History of the UK Charts – Singles (Part 2)

As will become clear from this series of posts, the UK’s Official Charts Company has a slightly strange code around what is and isn’t considered an official chart. From 1969 onwards, despite some slightly confusing recent attempts at revisionism, we can pretty much all agree on what is and isn’t official. But the first seventeen years of the chart are rather more complex, and have tended to cause a degree of controversy among chart watchers.

Much of the blame for this can be given to The Guinness Book of British Hit Singles, compiled by Paul Gambaccini, Mike Read, Tim Rice and Jo Rice, and published to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the first chart in July 1977.

We can all agree that the NME Top 12 was the first published chart, starting in November 1952, which had grown to a Top 30 by the end of the 1950s, but for British Hit Singles, the decision was made to stop using that chart in March 1960, and switch to Record Retailer’s Top 50.

This has disadvantaged certain releases, perhaps most famously The Beatles‘ Please Please Me, which hit the top spot on the NME chart in March 1963, but only got to number two on the now-canonical Record Retailer chart. But the crux of the controversy appears to twofold: NME had a much higher circulation, so was better known by the public; and the size of the sample it used to compile charts was much larger – NME was sampling around 100 retailers, whereas Record Retailer was only sampling around 30.

The counter-argument, which doesn’t appear to be given often, is that of course Record Retailer (later renamed Music Week) was a trade magazine, established by record labels and dealers in August 1959, and so while its distribution was naturally smaller, its reputation should have been more solid. Their chart also seems to have been audited by slightly more reliable (and external) sources than other publications. Also, by March 1962, Record Mirror was also carrying these charts, surely increasing their reputation further still?

But neither the NME nor Record Retailer chart was, of course, really official at the time, the most recognised charts were really the ones in the publications that sold the most. But once British Hit Singles had decided what was official, that decision stuck, and now even the Official Charts Company follows that standard too.

Record Retailer

Record Retailer was launched as the trade magazine for independent record retailers, from August 1959, and when it switched the following year from being a monthly to weekly publication, it also started its own chart. Although published using returns from a small number of retailers (around 30), they produced the largest chart yet, a Top 50, and it was technically superior – it used postal returns, and whereas their competitors allowed tied positions, the Record Retailer chart compared the rate of change in sales to declare an absolute leader.

Crucially, Record Retailer’s chart was also independently audited, meaning that at least within the music business, it could be considered to have a degree of authority. This didn’t mean it was immune to abuse, though, as numerous accounts exist of record companies employing people to bulk-buy records.

Niche Charts and Reconciliation

It should come as little surprise that by the early 1960s, pretty much everybody had their own charts. The pirate radio stations were making charts up for themselves, and Merseybeat each launched one of their own in 1962. Within five years, one had merged into another publication, and the other had ceased to exist. 1962 also saw Record Mirror give up on its own chart, and start carrying the Record Retailer chart. Disc & Music Echo continued until 1967 before winding down its chart.

Modern-day chart watchers make laboured but persuasive arguments for regarding the NME chart as more official than the Record Retailer one during this period. The Official Charts Company rightly accepted the decision of the Guinness Book of British Hit Singles to use the Record Retailer ones, but at the same time, NME’s was very popular, Melody Maker’s was also widely used, and the Pick of the Pops chart was very well known.

This came to a head in August 1968, when the BBC’s points-based system led to a three-way tie at number one, between The Bee GeesThe Beach Boys, and Herb Alpert. They started working with Record Retailer to develop a new, official chart.

The Official Chart

From February 1969 onwards, there is no argument about which one the “official” chart is, as the British Market Research Bureau (BMRB) took over compilation of the charts, which were used by Record Retailer, Record Mirror, and BBC Radio 1. NME and Melody Maker were invited to take part, but the high costs of collecting a reliable chart appear to have prevented them from joining.

It had its teething problems – notably, the early BMRB charts contained multiple tied positions. It was initially compiled as a Top 50, although during a newspaper strike from February to March 1971, only a Top 40 was published (and a Top 20 broadcast on BBC Radio 1), and a postal strike in early 1973 led to only a Top 30 being published. This led to BMRB using motorcycle couriers to collect sales data, and by the mid-1970s it was well accepted as the official UK chart.

Apart from those blips, the chart remained a Top 50 until May 1978, when it grew to a Top 75 while BBC Radio 1 started taking interest in the Top 40. The chart remained a Top 75 until the 2012 relaunch of the Official Charts Company website, when they started listing the Top 100 Singles as official.

The compilers have changed, and the rules have changed many times, but for the last fifty years, the official UK chart has remained the most widely recognised source of information about musical successes in the UK.

On the Radio

Radio Luxembourg had been broadcasting charts for several years by this stage, starting with sheet music charts, then switching to the NME Top 20 until July 1965, when they worked with NME to use their Friday chart. In spring 1967, Paul Burnett replaced this with an airplay chart, but they were losing ground to the BBC. From 1970, they tried to predict the next week’s charts instead, and saw varying degrees of success.

The BBC Light Programme’s Pick of the Pops show had been broadcasting various charts from September 1957 onwards. In March 1958, David Jacobs started using a points-based system to combine the charts, counting them down live. Alan Freeman took over, still using the same system and overseeing the show’s move to Sunday nights and then later to BBC Radio 1 in October 1967. The show started using the new official BMRB chart at some point after it launched in February 1969.

Pick of the Pops was replaced by Tom Browne‘s Solid Gold Sixty in October 1972, featuring highlights and the full Top 20. Simon Bates took over in April 1978, who saw the show extended to a two hour show playing the full Top 40, before passing on the baton to Tony Blackburn the following year.

Throughout the 1980s and early 1990s, Tommy VanceRichard SkinnerBruno Brookes, and Mark Goodier took the helm, as the show grew to two-and-a-half and then three hours. This, the iconic format remained, fronted by Wes ButtersJK and JoelFearne CottonReggie YatesJameela Jamil, and Clara Amfo until it finally left the Sunday slot.

The Chart Show moved to Friday afternoons in July 2015, with Greg James taking over as presenter, and then Scott Mills jumped into the role more recently.

Next time: the birth of the UK Album Chart.

This series of posts owes a lot to the following sources which weren’t directly credited above:

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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

Ivor Novello Awards – The 1980s

After drifting off the rails somewhat in the 1970s, the Ivor Novello Awards started to go back to being about songwriting in the 1980s. Although they still seemed a little more obsessed with Bucks Fizz and Cliff Richard than is really healthy.

Ivor Novello Awards 1980

Grosvenor House, London, hosted the 25th Ivor Novello Award ceremony.

  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: The Logical Song, performed by Supertramp, written by Rick Davies and Roger Hodgson. Also nominated: Bright Eyes, performed by Art Garfunkel, written by Mike BattWe Don’t Talk Anymore, performed by Cliff Richard, written by Alan Tarney
  • The Best Pop Song: I Don’t Like Mondays, performed by The Boomtown Rats, written by Bob Geldof. Also nominated: Video Killed the Radio Star, performed by Buggles, written by Bruce Woolley, Trevor Horn and Geoff Downes; Off the Wall, performed by Michael Jackson, written by Rodney Temperton
  • The Best Theme from a Radio or Television Production: Nunc Dimittis, written by Geoffrey Burgon. Also nominated: Secret Army, written by Robert FarnonShoestring, written by George Fenton
  • The Best Film Song, Theme or Score: Caravans, written by Mike Batt. Also nominated: Music Machine, written by Leslie Hurdle and Frank RicottiYanks, written by Richard Rodney Bennett
  • The Outstanding British Lyric: I Don’t Like Mondays. Also nominated: He Was Beautiful, performed by Iris Williams, written by Cleo LaineBright Eyes
  • The Best Instrumental or Popular Orchestral Work: War of the Worlds, written by Jeff Wayne and Gary Osborne. Also nominated: The Valley of Swords, written by Mike BattAfrican Sanctus, written by David Fanshawe
  • The International Hit of the Year: We Don’t Talk Anymore, performed by Cliff Richard, written by Alan Tarney. Also nominated: Too Much Heaven, performed by Bee Gees, written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice GibbI Don’t Like Mondays
  • The Most Performed Work: Bright Eyes. Also nominated: We Don’t Talk Anymore; Cavatina, performed by John Williams, written by Stanley Myers
  • The Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Bright Eyes. Also nominated: I Don’t Like MondaysAnother Brick in the Wall (Part 2), performed by Pink Floyd, written by Roger Waters
  • The Best British Musical: Songbook, written by Monty Norman and Julian More. Also nominated: A Day in Hollywood, A Night in the Ukraine, written by Dick Vosburgh and Frank Lazarus
  • Award for Outstanding Services to British Music: Robert Mayer
  • Songwriter of the Year: Ben Findon
  • Special Award for International Achievement: Paul McCartney
  • Special Award for Lifetime Achievement: Edgar Yipsel Harburg and Jimmy Kennedy

Ivor Novello Awards 1981

The 26th Ivor Novello Awards were held at Grosvenor House, London.

  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Woman in Love, performed by Barbara Streisand, written by Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb. Also nominated: Babooshka, written by Kate BushTogether We Are Beautiful, performed by Fern Kinney, written by Ken LerayYour Ears Should be Burning Now, performed by Marti Webb, written by Tony Macaulay and Don Black
  • The Best Pop Song: Stop the Cavalry, written by Jona Lewie. Also nominated: Don’t Stand So Close to Me, performed by The Police, written by StingWhat You’re Proposing, performed by Status Quo, written by Francis Rossi and Bernard Frost
  • The Best Theme from a Television or Radio Production: I Could Be So Good for You, written by Gerard Kenny and Patricia Waterman. Also nominated: Fox, written by George FentonJuliet Bravo, written by J.S. Bach and arranged by Derek Goom
  • The Best Film Song, Theme or Score: Xanadu, written by Jeff Lynne. Also nominated: Flash, written by Brian MaySilver Dream Machine, written by David Essex
  • The Outstanding British Lyric: Take That Look Off Your Face, performed by Marti Webb, written by Don Black. Also nominated: Stop the Cavalry, written by Jona LewieWoman in Love, performed by Barbara Streisand, written by Barry Gibb and Robin Gibb
  • The International Hit of the Year: Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2). Also nominated: Woman in LoveAnother One Bites the Dust, performed by Queen, written by John Deacon
  • The Most Performed Work: Together We Are Beautiful. Also nominated: January, February, performed by Barbara Dickson, written by Alan TarneyI’m In The Mood for Dancing, performed by The Nolan Sisters, written by Ben Findon, Michael Myers and Robert Puzey
  • The Best Selling ‘A’ Side: There’s No One Quite Like Grandma, performed by St. Winifred’s School Choir, written by Gordon Lorenz. Also nominated: Woman in LoveDon’t Stand So Close to Me
  • Award for Outstanding Services to British Music: William Walton
  • Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music: John Lennon
  • Songwriter of the Year: Ben Findon

Ivor Novello Awards 1982

The 27th Ivor Novello Awards were held at Grosvenor House, London.

  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Memory, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber, T.S. Eliot and Trevor Nunn. Also nominated: Woman, written by John LennonThe Land of Make Believe, performed by Bucks Fizz, written by Andy Hill and Pete Sinfield
  • The Best Pop Song: Every Little Thing She Does is Magic, performed by The Police, written by Sting. Also nominated: Don’t You Want Me, performed by The Human League, written by Phil Oakey, Adrian Wright and Jo Callis; Wired for Sound, performed by Cliff Richard, written by Alan Tarney and BA Robertson
  • The Best Theme from a Television or Radio Production: Brideshead Revisited, written by Geoffrey Burgon. Also nominated: Flame Trees of Thika, written by Ken Howard and Alan BlaikleyShillingbury Tales, written by Ed Welch
  • The Best Film Theme or Song: The French Lieutenant’s Woman, written by Carl Davis. Also nominated: Without Your Love, written by Billy Nicholls; For Your Eyes Only, written by Bill Conti and Mick Leeson
  • The Outstanding British Lyric: Woman. Also nominated: The One That You Love, performed by Air Supply, written by Graham Russell; When He Shines, performed by Sheena Easton, written by Florrie Palmer and Dominic Bugatti
  • The Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Stand and Deliver, performed by Adam and the Ants, written by Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni. Also nominated: Vienna, performed by Ultravox, written by Billy Currie, Chris Cross, Warren Cann and Midge UreDon’t You Want Me
  • The International Hit of the Year: In the Air Tonight, written by Phil Collins. Also nominated: (Just Like) Starting Over, written by John Lennon; Woman in Love; Every Little Thing She Does is Magic
  • The Most Performed Work: You Drive Me Crazy, performed by Shakin’ Stevens, written by Ronnie Harwood. Also nominated: Woman
  • Award for Outstanding Services to British Music: Lennox Berkeley
  • The Best British Musical: Cats, written by: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Trevor Nunn
  • Songwriters of the Year: Adam Ant and Marco Pirroni
  • Special Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Roger Daltrey, John Entwistle, Kenney Jones, Keith Moon and Pete Townshend

Ivor Novello Awards 1983

The 28th Ivor Novello Awards were held at Grosvenor House, London.

  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Have You Ever Been in Love, written by Andy Hill, Pete Sinfield and John Danter. Also nominated: Now Those Days Are Gone, performed by Bucks Fizz, written by Andy Hill and Nichola Martin; Heartbreaker, performed by Bee Gees, written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb
  • The Best Pop Song: Our House, performed by Madness, written by Carl Smyth and Chris Foreman. Also nominated: I Don’t Wanna Dance, written by Eddy Grant; Come On Eileen, performed by Dexys Midnight Runners, written by Kevin Rowland, Kevin Adams and James Paterson
  • The Best Theme from a Television or Radio Production: Theme From Harry’s Game, composed by Paul Brennan. Also nominated: Omnibus, composed by George Fenton; Smiley’s People, composed by Patrick Gowers
  • The Best Film Theme or Song: For All Mankind, composed by Ravi Shankar and George Fenton. Also nominated: Time and Tide, composed by Alan Price; Another Brick in the Wall (Part 2)
  • The Outstanding British Lyric: Private Investigations, performed by Dire Straits, written by Mark Knopfler. Also nominated: The Dreaming, written by Kate Bush; Have You Ever Been in Love
  • The Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Come On Eileen. Also nominated: Do You Really Want to Hurt Me, performed by Culture Club, written by Boy George, Michael Craig, John Moss and Roy Hay; Ebony and Ivory, written by Paul McCartney and performed with Stevie Wonder
  • The International Hit of the Year: Ebony and Ivory. Also nominated: Heartbreaker; Don’t You Want Me
  • The Most Performed Work: Golden Brown, performed by The Stranglers, written by Jean J. Burnell, Hugh Cornwell, Jet Black and David Greenfield. Also nominated: Oh Julie, written by Shakin’ Stevens; Love Plus One, performed by Haircut 100, written by Nick Heyward
  • The Best British Musical: Windy City, written by: Tony Macaulay and Dick Vosburgh
  • Lifetime Achievement in British Music: Vivian Ellis
  • Songwriter of the Year: Andy Hill
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett and Mike Rutherford
  • Special Award for 25 Years In The Music Business: Brian Bennett, Hank Marvin and Bruce Welch

Ivor Novello Awards 1984

The 29th Ivor Novello Awards were held at Grosvenor House, London.

  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Every Breath You Take, performed by The Police, written by Sting. Also nominated: Pipes of Peace, written by Paul McCartney; True, performed by Spandau Ballet, written by Gary Kemp
  • The Best Pop Song: Karma Chameleon, performed by Culture Club, written by Boy George, John Moss, Michael Craig, Roy Hay and Phil Pickett. Also nominated: Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This), performed by Eurythmics, written by Annie Lennox and Dave StewartThriller, performed by Michael Jackson, written by Rod Temperton
  • The Best Rock Song: Let’s Dance, written by David Bowie. Also nominated: Every Breath You TakeOwner of a Lonely Heart, performed by Yes, written by Trevor Rabin, Jon Anderson, Chris Squire and Trevor Horn
  • The Best Theme from a TV or Radio Production: That’s Livin’ Alright, composed by David Mackay and Ken Ashby. Also nominated: The Late Late Breakfast Show, composed by Gary Kemp; Partners in Crime, composed by Joseph Horovitz
  • The Best Film Theme or Song: Going Home, written by Mark Knopfler. Also nominated: Walking in the Air, written by Howard BlakeAll Time High, written by Tim Rice and John Barry
  • The Best British Musical: Blood Brothers, written by Willie Russell. Also nominated: Poppy, written by Pete Nichols and Monty NormanMr Cinders, written by Clifford Grey, Greatrex Newman, Leo Robin, Vivian Ellis and Richard Myers
  • The Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Karma Chameleon. Also nominated: Only You, performed by Yazoo, written by Vince Clarke; Let’s Dance, written by David Bowie
  • The Most Performed Work: Every Breath You Take. Also nominated: Karma ChameleonMoonlight Shadow, written by Mike Oldfield
  • The International Hit of the Year: Let’s Dance, written by David Bowie. Also nominated: Every Breath You TakeKarma Chameleon
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Songwriters of the Year: Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Andy Brown, Peter Kircher, Alan Lancaster, Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi

Ivor Novello Awards 1985

The 30th Ivor Novello Awards were held at Grosvenor House, London.

  • Best Contemporary Song: Two Tribes, performed by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, written by Holly Johnson, Peter Gill and Mark O’Toole. Also nominated: I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me, written by Nik Kershaw; Relax, performed by Frankie Goes to Hollywood, written by Holly Johnson, Peter Gill and Mark O’Toole
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Against All Odds (Take A Look At Me Now), written by Phil Collins. Also nominated: Careless Whisper, performed by Wham!, written by George Michael and Andrew RidgeleyI Should have Known Better, written by Jim Diamond and Graham Lyle
  • Best Theme from a TV or Radio Production: Jewel in the Crown, written by George Fenton. Also nominated: Another Six English Towns, written by Jim Parker; Kennedy, written by Richard Hartley
  • Best Film Theme or Song: We All Stand Together, written by Paul McCartney. Also nominated: Champions, written by Carl Davis; Company of Wolves, written by George Fenton
  • Best British Musical: The Hired Man, words and music by Howard Goodall. Also nominated: Starlight Express, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe; The Boyfriend, written by Sandy Wilson
  • Most Performed Work: Careless Whisper. Also nominated: Two Tribes; I Won’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
  • The Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Do They Know It’s Christmas?, performed by Band Aid, written by Bob Geldof and Midge Ure
  • International Hit of the Year: The Reflex, performed by Duran Duran, written by Simon Le Bon, John Taylor, Roger Taylor, Andy Taylor and Nick Rhodes. Also nominated: Caribbean Queen (No More Love on the Run), written by Billie Ocean and Keith Diamond; Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go, performed by Wham!, written by George Michael
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Michael Tippett
  • Songwriter of the Year: George Michael
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Tommie Connor
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Graeme Edge, Justin Hayward, John Lodge, Patrick Moraz and Ray Thomas

Ivor Novello Awards 1986

The 31st Ivor Novello Awards were held at Grosvenor House, London.

  • Best Contemporary Song: We Don’t Need Another Hero (Thunderdome), performed by Tina Turner, written by Graham Lyle and Terry Britten. Also nominated: 19, written by Paul Hardcastle, Mike Oldfield, Bill Couturie and Jonas McCord; Money for Nothing, performed by Dire Straits, written by Mark Knopfler and Sting; Running Up That Hill, written by Kate Bush
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Nikita, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Also nominated: I Want To Know What Love Is, performed by Foreigner, written by Mick Jones; Everybody Wants to Rule the World, performed by Tears for Fears, written by Roland Orzabal, Ian Stanley and Chris HughesI Know Him So Well, performed by Elaine Page, written by Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson
  • The Best Theme from a Television or Radio Production: Edge of Darkness, written by Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen. Also nominated: The Last Place on Earth, written by Trevor Jones; Eastenders, written by Leslie Osborne and Simon May
  • The Best Film Theme or Song: We Don’t Need Another Hero, written by Graham Lyle and Terry Britten. Also nominated: Hit That Perfect Beat, written by John Foster, Steve Bronski and Larry SteinbachekA View to a Kill, written by Duran Duran and John Barry
  • The Best British Musical: Me and My Girl, written by Reginald Armitage and Douglas Furber. Also nominated: Lennon, written by Paul McCartney and John Lennon; Mutiny, written by David Essex and Richard Crane
  • Most Performed Work: Easy Lover, written by: Phillip Bailey, Phil Collins and Nathan East
  • Best Selling ‘A’ Side: I Know Him So Well. Also nominated: 19; Easy Lover
  • International Hit of the Year: 19. Also nominated: Shout, performed by Tears for Fears, written by Roland Orzabal and Ian Stanley; A View to a Kill, written by Duran Duran and John Barry
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Lionel Bart
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Malcolm Arnold
  • Songwriter of the Year: Roland Orzabal
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Elton John

Ivor Novello Awards 1987

The 1987 Ivor Novello Awards took place on 15th April at Grosvenor House, London.

  • Best Contemporary Song: It’s Alright (Baby’s Coming Back), performed by Eurythmics, written by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart. Also nominated: West End Girls, performed by Pet Shop Boys, written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe; Sledgehammer, written by Peter Gabriel
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Don’t Give Up, written by Peter Gabriel. Also nominated: All I Ask of You, written by Charles Hart, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe; The Miracle of Love, performed by Eurythmics, written by Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart
  • Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Every Loser Wins, written by Simon May, Stewart James and Bradley James. Also nominated: Chain Reaction, written by Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb; Living Doll, written by Lionel Bart
  • Best Theme from a Television or Radio Production: The Monocled Mutineer, written by George Fenton. Also nominated: Theme from Lost Empires, written by Derek Hilton; Time After Time, written by Rod Argent and Robert Howes
  • Most Performed Work: Chain Reaction, performed by Diana Ross, written by: Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb
  • International Hit of the Year: West End Girls. Also nominated: Nikita, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin; The Edge of Heaven, performed by Wham!, written by George Michael
  • Best Film Theme or Song: Sweet Freedom, written by Rod Temperton. Also nominated: A Kind of Magic, written by Roger Taylor; In Too Deep, written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Mike Rutherford
  • The Best British Musical: The Phantom of the Opera, written by Charles Hart, Andrew Lloyd Webber and Richard Stilgoe. Also nominated: Chess, written by Tim Rice, Bjorn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson; Charlie Girl, written by David Heneker and John Taylor
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Hugh Charles
  • Songwriters of the Year: Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Yehudi Menuhin
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Brian May and Roger Taylor

Ivor Novello Awards 1988

The 1988 Ivor Novello Awards took place on 7th April at Grosvenor House, London.

  • Best Contemporary Song: You Win Again, performed by Bee Gees, written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb. Also nominated: Never Gonna Give You Up, performed by Rick Astley, written by Stock Aitken Waterman (Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman); What Have I Done to Deserve This?, performed by Pet Shop Boys with Dusty Springfield, written by Chris Lowe, Neil Tennant and Allee Willis
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: (Something Inside) So Strong, written by Labi Siffre. Also nominated: I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me), performed by Aretha Franklin and George Michael, written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan; Throwing It All Away, written by Tony Banks, Phil Collins and Michael Rutherford
  • Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Never Gonna Give You Up. Also nominated: You Win Again; China in Your Hand, performed by T’Pau, written by Carol Decker and Ronald Rogers
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: David Heneker
  • Best Theme from a Television or Radio Production: Fortunes of War, written by Richard Holmes. Also nominated: Neighbours, written by Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent; My Family and Other Animals, written by Daryl Runswick
  • Most Performed Work: Never Gonna Give You Up. Also nominated: Respectable, performed by Mel and Kim, written by Stock Aitken Waterman; Living in a Box, performed by Living in a Box, written by Marcus Vere and Steve Pigott
  • International Hit of the Year: Never Gonna Give You Up, written by Stock Aitken Waterman. Also nominated: It’s a Sin, performed by Pet Shop Boys, written by Chris Lowe and Neil Tennant; I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)
  • Best Film Score Theme or Song: Cry Freedom, written by George Fenton and Jonas Gwangwa. Also nominated: The Living Daylights, written by John Barry and Pal Waaktaar; Theme from Castaway, written by Stanley Myers
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Norman Newell
  • Songwriters of the Year: Matt Aitken, Mike Stock and Peter Waterman
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb

Ivor Novello Awards 1989

The 1989 Ivor Novello Awards were held on 4th April at Grosvenor House, London.

  • Best Contemporary Song: Love Changes (Everything), written by Simon Climie, Dennis Morgan and Rob Fisher. Also nominated: A Little Respect, performed by Erasure, written by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke; Father Figure, written by George Michael
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: They Dance Alone (Cueca Solo), written by Sting. Also nominated: Perfect, performed by Fairground Attraction, written by Mark Nevin; Mary’s Prayer, performed by Danny Wilson, written by Gary Clark
  • Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Mistletoe & Wine, performed by Cliff Richard, written by Leslie Stewart, Jeremy Paul and Keith Strachan. Also nominated: Especially for You, performed by Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan, written by Stock Aitken Waterman; I Should Be So Lucky, performed by Kylie Minogue, written by Stock Aitken Waterman
  • Most Performed Work: I Should Be So Lucky. Also nominated: Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car, written by Billy Ocean and Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange; Love Changes (Everything)
  • Best Theme from a TV or Radio Production: Testament, written by Nigel Hess. Also nominated: The Long March, written by Christopher Gunning; Young Musician of the Year, written by Edward Gregson
  • Best Film Theme or Song: Two Hearts, written by Phil Collins and Lamont Dozier. Also nominated: A Fish Called Wanda, written by Trevor Jones and  John Du Prez; Childhood Days, written by Barry Gibb and Maurice Gibb
  • International Hit of the Year: Faith, written by George Michael. Also nominated: I Should Be So Lucky; Get Outta My Dreams, Get Into My Car
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Mark Knopfler and John Illsley
  • Songwriters of the Year: George Michael and Matt Aitken, Mike Stock and Peter Waterman (presented jointly)
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Leslie Bricusse
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Paul McCartney
  • Lifetime Achievement: Cliff Richard

Further Reading

Ivor Novello Awards – The 1970s

Having discovered popular music in the mid-1960s, the Ivor Novello Awards seem to have taken a bit of a step back in the 1970s, by becoming obsessed with musicals and jazz, and ignoring the stuff that people were actually listening to.

Ivor Novello Awards 1970

Fifteen ceremonies in, the Ivor Novello Awards entered the 1970s on 10th May 1970, at Talk of the Town. The ceremony was broadcast on TVR.

  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1969 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: Get Back, performed by The Beatles, written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, performed by The Beatleswritten by John Lennon and Paul McCartney
  • The British Songwriter of the Year: Tony Macaulay
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Noel Coward
  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Where Do You Go To My Lovely, written by Peter Sarstedt
  • Best Score from a Film or Musical Play: Madwoman of Caillot, written by Michael Lewis
  • The Year’s Outstanding Light Orchestral Arranger / Composer: Ernest Tomlinson
  • British International Hit of the Year: Love Is All, written by Barry Mason and Les Reed
  • International Artist of the Year: Tom Jones
  • Special Award for Originality: Space Oddity, written by David Bowie
  • Special Award for The Most Contemporary Song: Melting Pot, performed by Blue Mink, written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway

Ivor Novello Awards 1971

The 1971 ceremony was the sixteenth.

  • British Songwriters of the Year: Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Cliff Richard
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1970 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: In the Summertime, performed by Mungo Jerry, written by Ray Dorset
  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: Yellow River, performed by Christie, written by Jeff Christie
  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Something, performed by The Beatles, written by George Harrison
  • Best Theme from Any Film, Television Programme or Theatrical Production: Who Do You Think You Are Kidding Mr Hitler, written by Jimmy Perry and Derek Taverner
  • The Best Ballad or Romantic Song, Musically and Lyrically: Home Lovin’ Man, performed by Andy Williams, written by Roger Cook, Roger Greenaway and Tony Macaulay
  • The Best Pop Song: Love Grows (Where My Rosemary Goes), performed by Edison Lighthouse, written by Tony Macaulay and Barry Mason
  • The Best Novel or Unusual Song, Musically and Lyrically: Grandad, performed by Clive Dunn, written by Herbie Flowers and Ken Pickett
  • The International Hit of the Year by British Writers: In the Summertime
  • Light Music Award: March from the Colour Suite, written by Gordon Langford

Ivor Novello Awards 1972

The 1972 ceremony was introduced by Robin Boyle, and broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on 28th June 1972.

  • British Songwriters of the Year: Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Jimmy Kennedy
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1971 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: My Sweet Lord, written by George Harrison
  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: My Sweet Lord
  • Entertainment Music: Ron Goodwin
  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Don’t Let It Die, written by Hurricane Smith
  • The Best Song and/or Theme Score from any Film, Television Programme or Theatrical Production: I Don’t Know How To Love Him, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
  • The Best Ballad or Romantic Song, Musically and Lyrically: No Matter How I Try, written by Gilbert O’Sullivan
  • The Best Pop Song, Musically and Lyrically: A Simple Game, performed by The Moody Blues, written by Mike Pinder
  • The Best Novel or Unusual Song, Musically and Lyrically: Ernie, written by Benny Hill
  • The International Hit of the Year by British Writers: Jesus Christ Superstar, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice

Ivor Novello Awards 1973

On 3rd May 1973, at the Connaught Rooms in London, the Music Publishers Association Lunch hosted the eighteenth Ivor Novello Awards.

  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Vivian Ellis
  • British Songwriter of the Year: Gilbert O’Sullivan
  • The Most Performed Work of the Year: Beg Steal or Borrow, written by Tony Cole, Graeme Hall and Steve Wolfe
  • The ‘A’ Side of the Record Issued in 1972 Which Achieved the Highest Certified British Sales: Mouldy Old Dough, performed by Lieutenant Pigeon, written by Nigel Fletcher and Rob Woodward
  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Without You, performed by Badfinger, written by Tom Evans and Peter Ham
  • The Best Song and/or Theme or Score from any Film or Theatrical Production: Diamonds Are Forever, written by John Barry and Don Black
  • The Best Song and/or Theme from any Radio or Television Programme: Colditz, written by Robert Farnon
  • The Best Ballad or Romantic Song: The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face, performed by Roberta Flack, written by Ewan MacColl
  • The Best Pop Song: Oh Babe What Could I Say, written by Hurricane Smith
  • The Best Novel or Unusual Song: The People Tree, written by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley
  • The International Hit of the Year by British Writers: Without You

Ivor Novello Awards 1974

BBC Radio 2 broadcast the 1974 ceremony on 17th May, introduced by Alan Black.

  • Songwriters of the Year: Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Tolchard Evans
  • International Hit of the Year by British Writers: Power to All Our Friends, performed by Cliff Richard, written by Guy Fletcher and Doug Flett
  • Most Performed British Song: Get Down, written by Gilbert O’Sullivan
  • Best Selling British Record: I Love You Love Me Love, written by Mike Leander
  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Daniel, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin
  • The Best Score from any Film or Theatrical Production: Jesus Christ Superstar, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
  • The Best Song or Theme from any Radio or TV Programme: Galloping Home, written by Denis King
  • The Best Ballad or Romantic Song: Won’t Somebody Dance with Me, written by Lynsey De Paul
  • The Best ‘Pop’ Song: You Won’t Find Another Fool Like Me, performed by New Seekers, written by Tony Macaulay and Geoff Stephens
  • The Best Novel or Unusual Song: Nice One Cyril, performed by Cockerel Chorus, written by Helen Clarke and Harold Spiro
  • The Best Beat Song: Rubber Bullets, performed by 10cc, written by: Lol Crème, Kevin Godley and Graham Gouldman

Ivor Novello Awards 1975

The 1975 ceremony took place at the Dorchester Hotel, London and was broadcast on BBC Radio 2 on 22nd May 1975. The awards were introduced by Len Jackson.

  • Songwriters of the Year: Phil Coulter and Bill Martin
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Vera Lynn
  • Most Performed British Song: Wombling Song, performed by The Wombles, written by Mike Batt
  • Best Selling British Record: Tiger Feet, performed by Mud, written by Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn
  • The Best Light Orchestral Work: Four Dances from Aladdin, written by Ernest Tomlinson
  • The Best New Musical: Treasure Island, written by Cyril Ornadel and Hal Shaper
  • The Best Song: Streets of London, written by Ralph McTell
  • The Best Pop Song: Kung Fu Fighting, written by Carl Douglas
  • The Best Theme from a Film or a Stage, Radio or Television Production: No Honestly!, written by Lynsey De Paul
  • The British International Hit of the Year: The Night Chicago Died, written by Peter Callander and Mitch Murray

PRS Ivor Novello Awards 1976

The 1976 ceremony too place on 11th May at the Dorchester Hotel, London.

  • Songwriters of the Year: Wayne Bickerton and Tony Waddington
  • Music Publisher of the Year: Geoffrey Heath
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Dick James
  • Most Performed British Work: I’m Not In Love, performed by 10cc, written by Graham Gouldman and Eric Stewart
  • Best Selling British Record: Bohemian Rhapsody, performed by Queen, written by Freddie Mercury
  • Best Middle of the Road Song: Harry, written by Catherine Howe
  • Best Pop Song: I’m Not In Love
  • Best Theme from TV or Radio: The Edwardians (Upstairs, Downstairs Theme), written by Alexander Faris
  • Best Film Score: Murder on the Orient Express, written by Richard Rodney Bennett
  • Best British Musical: Great Expectations, written by Cyril Ornadel and Hal Shaper
  • International Hit of the Year: I’m Not In Love
  • Best Instrumental Work: Introduction and Air to a Stained Glass Window, written by John Gregory
  • Best British Work for Children: Captain Noah and His Floating Zoo, written by Michael Flanders and Joseph Horovitz

Ivor Novello Awards 1977

The 1977 ceremony took place at Grosvenor House, in London.

  • Best Pop Song: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Also nominated: Heart On My Sleeve, performed by Gallagher and Lyle, written by Benny Gallagher and Graham Lyle; We Do It, performed by R&J Stone, written by Russell Stone
  • Best Middle of the Road Song: Music, written by John Miles. Also nominated: Don’t Cry for Me Argentina, by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber; Miss You Nights, performed by Cliff Richard, written by Dave Townshend
  • Best Theme from Radio or Television Production: Sam, composed by John McCab. Also nominated: Bouquet of Barbed Wire, by Dennis Farnon; The Sweeney, by Harry South
  • International Hit of the Year: Save Your Kisses for Me, performed by Brotherhood of Man, written by Tony Hiller, Martin Lee and Lee Sheriden; Don’t Go Breaking My Heart; You Should Be Dancing, performed by Bee Gees, written by Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb
  • Most Performed Work and Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Save Your Kisses For Me. Also nominated: Don’t Go Breaking My Heart
  • Best Instrumental Work: Rain Forest, written by Biddu; Theme from a Non-Existent TV Series, by Elton John and Bernie Taupin; The Sweeney, by Harry South
  • Special Award for their Contribution to British Music: Led Zeppelin (John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant)
  • Special Award for the James Bond Theme: Monty Norman
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Adrian Boult
  • Songwriter of the Year: Biddu

Ivor Novello Awards 1978

The 1978 ceremony took place at Grosvenor House, in London.

  • The Best Pop Song: Mull of Kintyre, performed by Wings, written by Paul McCartney and Denny Laine. Also nominated: How Deep Is Your Love, performed by Bee Gees, written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice GibbBoogie Nights, performed by Heatwave, written by Rod TempertonDon’t Cry for Me Argentina, by Tim Rice and Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Don’t Cry for Me Argentina. Also nominated: Sam, performed by Olivia Newton-John, written by John Farrar, Hank Marvin and Don BlackHow Deep Is Your Love
  • The Best Theme from a Radio or Television Production: Poldark, composed by Kenyon Emrys-Robert. Also nominated: Wings, by Alexander FarisLove for Lydia, by Harry Rabinowitz
  • The Best Film Music or Song: How Deep Is Your Love. Also nominated: The Duellists, by Howard Blake; The Scarlet Buccaneer, by John Addison
  • The Outstanding Lyric of the Year: Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs, performed by Brian and Michael, written, written by Michael Coleman and Brian Burke. Also nominated: Don’t Cry for Me ArgentinaHeaven on the 7th Floor, performed by Paul Nicholas, written by Dominique Bugatti and Frank Musker
  • The Best Instrumental or Popular Orchestral Work: Cavatina, composed by Stanley Myers. Also nominated: The Snow Goose, by Ed Welch and Spike MilliganLove Transformation, by Roger Greenaway
  • The International Hit of the Year: Don’t Cry for Me Argentina. Also nominated: How Deep Is Your LoveAngelo, performed by Brotherhood of Man, written by Tony Hiller, Lee Sheridan and Martin Lee
  • The Most Performed Work: Don’t Cry for Me Argentina. Also nominated: Don’t Give Up On Us, by Tony Macaulay; I Don’t Want to Put a Hold On You, by Berni Flint and Michael Flint
  • The Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Mull of Kintyre. Also nominated: Don’t Cry for Me Argentina; Don’t Give Up On Us, performed by David Soul, written by Tony Macaulay
  • The Best British Musical: Privates on Parade, by: Denis King and Peter Nicholls
  • Special Award: Bee Gees (Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb)
  • Award for Outstanding Services to British Music: Harry Mortimer
  • Songwriter of the Year: Tony Macaulay

Ivor Novello Awards 1979

The 1979 ceremony took place at Grosvenor House, in London.

  • The Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Baker Street, written by Gerry Rafferty. Also nominated: Wuthering Heights, by Kate BushCan’t Smile Without You, performed by Barry Manilow, written by Chris Arnold, David Martin and Geoff Morrow
  • The Best Pop Song: Baker Street. Also nominated: Wuthering Heights; Night Fever, performed by Bee Gees, written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb
  • The Best Theme from a Radio or Television Production: Lillie, composed by Joseph Horovitz. Also nominated: Fawlty Towers, by Dennis Wilson; Hong Kong Beat, by Richard Denton and Martin Cook
  • The Best Film Score: The Silent Witness, composed by Alan Hawkshaw. Also nominated: Watership Down, by Angela Morley, Mike Batt and Malcolm Williamson; The 39 Steps, by Ed Welch
  • The Best Film Song: Bright Eyes, performed by Art Garfunkel, written by Mike Batt. Also nominated: Grease, perfoemd by Frankie Valli, written by Barry Gibb; Stayin’ Alive, performed by Bee Gees, written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb
  • The Outstanding British Lyric: The Man With The Child In His Eyes, written by Kate Bush. Also nominated: Railway Hotel, by Mike Batt; Baker Street
  • The Best Instrumental or Popular Orchestral Work: Song for Guy, composed by Elton John. Also nominated: Dr. Who, by Ron Grainer; Heartsong, by Gordon Giltrap
  • The International Hit of the Year: Stayin’ Alive. Also nominated: It’s a Heartache, performed by Bonnie Tyler, written by Ronnie Scott and Steve WolfeDreadlock Holiday, performed by 10cc, written by Eric Stewart and Graham Gouldman
  • The Most Performed Work: Night Fever, performed by Bee Gees, written by Barry Gibb, Robin Gibb and Maurice Gibb. Also nominated: Mull of KintyreThe Floral Dance, performed by Terry Wogan, written by Kate Moss
  • The Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Night Fever. Also nominated: Rat Trap, performed by The Boomtown Rats, written by Bob Geldof; Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs
  • The Best British Musical: Evita, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
  • Award for Outstanding Services to British Music: George Martin
  • Special Award for Services to British Songwriters: Victor Knight
  • Special Award for their Contribution to British Music: Jeff Lynne
  • Songwriters of the Year: Barry Gibb, Maurice Gibb and Robin Gibb

Further Reading

NME Poll Winners 1952-1992 (Part Two)

Finally, having worked through all the other categories, let’s take a look at the artist winners for the NME Polls from 1952 to 1992. As I mentioned last week, it’s hard to trace the winners of a particular category through time, so I’ve taken a few liberties. Essentially anything that seems to be roughly the same category has been treated as the same thing. Also, for the year ranges, there are a few missing years here and there, so for instance 1967-1970 could mean anything between 2 and 3 wins.

Best Newcomer

For thirty-five years, the NME Poll included a newcomer award, variously titled “World’s Most Promising New Name”, “Best New Group”, and various other things. It’s an amazing time capsule of new acts throughout the ages – who would have thought that Cliff Richard and The Stone Roses could appear on the same list?

Best New Artist

  • 1956 – Ronnie Scott
  • 1958 – Cliff Richard
  • 1959 – Craig Douglas
  • 1960 – Emile Ford
  • 1961 – John Leyton
  • 1962 – Frank Ifield
  • 1963 – Gerry Marsden
  • 1964 – Mick Jagger
  • 1965 – Seekers (group) & Donovan (solo)
  • 1966 – Spencer Davis Group (group) & Stevie Winwood (solo)
  • 1967 – Bee Gees (group) & Engelbert Humperdinck (solo)
  • 1968 – Love Affair (group & Mary Hopkins (solo)
  • 1970 – Jethro Tull
  • 1971 – McGuinness Flint (group) & Elton John (solo)
  • 1972 – New Seekers (group) & Rod Stewart (solo)
  • 1973 – Golden Earring (World) & Leo Sayer (British)
  • 1975 – Bad Company
  • 1976 – Eddie and the Hot Rods
  • 1977 – Tom Robinson
  • 1978 – Public Image Ltd.
  • 1979 – The Specials
  • 1980 – UB40
  • 1981 – Altered Images
  • 1983 – The Smiths
  • 1984 – Bronski Beat
  • 1985 – The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • 1986 – The Housemartins
  • 1987 – The Proclaimers
  • 1988 – The House of Love
  • 1989 – The Stone Roses
  • 1990 – The Charlatans
  • 1991 – Kingmaker
  • 1992 – Suede

Technical Categories

A lot of categories seem to have come and gone throughout the history of the awards to celebrate particular types of performer. Here are some of the highlights!

Musician of the Year

  • 1952 – Ronnie Scott
  • 1954 – Eric Delaney
  • 1957 – Eddie Calvert

Best Guitarist

  • 1954 – Bert Weedon
  • 1973 – Eric Clapton
  • 1976 – Jimmy Page
  • 1978 – Mick Jones
  • 1979-1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – The Edge

Best Bassist

  • 1973, 1976 – Paul McCartney
  • 1978 – Jean Jacques Burnel
  • 1979-1982 – Bruce Foxton
  • 1983 – Peter Hook

Best Keyboardist/Electronics

  • 1973, 1976-1977 – Rick Wakeman
  • 1978-1981 – Dave Greenfield
  • 1982 – Vince Clarke
  • 1983 – Steve Nieve

Best Drummer

  • 1973, 1975 – Carl Palmer
  • 1976 – John Bonham
  • 1977 – Paul Cook
  • 1978 – Keith Moon
  • 1979-1982 – Rick Buckler
  • 1983 – Budgie

Best Instrumentalist

  • 1962-1963 – Jet Harris
  • 1973 – Roy Wood
  • 1975-1977 – Mike Oldfield
  • 1981 – Saxa
  • 1982 – The Emerald Express, Violin
  • 1983 – The TKO Horns
  • 1985 – Johnny Marr

Best Producer

  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975 – Eddie Offord

Best Songwriter/Composer

  • 1973 – Elton John / Bernie Taupin
  • 1976 – Bob Dylan
  • 1978 – Elvis Costello
  • 1979-1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – Elvis Costello
  • 1984-1985 – Morrissey / Johnny Marr

Best Solo Artist

Curiously, the solo artist categories were for the longest time broken up into “world”, “British”, and even “US” for a while.

Best Female Singer

  • 1952-1954 – Lita Roza
  • 1957 – Ruby Murray
  • 1958 – Alma Cogan
  • 1959-1961 – Connie Francis
  • 1962-1964 – Brenda Lee
  • 1965-1967 – Dusty Springfield
  • 1968 – Lulu
  • 1970 – Dusty Springfield
  • 1971-1973 – Diana Ross
  • 1975 – Joni Mitchell
  • 1976 – Linda Ronstadt
  • 1977 – Julie Covington
  • 1978 – Debbie Harry
  • 1979 – Kate Bush
  • 1981-1983 – Siouxsie Sioux
  • 1984-1986 – Elizabeth Fraser
  • 1987 – Suzanne Vega

Best British Female Singer

  • 1955, 1957 – Alma Cogan
  • 1959-1960 – Shirley Bassey
  • 1961-1962 – Helen Shapiro
  • 1963 – Kathy Kirby
  • 1964-1966 – Dusty Springfield
  • 1968, 1970 – Lulu
  • 1971-1972 – Cilla Black
  • 1973 – Maggie Bell
  • 1975 – Kiki Dee

Best US Female Singer

  • 1955-1957 – Doris Day
  • 1958 – Connie Francis

Best Male Singer

  • 1952-1954 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1955 – Frank Sinatra
  • 1956 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1958 – Frankie Vaughan
  • 1959-1962 – Elvis Presley
  • 1963 – Cliff Richard
  • 1964-1972 – Elvis Presley
  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975-1976 – Robert Plant
  • 1977-1978 – David Bowie
  • 1979 – Sting
  • 1980 – Paul Weller
  • 1981 – David Bowie
  • 1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – David Bowie
  • 1984 – Bono
  • 1985-1992 – Morrissey

Best British Male Singer

  • 1955, 1957 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1959-1967 – Cliff Richard
  • 1968-1970 – Tom Jones
  • 1971-1972 – Cliff Richard
  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975 – Paul Rodgers

Best US Male Singer

  • 1955-1956 – Frank Sinatra
  • 1957 – Pat Boone
  • 1958 – Elvis Presley

Outstanding Popular Singer

  • 1955 – Frank Sinatra
  • 1957 – Pat Boone
  • 1958 – Elvis Presley

Best Instrumental Personality

  • 1958 – Eddie Calvert
  • 1959-1960 – Russ Conway
  • 1961 – Bert Weedon

Best Musical Personality

  • 1955 – Bill Haley
  • 1956 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1957-1959 – Elvis Presley
  • 1960 – Duane Eddy
  • 1961-1972 – Elvis Presley

Best British Musical Personality

  • 1956 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1957 – Tommy Steele
  • 1958-1959 – Frankie Vaughan
  • 1960 – Lonnie Donegan
  • 1961 – Adam Faith
  • 1962-1963 – Joe Brown
  • 1964 – Cliff Richard
  • 1965 – John Lennon
  • 1966-1972 – Cliff Richard

Genre-Specific Categories

These are just a selection of the categories that relate to a particular genre of music.

Best Soul / Funk Act

  • 1973, 1975 – Stevie Wonder
  • 1984 – Womack & Womack
  • 1985 – Cameo

Best Reggae Act

  • 1984 – Smiley Culture
  • 1985 – UB40

Best R&B / Blues Act

  • 1964-1965 – The Rolling Stones
  • 1966 – Spencer Davis Group
  • 1967-1968 – The Rolling Stones
  • 1970 – Fleetwood Mac

Best Traditional Jazz Act

  • 1961 – Acker Bilk
  • 1962-1963 – Kenny Ball

Best Group

Finally, we reach the categories for best group – of which there are a few.

Best Group

  • 1954 – Stargazers
  • 1955 – Four Aces
  • 1956 – Stargazers
  • 1957 – The Platters
  • 1958-1962 – Everly Brothers
  • 1963-1965 – The Beatles
  • 1966 – The Beach Boys
  • 1967-1970 – The Beatles
  • 1971 – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • 1972 – T. Rex
  • 1973 – Yes
  • 1975 – Roxy Music
  • 1976 – Led Zeppelin
  • 1977 – Sex Pistols
  • 1978 – The Clash
  • 1979-1982 – The Jam
  • 1983 – New Order
  • 1984-1987 – The Smiths
  • 1988 – The Wedding Present
  • 1989 – The Stone Roses
  • 1990 – Happy Mondays
  • 1991-1992 – R.E.M.

Best British Group

  • 1955 – Stargazers
  • 1957 – King Brothers
  • 1958-1959 – The Mudlarks
  • 1960 – King Brothers
  • 1961-1962 – The Springfields
  • 1963-1971 – The Beatles
  • 1972 – T. Rex
  • 1973 – Yes

Best British Small Band

  • 1952 – Johnny Dankworth Seven
  • 1954 – Ronnie Scott and His Orchestra
  • 1955-1957 – The Kirchins
  • 1958-1959 – Lonnie Donegan
  • 1960-1963 – The Shadows

Best British Large Band or Orchestra

  • 1952-1961 – Ted Heath and His Music
  • 1962-1963 – Joe Loss

Best British Instrumental Unit

  • 1964-1971 – The Shadows
  • 1972 – Collective Consciousness Society

Best Live Act

  • 1973 – Alice Cooper (World) & Genesis (British)
  • 1975 – Genesis
  • 1982 – The Jam
  • 1985 – The Pogues

That’s it for now – we’ll continue our journey through the NME Awards soon.

NME Poll Winners – The 1960s

By the 1960s, the names of the NME Poll Winners should be starting to become rather more familiar to you. The timelines are still a bit confusing, with one year apparently missing in its entirety, but hopefully this will make some kind of sense.

1960

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl, presented by Connie Francis.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Connie Francis
  • World Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • World Musical Personality: Duane Eddy
  • British Vocal Group: King Brothers
  • British Large Band or Orchestra: Ted Heath
  • British Female Singer: Shirley Bassey
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Vocal Personality: Lonnie Donegan
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • Best British Disc of the Year: The Shadows, for Apache
  • New Disc or TV Singer: Emile Ford
  • Instrumental Personality: Russ Conway
  • Artist for Poll Concert: Adam Faith
  • Disc Jockey: David Jacobs

Apache was first released in July 1960, so this is the 1960 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1961.

1961

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl, presented by Brenda Lee.

  • World Female Singer: Connie Francis
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • British Vocal Personality: Adam Faith
  • British Vocal Group: The Springfields
  • Instrumental Personality: Bert Weedon
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • British Large Band or Orchestra: Ted Heath
  • Best British Disc of the Year: John Leyton, for Johnny Remember Me
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • Artist For Poll Concert: Billy Fury
  • British Traditional Jazz Band: Acker Bilk
  • British Female Singer: Helen Shapiro
  • New Disc or TV Singer: John Leyton
  • Disc Jockey: David Jacobs

Johnny Remember Me was first released in July 1961, so this is the 1961 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1962.

1962

Presented by Roger Moore.

  • World’s Outstanding Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World’s Outstanding Female Singer: Brenda Lee
  • World’s Outstanding Vocal Group: Everly Brothers
  • World’s Outstanding Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Female Singer: Helen Shapiro
  • British Vocal Group: The Springfields
  • British Vocal Personality: Joe Brown
  • British Solo Instrumentalist: Jet Harris
  • British Large Band/ Orchestra: Joe Loss
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • British Traditional Jazz Band: Kenny Ball
  • British Disc Jockey: David Jacobs
  • British New Disc or TV Singer: Frank Ifield
  • British Best Disc in 1962: Frank Ifield, for I Remember You
  • Artist for Poll Concert: Billy Fury

This version of I Remember You was first released in May 1962, so this is the 1962 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1963.

1963

Held at Wembley’s Empire Bowl, 3 May 1964, presented by Roy Orbison.

  • World Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Brenda Lee
  • British Vocal Personality: Joe Brown
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Large Band or Orchestra: Joe Loss
  • British Small Group: The Shadows
  • British Traditional Jazz Band: Kenny Ball
  • Best British Disc Of The Year: The Beatles, for She Loves You
  • British Female Singer: Kathy Kirby
  • Artist For Poll Concert: Billy J Kramer and The Dakotas
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • Disc Jockey: David Jacobs
  • New Disc or TV Singer: Gerry Marsden
  • Solo Instrumentalist: Jet Harris

She Loves You was first released in July 1963, so this is the 1963 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1964.

1964

Held at Wembley’s Empire Pool, April 1965, presented by Tony Bennett.

  • Outstanding Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • Outstanding Female Singer: Brenda Lee
  • Outstanding Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • Outstanding Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • British Rhythm and Blues: The Rolling Stones
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • British TV or Radio Programme: Ready Steady Go!
  • British Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • British New Disc or TV Singer: Mick Jagger
  • British Disc This Year: The Animals, for The House of the Rising Sun

The House of the Rising Sun was first recorded by The Animals in May 1964, so this is the 1964 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1965.

1965

Presented by Jimmy Savile.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British R & B Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • World Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Vocal Personality: John Lennon
  • British Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • New Disc or TV Singer: Donovan
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • Best New Group: Seekers
  • Best TV or Radio Show: Top of the Pops
  • Best New Disc of the Year: The Rolling Stones, for (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction was first released in June 1965, so this is the 1965 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1966.

1966

Held at Wembley Pool, presented by Jimmy Savile and Simon Dee.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • World Vocal Group: The Beach Boys
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • Best Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • Best R&B Group: Spencer Davis
  • Best TV/Radio Show: Top of the Pops
  • Top Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • British Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • New Disc Singer: Stevie Winwood
  • Best New Group: Spencer Davis
  • Best British Disc This Year: The Beatles, for Eleanor Rigby

Eleanor Rigby was first released in August 1966, so this is the 1966 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1967.

1967

Presented by Roger Moore.

  • World’s Top Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • Best R & B Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Britain’s Top Singer: Cliff Richard
  • World’s Top Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • Top DJs: Jimmy Savile
  • Top TV Show: Top of the Pops
  • Best New Singer: Engelbert Humperdinck
  • Best New Group: Bee Gees

1968

Held at Wembley’s Empire Pool, 11 May 1969, presented by Jimmy Savile and Tony Blackburn.

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Lulu
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Female Singer: Lulu
  • Top Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • Best TV/ Radio Show: Top of The Pops
  • Best New Group: Love Affair
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • British R&B Group: The Rolling Stones
  • Best British Disc This Year: The Beatles, for Hey Jude
  • British Male Singer: Tom Jones
  • New Disc Singer: Mary Hopkins
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows

Hey Jude was first released in August 1968, so this is the 1968 poll, for which the party would have been in early 1969.

1969

Despite what the NME website says, I don’t believe there was a 1969 poll, hence there being no results to print. The ceremony related to the 1968 poll, detailed above.

See also

Stowaway Heroes – Shep Pettibone

One of the most important names of the 1980s is Shep Pettibone. You’ll know him from multiple remixes and production credits, but there’s a good chance that you don’t actually know anything about him. Me neither, frankly, so let’s start with something we can all agree on – the brilliance of his 1986 remix of Love Comes Quickly, by Pet Shop Boys:

The New York-based DJ would work with Pet Shop Boys a number of times between 1986 and 1988, working on ten tracks in total. But by 1986, Pettibone was already half a decade into his career, having cut his teeth on Afrika Bambaataa‘s Jazzy Sensation in 1981:

His CV for the late 1980s is impressive to say the least, including remixes and production work for Art of NoiseThe B-52sBee GeesBrosDavid BowieDepeche ModeDuran DuranDusty SpringfieldElton JohnErasure, FalcoGeorge MichaelJanet JacksonNew OrderRun DMCWhitney Houston and many others. But his most prolific collaborator seems to have been Madonna, who used his services no less than sixteen times between 1985 and 1993. Here’s Into the Groove:

His mixes were undeniably of their time, with huge drum fills and solos, and a lot of orchestral hits – so it shouldn’t come as any surprise that his remix work dried up somewhat in the 1980s. But if you’re looking for someone who heavily impacted the sound of a particular era, Shep Pettibone should be very high on your list.