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If the truth can be told so as to be understood, it will be believed.

Preview – Hurts

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:

Chart for stowaways – July 2020

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:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – Hotspot
  2. Sparks – A Steady Drip, Drip, Drip
  3. Sparks – Past Tense – The Best Of
  4. The Beloved – Where it Is
  5. Sparks – Gratuitous Sax & Senseless Violins
  6. Depeche Mode – Spirits In The Forest
  7. Human League – The Essential
  8. Saint Etienne – Words and Music by Saint Etienne
  9. Kraftwerk – 3-D Der Katalog
  10. Sparks – Hippopotamus

Preview – New Order

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.

The British Rock & Pop Awards 1977

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.

Awards

Winners included The Stranglers, but no other information seems to be available at the time of writing.

Sources

Random jukebox – Erasure

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 British Rock & Pop Awards 1976

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

Winner: Wings

Best Rock Group

Winner: Wings

Top Musical Personality of the Year

Winner: David Essex

Best New Singer

Winner: John Miles

Best New Group

Winner: Real Thing

Best Instrumentalist

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

Best Album

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.

Further Details

The Beatles Diary suggests The Rubettes also supposedly won something, but this is not confirmed by other sources.

Performances

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.

Sources

Revisiting The British Rock & Pop Awards

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!

Chart for stowaways – June 2020

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:

  1. Pet Shop Boys – My beautiful laundrette
  2. The Beloved – Grin
  3. Pet Shop Boys – West End Girls
  4. Pet Shop Boys – I don’t wanna
  5. Pet Shop Boys – Will-o-the-wisp
  6. Scotts/Travis Scott/Kid Cudi – The Scotts
  7. The Beloved – Forever Dancing
  8. The Grid – Floatation
  9. Kraftwerk – Taschenrechner
  10. Soft Cell – Potential