
  • The KLF – The White Room
  • Massive Attack – Blue Lines
  • Seal – Seal
  • Simply Red – Stars

Winner: Seal

Best British Female

Presented by Mike Edwards from Jesus Jones. Nominees:

  • Beverley Craven
  • Cathy Dennis
  • Annie Lennox
  • Lisa Stansfield
  • Zoe

Winner: Lisa Stansfield

Best British Group

Presented by Martika, live from her kitchen. Nominees:

  • Dire Straits
  • James
  • The KLF
  • Pet Shop Boys
  • Queen
  • Simply Red

Winners: Simply Red and The KLF

Best British Male

Presented by Mike Rutherford from Genesis. Nominees:

  • Phil Collins
  • Elton John
  • George Michael
  • Van Morrison
  • Seal
  • Kenny Thomas

Winner: Seal

Best British Newcomer

Voted for by the British Association of Record Dealers (BARD). Presented by Kim Wilde. Nominees:

  • Beverley Craven
  • Cathy Dennis
  • EMF
  • Seal
  • Kenny Thomas

Winner: Beverley Craven

Best British Producer

Presented by Curtis Stigers. Nominees:

  • Trevor Horn
  • Mark Knopfler
  • Johnny Marr
  • David A. Stewart
  • Stock, Aitken and Waterman
  • Youth

Winner: Trevor Horn

Best British Single

Free vote; voted for by listeners of Dave Lee Travis and Simon Mayo on BBC Radio 1FM. Presented by Simon Mayo. Nominees as listed by the BRITs website:

  • Comic Relief – The Stonk
  • Jason Donovan – Any Dream Will Do
  • The KLF – 3am Eternal
  • Iron Maiden – Bring Your Daughter to the Slaughter
  • Queen – Bohemian Rhapsody / These are the Days of Our Lives
  • Vic Reeves and The Wonder Stuff – Dizzy

Winner: Queen

Best British Video

Voted for by viewers of Going Live. Nominees:

  • Adamski – Killer
  • Airhead – Funny How
  • Billy Bragg – Sexuality
  • Erasure – Love to Hate You
  • The KLF – Last Train to Transcentral
  • Shakespears Sister – Goodbye Cruel World
  • Simply Red – Stars
  • Lisa Stansfield – Change
  • Midge Ure – Cold Heart
  • The Wonder Stuff – Size of a Cow

Winner: Adamski

Best Classical Recording

Presented, somewhat inexplicably, by Right Said Fred. Nominees:

  • Bernstein – Candide – Bernstein – London
  • John Elliot Gardner – Missa Solemnis – Beethoven
  • Jane Glover – Violin Concertos – Strauss
  • Sir Georg Solti – Otello – Verdi – Chicago
  • Osmo Vanska – Violin Concerto in D Minor

Winner: Sir Georg Solti

Best International Group

Nominees:

  • Extreme
  • Guns ‘n’ Roses
  • INXS
  • R.E.M.
  • U2

Winner: R.E.M.

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Boy George. Nominees:

  • Color Me Badd
  • Harry Connick Jnr
  • Extreme
  • Chris Isaak
  • Jellyfish
  • PM Dawn

Winner: PM Dawn

Best International Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Bryan Adams
  • Michael Bolton
  • Enya
  • Madonna
  • Prince

Winner: Prince

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Presented by Sonia. Nominees:

  • The Doors / Various Artists – The Doors
  • Michael Kamen – Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves
  • Original Cast Recording – Five Guys Named Moe
  • Barrington Pheloung – Inspector Morse
  • Various Artists – The Commitments

Winner: The Commitments

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Maurice Oberstein, chairman of the British Phonographic Industry (BPI).

Winner: Freddie Mercury

Performances

  • Beverley Craven – Promise Me
  • Extreme – More Than Words
  • Lisa Stansfield – All Woman
  • PM Dawn – Set Adrift on Memory Bliss
  • Seal – Crazy
  • Simply Red – Stars
  • Extreme Noise Terror vs. The KLF – 3am Eternal

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: corrected one video that hadn’t embedded correctly (13 August 2017).

Chart for stowaways – 9 November 2013

The top five singles:

  1. Depeche Mode – Should Be Higher
  2. Pet Shop Boys feat. Example – Thursday
  3. Goldfrapp – Annabel
  4. Röyksopp feat. Susanne Sundfør – Running to the Sea
  5. Pet Shop Boys – Love is a Bourgeois Construct

And the albums:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Electric
  2. Efterklang – Tripper
  3. Efterklang – Parades
  4. Goldfrapp – Tales of Us
  5. Pet Shop Boys – Please

The BRIT Awards 2014 – Nominations

Here’s the full list of nominees for this year’s BRITs…

Best Producer

Nominees:

  • Paul Epworth
  • Flood & Alan Moulder
  • Ethan Johns

Flood has been nominated three times – in 1994, 1995, and 2012. Paul Epworth was also previously nominated in 2012, losing out to Ethan Johns. In addition to the 2012 win, he was also nominated in 2011.

Critics’ Choice Award

Nominees:

  • Ella Eyre
  • Chlöe Howl
  • Sam Smith

The winner – already announced – will be Sam Smith. Not the beer.

British Breakthrough Act

Nominees:

  • Bastille
  • Disclosure
  • Laura Mvula
  • London Grammar
  • Tom Odell

Tom Odell was last year’s Critics’ Choice winner, with Laura Mvula one of the runners up. Which must have saved them a bit of time when trying to come up with the British Breakthrough Act nominees.

International Female Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Lady Gaga
  • Lorde
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Katy Perry
  • Pink

Lady Gaga won this award in 2010, as well as the International Album and International Breakthrough Artist, with a further nomination in this category in 2012. Pink won in 2003, with further nominations in 2001, 2007, 2009, and also in other categories for International Newcomer in 2001, and International Album and Pop Act in 2003. Katy Perry has yet to win a BRIT, but was nominated for International Album in 2011, and International Female in both 2009 and 2011.

British Female Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Birdy
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Jessie J
  • Laura Marling
  • Laura Mvula

Ellie Goulding won the Critics’ Choice award in 2010, and received nominees for British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist the following year. Laura Marling won the British Female Solo Artist award in 2011, and was nominated again in 2012. Jessie J was another favourite from the Critics’ Choice category, with a 2011 win, followed by nominations in 2012 for British Female Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act, and British Single.

International Group

Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire
  • Daft Punk
  • Haim
  • Kings of Leon
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Arcade Fire were only ever nominated at the BRITs until their two 2011 wins for International Group and International Album. Daft Punk have still never managed a win, despite nominations in 1998 and 2002 for International Group (twice), International Newcomer, and International Album. Kings of Leon have six nominations to their name, plus two wins in 2009 for International Album and International Group.

British Group

Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Bastille
  • Disclosure
  • One Direction
  • Rudimental

Arctic Monkeys had a good track record at the BRITs between 2006 and 2008, managing five wins, but recent years have just seen one nomination (British Group in 2012).

International Male Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Bruno Mars
  • Drake
  • Eminem
  • John Grant
  • Justin Timberlake

Bruno Mars won this award in 2012, while Eminem won in 2001, 2003, and 2005, with further nominations in 2000, 2010, and 2011. Justin Timberlake has taken it twice previously, in 2004 and 2007.

British Male Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • James Blake
  • David Bowie
  • Jake Bugg
  • John Newman
  • Tom Odell

James Blake was previously nominated for the Critics’ Choice award in 2011, and the British Male Solo Artist in 2012, but has yet to manage a win. David Bowie just has two previous wins to his name – British Male Solo Artist in 1984 and the Outstanding Contribution award in 1996. He was also nominated in this category in 1985, 2000, and 2004.

British Single

Nominees:

  • Bastille – Pompei
  • Disclosure – White Noise
  • Ellie Goulding – Burn
  • Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding – I Need Your Love
  • Olly Murs – Dear Darlin’
  • Naughty Boy – La, La, La
  • John Newman – Love Me Again
  • One Direction – One Way or Another
  • Passenger – Let Her Go
  • Rudimental – Waiting All Night

Olly Murs has been nominated for this award (in 2011 and 2012) but has yet to manage a win. One Direction managed their only BRITs win two years ago in this category with What Makes You Beautiful. Last year’s award was won by Adele‘s Bond theme Skyfall.

MasterCard British Album of the Year

Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys – AM
  • Bastille – Bad Blood
  • David Bowie – The Next Day
  • Disclosure – Settle
  • Rudimental – Home

Arctic Monkeys have won this award twice before – in 2007 for Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, and again in 2008 for Favourite Worst Nightmare. This is the first time David Bowie has ever been nominated in the British Album category.

The final ceremony takes place in just under a month on February 19th at the O2 Arena in London.