Artist of the Week – William Orbit

Time now for another of our archive Artist of the Week features, dating back to early 2005. Some of these do contain errors, and probably contain some plagiarism too. Apologies in advance…

This week’s Artist of the Week was born William Wainwright, and would ultimately go on to become one of the most important musicians in the world of electronic ambient and dance music.

He began his musical career in the early 1980s in the new wave group Torch Song, and while recording with the band started to learn studio techniques, and by the end of the eighties was making a name for himself by remixing and producing the likes of Kraftwerk, The Human League, Erasure, and Madonna.

His first solo album Orbit was released in 1987, but it was with the Strange Cargo project that he started to make a name for himself. The first part of the four-album epic also came out in 1987, and was followed by parts two and three at three-year intervals. It was with these that he kick-started the career of folk singer Beth Orton, who first featured on 1993’s minor hit single Water from a Vine Leaf. The fourth album in the set, Strange Cargo Hinterland, followed in 1995, and features some of his best material to date.

It was at this time he first recorded his legendary Pieces in a Modern Style album, featuring inventive new interpretations of classical pieces, but it initially attracted very strong protests from some of the composers involved, so he re-entered the world of production, apparently never to be seen again.

However, it was with his production work that he truly made a name for himself, being responsible for some of All Saints‘ later material, as well as Ray of Light, one of Madonna‘s best albums to date, and also Blur‘s acclaimed album 13. On the back of this, he returned to the studio to re-record Pieces in a Modern Style, which swiftly made its name as a modern classic thanks to remixes by Ferry Corsten and ATB.

As rumours of a new album continue, he continues to work with the likes of Pink and Eagle-Eye Cherry on production work, and we await his return with baited breath.

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The Best of the BRIT Awards

The 2016 BRIT Awards take place tonight, but unfortunately (well, fortunately, for me) I’m actually on holiday right now, so I’ll have to catch up when I’m back. In the meantime, here’s something I knocked up a few weeks ago – you could call it The BRIT Award Awards, or perhaps The Best of the BRIT Awards.

I’ve gone through each of the previous ceremonies, and worked out the most nominated and winning artists for each category. So here goes! For the most part, we’ll be using the current awards and names.

British Male Solo Artist

  • Phil Collins. Won 1986, 1989, 1990.
  • George Michael. Won 1988, 1997.
  • Cliff Richard. Won 1977, 1982. Nominated 1983, 1984, 1988, 1990.
  • Paul Weller. Won 1995, 1996, 2009.
  • Robbie Williams. Won 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003.

The winner is Robbie Williams, with four wins. Honourable mention to Ed Sheeran for scraping into sixth place.

International Male Solo Artist

  • Beck. Won 1997, 1999, 2000.
  • Eminem. Won 2001, 2003, 2005.
  • Prince. Won 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996.
  • Justin Timberlake. Won 2004, 2007. Nominated 2014.
  • Kanye West. Won 2006, 2008, 2009.

Winner: Prince, and an honourable mention for Bruno Mars, for just missing out on the nominations.

British Female Solo Artist

  • Kate Bush. Won 1987. Nominated 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995, 2006, 2012.
  • Dido. Won 2002, 2004. Nominated 2001.
  • Annie Lennox. Won 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996.
  • Alison Moyet. Won 1985, 1988. Nominated 1984, 1986, 2003.
  • Lisa Stansfield. Won 1991, 1992. Nominated 1990, 1993, 1995, 1998.

The winner is Annie Lennox, a tearaway success with six wins.

International Female Solo Artist

  • Beyoncé. Won 2004. Nominated 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015.
  • Björk. Won 1994, 1996, 1998. Nominated 2002, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2016.
  • Madonna. Won 2001, 2006. Nominated 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1999.
  • Kylie Minogue. Won 2002, 2008. Nominated 1989, 1995, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2011.
  • Rihanna. Won 2011, 2012. Nominated 2008, 2010, 2013.

The winner is Björk, much loved and much deserved.

British Group

  • Arctic Monkeys. Won 2007, 2008, 2014. Nominated 2012.
  • Coldplay. Won 2001, 2003. 2012. Nominated 2006, 2009, 2015, 2016.
  • Manic Street Preachers. Won 1997, 1999.
  • Simply Red. Won 1993, shared win 1992.
  • Travis. Won 2000, 2002.

The winner, with three wins and rather more nominations than Arctic Monkeys, is Coldplay!

International Group

  • Bon Jovi. Won 1996. Nominated 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990.
  • Foo Fighters. Won 2008, 2012, 2015. Nominated 1996, 2003.
  • Kings of Leon. Won 2009. Nominated 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014.
  • R.E.M. Won 1992, 1993, 1995. Nominated 1997, 1999, 2002.
  • U2. Won 1988, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2001. Nominated 1992, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2016. Nominated for British Group 1985, 1986.

Winner: with five wins, U2.

British Producer of the Year

  • Brian Eno. Won 1994, 1996. Nominated 1988.
  • Flood. Co-won 2014. Nominated 1994, 1995, 2012, 2013.
  • Trevor Horn. Won 1983, 1985, 1992. Nominated 1984, 1986, 1987, 1993, 1995.
  • David A. Stewart. Won 1986, 1987, 1990. Nominated 1992.
  • Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Won 1988. Nominated 1987, 1990, 1992. Pete Waterman nominated separately in 1993.

Winner: Trevor Horn.

British Single

Adele and Coldplay tie for fifth and sixth place in the nominations, so we have six nominees:

  • Adele. Won 2013. Nominated 2009, 2012, 2016.
  • Blur. Won 1995. Nominated 1995 (again), 1996, 1998, 2000.
  • Coldplay. Won 2006. Nominated 2001, 2009, 2013.
  • Queen. Won 1977, 1992.
  • Take That. Won 1993, 1994, 1996, 2007, 2008. Nominated 1993 (twice more!)
  • Robbie Williams. Won 1999, 2000, 2001. Nominated 1998, 1999 (again), 2002, 2013.

Winner: Take That, with an honourable mention for Robbie Williams for taking part in several of their wins too.

British Artist Video

There are seven nominees in this category, because four artists are tied for the bottom position, with one win and two nominations.

  • All Saints. Won 1998. Nominated 1999, 2001.
  • Blur. Won 1995. Nominated 1996 (twice), 1998.
  • The Cure. Won 1990. Nominated 1991, 1993.
  • Peter Gabriel. Won 1987. Nominated 1993, 1994.
  • One Direction. Won 2014, 2015. Nominated 2016.
  • Spice Girls. Won 1997. Nominated 1997 (again), 1998.
  • Robbie Williams. Won 1999, 2000, 2001. Nominated 1999 (again), 2002 (twice).

Winner: Robbie Williams.

British Album

Six nominees again for this one:

  • Arctic Monkeys. Won 2007, 2008, 2014.
  • Blur. Won 1995. Nominated 1996, 2004.
  • Coldplay. Won 2001, 2003. Nominated 2006, 2009, 2012, 2016.
  • Florence + The Machine. Won 2010. Nominated 2012, 2016.
  • Manic Street Preachers. Won 1997, 1999. Nominated 1997.
  • Oasis. Won 1996. Nominated 1995, 1998.

That’s a decisive win for Arctic Monkeys!

And that’s your lot! If it seems a slightly odd list, think of it as a list of the typical nominees and winners at the BRITs. If you’re more interested in the ceremony that’s about to happen, that would be here.

Anyway, enjoy the ceremony tonight, and we’ll catch up on the results here very soon.

William Orbit – Strange Cargo 5

You would have to be living on another planet if you didn’t get excited about William Orbit‘s latest album. The fifth in his ongoing Strange Cargo series which started 25 years earlier with a bizarre mix of acoustic guitar and ambient synthesiser, and continues to this day with enormous rippling synths, and heavy helpings of Laurie Mayer and Beth Orton.

Without fail, all the albums in the series open with something exceptional, and Strange Cargo 5 opens with the fantastic On Wings. Characteristically for Orbit, this is a beautifully bubbly synth-driven instrumental, which grabs you by the hair and seems as though it’s going to go on forever.

It doesn’t and the gentler Big Country follows, with an acoustic lead and soft pads, and then Just a Night or Two, a more uptempo pop-like piece which feels as though it deserves a vocal performance from one of Orbit’s many collaborators over the top.

Maybe it’s just time for some vocals, because the next song is I Paint What I See, with William Orbit‘s long-time collaborator Beth Orton. As you might expect from the team who brought you Water from a Vine Leaf back in 1993, it’s a delicious mix of spoken vocals and warm electronics, and is easily the best track on this album. It’s hard to see into the infinite with all this rain, apparently.

It’s difficult to complain when Orbit has released the album entirely for free, but he has done the old trick of squeezing a few too many tracks onto here – sixteen is definitely overkill, and there are bound to be some less exciting moments among them. NE1 is one of these, an experimental acid piece that doesn’t really go anywhere in particular.

The instrumental Large Hadron Love Collider is next, a pleasant uptempo synth track which paves the way for Lode Star, a nice but ultimately forgettable piece. This is, it seems, an album to be regarded as a whole rather than the sum of its individual parts.

The collaborations with Laurie Mayer come thick and fast by the middle of the album, starting with the lovely My Friend Morpheus, which wafts wonderfully from soft humming vocals to acoustic ripples, to synth-based explorations. Then The Diver, a haunting piece which is reminiscent of Mayer’s solo album Silver Lining, creates a perfect centrepiece to the album. Poppies is similarly dark and beautiful.

The pace picks up again with the rippling Love This Town. That’s an adjective you find yourself using a lot with William Orbit – think of the work he did with All Saints back in the 1990s and you’ll realise he’s long made a habit of it. That is not, by any means, a bad thing. Recall and Milky Way Station follow, two more very sweet tracks, and before you know it the album is nearly over.

Willow is the track that brings everything together for me. It has the acoustic lead, the soft pad chords, and the beautiful melody, which are the other key ingredients of Orbit’s musical formula. If you hadn’t realised by this point that Strange Cargo 5 is brilliant, you were probably never going to.

After that, Parade of Future Souls and The Changeling don’t really seem to add a huge amount, apart from to the general completeness of the album. It does have a couple too many tracks, but in general the fifth Strange Cargo album is every bit as good as its predecessors, and also a lot more free, so it’s well worth tracking down.

You can find MP3 and 24-bit WAV versions of Strange Cargo 5 on Soundcloud here.

Various Artists – The Beach

Another soundtrack which I own to a film that I’ve never seen is The Beach, which picks a mixture of electronic and dark beats to accompany the Leonardo di Caprio film of the same name.

It opens with Snakeblood, an exclusive track from Leftfield, which like all of their work is good, and is definitely interesting, but it’s not really their best. If I’m not mistaken, it samples Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark for an interesting soundclash, but not an entirely inspiring one.

Less inspirational, but also enjoyable, is All SaintsPure Shores, another of William Orbit‘s many productions from the turn of the millennium. Far from being just yet another pop act, they turn out to be pretty good vocalists, and Orbit’s backing does bring out the best of them.

Moby‘s brilliantly relaxing Porcelain is next, slowing the pace in time for Dario G‘s Voices, which I never entirely got the hang of when it was originally released, but I now find myself really enjoying it, with its gentle ukulele strumming and soft vocals. Underworld turn up next with 8 Ball, which is far from the contrast you might have been expecting from them. As with so many tracks on this album, it’s good, but it’s just not all that great.

Things become more unremarkable still, with a trio of dull inclusions from Sugar Ray, Asian Dub Foundation, and Blur. There’s nothing particularly wrong with any of them, but there’s nothing particularly right with them either. It’s left to Hardfloor to pick things up with their iconic remix of Mory Kante‘s Yeke Yeke, which is always a real treat to hear.

Returning to the theme of amazing artists recording relatively uninteresting tracks, Faithless turn up with a submission entitled Woozy, which is dark, dreamy, hypnotic, and not really anywhere near as good as We Come 1 or Insomnia. Barry Adamson follows with the dramatic, military sound of Richard, It’s Business as Usual, and then there’s another exclusive, this time from New Order, who if I remember correctly were on one of their many hiatuses at the time.

Brutal is probably the best of the exclusive tracks too. It’s a lot livelier than anything else, and while it’s pretty much New Order at their most rock-sounding, it’s actually a pretty good song. Remember, as they have said themselves, a lot of what they put on their albums isn’t entirely up to standard.

I’ve never been entirely convinced by what I’ve heard from Unkle, and while Lonely Soul is certainly interesting, and Richard Ashcroft‘s vocal is characteristically strong, it doesn’t seem the most captivating track in the world until right at the end when you find yourself fighting the urge to listen again as you realise that actually you quite enjoyed it.

Finally Orbital and Angelo Badalamenti turn up, collaborating on the truly exceptional Beached. You could probably dispense with the slightly vacuous voice-over by di Caprio, but otherwise it’s a great piece of music – another example of Orbital at their best, and while I’m not sure exactly what Badalamenti is up to on the track, somehow it all seems to come together perfectly.

The Beach has a patchy soundtrack, then – when it’s good, it’s exceptional, but it has its fair share of filler too. But if you don’t already have those tracks from Mory Kante or Orbital with Angelo Badalamenti then it’s highly recommended.

You can still find The Beach – Motion Picture Soundtrack at all major retailers, such as here at Amazon.

The BRIT Awards 2001

On 26th February 2001, the presenters Ant and Dec took over to present the BRIT Awards at Earls Court in London.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 2000 ceremony here, and the 2002 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Best British Album

Presented by Samuel L. Jackson. Nominees:

  • Coldplay – Parachutes
  • Craig David – Born to Do it
  • David Gray – Lost Songs
  • Radiohead – Kid A
  • Robbie Williams – Sing When You’re Winning

Winner: Coldplay

Best British Dance Act

Presented by Audley Harrison and Denise Lewis. Nominees:

  • Artful Dodger
  • Craig David
  • Fatboy Slim
  • Moloko
  • Sonique

Winner: Fatboy Slim

Best British Female

Presented by Jamie Oliver and, for some reason, his wife. Nominees:

  • Dido
  • PJ Harvey
  • Jamelia
  • Sade
  • Sonique

Winner: Sonique

Best British Group

Presented by Fay Ripley. Nominees:

  • All Saints
  • Coldplay
  • Moloko
  • Radiohead
  • Toploader

Winner: Coldplay

Best British Male

Presented by Geri Halliwell. Nominees:

  • Badly Drawn Boy
  • Craig David
  • Fatboy Slim
  • David Gray
  • Robbie Williams

Winner: Robbie Williams

Best British Newcomer

Voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 1. Again, the complex voting system of the previous year was reused:

Best Pop Newcomer:

  • A1
  • Atomic Kitten
  • Richard Blackwood
  • Lolly
  • Point Break

Best Dance Newcomer:

  • Artful Dodger
  • Chicane
  • Oxide and Neutrino
  • Shaft
  • Sonique

Best R&B / Urban Newcomer:

  • Architechs
  • MJ Cole
  • Craig David
  • DJ Luck and MC Neat
  • Sweet Female Attitude

Best Indie / Rock Newcomer:

  • Badly Drawn Boy
  • Coldplay
  • Death in Vegas
  • Muse
  • Toploader

Of these, the winner of each category and the most voted for act overall were carried through to the list of final nominees. The award was presented by Sarah Cox and Pete Tong. We continue.

  • A1
  • Artful Dodger
  • Coldplay
  • Craig David
  • Toploader

Winner: A1

Best British Single

Voted for by listeners of independent radio. Presented by David Ginola and Joely Richardson. Nominees:

  • All Saints – Pure Shores
  • Coldplay – Yellow
  • Craig David – 7 Days
  • David Gray – Babylon
  • Moloko – The Time is Now
  • Sonique – It Feels So Good
  • Spiller – Groovejet (If This Ain’t Love)
  • Sugababes – Overload
  • Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight
  • Robbie Williams – Rock DJ

Winner: Robbie Williams

Best British Video

Voted for by viewers of VH-1. Presented by Jane Horrocks and Graham Norton. Nominees:

  • All Saints – Pure Shores
  • Coldplay – Yellow
  • Craig David – 7 Days
  • Jamelia – Money
  • Moloko – The Time is Now
  • Sonique – It Feels So Good
  • Texas – In Demand
  • Toploader – Dancing in the Moonlight
  • Travis – Coming Around
  • Robbie Williams – Rock DJ

Winner: Robbie Williams

Best International Female

Presented by Donny Osmond from The Osmonds and Helena Christensen. Nominees:

  • Madonna
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Pink
  • Jill Scott
  • Britney Spears

Winner: Madonna

Best International Group

Presented by Kylie Minogue and Huey Morgan from Fun Lovin’ Criminals. Nominees:

  • The Corrs
  • Santana
  • Savage Garden
  • U2
  • Westlife

Winner: U2

Best International Male

Presented by Elton John. Nominees:

  • Eminem
  • Wyclef Jean
  • Ronan Keating
  • Ricky Martin
  • Sisqo

Winner: Eminem

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Hear’Say. Nominees:

  • Kelis
  • Lene Marlin
  • Pink
  • Jill Scott
  • Westlife

Winner: Kelis

Best Pop Act

Voted for by readers of The Sun. Presented by Cat Deeley. Nominees:

  • Ronan Keating
  • S Club 7
  • Britney Spears
  • Steps
  • Westlife

Winner: Westlife

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

In its infinite wisdom, Wikipedia gives an incorrect listing of nominees:

  • Air – The Virgin Suicides
  • Various Artists – American Beauty
  • Various Artists – The Beach
  • Various Artists – Billy Elliot
  • Various Artists – Little Voice

My records from 2001 don’t have The Beach or Little Voice, whereas the BRITs website archive gives the correct listing as:

  • Air – The Virgin Suicides
  • Björk – Dancer in the Dark
  • Various Artists – American Beauty
  • Various Artists – The Beach
  • Various Artists – Billy Elliot
  • Various Artists – Shaft

Winner: American Beauty

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Noel Gallagher from Oasis.

Winner: U2

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

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

Five Fascinating BRIT Awards Facts

The BRITs are coming! Tonight!

Here’s my compendium of fascinating BRIT Awards facts based on things I learnt while researching the previous BRITs posts…

The Sad Loss of the Best Video Award

For the last time in 2002, the Best Video award was given to So Solid Crew. With that following the previous three years’ consecutive wins by Robbie Williams for MillenniumShe’s the One and Rock DJ, it perhaps isn’t surprising that it was axed, but previous years had seen wins for Adamski‘s KillerMichael Jackson‘s Smooth CriminalNew Order‘s True Faith and Peter Gabriel‘s Sledgehammer.

The Second Biggest BRIT Award Failure of All Time

Poor Jamiroquai. Somebody must like them. Even so, it’s pretty astonishing that they have managed quite so many nominations without ever managing to win a BRIT. Here’s the full list of shame:

  • 1994 – Best British Group, won by Stereo MCs
  • 1994 – Best British Album for Emergency on Planet Earth, won by Stereo MCs
  • 1994 – Best Dance Act, won by M. People
  • 1994 – Best Video for Too Young to Die, won by Take That
  • 1994 – Best British Newcomer, won by Gabrielle
  • 1995 – Best Video for Return of the Space Cowboy, won by Blur
  • 1997 – Best Video for Virtual Insanity, won by Spice Girls
  • 1997 – Best Dance Act, won by The Prodigy
  • 1998 – Best Dance Act, won by The Prodigy
  • 1999 – Best Dance Act, won by Fatboy Slim
  • 1999 – Best Video for Deeper Underground, won by Robbie Williams
  • 2000 – Best Dance Act, won by The Chemical Brothers
  • 2002 – Best British Group, won by Travis
  • 2003 – Best Dance Act, won by Sugababes

Speaking personally, I don’t think there’s a single one of those that I don’t agree with! But believe it or not, there’s an even bigger failure to come.

Genre-Based Awards

Awards come and go at the BRITs. A lot of the less popular ones were specifically genre-based, and included:

  • Pop Act – awarded from 2000 to 2006 and won by FiveWestlife (twice), BlueBustedMcFly, and James Blunt. And then for some reason nobody else.
  • Dance Act – always a curious award, as Jamiroquai were nominated nearly every year but never won (see below). Awarded from 1994 to 2004 and won by M. People (twice), Massive AttackThe Prodigy (twice), Fatboy Slim (twice), The Chemical BrothersBasement Jaxx, and, as we saw above, erm… Sugababes. Some good winners, but no great loss really given how out of touch the awards committee really were.
  • Rock Act – awarded just three times between 2004 and 2006, and won by The DarknessFranz Ferdinand, and Kaiser Chiefs.
  • Urban Act – awarded four times between 2003 and 2006, and won by Ms DynamiteLemar (twice), and Joss Stone.

Speaking of which…

The Classical BRIT Awards

Until 1993, there was a strange quiet patch during the ceremony in which the pop star of the day attempted to pronounce classical composers and musicians with strange names. But Nigel Kennedy‘s Violin Concerto was the last winner of the Best Classical Recording award. Until 2000, when Sir Trevor McDonald turned up to present a ceremony all of their own.

The Biggest BRIT Award Failure of All Time

Even less successful than Jamiroquai, and infinitely more surprising, is the sorry tale of Radiohead. Nominated for no less than fifteen awards, they have somehow managed never to win a single thing at the BRITs. A conspiracy perhaps? Who knows – perhaps they have just been unlucky…

  • 1994 – Best British Single for Creep, won by Take That
  • 1996 – Best British Group, won by Oasis
  • 1996 – Best British Album for The Bends, won by Oasis
  • 1996 – Best Video for Just, won by, erm, Oasis
  • 1998 – Best British Group, won by The Verve
  • 1998 – Best British Album for OK Computer, won by The Verve
  • 1998 – Best British Single for Paranoid Album, won by All Saints
  • 1999 – Best Video for No Surprises, won by Robbie Williams
  • 2001 – Best British Group, won by Coldplay
  • 2001 – Best British Album for Kid A, won by Coldplay
  • 2002 – Best British Group, won by Travis
  • 2002 – Best British Album for Kid A, again. To add insult to injury, this time it was won by Dido
  • 2004 – Best British Group, won by The Darkness
  • 2009 – Best British Group, won by Elbow
  • 2009 – Best British Album for In Rainbows, won by Duffy

Well that’s all for now, but I might pick this up again later in the week. Enjoy the awards tonight!