Ivor Novello Awards – The 2000s

This is the last post in this series (well, we’ll compile all the winners into one place in a week or two), and what we’ve learned is that the Ivor Novello Awards tend to be either very brave, or very, very misguided. Any year that you choose to pick, yo

Ivor Novello Awards 2000

2000 saw the 45th Ivor Novello Awards ceremony, on 25th May at Grosvenor House.

  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Strong, written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers. Also nominated: You’re Still the One, written by Mutt Lange and Shania TwainGenie in a Bottle, performed by Christina Aguilera, written by Pam Sheyne, David Frank and Steve Kipner
  • Best Contemporary Song: Why Does It Always Rain On Me?, performed by Travis, written by Fran Healy. Also nominated: Rise, written by Gabrielle, Bob Dylan, Ferdy Unger-Hamilton and Ollie DagoisBeautiful Stranger, written by William Orbit and Madonna
  • PRS Most Performed Work: Beautiful Stranger. Also nominated: StrongThat Don’t Impress Me Much, written by Mutt Lange and Shania Twain
  • International Hit of the Year: Genie in a Bottle. Also nominated: Ray of Light, written by Madonna, William Orbit, Christine Leach, Clive Muldoon and Dave Curtis; That Don’t Impress Me Much
  • Best Selling UK Single: The Millennium Prayer, performed by Cliff Richard, written by Paul Field and Stephen Deal. Also nominated: Sweet Like Chocolate, performed by Shanks and Bigfoot, written by Stephen Meade and Daniel Langsman; That Don’t Impress Me Much
  • Best Original Music for a Television / Radio Broadcast: Trial By Fire, composed by Richard G Mitchell. Also nominated: Bad Blood, composed by John LunnAn Evil Streak, composed by Stanislav Syrewicz
  • Best Original Film Score: The World Is Not Enough, composed by David Arnold. Also nominated: Anna and the King, composed by George FentonShakespeare in Love, composed by Stephen Warbeck
  • The Ivors Dance Award: Re-Rewind, written by Mark Hill and Craig DavidRendez-Vu, performed by Basement Jaxx, written by Felix Buxton and Simon Ratcliffe. Also nominated: Sweet Like Chocolate
  • International Achievement in Musical Theatre: Robert Elhai, Elton John, Lebo M, Tsidii Le Loka, Mark Mancina, Jay Rifkin, Tim Rice, Julie Taymor and Hans Zimmer
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Pet Shop Boys (Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant)
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Geoff Stephens
  • Outstanding Song Collection: Madness (Mike Barson, Mark Bedford, Chris Foreman, Cathal Smyth, Suggs, Lee Thompson and Daniel Woodgate)
  • Songwriter of the Year: Fran Healy
  • The Special International Award: Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller

Ivor Novello Awards 2001

The 2001 Ivor Novello Awards ceremony was on 24th May 2001 at Grosvenor House, London.

  • Best Contemporary Song: Seven Days, written by Craig David, Mark Hill and Darren Hill. Also nominated: Beautiful Day, performed by U2, written by Bono, The Edge, Larry Mullen Jnr and Adam ClaytonPlease Forgive Me, written by David Gray
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Babylon, written by David Gray. Also nominated: Trouble, performed by Coldplay, written by Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris MartinNever Had A Dream Come True, performed by S Club 7, written by Cathy Dennis and Simon Ellis
  • Best Original Music for a Television / Radio Broadcast: Gormenghast, composed by Richard Rodney Bennett. Also nominated: Randall & Hopkirk (Deceased), composed by David Arnold and Tim SimenonThe Wyvern Mystery, composed by Philip Appleby
  • Best Original Film Score: X-Men, composed by Michael Kamen. Also nominated: Chicken Run, composed by John Powell and Harry Gregson-WilliamsGangster No1, composed by Johnny Dankworth
  • The Ivors Dance Award: Woman Trouble, written by Mark Hill, Craig David, Robbie Craig and Pete Devereux. Also nominated: Girls Like Us, performed by B-15 Project, written by Ali Campbell, Brian Travers, Dawnette Nevers, Janice Fyffe and Haldane Browne; The Time Is Now, performed by Moloko, written by Róisín Murphy and Mark Brydon
  • PRS Most Performed Work: Pure Shores, performed by All Saints, written by Shaznay Lewis and William Orbit. Also nominated: Rise, written by Gabrielle, Ollie Dagois, Ferdy Unger Hamilton and Bob DylanRock DJ, written by Ekundayo Paris, Nelson Pigford, Robbie Williams, Guy Chambers and Kelvin Andrews
  • International Hit of the Year: It Feels So Good, written by Sonique, Linus Burdick, Simon Belofsky and Graeme Pleeth. Also nominated: I Turn To You, written by Melanie Chisholm, Rick Nowels and Billy SteinbergSexbomb, written by Errol Rennalls and Mousse T
  • Best Selling UK Single: Can We Fix It, performed by Bob the Builder, written by Paul Joyce. Also nominated: Pure Shores; It Feels So Good
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: The Clash (Topper Headon, Mick Jones, Paul Simonon and Joe Strummer)
  • Outstanding Song Collection: Roy Wood
  • International Achievement: Iron Maiden (Bruce Dickinson, Janick Gers, Steve Harris, Nicko McBrain, Dave Murray and Adrian Smith)
  • Lifetime Achievement: Pete Townshend
  • Songwriters of the Year: Craig David and Mark Hill
  • The Special International Award: Stevie Wonder

Ivor Novello Awards 2002

23rd May 2002 saw Grosvenor House in London host the Ivor Novello Awards.

  • Best Contemporary Song: Shining Light, performed by Ash, written by Tim Wheeler. Also nominated: Clint Eastwood, performed by Gorillaz, written by Damon Albarn, Jamie Hewlett and Teren Delvon JonesThank You, written by Dido Armstrong and Paul Herman
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Walk On, performed by U2, written by Adam Clayton, The Edge, Bono and Larry Mullen Jnr. Also nominated: Side, performed by Travis, written by Fran Healy; Sail Away, written by David Gray
  • PRS Most Performed Work: Can’t Get You Out Of My Head, performed by Kylie Minogue, written by Cathy Dennis and Rob Davis. Also nominated: Thank You; Out of Reach, written by Gabrielle and Jonathan Shorten
  • Best Selling UK Single: Pure and Simple, performed by Hear’Say, written by Pete Kirtley, Tim Hawes and Alison Clarkson. Also nominated: Can’t Get You Out Of My HeadWhole Again, performed by Atomic Kitten, written by Andy McCluskey, Stuart Kershaw, Bill Padley and Jeremy Godfrey
  • The Ivors Dance Award: Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Also nominated: Do You Really Like It?, performed by DJ Pied Piper, written by Eugene Nwohia, Ronald Nwohia, Paul Newman, Ashley Livingston and Steve WickhamWhere’s Your Head At, performed by Basement Jaxx, written by Felix Buxton, Simon Ratcliffe and Gary Numan
  • Best Original Music for a Television / Radio Broadcast: The Blue Planet, composed by George Fenton. Also nominated: Band of Brothers, composed by Michael KamenWild Africa, composed by Christopher Gunning
  • Best Original Film Score: Shrek, composed by Harry Gregson-Williams and John Powell. Also nominated: Quills, composed by Stephen WarbeckThirteen Days, composed by Trevor Jones
  • International Hit of the Year: Can’t Get You Out Of My Head. Also nominated: Whole Again; Hero, written by Paul Barry, Enrique Iglesias and Mark Taylor
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Kate Bush
  • Outstanding Song Collection: Mick Hucknall
  • International Achievement: Sting
  • Songwriter of the Year: Dido Armstrong
  • The Special International Award: Benny Andersson and Bjorn Ulvaeus

Ivor Novello Awards 2003

The 48th ceremony was on 22nd May 2003 at Grosvenor House, London.

  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: The Other Side, written by David Gray. Also nominated: Strange and Beautiful, performed by Aqualung, written by Matthew Hales and Kim OliverStop Crying Your Heart Out, performed by Oasis, written by Noel Gallagher
  • Best Contemporary Song: Weak Become Heroes, performed by The Streets, written by Mike Skinner. Also nominated: It Takes More, written by Ms Dynamite and PunchIn My Place, performed by Coldplay, written by Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion, Chris Martin
  • PRS Most Performed Work: Just A Little, performed by Liberty X, written by Michelle Escoffery, John Hammond Hagan, George Hammond Hagan. Also nominated: Love at First Sight, written by Kylie Minogue, Richard Stannard, Julian Gallagher, Ashley Howes and Martin Harrington; In Your Eyes, written by Kylie Minogue, Richard Stannard, Julian Gallagher and Ashley Howes
  • Best Selling UK Single: Anything Is Possible, performed by Will Young, written by Cathy Dennis and Chris Braide. Also nominated: Hero, written by Paul Barry, Enrique Iglesias and Mark TaylorJust a Little
  • International Hit of the Year: Complicated, written by Lauren Christy, David Alspach, Graham Edwards and Avril Lavigne. Also nominated: Electrical Storm, performed by U2, written by Adam Clayton, The Edge, Bono and Larry Mullen JrFeel, written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers
  • The Ivors Dance Award: Lazy, performed by X-Press 2, written by Ashley Beedle, Darren House, Darren Rock and David Byrne. Also nominated: Shake UR Body, performed by Shy FX & T-Power, written by Andre Williams and Dianna Joseph; It Just Won’t Do, performed by Tim Deluxe feat. Sam Obernik, written by Tim Liken and Ben Onono
  • Best Original Film Score: The Quiet American, composed by Craig Armstrong. Also nominated: Die Another Day, composed by David Arnold; Rabbit Proof Fence, composed by Peter Gabriel
  • Best Original Music for Television: Feltham Sings, composed by Dextrous and Simon Armitage. Also nominated: Goodbye Mr Chips, composed by Colin TownsDanger in Tiger Paradise, composed by David Mitcham
  • The Ivors Classical Music Award: Boots of Lead, composed by Simon Holt. Also nominated: Dead March, composed by Gerald BarrySophie’s Choice, composed by Nicholas Maw
  • Songwriters of the Year: Coldplay (Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin)
  • International Achievement: UB40 (Astro, James Brown, Ali Campbell, Robin Campbell, Earl Falconer, Norman Hassan, Brian Travers and Michael Virtue)
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Bryan Ferry
  • Outstanding Song Collection: U2 (Bono, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jnr and The Edge)
  • The Special International Award: Brian Wilson

Ivor Novello Awards 2004

The 2004 Ivor Novello Awards were hosted at Grosvenor House on 27th May.

  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Leave Right Now, performed by Will Young, written by Francis Eg White. Also nominated: White Flag, written by Dido Armstrong, Rollo Armstrong and Richard Nowels; Step Into My Office Baby, performed by Belle and Sebastian, written by Stuart Murdoch, Stephen Jackson, Christopher Geddes, Richard Colburn, Michael Cooke, Sarah Martin and Robert Kildea
  • Best Contemporary Song: Stronger Than Me, written by Amy Winehouse and Salaam Remi. Also nominated: Jus’ a Rascal, performed by Dizzee Rascal, written by Dylan Mills, Tesmond Rowe and Vegard Vardoen; Slow, written by Dan Carey, Emiliana Torrini and Kylie Minogue
  • Best Original Music for Television: The Young Visitors, composed by Nicholas Hooper. Also nominated: Second Generation, composed by Nitin SawhneyThe Key, composed by Anne Dudley
  • Best Original Film Score: Max, composed by Dan Jones. Also nominated: In America, composed by Gavin Friday and Maurice SeezerBodySong, composed by Jonny Greenwood
  • The Ivors Dance Award: Strict Machine, performed by Goldfrapp, written by Alison Goldfrapp, Will Gregory and Nick Batt. Also nominated: Shining Through, performed by Layo & Bushwacka, written by Layo Paskin and Matthew BenjaminFamiliar Feeling, performed by Moloko, written by Róisín Murphy, Mark Brydon and Edmond Stevens
  • PRS Most Performed Work: Superstar, performed by Jamelia, written by Mich Hansen, Joseph Belmaati and Mikkel Sigvardt. Also nominated: Clocks, performed by Coldplay, written by Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin; Hole in the Head, performed by Sugababes, written by Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Timothy Powell, Nicholas Coler, Niara Scarlett, Keisha Buchanan, Mutya Buena and Heidi Range
  • International Hit of the Year: White Flag, written by Dido Armstrong, Rollo Armstrong and Richard Nowels. Also nominated: Feel, written by Robbie Williams and Guy ChambersSlow, written by Dan Carey, Emiliana Torrini and Kylie Minogue
  • Best Selling UK Single: Mad World, performed by Michael Andrews and Gary Jules, written by: Roland Orzabal
  • The Ivors Classical Music Award: Richard Rodney Bennett
  • Outstanding Song Collection: 10cc (Lol Crème, Kevin Godley, Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart)
  • International Achievement: Radiohead (Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Ed O’Brien, Phil Selway and Thom Yorke)
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Errol Brown
  • Songwriters of the Year: The Darkness (Ed Graham, Dan Hawkins, Justin Hawkins and Frankie Poullain)
  • The Special International Award: Lamont Dozier, Brian Holland and Eddie Holland

Ivor Novello Awards 2005

Reaching its fiftieth anniversary, the Ivor Novello Awards were held on 26th May 2005 at Grosvenor House, London.

  • PRS Most Performed Work: Toxic, performed by Britney Spears, written by Cathy Dennis, Bloodshy, Henrik Jonback and Avant. Also nominated: Amazing, written by George Michael and Jonathan Douglas; Thank You, written by Jamelia Davies, Carsten Schack and Peter Biker
  • Best Contemporary Song: Take Me Out, performed by Franz Ferdinand, written by Robert Hardy, Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy and Paul Thomson. Also nominated: For Lovers, performed by Wolfman, written by Peter Wolfe, Pete Doherty, Julian Taylor, Edmund Scott, Matt White, David Banks and Matt Scott; Blinded by the Lights, performed by The Streets, written by Mike Skinner
  • Best Original Film Score: Enduring Love, composed by Jeremy Sams. Also nominated: Deep Blue, composed by George FentonMan on Fire, composed by Harry Gregson-Williams
  • The Ivors Classical Music Award: John Tavener
  • Best Selling UK Single: Do They Know It’s Christmas?, performed by Band Aid 2000, written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure. Also nominated: All This Time, performed by Michelle McManus, written by Wayne Hector, Steve Mac and Ali Tennant; Call On Me, written by Steve Winwood, Eric Prydz and Will Jennings
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Dry Your Eyes, performed by The Streets, written by Mike Skinner. Also nominated: These Words, written by Stephen Kipner, Andrew Frampton, Natasha Bedingfield and Wayne Wilkins; Everybody’s Changing, performed by Keane, written by Tim Rice-Oxley, Tom Chaplin and Richard Hughes
  • Best Original Music for Television: Blackpool, composed by Rob Lane. Also nominated: Fallen, composed by Paul Leonard-MorganNorth and South, composed by Martin Phipps
  • International Hit of the Year: Vertigo, performed by U2, written by Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen Jr. Also nominated: Behind Blue Eyes, performed by Limp Bizkit, written by Pete Townshend; Do They Know It’s Christmas?
  • International Achievement: Robert Smith
  • Songwriters of the Year: Keane (Tom Chaplin, Richard Hughes and Tim Rice-Oxley)
  • Album Award: Final Straw, performed by Snow Patrol, written by: Iain Archer, Nathan Connolly, Gary Lightbody, Mark McClelland and Jonny Quinn
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Duran Duran (Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, Andy Taylor, John Taylor and Roger Taylor)
  • Outstanding Song Collection: Queen (John Deacon, Brian May, Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor)
  • The Special International Award: Lou Reed
  • The Ivors Special Award for Songwriting: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards

Ivor Novello Awards 2006

25th May 2006 saw the hosting of the 51st Ivor Novello Awards ceremony at Grosvenor House, London.

  • Best Song Musically & Lyrically: Suddenly I See, written by KT Tunstall. Also nominated: Fix You, performed by Coldplay, written by Guy Berryman, Jonathan Buckland, William Champion and Chris MartinI Bet You Look Good On The Dancefloor, performed by Arctic Monkeys, written by Alex Turner
  • PRS Most Performed Work: You’re Beautiful, written by James Blunt, Amanda Ghost and Sacha Skarbek. Also nominated: Shiver, written by Natalie Imbruglia, Sheppard Solomon and Francis Eg White; Speed of Sound, performed by Coldplay, written by Guy Berryman, Jonathan Buckland, William Champion and Chris Martin
  • Best Television Soundtrack: Elizabeth I, composed by Rob Lane. Also nominated: A Waste Of Shame: The Mystery of Shakespeare and His Sonnets, composed by Kevin SargentColditz, composed by Richard Harvey
  • Outstanding Song Collection: New Order (Philip Cunningham, Gillian Gilbert, Peter Hook, Stephen Morris and Bernard Sumner)
  • Best Selling UK Single: That’s My Goal, performed by Shayne Ward, written by: Jorgan Elofsson, Jeremy Godfrey and Bill Padley
  • Album Award: Employment, performed by Kaiser Chiefs, written by: Nick Baines, Nick Hodgson, Simon Rix, Andrew White and Ricky Wilson
  • The Ivors Classical Music Award: Harrison Birtwistle
  • International Hit of the Year: You’re Beautiful, written by James Blunt, Amanda Ghost and Sacha Skarbek. Also nominated: Speed of SoundTripping, written by Stephen Duffy and Robbie Williams
  • Best Original Film Score: Evil, composed by Francis Shaw. Also nominated: Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, The Witch & the Wardrobe, composed by Harry Gregson–WilliamsPride and Prejudice, composed by Dario Marianelli
  • Best Contemporary Song: Wires, written by Joel Pott, Steven Roberts, Timothy Wanstall and Carey Willetts. Also nominated: DARE, written by Damon Albarn, Brian Burton and Jamie Hewlett; I Predict a Riot, written by Nick Baines, Nick Hodgson, Simon Rix, Andrew White and Ricky Wilson
  • International Achievement: Ian Anderson
  • Songwriters of the Year: Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Ray Davies
  • The Special International Award: Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff
  • BASCA Fellowship: Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb)

Ivor Novello Awards 2007

2007’s Ivor Novello ceremony took place on 24th May at Grosvenor House, London.

  • International Hit of the Year: Sorry, written by Madonna and Stuart Price. Also nominated: I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’, performed by Scissor Sisters, written by Elton John, Scott Hoffman and Jason SellardsRudebox, written by Robbie Williams, Danny Spencer, Kelvin Andrews, Sly Dunbar, Robbie Shakespeare, William “Earl” Collins, Bill Laswell and Edmund “Carl Jr” Aiken
  • Album Award: Whatever People Say I Am That’s What I’m Not, performed by Arctic Monkeys, written by: Alex Turner
  • Best Contemporary Song: Rehab, written by Amy Winehouse. Also nominated: Over and Over, performed by Hot Chip, written by Joseph Goddard, Alexis Taylor and Felix MartinYeah Yeah, performed by Bodyrox feat. Luciana, written by Nick Bridges, Jon Pearn, Nathan Thomas, Luciana Caporaso and Nick Clow
  • Best Television Soundtrack: The Virgin Queen, composed by Martin Phipps. Also nominated: Hotel Babylon, composed by John Lunn and Jim Williams; Shiny Shiny Bright New Hole In My Heart, composed by Alex Heffes
  • Best Selling UK Single: A Moment Like This, performed by Kelly Clarkson, written by Jorgen Elofsson and John Reid
  • Outstanding Song Collection: Yusuf Islam
  • The Ivors Classical Music Award: John Rutter
  • PRS Most Performed Work: I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’. Also nominated: Put Your Records On, written by Corinne Bailey Rae, John Beck and Steve ChrisanthouSorry, written by Madonna and Stuart Price
  • Best Original Film Score: Ice Age: The Meltdown, composed by John Powell. Also nominated: Casino Royale, composed by David ArnoldSeverance, composed by Christian Henson
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Norman Cook
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Elusive, written by Scott Matthews. Also nominated: Sophia, written by Nerina PallotWhen the Sun Goes Down, written by Alex Turner
  • Songwriters of the Year: The Feeling (Dan Gillespie Sells, Ciaran Jeremiah, Kevin Jeremiah, Richard Jones and Paul Stewart)
  • Lifetime Achievement: Peter Gabriel
  • The Special International Award: Quincy Jones

Ivor Novello Awards 2008

The 2008 Ivor Novello Awards were on 22nd May at Grosvenor House.

  • Best Selling British Song: Beautiful Liar, performed by Beyoncé and Shakira, written by Ian Dench, Mikkel Eriksen, Amanda Ghost, Tor Erik Hermansen and Beyoncé Knowles. Also nominated: Grace Kelly, written by Jodi Marr, John Merchant, Mika and Dan WarnerRehab, written by Amy Winehouse
  • International Achievement: Phil Collins
  • Best Contemporary Song: People Help the People, performed by Cherry Ghost, written by Simon Aldred. Also nominated: Foundations, written by Paul Epworth and Kate NashGolden Skans, performed by Klaxons, written by Jamie ReynoldsJames Righton and Simon Taylor-Davies
  • Best Television Soundtrack: Oliver Twist, composed by Martin Phipps. Also nominated: Primo, composed by Jonathan GoldsteinWho Killed Mrs de Ropp?, composed by Paul Moessl
  • Album Award: In Rainbows, performed by Radiohead, written by Colin Greenwood, Jonny Greenwood, Edward O’Brien, Philip Selway and Thom Yorke. Also nominated: Man on the Roof, written by Stephen FretwellThirst for Romance, performed by Cherry Ghost, written by Simon Aldred
  • The Ivors Inspiration Award: Jazzie B
  • PRS Most Performed Work: Shine, performed by Take That, written by Gary Barlow, Howard Donald, Jason Orange, Mark Owen and Stephen Robson. Also nominated: Ruby, performed by Kaiser Chiefs, written by Nicholas Baines, Nick Hodgson, James Rix, Andrew White and Ricky Wilson; Starz in Their Eyes, performed by Just Jack, written by Jack Allsopp
  • The Ivors Classical Music Award: Jonathan Dove
  • Best Song Musically & Lyrically: Love is a Losing Game, written by Amy Winehouse. Also nominated: Let Me Out, written by Rosi Golan and Jamie Hartman; You Know I’m No Good, written by Amy Winehouse
  • Outstanding Song Collection: Gabrielle
  • Best Original Film Score: Atonement, composed by Dario Marianelli. Also nominated: Becoming Jane, composed by Adrian Johnston; La Vie en Rose, composed by Christopher Gunning
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Chris Difford and Glenn Tilbrook
  • Songwriter of the Year: Mika
  • The Special International Award: Diane Warren
  • Lifetime Achievement: David Gilmour

Ivor Novello Awards 2009

Closing the decade, the 2009 Ivor Novello ceremony was on 21st May at Grosvenor House, London.

  • BASCA Fellowship: David Ferguson
  • Best Contemporary Song: Grounds for Divorce, performed by Elbow, written by Guy Garvey, Richard Jupp, Craig Potter, Mark Potter and Peter Turner. Also nominated: Dance Wiv Me, performed by Dizzee Rascal, written by Nicholas Detnon, Calvin Harris, Dylan Mills and Tyrone; That’s Not My Name, performed by The Ting Tings, written by Julian De Martino and Katie White
  • Album Award: We Started Nothing, performed by The Ting Tings, written by Julian De Martino and Katie White. Also nominated: Rockferry, written by Bernard Butler and Duffy; Viva La Vida or Death And All His Friends, performed by Coldplay, written by Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin
  • Best Television Soundtrack: Wallace and Gromit (A Matter of Loaf and Death), composed by Julian Nott. Also nominated: Fiona’s Story, composed by Ben BartlettTrial and Retribution 2008, composed by Anne Dudley
  • Outstanding Song Collection: Vince Clarke
  • The Ivors Classical Music Award: James MacMillan
  • Best Selling British Song: Viva La Vida, performed by Coldplay, written by Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin. Also nominated: Mercy, written by; Steve Booker and Duffy; Paper Planes, performed by M.I.A., written by Maya Arulpragasam, Topper Headon, Mick Jones, Thomas Wesley Pentz, Paul Simonon and Joe Strummer
  • PRS for Music Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Massive Attack (Robert Del Naja, Grant Marshall and Andrew Vowles)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: One Day Like This, performed by Elbow, written by Guy Garvey, Richard Jupp, Craig Potter, Mark Potter and Peter Turner. Also nominated: My Mistakes Were Made For You, performed by Last Shadow Puppets, written by Miles Kane and Alex Turner; The Last of the Melting Snow, performed by The Leisure Society, written by Nicholas Hemming
  • Best Original Film Score: There Will Be Blood, composed by Jonny Greenwood. Also nominated: Quantum of Solace, composed by David Arnold; The Escapist, composed by Benjamin Wallfisch
  • The Ivors Inspiration Award: Edwyn Collins
  • PRS for Music Most Performed Work: Mercy, written by Steve Booker and Duffy. Also nominated: Sweet About Me, written by Gabriella Cilmi, Nicholas Coler, Miranda Cooper, Brian Higgins, Timothy Larcombe and Tim Powell; Viva La Vida, performed by Coldplay, written by Guy Berryman, Jonny Buckland, Will Champion and Chris Martin
  • Songwriter of the Year: Eg White
  • The Special International Award: Smokey Robinson
  • BASCA Fellowship: Don Black

Further Reading

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NME Awards – 2000-2003

The 2000s was, of course, the decade when nothing could be achieved without a heavy dose of corporate sponsorship, so the NME Awards flitted from Carling to Shockwave and the awards all gained individual sponsors. Let’s take a look at the first half of that decade.

NME Premier Awards 2000

Hosted at the Mermaid Theatre in London on 1 February 2000, by Steve Lamacq and Mary Anne Hobbs.

  • Philip Hall On Award: Terris
  • Live Act of the Year: Mogwai
  • Best Live Act: Super Furry Animals
  • On the Decks Award for Dance Act of the Year: Death in Vegas
  • Carling Premier Best New Artist: Muse
  • Breezeblack Mix of 1999: Junior Carter
  • Best Solo Artist: Beck
  • Best Album Ever: The Stone Roses, for The Stone Roses
  • Best Single Ever: Nirvana, for Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Total Genius Of The Year: Ali G
  • Greatest Musical Event Ever: Woodstock
  • Best Radio Show: Radio 1 Evening Session
  • Carling Premier Best LP: The Flaming Lips, for The Soft Bulletin
  • NME Album of the Year: The Flaming Lips, for The Soft Bulletin
  • NME Single of the Year: Aphex Twin, for Windowlicker
  • Best TV Show: The Royle Family
  • Musical Event of the Year: Glastonbury
  • Best Venue: Brixton Academy
  • Dickhead of the Year: Robbie Williams
  • Best Website: NME
  • Worst Record Of The Year: The Vengaboys, for We’re Going to Ibiza
  • Best Film: The Blair Witch Project
  • Best DJ: Fatboy Slim
  • NME.COM Award for Best NME Premier Show Performance: Ooberman
  • Best Dance Act: The Chemical Brothers
  • Best Music Video: Blur, for Coffee and TV
  • Best Band: Blur
  • Best Single: Blur, for Tender
  • Best Band Ever: The Beatles
  • Godlike Genius Award for Services to Music: Shaun Ryder
  • Radio 1 Evening Session Session of the Year: Supergrass
  • Artist of the Year: Travis

NME Awards 2001

Hosted at Planit Arches, London, on 6 February 2001, by Peter Kay.

  • Best Band: Radiohead. Also nominated: ColdplayOasisPrimal ScreamU2
  • Best Dance Act: Fatboy Slim. Also nominated: Artful DodgerMobySoniqueUnderworld
  • Best Radio Show: Steve LamacqThe Evening Session. Also nominated: Mark Radcliffe and Lard (Mark Riley), Chris MoylesJohn PeelDreem Team
  • Best Metal Act: Marilyn Manson. Also nominated: At the Drive-InLimp BizkitQueens of the Stone AgeSlipknot
  • Best Club DJ: Carl Cox. Also nominated: Fatboy SlimDavid HolmesJudge JulesPaul Oakenfold
  • Radio 1 Evening Session of the Year: Coldplay
  • Best New Artist: Coldplay. Also nominated: At the Drive-InBadly Drawn BoyDovesJJ72
  • Best Single: Coldplay, for Yellow. Also nominated: Blur, for Music is My RadarEminem, for StanLimp Bizkit, for Take a Look AroundOasis, for Go Let it Out
  • NME Carling Awards Tour Award: Amen / JJ72 / Alfie
  • Best Rock Act: U2. Also nominated: OasisManic Street PreachersAC/DCThe Beatles
  • Hero of the Year: Liam Gallagher
  • Godlike Genius: U2
  • Best Hip Hop/Rap Act (presented by Run DMC): Eminem. Also nominated: Cypress HillDr. DreOutkastWu-Tang Clan
  • Villain of the Year: Robbie Williams
  • Philip Hall Award – Brightest Hope for 2001: Starsailor
  • Best Pop Act: All Saints. Also nominated: FiveMadonnaS Club 7Britney Spears
  • Best Club: Cream. Also nominated: Fabric, Gatecrasher, Home, Rock City
  • Best Album: Primal Scream, for XTRMNTR. Also nominated: Badly Drawn Boy, for The Hour of BewilderbeastColdplay, for ParachutesEminem, for The Marshall Mathers LPRadiohead, for Kid A
  • Best R&B/Soul Act: Kelis. Also nominated: Craig DavidDestiny’s ChildMacy GraySugababes
  • Best Solo Artist: Badly Drawn Boy
  • Best Film: Gladiator
  • Musical Event of the Year: Carling Weekend Reading and Leeds. Also nominated: Glastonbury, OasisRadiohead, T in the Park
  • NME.com Fans Award for Best Live Act: Moby
  • Best TV Programme: The League of Gentlemen. Also nominated: The Royle FamilyThe SimpsonsTrigger Happy TVThe Sopranos

NME Carling Awards 2002

Hosted at Planit Arches, London, on 25 February 2002, by Zane Lowe.

  • Best New Act: The Strokes. Also nominated: Gorillaz, Linkin Park, Starsailor, The White Stripes
  • Band of the Year: The Strokes. Also nominated: The CharlatansRadioheadU2The White Stripes
  • Album of the Year: The Strokes, for Is This It. Also nominated: The Charlatans, for WonderlandMuse, for Origins of SymmetryRadiohead, for AmnesiacSlipknot, for Iowa
  • Best Pop Act: Kylie Minogue. Also nominated: Britney SpearsMadonnaS Club 7Robbie Williams
  • Best Solo Artist: Ian Brown. Also nominated: Ryan AdamsPJ HarveyKylie MinogueAndrew WK
  • Best Music Video: Radiohead, for Pyramid Song. Also nominated: Basement Jaxx, for Where’s Your Head AtFatboy Slim, for Weapon of ChoiceGorillaz, for Clint EastwoodU2, for Elevation
  • Best Live Act: U2. Also nominated: Ash, Linkin Park, Muse, Radiohead
  • Outstanding Contribution to NME: The Charlatans
  • Best Radio 1 Session: The Charlatans
  • Best Heavy Metal Group: Lostprophets. Also nominated: Andrew WKLinkin ParkSlipknotSystem of a Down
  • Honorary NME Carling Tour Award: Lostprophets
  • Honorary NME Carling Tour Award: Andrew WK
  • Honorary NME Carling Tour Award: The Coral
  • Philip Hall On Award: The Coral
  • Best Radio Show: The Evening Session
  • Best Hip-Hop/Rap Act: Missy Elliott. Also nominated: Bubba SparxxEminemD12OutkastRoots Manuva
  • Best R&B/Soul Act: Aaliyah. Also nominated: Alicia KeysCraig DavidDestiny’s ChildSo Solid Crew
  • Best Dance Act: Basement Jaxx. Also nominated: The AvalanchesAphex TwinDaft PunkFatboy Slim
  • Best TV Show: The Office. Also nominated: JackassLater with Jools HollandThe SimpsonsThe Sopranos
  • Best Film: Moulin Rouge. Also nominated: American Pie 2Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s StoneLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingShrek
  • Godlike Genius Award: Nick Kent and Pennie Smith
  • Best Single: Ash, for Burn Baby Burn. Also nominated: Ian Brown, for FearDandy Warhols, for Bohemian Like YouGorillaz, for Clint EastwoodKylie Minogue, for Can’t Get You Out of My Head, and The Strokes, for Hard to Explain

NME Carling Awards 2003

Hosted at Hammersmith Palais, London, 13 February 2003, by Bill Bailey.

  • Best Album: Coldplay, for A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • Album of the Year: Coldplay, for A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • NME Artist of the Year: Oasis. Also nominated: Black Rebel Motorcycle ClubColdplayEminemPinkThe Vines
  • Best UK Band: Oasis
  • Best New Band: The Libertines
  • Best Live Band: The Datsuns. Also nominated: The HivesMuseOasisThe Polyphonic SpreeThe Vines
  • Best Radio Show: Steve Lamacq (The Evening SessionLamacq Live). Also nominated: Chris MoylesMary Anne Hobbs (The Breezeblock), Gary CrowleyMark Radcliffe and Lard (Mark Riley), John Peel
  • Greatest Music Moment of the Year: Ozzfest. Also nominated: Oasis at Finsbury Park, Glastonbury Festival, Reading and Leeds Festivals, T in the Park, V2002
  • Best Single: The Vines, for Get Free. Also nominated: Foo Fighters, for All My LifeQueens of the Stone Age, for No One KnowsDoves, for There Goes the FearColdplay, for The ScientistAsh, for Envy
  • Single of the Year: Doves, for There Goes the Fear
  • Best International Band: The Hives
  • The Fuck Me! Award For Innovation: The Polyphonic Spree
  • Philip Hall Radar Award: Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Also nominated: JetThe KillsKings of LeonThe ThrillsThe Warlocks
  • Best International Band: The Hives. Also nominated: Black Rebel Motorcycle ClubFoo FightersThe VinesThe White Stripes
  • Best Video: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, for Whatever Happened To My Rock And Roll (Punk Song)
  • Best Solo Artist: Ryan Adams. Also nominated: EminemAvril LavigneMs. Dynamite, PinkThe Streets
  • Hero of the Year: Ozzy Osbourne. Also nominated: Graham CoxonLiam GallagherDave GrohlChris MartinCraig Nicholls
  • Hottest Woman: Avril Lavigne. Also nominated: Karen OCharlotte HatherleyChristina AguileraMegan Martha WhiteKylie Minogue
  • Hottest Man: Chris Martin. Also nominated: Liam GallagherFabrizio MorettiCraig NichollsDave GrohlJulian Casablancas
  • Best TV Show: The Osbournes. Also nominated: The OfficeJackassGonzoI’m Alan PartridgePhoenix Nights
  • Best Live Venue: London Astoria. Also nominated: Brixton Academy, Barrowland Ballroom, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Rock City, O2 Academy Birmingham
  • Best Haircut: Liam Gallagher. Also nominated: Didz HammondCraig NichollsDave GrohlFabrizio MorettiJack White
  • Best Dressed: The Hives
  • Best Website: NME. OasisFoo FightersBlack Rebel Motorcycle Club, Popbitch
  • Event of the Year: Reading and Leeds Festivals
  • Villain of the Year: Robbie Williams
  • Worst Album: Robbie Williams, for Escapology, Gareth Gates, for What My Heart Wants to SayThe Streets, for Original Pirate MaterialThe Vines, for Highly EvolvedWestlife, for UnbreakableColdplay, for A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • Worst Single: Robbie Williams – ‘Feel’
  • Worst Band: Nickelback. Also nominated: S Club JuniorsWestlifeStereophonicsAtomic KittenBlue
  • Worst Haircut: Jack Osbourne. Also nominated: Gareth GatesKelly OsbourneKelly JonesPinkChad Kroeger
  • Worst Dressed: Christina Aguilera

See also

Erasure – Rain Plus

The non-charting single is a strange phenomenon that only really appeared in the mid-1990s. Remixes were growing in number, and in the US, the response was to make singles last longer and longer, while the UK put stringent limits on the number and duration of tracks that could be included.

Erasure had toyed with the concept a couple of years earlier, with the German and Czech-only single Rock Me Gently, released as a six-track chart-ineligible import in the UK for fans. With the Cowboy album, I suspect they realised that their days of chart domination were over – In My Arms appeared in the classically quiet first week of January, and then outside of Germany, Rain only ever appeared as the eleven-track collection that we’re listening to today – Rain Plus, which was released twenty years ago this week.

Rain is a peculiarly British song though, obsessing about the weather and the effect it might have on one’s demeanour. For the single, Al Stone remixed it and made it punchier, and it surely deserved to be a decent hit.

It would be difficult to believe that Erasure had any idea what they would get with BBE‘s remix of Cowboy‘s lead single In My Arms. Far from being full-on dance, it’s a soft, slightly cheesy pop version which honestly sounds just like anything else on the charts at the time – even the drums take heavy inspiration from Atomic Kitten.

This is an odd collection to say the least, and so the b-side is Erasure‘s attempt at the theme for Star Trek: First Contact. Inspired (that’s an understatement) by Robert Miles, it’s a brilliant piece of dreamy trance that sounds absolutely nothing like anything Erasure ever did before or since. This might be a bold statement, but I think it’s also one of their finest moments.

The tracks on this release do appear to have been sequenced at random, as the next track is a live version of Rain, amusingly picked at random by an audience member at a concert in San Francisco. We then travel to Oxford for two more live tracks, Sometimes and Love to Hate You. All pretty good, although you have to wonder exactly how and why these tracks were picked (most likely is that they were considering three CDs – one with the original version and a couple of other tracks, then a remix CD and a three-track live CD).

Then we’re into the remixes, starting with Jon of the Pleased Wimmin‘s take on the single, a pleasantly beatsy remake full of arpeggios and drum fills. Then John “OO” Fleming turns up with a slightly inexplicable but admittedly catchy vocal trance version of Sometimes, which seems to have been slightly uncomfortably sped up, but is still rather enjoyable.

Someone else taking inspiration from Robert Miles is Dekkard, whose Vocal mix of In My Arms brings a number of elements together. The completely off-beat loop of the vocal sample doesn’t really work, but in some ways this version has actually aged better than the previous ones. Commissioned for the US release of In My Arms earlier in the year, but then spurned in favour of some dreadful house mixes, it finally found its place on this slightly strange but enjoyable compilation single.

Erasure have never really done deep house, but I think the closest they come is with Blue Amazon‘s Twisted Circles remix of Rain, clocking in at just a touch under thirteen minutes in duration. It’s good, and takes influence from a lot of different places, but you have to wonder whether it got played much in clubs at the time. This lengthy excursion closes the single.

According to the track listing, anyway. There’s actually an instrumental version of First Contact hiding at the end, so you get to enjoy it all over again in its entirety, for no particularly obvious reason other than that it’s good.

Which is a reasonable summary of this single, actually. There’s no particular reason for it to exist, apart from a whole load of decent unreleased remixes and oddities lying around at the end of an album. So why not just throw them all together and call it a special “plus” single? I’m not sure I fully understand, but it’s a pretty good collection anyway – especially if you’re a completist.

The original Rain Plus single seems to have fallen out of print at some stage in the last two decades, but you should be able to find a second-hand copy if you poke around.

Music for the Masses 11 – 1 March 2000

Universities, seats of learning though they may be, are not always seats of perfection, so a note from your producer saying “Please mention karioky,” as shown on the image below, shouldn’t be too much of a surprise! Just in case I forgot to mention it on Bay Radio back in 2000, there’s karioky at PJM on Wednesday night at 8pm.

show11pl

Show 11: Wed 1 Mar 2000, from 10.55am-1.00pm

Tracks taken from the playlist (Total 12 tracks). A indicates A-list (6 tracks); B indicates B-list (3 tracks) and C indicates C-list (2 tracks). S indicates the Single of the Week R indicates tracks taken from my own collection (Total 11 tracks). X indicates tracks I borrowed off friends (Total 1 track). L indicates the ones from the “library” (Total 6 tracks).

  • 1. Bellatrix “The Girl with the Sparkling Eyes” C
  • [IRN 11.00 News]
  • 2. Gene “As Good As it Gets” L
  • 3. Wannadies “Yeah” A
  • 4. Death in Vegas “Aisha” L
  • 5. Kraftwerk “Expo 2000” R
  • 6. Heaven 17 “Dive” R
  • 7. Chemical Brothers “Music: Response” A
  • 8. Basement Jaxx “Rendez-Vu” R
  • 9. Human League “These Are the Days” (Sonic Radiation) R
  • 10. Ooberman “Shorley Wall” A
  • 11. Asian Dub Foundation “Real Great Britain” S
  • 12. Bluetones “Keep the Home Fires Burning” A
  • 13. Big Yoga Muffin “Is that How You?” A
  • [Chart rundown: numbers 10 -> 6]
  • 14. James “Just Like Fred Astaire” L
  • 15. Erasure “In My Arms” R
  • 16. Dubstar “Not So Manic Now” R
  • [IRN 12.00 News]
  • 17. Moby “Natural Blues” A
  • 18. Enigma “Return to Innocence” R
  • 19. Divine Comedy “Something for the Weekend” X
  • 20. Coldplay “Shiver” B
  • [Chart rundown: numbers 5 -> 1]
  • 21. Atomic Kitten “See Ya” L
  • 22. El Niño “Friends” L
  • 23. Massive Attack “Protection” R
  • 24. Tony di Bart “The Real Thing” R
  • 25. Jean Michel Jarre “This is a Sign” R
  • 26. Sarah Cracknell “Anymore” (Faster Pussy Cat, Kill Kill Mix) R
  • 27. Muse “Sunburn” C
  • 28. Southern Fly “Maybe It’s the Right Time” B
  • 29. Charlatans “Scorched” B
  • 30. Peach “Hush” R

Producer: None.

Notes: Reasonable… had severe ups and downs (I went from being half decent to completely dying on my rump). Nonetheless, entertaining from where I was sitting.

Music for the Masses 1 – 17 November 1999

Hopefully you’ll excuse the interruption of normal service, because I stumbled across this in my archives and wanted to share it! Long before this blog existed, there was a student radio show called Music for the Masses, and the first ever show took place fifteen years ago today, on Aberystywth’s brand new student radio station, Bay Radio. The gaps in the playlist are the bits where I talked.

show1br

Tracks played on the first show, Wed 17 Nov 1999, from 11am-1pm

Tracks taken from the playlist (Total 12 tracks). A indicates A-list (7 tracks); B indicates B-list (3 tracks) and C indicates C-list (2 tracks). S indicates the Single of the Week. R indicates tracks taken from my own collection (Total 8 tracks). L indicates tracks we grabbed from the drawer to impress people (Total 9 tracks).

  • 1. Everything But The Girl “Before Today” R
  • 2. Garbage “The World is Not Enough” A
  • 3. Jamiroquai “Canned Heat” L
  • 4. Manchild “Return to the Dragon” C
  • 5. Gay Dad “Joy” L
  • 6. Offspring “She’s Got Issues” S
  • 7. R.E.M. “At My Most Beautiful” L
  • 8. New Order “World (The Price of Love)” R
  • 9. Amar “Red Sky” A
  • 10. Jean Michel Jarre “Oxygène 10” R
  • 11. Beastie Boys “Alive” A
  • 12. Cartoon “Alcoholic Show” L
  • 13. Murry The Hump “Colouring Book” A
  • [Advert Break]
  • 14. Barenaked Ladies “It’s All Been Done” L
  • 15. Spacedust “Let’s Get Down” L
  • 16. Beloved “Sweet Harmony” R
  • 17. Primal Scream “Swastika Eyes” C
  • 18. Cast “Magic Hour” L
  • 19. Atomic Kitten “Right Now” B
  • 20. Pet Shop Boys “Happiness is an Option” R
  • 21. Roni Size/Reprazent “Watching Windows” L
  • 22. Wheat “Don’t I Hold You?” B
  • 23. Olive “Miracle” R
  • 24. Glamma Kid “Why?” L
  • 25. Saint Etienne “Only Love Can Break Your Heart” R
  • 26. Madonna “Nothing Really Matters” L
  • 27. Muse “Muscle Museum” A
  • 28. Depeche Mode “Only When I Lose Myself” R
  • [Advert Break]
  • 29. Aim & Kate Rogers “Sail” B
  • 30. Longpigs “The Frank Sonata” A
  • 31. James “We’re Going To Miss You” A

Producer: Mark (and, unofficially, Karl Homer)

Notes: A reasonable flow to the tracks, considering the complete lack of planning. A slight surplus of playlist tracks at the end meant that I over-ran by about 2 minutes. Odd selection of music I suppose, but given the limitations, this is unsurprising. Better luck next time!

Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – English Electric

I’ve written before about the internal conflict that I suffer from when I pick up a new Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark album. They’re legends of electronic music, and a part of you feels you have to venerate them because of that. Alright, Andy McCluskey is obnoxious and entirely full of himself in interviews, but these are the people who recorded Enola Gay and Electricity, so you have to be forgiving to them, don’t you?

Well, no – they’re also the people who churned out album after album of dross in the late 1980s, and Andy McCluskey was also the man behind Atomic Kitten, so he also has a lot to answer for. And so it is entirely fair to pick up an album such as English Electric and explore it entirely on its own merits, and to forget about everything which came before it.

But that isn’t easy with OMD, because they insist on behaving like electronic royalty. Even the act of releasing a new album seems to be done with statements along the lines of, “we’re the people who recorded Enola Gay, you know.” No, that’s enough of that. Let’s not hate them too much before we’ve even pressed play.

Well, it’s difficult to cut them too much slack. The opening track Please Remain Seated is thoroughly ridiculous – it opens with the announcement that greets travellers onto the Maglev at Shanghai’s Pudong Airport, which is then “translated” into English as “The future which you anticipated has been cancelled.” Erm… OK.

The first proper track is Metroland, which has a fun clicky rhythm to it. It still sounds a lot like OMD – they never seem to have been able to avoid a bit of self-parody – but that’s not always a bad thing. Once you’ve had the synth arpeggio, the climbing counter-melody, and the pad choir, you’ve almost run out of OMD clichés. I suppose it’s good to get them out of the system as early on as possible. If only it were about Joan of Arc – that way we could tick all the boxes at once and get on with making a proper album.

What Metroland lacks is a particularly catchy chorus, but otherwise it’s pleasant enough, if you don’t mind it dragging on for seven and a half minutes. Similarly Night Café, almost a tribute to Trans-Europe Express, is nearly a good song, but it just seems to be lacking that special magical something. The Future Will Be Silent is rather silly, but it bounces along with a rather happy jaunt, and so it’s actually pretty enjoyable.

Then Helen of Troy is as close as we get to the song that everyone wants about Joan of Arc. Seemingly the previously bottomless pit of songs about poor Joan has finally been drained, so McCluskey has had to move onto other female historical figures instead. If he needs some ideas for future albums then I’m particularly looking forward to George Eliott and Margaret Thatcher. Unfortunately Komputer have done Valentina Tereshkova already.

On Our System, McCluskey sings very meaningfully about how formulaic OMD songs have become – “We sing about famous historical women / Then bring in that pad sound again.” Not really, it’s about space or something.

Slightly unexpectedly, the next track Kissing the Machine sounds very familiar, which is because it’s stolen wholesale from Elektric Music (Karl Bartos‘s) 1993 album Esperanto, on which McCluskey collaborated on a couple of tracks, including this one. Which should be enough to make it one of the best tracks on here, except even this isn’t as good as the original. McCluskey’s apparent reverse-Midas touch is still very much in effect.

With the exception of the catchy (if predictable) Stay with Me, the rest of the album is sadly forgettable for the most part. Fortunately the tracks are pretty short, so at least you get to forget them pretty quickly. Decimal features some counting for some reason, Dresden is nice but ultimately pointless, Atomic Ranch is very noisy indeed, and Final Song is just a bit aimless.

Fourteen years in the making, the comeback album History of Modern (2010) was patchy in the extreme, whereas English Electric is considerably more solid. What it really lacks is any particularly strong songs – its predecessor had a few, but this one is content to just bob along being pleasant and no more. You could be forgiven for wondering why OMD felt it was necessary to have yet another comeback just for this. Maybe next time…

You can find English Electric at all major online retailers, some with bonus tracks or a bonus DVD. Shop around for the right version.

Another Five Fascinating BRIT Awards Facts

You may have seen the previous posts: Five Fascinating BRIT Awards Facts, and Five More Fascinating BRIT Awards Facts. Admittedly, they’re not always as fascinating as the title may suggest.

Hedging Their Bets

Every once in a while, an artist will manage to fill up the nominations with several instances of their own name. This has happened a number of times:

  • Adam and the Ants, 1982, Best British Single – Prince Charming and Stand and Deliver. Won by the only other record in the caregory, Tainted Love by Soft Cell
  • Angelo Badalamenti, 1991, Best Soundtrack/Cast Recording – Twin Peaks and Wild at Heart
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood, 1985, Best British Single – Relax and Two Tribes. Won by Relax
  • Gareth Gates, 2003, Best British SingleAnyone of Us and Unchained Melody. Won by Liberty X‘s Just a Little
  • The Prodigy, 1997, Best British Video – Breathe and Firestarter. Won by Spice Girls (below)
  • Spice Girls, 1997, Best British Video – Say You’ll Be There and Wannabe. Won by Say You’ll Be There
  • Wham!, 1985, Best British VideoLast Christmas and Wake Me Up Before You Go Go. Lost to Duran Duran‘s Wild Boys
  • Robbie Williams, 1999, Best British Single – Angels and Millennium. Won by Angels. Also, the same year, Best British Video – Let Me Entertain You and Millennium. Won by Millennium. Then in 2002, Best British Video – Supreme and Kids. Lost to So Solid Crew‘s 21 Seconds

Just twice, an artist has managed three nominations in a single category:

  • Jive Bunny and the Mastermixers, 1990, Best British SingleSwing the Mood, That’s What I Like, and Let’s Party. All three lost to Phil Collins‘s Another Day in Paradise
  • Take That, 1993, Best British SingleCould it Be MagicA Million Love Songs, and It Only Takes a MinuteCould it Be Magic won

Define “Newcomer”

Logically, it should also be impossible to be nominated for Best Breakthrough Act (or Newcomer) more than once. But a few acts have snuck around that technicality:

  • Atomic Kitten – nominated for Best British Newcomer in both 2001 and 2002
  • Death in Vegas – nominated for the first round of the Best British Newcomer award in both 2000 and 2001
  • Seal – nominated for Best British Newcomer in 1992, despite a nomination for Best British Video (for Crazy) the previous year

Also, in normal circumstances, you might expect a newcomer to keep coming back for more, but a surprising number of acts have won a Best Newcomer award (British or international), and have never received any other nominations:

  • A1 (British, 2001)
  • Belle and Sebastian (British, 1999)
  • Julie Covington (British Female, 1977)
  • Lisa Loeb (International, 1995)
  • Graham Parker (British Male, 1977)
  • PM Dawn (International, 1992)

Best Solo Artist?

  • Roland Gift from Fine Young Cannibals – nominated for Best British Male Solo Artist in 1990, despite not releasing solo material until 2002
  • Mick Hucknall from Simply Red – nominated for Best British Male Solo Artist in 1993, despite not releasing solo material until 2008
  • Annie Lennox – nominated for Best British Female Solo Artist in 1984, 1985, 1986, 1989, 1990, and 1992, despite not beginning her solo career in earnest until 1992
  • Robert Smith from The Cure – nominated for Best British Male Solo Artist in 1991, despite never having released a solo album

A Second Chance

Normally, BRITs rules dictate that you can only be nominated if you released an album the preceding year. But it doesn’t always seem to work like that:

  • Adamski – Killer was nominated for Best British Video in 1991, and then proceeded to win in 1992
  • Craig David – nominated for Born to Do It in the Best British Album category in both 2001 and 2002
  • Dire Straits – nominated for Brothers in Arms in the Best British Album category in 1986, and then again in 1987. It won the second time
  • Alicia Keys – nominated for Best International Album for Songs in A Minor in 2002 and 2003. Neither won
  • Outkast – nominated twice for Best International Album for Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, in both 2004 and 2005
  • Radiohead – nominated for Best British Album for Kid A in both 2001 and 2002

British or not British?

Irish group U2 must have been a little taken aback in 1985, when they were nominated for Best British Group, and also Best British Album for The Unforgettable Fire. The following year, they were nominated again for Best British Group.

Then in 1988, they dramatically ceased to be British, with a nomination (and win) in the Best International Artist category. They proceeded to win that or the Best International Group award for most of the next couple of decades.

Finally, many wins down the line, they were nominated for Best British Single in 2005, thanks to their collaboration (in the loosest sense) with LMC on Take Me to the Clouds Above.