Bizarre search engine terms – 2018 edition

I don’t often look at the statistics for this blog, but occasionally it tells me one or two interesting facts. One of the more revealing is the search engine terms that bring people here. These are a selection of the ones that brought you here in the last year or so!

b.e.f. ‎– music for stowaways torrent

No. Just no. I say this every time, but if you want illegal music, this is not the right place to look. Stream, buy second hand, or best, buy the original in some form. Most of B.E.F.‘s debut album is available on the 1981-2011 box set.

“stephen hague” produce

A search which has brought people here on an astonishing nine different occasions. Stephen Hague turns up a lot on this blog, of course, and not always by name. Over a four-decade career, he’s been responsible for producing many of our favourite acts around here, including Orchestral Manoeuvres in the DarkPet Shop BoysNew OrderErasureMarc AlmondElectronicBlurDubstarSarah CracknellAfro Celt Sound Systema-haPeter GabrielClientClaudia Brücken and more. A future stowaway hero for sure.

location of the first brit award in 1981 [and 1981 brits awards]

A lot of people seem to come here now looking for information about the BRIT Awards. As you’ll see from this article, the first BRIT Awards was not in 1981 – there wasn’t even a ceremony that year. The first was in 1977, at Wembley Conference Centre. The first regular ceremony was in 1982, at Grosvenor House.

best kraftwerk album to start with

Everyone will have their own opinion on this, but I gave mine when Kraftwerk appeared on the Beginner’s guide feature three years ago. I’d stand by that judgement – start with Trans Europa Express or The Mix. It’s worth paying extra for the German releases.

vangelis aimless noodling

This might be one of my favourite web searches ever. Honestly, yes, a good chunk of Vangelis‘s music is aimless noodling, and rather amusingly it turns out that I actually used those exact words when I reviewed the Metropolis soundtrack in 2014, although at the time I wasn’t referring to the man himself.

If you want more, here’s the 2017 edition.


Looking ahead at 2018

Welcome to 2018! Coming up in the next year on this blog…

  • Awards season begins in January, with our annual obsession with the BRIT and Grammy Awards, plus as of this year, the NME Awards, and of course our very own Stowaways!
  • Based on our current schedule, we’ll do a week of oldies, and then we’ll return with another series of Stowaway Heroes
  • Later in the year we’ll pick up the history of the NME Awards from 1994 onwards, and for the first time in a couple of years we’ll also look at the Ivor Novello Awards
  • If everything goes to plan, this December will see us celebrating our 2000th post! The 1000th was a very long time ago!

Here’s to another great year for stowaways!

Looking back at 2017

Well, that’s pretty much it for 2017. As this blog becomes increasingly irrelevant, I predicted at the start of the year that it might not last forever, but we’ve made it through another year, despite our politicians’ best attempts.

But this year, as the blog celebrated its fifth anniversary, we ran our last series of posts about the Peel Sessions, launched the new Stowaway Heroes series (which will continue early next year), and investigated the entire history of the NME Poll. Next year, we’ll expand that thread to look at the NME Awards, and, well… more on that later.

All in all, it’s been a pretty good year. Let’s see what 2018 has in store for us!

Coming soon – NME Poll Winners

Taking the mantra of “better late than never” to its natural conclusion, I realised a couple of months ago when Pet Shop Boys won the God-like Legend award at the NME Awards that we had never given this ceremony a lot of coverage around here – I think mainly because when I was growing up, NME was obsessed with what we called at the time “indie rock”, and never seemed to have much time for anything else.

Well, it turns out they’re a lot broader minded than I ever realised at the time, and also it seems the awards have been running for more than six decades – kind of. For the first four, they were just the results of the NME Poll, and had some fascinating winners and losers. So over the next few weeks we’ll take a spin back through its history, and see if we learn anything interesting.

Coming soon – Stowaway Heroes

This blog might be five years old and rapidly approaching school age, but that doesn’t mean we can’t do new things here every once in a while. Starting next week, and for the next few weeks, we’ll have a series of Stowaway Heroes, people who aren’t necessarily directly credited for having huge hit singles, but have somehow shaped the sounds we’ve been listening to around here.

The names will remain a secret for now, so stay tuned!

Five years of stowaways – Part 5

So this concludes the celebration of this blog’s fifth birthday! One thousand, six hundred and thirty-five posts later, at an average of 6.2 posts per week. It’s no wonder there’s a bit of drivel mixed in here and there. OK, a lot, but you get my point.

What next for this blog? Well, it will continue for the foreseeable future, but it might start to wind down a bit more. A lot has changed in the last five years, as you might expect, and I fully expect it to change a lot in the future as well. It’s exactly two years since I gave up on the idea of trying to post every day, and now even five times a week seems a lot of work. But it will still be here, in some form, for as long as the music lasts.

Perhaps the most exciting release of the next few months is Hippopotamus, the new album from Sparks. I’m not clear whether this is one of the tracks on there, but of course it’s brilliant: