I’ll confess that I haven’t really been following the career of Hurts, and that’s not really through any fault of their own. As a quick catch up, it seems one of them looks like the guy from Queer Eye now, they’re back now with their fifth album Faith, and they’re still pretty good. Here’s Suffer:
July was a quiet month for the chart for stowaways. Pet Shop Boys sat on top of both the Singles and Catalogue Singles charts for the whole month with their recent lockdown version of West End girls, while recent single I don’t wanna and the My beautiful laundrette soundtrack hovered near the top of the Singles. After a quiet start on the album charts, Sparks‘ latest A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip finally re-entered at number 2 at the start of the month, and jumped to the top spot the following week, while various of their older albums hovered around too.
Here’s the album chart for 18th July:
- Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
- Sparks – A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip
- Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
- The Beloved – Where it Is
- Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
- Depeche Mode – Spirits In The Forest
- Human League – The Essential
- Saint Etienne – Words and Music by Saint Etienne
- Kraftwerk – 3-D Der Katalog
- Sparks – Hippopotamus
It’s a rare treat to be able to preview a new single from a group as legendary as New Order. They returned last week, completely out of the blue, with a new track called Be a Rebel, and… well… it isn’t amazing, to be honest. It feels as though they’re missing Peter Hook more than they did on the entirety of Music Complete, and just ends up sounding a bit like one of Electronic‘s weaker moments. That’s OK though – even New Order and Electronic‘s weaker moments seem to be good enough these days, so let’s chalk this one up as a lockdown special and enjoy it for what it is.
This week’s post will be shorter than normal, because when I researched these events previously, I concluded that there did not appear to have been a 1977 ceremony, but that no longer seems to have been entirely true.
It certainly seems to be true that there was no British Rock & Pop Awards held in 1978 (and anyway, due to the confusing dating of the ceremony, the 1978 event was held in 1979). However, there does appear to have been a second outing for the Daily Mirror Pop Club Reader Awards, or at the very least, one award was presented. Nothing was televised for 1977, but whatever happened happened on 31st May 1978.
Winners included The Stranglers, but no other information seems to be available at the time of writing.
I’m not sure this would have been my choice of a video to share with you, but who am I to argue with the random jukebox? From 2003’s Other People’s Songs, here are Erasure with a slightly questionable and unnecessary cover of Make Me Smile (Come Up and See Me):
The entire history of the British Rock & Pop Awards is a little confusing, but its first couple of years are particularly difficult to unwrap. As far as I can make out, this awards series started out as the Daily Mirror Pop Club Reader Awards, or possibly the Daily Mirror Pop Club British Rock Awards. Anyway, the 1976 ceremony was held at Bingley Hall, Stafford, on 9th January 1977, to celebrate the music of the preceding year. It was compered by John Peel, and presented by NME founder Maurice Kinn.
The first time it came to be called The British Rock & Pop Awards appears to have been when it was televised by ATV on 27th January. The recording still exists to view at the BFI.
Best Singer (Male)
Winner: David Essex
Best Singer (Female)
Winner: Kiki Dee
Top Hard Rock Band
Winner: Status Quo
Best Pop Group
Best Rock Group
Top Musical Personality of the Year
Winner: David Essex
Best New Singer
Winner: John Miles
Best New Group
Winner: Real Thing
Winner: Eric Faulkner (Bay City Rollers)
Best Disc Jockey
Winner: Noel Edmonds
Best Single Record
Winner: Elton John & Kiki Dee, for Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
Winner: Bay City Rollers, for Dedication
Best Male Group Singer
This was an award which wasn’t reported in the programme, but The Beatles Diary says that it was won by Paul McCartney.
The Beatles Diary suggests The Rubettes also supposedly won something, but this is not confirmed by other sources.
A lengthy recording of Status Quo‘s performance is available to view here:
Comparison with the BRIT Awards
October of the same year saw the first British Record Industry Britannia Centenary Awards take place, which would later become the BRIT Awards. That first ceremony was very different, as it was held to celebrate the preceding 25 years of British music rather than just the preceding year.
- British Rock & Pop Awards 1976-1978
- BFI record for the original broadcast (second record here)
- The Solo Beatles Film & TV Chronicle 1971-1980
- The Beatles Diary: Volume 2: After the Breakup: 1970-2001
- Screengrab from the 1976 ceremony television broadcast (shared by Gary Jordan)
- Images of the programme for the live event
- Image of an original ticket for the live event
There doesn’t seem to be an official video for this, so let’s just watch some artwork here, for the brilliant Flight Tonight, from The Avalanches‘ 2000 debut album Since I Left You.
I had never heard of The British Rock & Pop Awards until about 2014, when I was researching my complete history of the BRIT Awards. I kept finding references online to how they had previously been known as The British Rock & Pop Awards, and while it quickly became apparent that this was not true, I think I can now see why that was such a popular opinion.
Both awards series seem to have started in early 1977, but the British Record Industry Awards, which was the one that actually evolved into the BRIT Awards, was held once in 1977 and then not again until 1982, and apart from the initial ceremony, it wasn’t televised until 1985. The British Rock & Pop Awards, meanwhile, were held annually from 1977 to 1984, and were televised every year, so inevitably they captured the popular opinion rather more during that time.
I first explored the British Rock & Pop Awards back in 2014, over a series of three posts (1976-1978, 1979-1981, and 1982-1984), but in retrospect those posts are a bit of a mess, plus readers Gary Jordan and Henrique Reikdal were kind enough to unearth some new (to me) information, which in turn led me to new information which either wasn’t available online or managed to escape my attention when I researched the awards series previously.
So this time I’ve gone back to my original research and cross-checked everything meticulously, and will put up a new post with the results of my work every week for the next few weeks. Sorry for the suspense, and sorry if you find that a bit slow, but I hope you find them interesting!
The brilliant Way Out West here, from 2004, with Just Like a Man.
June still saw Pet Shop Boys dominating, with Hotspot still at the top of the albums, and now My beautiful laundrette at the top of the albums. Kraftwerk continued to float around all of the charts, and we finally saw the long-awaited return of The Grid, with their new remix of Floatation.
Here are the singles from 13th June:
- Pet Shop Boys – My beautiful laundrette
- The Beloved – Grin
- Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
- Pet Shop Boys – I don’t wanna
- Pet Shop Boys – Will-o-the-wisp
- Scotts/Travis Scott/Kid Cudi – The Scotts
- The Beloved – Forever Dancing
- The Grid – Floatation
- Kraftwerk – Taschenrechner
- Soft Cell – Potential