1 Giant Leap – What About Me?

Pinning down exactly what 1 Giant Leap are isn’t easy. Their eponymous debut album / video-album 1 Giant Leap (2002) was groundbreaking, and featured the likes of Maxi Jazz, Robbie Williams, Michael Stipe, and others, alongside vocalists and musicians from all over the world. On the same tracks.

Once you’ve got the hang of all of that, the opening track on their second album What About Me?, a piece entitled Come to the Edge, makes a lot more sense. Kicking off with a spoken philosophical sample, it then mixes instrumentation and vocals from all over the world, despite only lasting a couple of minutes.

The first proper song Each Step Moves Us On is a little anticlimactic after that opening track and everything that came before it. After a wait of seven years (it was released five years ago this week) this second album was a very long time coming. This time it overflowed onto two discs, becoming a slightly bloated double album, again with a video version for those with the patience.

Maxi Jazz (you’ll remember him from Faithless) turns up for the brilliant How Can I Be a Better Friend to You?, the first of a number of tracks which really hit all of 1 Giant Leap‘s trademarks – there are great vocals, some fun exploratory musical backing, and in general some great songs.

There then follows a whole string of them – There’s Nothing Wrong with Me, Wounded in All the Right Places, and I Have Seen Trouble, featuring mainly African and Middle Eastern influences, with vocals from the likes of kd lang and Michael Stipe from R.E.M.

My favourite track on the first disc is probably the haunting Spanish sound of Solita Sin Solidad, featuring a vocal from Lila Downs but perhaps more remarkably Carlos Santana from The Mighty Boosh on guitar. The rest of the first disc is less remarkable, although the vocal ramblings complete with clicks in Serenity Prayer are a treat to hear.

Disc two opens with Under a Stormy Sky / I’ve Been Away, which features Maxi Jazz again to liven things up, as well as Michael Franti, Eddi Reader, and some other friends. The Farsi rap half way through from Haale is really rather special. The second track What I Need is Something Different is rather brilliant too.

My favourite track on the second half of this album is the driving beat of The Truth is Changing. Apart from a great vocal from former pop idol Will Young, there’s just something very catchy and compelling about it. Similarly Arrival features an appearance from former God Alanis Morissette, and is a very enjoyable track indeed.

Otherwise the second disc has a few less interesting moments, such as the confusing Freedom, or Forgive Me and the last proper track Set Me Free. The closing dub version of What I Need is Something Different is a welcome inclusion.

As a rule I’m not a huge fan of double albums – I think there should always be a good reason for allowing a release to spill over the eighty minute mark. And I’m not sure that reason exists here, apart from the fact that a lot of very talented people put a lot of work in. Even so, it might have benefitted from a little pruning here and there.

But it was definitely worth the seven year wait, and also the work involved in tracking down a copy of the album – when it’s good, it’s every bit as good as the first album, and even when it’s not so great, it’s still a fascinating listen.

Unfortunately What About Me? isn’t the easiest album to get hold of – the DVD is available through Amazon here, but I’ve only ever managed to find the album as an Australian import. But it’s worth the effort!

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The BRIT Awards 1999

In 1999 Johnny Vaughan took over as the host at London Arena. The ceremony took place on 16th February 1999.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1998 ceremony here, and the 2000 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Best British Album

Presented by Mariella Frostrup and Prince Naseem. Nominees:

  • Catatonia – International Velvet
  • Gomez – Bring it On
  • Manic Street Preachers – This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours
  • Massive Attack – Mezzanine
  • Robbie Williams – I’ve Been Expecting You

Winner: Manic Street Preachers

Best British Dance Act

Presented by Sharleen Spiteri from Texas and Boy George. Nominees:

  • All Saints
  • Faithless
  • Fatboy Slim
  • Jamiroquai
  • Massive Attack

Winner: Fatboy Slim

Best British Female

Presented by Smita Smitten and Chunky Lafanga. Nominees:

  • Des’ree
  • PJ Harvey
  • Hinda Hicks
  • Billie Myers
  • Billie Piper

Winner: Des’ree

Best British Group

Presented by Kylie Minogue and Lee Evans. Nominees:

  • Beautiful South
  • Catatonia
  • Gomez
  • Manic Street Preachers
  • Massive Attack

Winner: Manic Street Preachers

Best British Male

Presented by Jools Holland and Ian Dury. Nominees:

  • Ian Brown
  • Bernard Butler
  • Fatboy Slim
  • Lynden David Hall
  • Robbie Williams

Winner: Robbie Williams

Best British Newcomer

Voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 1. Presented by Huey Morgan from Fun Lovin’ Criminals and Zoë Ball. Nominees:

  • Another Level
  • Belle and Sebastian
  • Cleopatra
  • Cornershop
  • Five
  • Gomez
  • Hinda Hicks
  • Billie Piper
  • Propellerheads
  • Steps

Winner: Belle and Sebastian

Best British Single

Voted for by listeners of independent radio. Presented by Sheryl Crow and Meat Loaf. Nominees:

  • Beautiful South – Perfect 10
  • Catatonia – Road Rage
  • Cornershop – Brimful of Asha
  • Des’ree – Life
  • Fatboy Slim – The Rockafeller Skank
  • Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
  • Massive Attack – Teardrop
  • George Michael – Outside
  • Robbie Williams – Angels
  • Robbie Williams – Millennium

Winner: Robbie Williams – Angels

Best British Video

Voted for by viewers of VH-1. Presented by Helen Baxendale and John Thompson. Nominees:

  • All Saints – Under the Bridge
  • Melanie B feat. Missy Elliott – I Want You Back
  • Cornershop – Brimful of Asha
  • Jamiroquai – Deeper Underground
  • Massive Attack – Teardrop
  • George Michael – Outside
  • Placebo – Pure Morning
  • Radiohead – No Surprises
  • Robbie Williams – Let Me Entertain You
  • Robbie Williams – Millennium

Winner: Robbie Williams – Millennium

Best International Female

Presented by Lionr Abargil and Ian Wright. Nominees:

  • Sheryl Crow
  • Lauryn Hill
  • Natalie Imbruglia
  • Madonna
  • Alanis Morissette

Winner: Natalie Imbruglia

Best International Group

Presented by Björn Ulvaeus from Abba. Nominees:

  • Air
  • Beastie Boys
  • The Corrs
  • Fun Lovin’ Criminals
  • R.E.M.

Winner: The Corrs

Best International Male

Presented by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. Nominees:

  • Beck
  • Eagle Eye Cherry
  • Neil Finn
  • Pras Michel
  • Will Smith

Winner: Beck

Best International Newcomer

Presented by All Saints. Nominees:

  • Air
  • B*Witched
  • Eagle Eye Cherry
  • Natalie Imbruglia
  • Savage Garden

Winner: Natalie Imbruglia

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Presented by Mark Morrison. Nominees:

  • James Horner – Titanic
  • Various Artists – Boogie Nights
  • Various Artists – Jackie Brown
  • Various Artists – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • Various Artists – The Wedding Singer

Winner: Titanic. Collected by Celine Dion.

The Freddie Mercury Award

Presented by Johnny Vaughan.

Winner: Jubilee 2000. Collected by Bono from U2.

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Stevie Wonder.

Winner: Eurythmics

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

The BRIT Awards 1996

Ah yes, the year in which Jarvis Cocker found Michael Jackson‘s pretentious performance of Earth Song a little over the top. Chris Evans was the host at Earls Court in London, on 19th February 1996.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1995 ceremony here, and the 1997 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Best British Album

Presented by Lenny Kravitz. Nominees:

  • Blur – The Great Escape
  • Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
  • Pulp – Different Class
  • Radiohead – The Bends
  • Paul Weller – Stanley Road

Winner: Oasis

Best British Dance Act

Presented by Vic ReevesBob Mortimer and Ulrika Jonsson. Nominees:

  • Eternal
  • Leftfield
  • M People
  • Massive Attack
  • Tricky

Winner: Massive Attack

Best British Female

Presented by Tina Turner. Nominees:

  • Joan Armatrading
  • PJ Harvey
  • Annie Lennox
  • Shara Nelson
  • Vanessa-Mae

Winner: Annie Lennox

Best British Group

Presented by Pete Townshend from The Who. Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Lightning Seeds
  • Oasis
  • Pulp
  • Radiohead

Winner: Oasis

Best British Male

Presented by Iggy Pop. Nominees:

  • Edwyn Collins
  • Van Morrison
  • Jimmy Nail
  • Tricky
  • Paul Weller

Winner: Paul Weller

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Robbie Williams. Nominees:

  • Black Grape
  • Cast
  • Elastica
  • Supergrass
  • Tricky

Winner: Supergrass

Best British Producer

Nominees:

  • Brian Eno
  • Nellee Hooper
  • John Leckie
  • Owen Morris and Noel Gallagher
  • Stephen Street

Winner: Brian Eno

Best British Single

Presented by Jo Whiley. Nominees:

  • Blur – Country House
  • Edwyn Collins – A Girl Like You
  • Everything But the Girl – Missing
  • Annie Lennox – No More I Love You’s
  • Oasis – Roll with It
  • Oasis – Wonderwall
  • Pulp – Disco 2000
  • Simply Red – Fairground
  • Supergrass – Alright
  • Take That – Back for Good

Winner: Take That

Best British Video

Presented by Michael Hutchence from INXS. Nominees:

  • Blur – Country House
  • Blur – The Universal
  • Massive Attack – Protection
  • Oasis – Wonderwall
  • Pulp – Common People
  • Radiohead – Just
  • Rolling Stones – Like a Rolling Stone
  • Simply Red – Fairground
  • Supergrass – Alright
  • Take That – Back for Good

Winner: Oasis

Best International Female

Presented by Kylie Minogue. Nominees:

  • Björk
  • Mariah Carey
  • Celine Dion
  • kd lang
  • Alanis Morissette

Winner: Björk

Best International Group

Presented by Celine Dion. Nominees:

  • Bon Jovi
  • Foo Fighters
  • Garbage
  • Green Day
  • TLC

Winner: Bon Jovi

Best International Male

Nominees:

  • The Artist Formerly Known as Prince
  • Coolio
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Meat Loaf
  • Neil Young

Winner: Prince

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey. Nominees:

  • Tina Arena
  • Boyzone
  • Foo Fighters
  • Garbage
  • Alanis Morissette

Winner: Alanis Morissette

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Nominees:

  • James Horner / London Symphony Orchestra – Braveheart
  • Various Artists – Batman Forever
  • Various Artists – Muriel’s Wedding
  • Various Artists – Natural Born Killers
  • Various Artists – Waiting to Exhale

Winner: Braveheart

Artist of a Generation

Meaningless special award presented by Bob Geldof.

Winner: Michael Jackson

The Freddie Mercury Award

Presented by Roger Taylor from Queen.

Winner: The Help album for the charity War Child. Collected by Brian Eno and Thom Yorke from Radiohead.

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by, you know, Tony Blair from off of the Conservative Labour Party.

Winner: David Bowie

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: this piece originally omitted Annie Lennox’s nomination for Best British Single. Incidentally, my notes from 1996 also list Cast as nominated for Best British Video (for Alright) instead of Supergrass, but I suspect this is an error.

Q Awards Winners 1990-2012 (Part Two)

We’ll look at this year’s ceremony next week, but for now here’s a continuation of the list that we started last week, of all the winners to date, by award:

Songwriter and Producer

Although seemingly now discontinued, these were a couple of Q’s better awards, recognising the contributions of the people behind the music.

Best Songwriter / Q Classic Songwriter

  • 1990 – Prince
  • 1991 – Richard Thompson
  • 1992 – Neil Finn
  • 1993 – Neil Finn
  • 1994 – Morrissey
  • 1995 – Van Morrison
  • 1996 – Rod Stewart
  • 1997 – Paul McCartney
  • 1998 – Paul Weller
  • 1999 – Ian Dury / Chas Janke
  • 2000 – Guy Chambers and Robbie Williams
  • 2001 – Kate Bush
  • 2002 – Jimmy Cliff
  • 2003 – Dexys Midnight Runners
  • 2004 – Elton John
  • 2005 – Nick Cave
  • 2006 – Noel Gallagher
  • 2007 – Billy Bragg
  • 2008 – John Mellencamp
  • 2009 – Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
  • 2010 – Neil Finn
  • 2011 – Gary Barlow

Best Producer

  • 1990 – Paul Oakenfold / Steve Osborne
  • 1991 – Trevor Horn
  • 1992 – Daniel Lanois / Peter Gabriel / The Orb
  • 1993 – Flood / Brian Eno / The Edge
  • 1994 – Stephen Street
  • 1995 – Tricky
  • 1996 – John Leckie
  • 1997 – Nellee Hooper
  • 1998 – Norman Cook
  • 1999 – William Orbit
  • 2000 – Pete Devereux and Mark Hill (Artful Dodger)
  • 2001 – Nigel Godrich
  • 2002 – Moby
  • 2003 – Nigel Godrich
  • 2004 – Mick Jones
  • 2005 – Gorillaz / Danger Mouse

Best Newcomer

One thing the Q Awards do pretty well is having lots of almost identically-named awards. They do show a pretty good track record with the newcomer and breakthrough artists though…

Best New Act

  • 1990 – They Might Be Giants
  • 1991 – Seal
  • 1992 – Tori Amos
  • 1993 – Suede
  • 1994 – Oasis
  • 1995 – Supergrass
  • 1996 – Alanis Morissette
  • 1997 – Fun Lovin’ Criminals
  • 1998 – Gomez
  • 1999 – Basement Jaxx
  • 2000 – Badly Drawn Boy
  • 2001 – Starsailor
  • 2002 – Electric Soft Parade
  • 2003 – The Thrills
  • 2004 – Razorlight
  • 2005 – James Blunt
  • 2006 – Corinne Bailey-Rae
  • 2007 – The Enemy
  • 2008 – The Last Shadow Puppets
  • 2009 – White Lies
  • 2011 – WU LYF
  • 2012 – Django Django

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST

  • 2007 – Kate Nash
  • 2008 – Duffy
  • 2009 – Mr Hudson
  • 2010 – Plan B
  • 2011 – Ed Sheeran

Q’s Next Big Thing

  • 2010 – Clare Maguire
  • 2011 – Lana del Rey

Best Live Act

One of the jewels in the Q Awards’s crown:

  • 1990 – Rolling Stones
  • 1991 – Simple Minds
  • 1992 – Crowded House
  • 1993 – Neil Young
  • 1994 – Pink Floyd
  • 1995 – Oasis
  • 1996 – Pulp
  • 1997 – The Prodigy
  • 1998 – Roni Size / Reprazent
  • 1999 – Stereophonics
  • 2000 – Oasis
  • 2001 – Manic Street Preachers
  • 2002 – The Hives
  • 2003 – Robbie Williams
  • 2004 – Muse
  • 2005 – U2
  • 2006 – Muse
  • 2007 – Muse
  • 2008 – Kaiser Chiefs
  • 2009 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2010 – Biffy Clyro
  • 2011 – Blur

Best Artist

The oddly named ‘Best Act in the World Today’ Award goes right back to the Q Awards’ beginnings in 1990, but was also recently joined by special solo awards too…

Best Act in the World Today

  • 1990 – U2
  • 1991 – R.E.M. / U2
  • 1992 – U2
  • 1993 – U2
  • 1994 – R.E.M.
  • 1995 – R.E.M.
  • 1996 – Pulp
  • 1997 – Oasis
  • 1998 – Manic Street Preachers
  • 1999 – Blur
  • 2000 – Travis
  • 2001 – Radiohead
  • 2002 – Radiohead
  • 2003 – Radiohead
  • 2004 – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 2005 – Coldplay
  • 2006 – Oasis
  • 2007 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2008 – Coldplay
  • 2009 – Muse
  • 2011 – Coldplay
  • 2012 – Muse

Best Male

  • 2010 – Paolo Nutini
  • 2011 – Tinie Tempah

Best Female

  • 2010 – Florence + The Machine
  • 2011 – Adele

Best Solo Artist

  • 2012 – Emeli Sandé

Q Innovation Award / Innovation in Sound

Perhaps the most fascinating of all the awards, except for the couple of years when it was given to really dull and non-innovative artists.

  • 2002 – Depeche Mode
  • 2003 – Muse
  • 2004 – The Human League
  • 2005 – The Prodigy
  • 2006 – The Edge
  • 2007 – Sigur Rós
  • 2008 – Massive Attack
  • 2009 – Sonic Youth
  • 2010 – Mark Ronson
  • 2011 – Kaiser Chiefs
  • 2012 – Underworld

Outstanding Lifetime Icon / Idol Achievement Awards

I suspect that, like me, you’re totally taken aback by this slew of near-identical awards. But hats off to them for finding a hundred different ways to honour U2 and R.E.M.!

Special Merit Award

  • 1990 – Paul McCartney
  • 1991 – Lou Reed
  • 1992 – Led Zeppelin
  • 1993 – Elton John
  • 1999 – Keith Richards
  • 2000 – Jerry Dammers / The Specials
  • 2001 – Elvis Costello
  • 2002 – Tom Jones
  • 2004 – Shane McGowan
  • 2006 – Manic Street Preachers
  • 2007 – Ryan Adams

Q Inspiration

  • 1992 – B.B. King
  • 1993 – Donald Fagen
  • 1994 – The Kinks
  • 1995 – David Bowie / Brian Eno
  • 1996 – U2
  • 1997 – Patti Smith
  • 1998 – Blondie
  • 1999 – New Order
  • 2000 – Joe Strummer
  • 2001 – John Lydon
  • 2002 – Echo and the Bunnymen
  • 2003 – The Cure
  • 2004 – Pet Shop Boys
  • 2005 – Björk
  • 2006 – a-ha
  • 2007 – Damon Albarn
  • 2008 – Cocteau Twins
  • 2009 – The Specials
  • 2010 – Suede
  • 2011 – Fatboy Slim
  • 2012 – Pulp

Lifetime Achievement

  • 1997 – The Who
  • 1998 – R.E.M.
  • 2003 – Duran Duran
  • 2004 – Roxy Music
  • 2005 – Bee Gees
  • 2006 – Peter Gabriel
  • 2007 – Johnny Marr

Q Icon

  • 2003 – Jane’s Addiction
  • 2004 – U2
  • 2005 – Jimmy Page
  • 2006 – Jeff Lynne
  • 2007 – Sir Paul McCartney
  • 2008 – Adam Ant
  • 2009 – Marianne Faithfull
  • 2010 – Bryan Ferry
  • 2011 – Noel Gallagher
  • 2012 – Dexys Midnight Runners

Q Outstanding Contribution to Music Award

  • 2005 – Paul Weller
  • 2006 – Smokey Robinson
  • 2007 – Johnny Marr
  • 2008 – David Gilmour
  • 2009 – Robert Plant
  • 2011 – Siouxsie Sioux

Q Legend

  • 2005 – Joy Division
  • 2006 – The Who
  • 2007 – Ian Brown
  • 2008 – Glen Campbell
  • 2009 – Edwyn Collins

Q Idol

  • 2006 – Take That
  • 2007 – Kylie Minogue
  • 2008 – Grace Jones
  • 2009 – Spandau Ballet
  • 2010 – Madness
  • 2012 – Brandon Flowers

Hall of Fame Award

  • 2010 – Take That
  • 2011 – Queen

Q Awards 1994-1996

After a few years, the Q Awards start to become better documented…

1994

October 1994 saw the fifth Q Awards ceremony. Here’s a couple of pictures of Blur looking happy.

Best Album

Winner: Blur for Parklife

Best Reissue / Compilation

Winner: Various Artists for Tougher Than Tough

Best Live Act

Winner: Pink Floyd

Best Act in the World Today

Winner: R.E.M.

Best New Act

Winner: Oasis

Best Producer

Winner: Stephen Street

Songwriter Award

Winner: Morrissey

Q Inspiration Award

Winner: The Kinks

Merit Award

Winner: U2

1995

October 1995 saw the sixth Q Awards ceremony, hosted by Danny Kelly and Mark Ellen.

BEST ALBUM

Winner: Blur for The Great Escape

BEST REISSUE / COMPILATION

Winner: Various Artists for Help

BEST LIVE ACT

Winner: Oasis

BEST ACT IN THE WORLD TODAY

Winner: R.E.M.

BEST NEW ACT

Winner: Supergrass

BEST PRODUCER

Winner: Tricky

SONGWRITER AWARD

Winner: Van Morrison

Q INSPIRATION AWARD

Winner: David Bowie / Brian Eno

MERIT AWARD

Winner: Eric Clapton

1996

Park Lane Hotel, London, on 8 November 1996 saw the seventh Q Awards ceremony, and was also the tenth year of Q Magazine, so saw something of a celebration. Here’s a picture of Suggs giving someone a high five, and here’s a very happy Brian Eno. Here are some scans of Elvis Costello and Rod Stewart from Q Magazine, January 1997.

BEST ALBUM

Winner: Manic Street Preachers for Everything Must Go

BEST REISSUE / COMPILATION

Winner: The Beatles for Anthology

BEST LIVE ACT

Winner: Pulp

BEST ACT IN THE WORLD TODAY

Winner: Oasis

BEST NEW ACT

Winner: Alanis Morissette

BEST PRODUCER

Winner: John Leckie

SONGWRITER AWARD

Winner: Rod Stewart

Q INSPIRATION AWARD

Winner: U2

MERIT AWARD

Winner: Eric Clapton

Further information