I haven’t particularly been following Ben Watt‘s career post-Everything But The Girl, which is clearly foolish, as this is great. From the new album Storm Damage, which is coming soon, this is Sunlight Follows the Night:
Ivor Novello Awards 1990
Grosvenor House in London hosted the Ivor Novello Awards on 2nd April 1990.
- Best Contemporary Song: All Around the World, written by Lisa Stansfield, Ian Devaney and Andrew Morris. Also nominated: Back to Life (However Do You Want Me), performed by Soul II Soul, written by Jazzie B, Caron Wheeler, Nellee Hooper and Simon Law; She Drives Me Crazy, performed by Fine Young Cannibals, written by David Steele and Roland Gift
- Best Song Musically and Lyrically: The Living Years, performed by Mike + The Mechanics, written by BA Robertson and Mike Rutherford. Also nominated: Another Day in Paradise, written by Phil Collins; Room in Your Heart, performed by Living in a Box, written by Marcus Vere, Richard Darbyshire and Albert Hammond
- Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: Ruth Rendell Mysteries, written by Brian Bennett. Also nominated: Sherlock Holmes, written by Patrick Gowers; Agatha Christie’s Poirot, written by Christopher Gunning
- Best Film Theme or Song: Henry V Nons Nobis Domine, written by Patrick Doyle. Also nominated: Nothing Has Been Proved, written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe; Travelling East, written by Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Herbert Kretzmer
- Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Too Many Broken Hearts, performed by Jason Donovan, written by Stock Aitken Waterman (Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman). Also nominated: Back to Life (However Do You Want Me); Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart, performed by Marc Almond and Gene Pitney, written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway
- International Hit of the Year: She Drives Me Crazy. Also nominated: Buffalo Stance, written by Cameron Mcvey, Philip Ramacon, Neneh Cherry and Jamie Morgan; Another Day in Paradise, written by Phil Collins
- Best Theme from a TV/Radio Commercial: Abbey Endings (Abbey National), written by Lionel Bart. Also nominated: Big Day (Maxwell House), written by David Mindel; Terry Keeps His Clips On (Toshiba), written by Viv Stanshall
- The Best British Musical: Aspects of Love, written by: Don Black, Charles Hart and Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Outstanding Contribution to British Music: David Bowie
- Most Performed Work: This Time I Know It’s for Real, written by Stock Aitken Waterman and Donna Summer. Also nominated: Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart; Too Many Broken Hearts
- Songwriters of the Year: Stock Aitken Waterman
- Outstanding Services to British Music: The Kinks (Mick Avory, Dave Davies, Ray Davies, Ian Gibbons and Jim Rodford)
Ivor Novello Awards 1991
The 1991 ceremony took place at Grosvenor House in London on 2nd May 1991.
- Best Contemporary Song: Killer, written by Adam ‘Adamski’ Tinley and Seal. Also nominated: Don’t Worry, written by Kim Appleby, Craig Logan and George Deangelis; Unbelievable, performed by EMF, written by James Atken, Ian Dench, Zachary Foley, Mark Decloedt and Deran Brownson
- Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Sacrifice, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Also nominated: We Let the Stars Go, performed by Prefab Sprout, written by Paddy Mcaloon; Nothing Ever Happens, performed by Del Amitri, written by Justin Currie
- Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: Victorian Kitchen, written by Paul Reade. Also nominated: Tidy Endings, written by Stanley Myers; The Green Man, written by Tim Souster
- Best Film Theme or Song: Witches, written by Stanley Myers. Also nominated: Arachnophobia, written by Trevor Jones; Lily Was Here, written by Dave Stewart
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: John Barry
- Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Sacrifice / Healing Hands, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Also nominated: World in Motion, performed by Englandneworder (New Order), written by Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Keith Allen and Peter Hook; Killer, written by Adam ‘Adamski’ Tinley and Seal
- Best Theme from a TV/Radio Commercial: Only You (Fiat Tempra), written by Geoff MacCormack and Simon Goldenberg. Also nominated: Citric Bite (Schweppes Tonic), written by Don Gould and James Lowther; Nick of Time (Audi), written by Tony Sadler and Gaynor Sadler
- International Hit of the Year: All Around the World, written by Lisa Stansfield, Ian Devaney and Andrew Morris. Also nominated: Close to You, performed by Maxi Priest, written by Gary Benson, Winston Sela and Maxi Elliott; I’ve Been Thinking About You, performed by Londonbeat, written by George Chandler, Jimmy Chambers, Jimmy Helms and Liam Henshall
- Special Award for International Achievement: Albert Hammond
- PRS Most Performed Work: Blue Savannah, performed by Erasure, written by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke. Also nominated: All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You, performed by Heart, written by Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange; Killer, written by Adam ‘Adamski’ Tinley and Seal
- Outstanding Services to British Music: Robert Farnon
- Songwriter of the Year: Phil Collins
- Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and Bill Wyman
Ivor Novello Awards 1992
May 1992 saw Grosvenor House in London host the 37th Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.
- Best Contemporary Song: Crazy, written by Seal. Also nominated: Walking Down Madison, written by Kirsty MacColl and Johnny Marr; Sit Down, written by Timothy Booth, Lawrence Gott, James Glennie and Gavan Whelan
- Best Song Musically and Lyrically: The Whole of the Moon, performed by The Waterboys, written by Mike Scott. Also nominated: The Show Must Go On, performed by Queen, written by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon; Stars, performed by Simply Red, written by Mick Hucknall
- Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: The Darling Buds of May, written by Philip Burley and Barrie Guard. Also nominated: Clarissa, written by Colin Towns; A Question of Attribution, written by Gerald Gouriet
- Best Theme from a TV/Radio Commercial: Driven By You (Ford Motor Company), written by Brian May. Also nominated: Eagle Star – Reflections (Eagle Star Insurance), written by RAF Ravenscroft and Kevin Dillon-Lamb; Excaliber (Carling Black Label), written by Rachel Portman
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent
- Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Bohemian Rhapsody / These are the Days of Our Lives, performed by Queen, written by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. Also nominated: Any Dream Will Do, performed by Jason Donovan, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice; I’m Too Sexy, performed by Right Said Fred, written by Fred Fairbrass, Rob Manzoli and Richard Fairbrass
- Best Film Theme or Song: Under Suspicion, written by Christopher Gunning. Also nominated: Dances with Wolves, written by John Barry; The One and Only, written by Nik Kershaw
- International Hit of the Year: Crazy, written by Seal. Also nominated: Unbelievable; 3 AM Eternal, performed by The KLF, written by Bill Drummond, Jimmy Cauty and Ricky Lyte
- Award in Recognition of the Exceptional Success of a Single Song: Everything I Do (I Do It For You), written by: Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen and Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange
- Best British Musical: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, written by: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
- PRS Most Performed Work: I’m Too Sexy. Also nominated: The One and Only, performed by Curtis Stigers, written by Nik Kershaw; Any Dream Will Do, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
- Outstanding Contribution to British Music: David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright
- Songwriter of the Year: Mick Hucknall
- Special Award for International Achievement: Bernie Taupin
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Eric Clapton
Ivor Novello Awards 1993
26th May 1993 saw Grosvenor House in London host the Ivor Novello Awards.
- Best Contemporary Song: Would I Lie to You, performed by Charles and Eddie, written by Peter Vale and Mick Leeson. Also nominated: Stay, performed by Shakespears Sister, written by Marcella Detroit, Siobhan Fahey and Dave Stewart; Friday I’m In Love, performed by The Cure, written by Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson, Boris Williams and Perry Bamonte
- Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Why, written by Annie Lennox. Also nominated: The Disappointed, performed by XTC, written by Andy Partridge; Tears in Heaven, written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings
- Best Theme from a TV / Radio Production: Civvies, composed by Michael Storey. Also nominated: Blackheath Poisonings, written by Colin Towns; Kyrie Eleison, written by Christopher Gunning
- Best Film Theme or Song: Tears in Heaven, written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings. Also nominated: Final Analysis, written by George Fenton; Chaplin, written by John Barry
- Songwriters of the Year: Colin Angus and Richard West
- PRS Most Performed Work: Deeply Dippy, performed by Right Said Fred, written by Fred Fairbrass, Rob Manzoli and Richard Fairbrass. Also nominated: Would I Lie to You; Stay
- Best Selling Song: Would I Lie to You. Also nominated: Goodnight Girl, performed by Wet Wet Wet, written by Marti Pellow, Neil Mitchell, Tom Cunningham and Graeme Clark; Ain’t No Doubt, written by Jimmy Nail, Danny Schogger, Charlie Dore and Guy Pratt; Stay
- International Hit of the Year: Would I Lie to You. Also nominated: Stay; Tears in Heaven; Why
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Les Reed
- Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection: Marcella Detroit, Siobhan Fahey and Dave Stewart
- Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Bernie Calvert, Allan Clarke, Bobby Elliott, Tony Hicks, Graham Nash and Terry Sylvester
- Lifetime Achievement Award: George Shearing
- Special Award for International Achievement: Rod Temperton
Ivor Novello Awards 1994
The 1994 ceremony took place at Grosvenor House on 25th May.
- Best Contemporary Song: Pray, performed by Take That, written by Gary Barlow. Also nominated: Moving On Up, performed by M People, written by Paul Heard and Mike Pickering; Arranged Marriage, performed by Apache Indian, written by Stephen Kapur, Simon Duggal and Diamond Duggal
- Best Song Musically and Lyrically: If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, written by Sting. Also nominated: Ordinary World, performed by Duran Duran, written by Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo; I Don’t Wanna Fight, performed by Tina Turner, written by Steve Duberry, Billy Lawrie and Lulu
- Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: Stalag Luft, written by Stanley Myers. Also nominated: Harnessing Peacocks, written by Richard Holmes; Unnatural Causes, written by Richard Harvey
- Best Film Theme or Song: The Piano, written by Michael Nyman. Also nominated: Into the West, written by Patrick Doyle; Indochine, written by Patrick Doyle
- The PRS Most Performed Work: Ordinary World. Also nominated: Little Bird, written by Annie Lennox; Tears in Heaven
- Best Selling Song: Mr Blobby, written by David Rogers and Paul Shaw. Also nominated: Dreams, written by Timothy Laws and Gabrielle; Babe, performed by Take That, written by Gary Barlow
- The International Hit of the Year: Living on My Own, written by Freddie Mercury. Also nominated: I Feel You, performed by Depeche Mode, written by Martin Gore; Ordinary World, written by Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo
- The Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection: Paul Weller
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Ron Goodwin
- Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Tim Rice
- Special Award for International Achievement: Bono, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jnr and The Edge
- Outstanding Contribution to British Musical Theatre: Andrew Lloyd Webber
- Songwriter of the Year: Gary Barlow
Ivor Novello Awards 1995
Forty years into its history, the 1995 ceremony took place at Grosvenor House on 23rd May.
- Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Lonnie Donegan
- Best Contemporary Song: You Gotta Be, written by Des’ree Weekes and Ashley Ingram. Also nominated: Parklife, performed by Blur, written by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave Rowntree; Zombie, performed by The Cranberries, written by Delores O’Riordan
- Best Song Musically & Lyrically: Think Twice, performed by Celine Dion, written by Andy Hill and Peter Sinfield. Also nominated: Patience of Angels, performed by Eddi Reader, written by Boo Hewerdine; Dear John, written by Mark Nevin and Kirsty McColl
- Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: Middlemarch, written by Stanley Myers. Also nominated: Crocodile Shoes, written by Tony McAnaney; Beyond the Clouds, written by George Fenton
- Best Commissioned Film Score: Shadowlands, written by George Fenton. Also nominated: Deadly Advice, written by Richard Harvey; The Joy Luck Club, written by Rachel Portman
- Best Song Included in a Film: Circle of Life, written by Elton John and Tim Rice. Also nominated: Love is All Around, performed by Wet Wet Wet, written by Reg Presley; In the Name of Our Father, performed by U2, written by Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Roycroft
- The Radio 1 Award for Continuing Innovation in Music: Brian Eno
- The Best Selling Song: Love is All Around. Also nominated: Baby Come Back, performed by Pato Banton, written by Eddy Grant; Stay Another Day, performed by East 17, written by Tony Mortimer, Dominic Hawken and Robert Kean
- International Hit of the Year: Love is All Around. Also nominated: 7 Seconds, written by Cameron McVey, Jonathan Peter Sharp, Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry; Baby I Love Your Way, performed by Big Mountain, written by Peter Frampton; Without You, performed by Mariah Carey, written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans
- The PRS Most Performed Work: Love is All Around. Also nominated: Stay Another Day; Baby Come Back
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Don Black
- Lifetime Achievement Award: Van Morrison
- The Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection: Elvis Costello
- Songwriter of the Year: Tony Mortimer
Ivor Novello Awards 1996
Grosvenor House in London hosted the Ivor Novello Awards on 30th May 1996.
- The PRS Most Performed Work: Back for Good, performed by Take That, written by Gary Barlow. Also nominated: No More I Love Yous, performed by Annie Lennox, written by David Freeman and Joseph Hughes; A Girl Like You, written by Edwyn Collins
- The Best Selling Song: Back for Good. Also nominated: Fairground, performed by Simply Red, written by Mick Hucknall; Missing, performed by Everything But The Girl, written by Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt
- International Hit of the Year: Kiss from a Rose, written by Seal. Also nominated: Back for Good; No More I Love Yous
- Best Contemporary Song: Alright, performed by Supergrass, written by Danny Goffrey, Gaz Coombes and Michael Quinn. Also nominated: Wonderwall, performed by Oasis, written by Noel Gallagher; A Girl Like You, written by Edwyn Collins
- Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Common People, performed by Pulp, written by Jarvis Cocker, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey and Russell Senior. Also nominated: No More I Love Yous; Back for Good
- Best Commissioned Film Score: Don Juan De Marco, composed by Michael Kamen. Also nominated: Pin for the Butterfly, composed by Ilona Sekacz; Nostradamus, composed by Barrington Pheloung
- Best Commissioned Score from a TV/Radio Production: The Hanging Gale, written by Shaun Davey. Also nominated: Pride & Prejudice, written by Carl Davis; Yugoslavia, written by Debbie Wiseman
- Best Song Included in a Film or Television Programme: Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman, composed by Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange, Michael Kamen and Bryan Adams. Also nominated: Kiss from a Rose, composed by Seal; Goldeneye, performed by Tina Turner, composed by Bono and The Edge
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Tony Macaulay
- Outstanding Contribution to British Musical Theatre: Cameron Mackintosh
- An Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection: Joan Armatrading
- Songwriters of the Year: Blur (Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James, Dave Rowntree) and Noel Gallagher (presented jointly)
- PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Small Faces (Kenney Jones, Ronnie Lane, Steve Marriott and Ian McLagan)
- Outstanding Services to British Music: Jeff Lynne
Ivor Novello Awards 1997
London’s Grosvenor House hosted the 1997 ceremony on 19th May.
- PRS Award for Most Performed Work of 1996: Fast Love, written by George Michael. Also nominated: Give Me a Little More Time, written by Gabrielle, Benjamin Wolff, Andrew Dean, Ben Barson; Don’t Look Back in Anger, performed by Oasis, written by Noel Gallagher
- Best Commissioned Film Score: 101 Dalmatians, composed by Michael Kamen. Also nominated: Independence Day, composed by David Arnold; Twelfth Night, composed by Shaun Davey
- Best Selling British Written Single in the UK: Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, composed by Nigel Hess. Also nominated: Wannabe, performed by Spice Girls, written by Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard
- Best Music Commissioned for a Broadcast Production: Cold Lazurus, composed by Christopher Gunning; Rhodes, composed by Alan Parker
- Best Contemporary Song: A Design for Life, performed by Manic Street Preachers, written by James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore and Nicky Wire. Also nominated: Lifted, performed by Lighthouse Family, written by Paul Tucker, Martin Brammer and Tunde Baiyewu; Firestarter, performed by The Prodigy, written by Liam Howlett and Keith Flint
- Outstanding Song Collection: Richard Thompson
- Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Too Much Love Will Kill You, performed by Queen, written by Brian May, Frank Musker and Elizabeth Lamers. Also nominated: I Am I Feel, performed by Alisha’s Attic, written by Terence Martin, Karen Poole and Michelle Poole; Neighbourhood, performed by Space, written by Thomas Scott, Andrew Parle, James Edwards and Francis Griffiths
- International Achievement: The Cranberries (Noel Hogan and Dolores O’Riordan)
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn
- International Hit of the Year: Wannabe
- Songwriter of the Year: George Michael
- PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award: Elvis Costello
- Lifetime Achievement: Led Zeppelin (John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant)
Ivor Novello Awards 1998
The 1998 Ivor Novello ceremony took place on 28th May 1998 at Grosvenor House, London.
- PRS Most Performed Work: I’ll Be Missing You (Every Breath You Take), performed by Puff Daddy, written by Sting. Also nominated: Say What you Want, performed by Texas, written by Sharleen Spiteri and Johnny McElhone; Black Eyed Boy, performed by Texas, written by Sharleen Spiteri, Johnny McElhone, Edward Campbell, Richard Hynd and Robert Hodgens
- Best Original Film Score: William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, composed by Craig Armstrong, Marius De Vries and Nellee Hooper. Also nominated: Tomorrow Never Dies, composed by David Arnold; Wilde, composed by Debbie Wiseman
- Best Selling UK Single: Candle in the Wind 1997, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Also nominated: Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh!, written by Andrew McCrorie-Shand; I’ll Be Missing You (Every Breath You Take)
- Best Original Music For A Broadcast: Rebecca, composed by Christopher Gunning. Also nominated: Melissa, composed by Richard Harvey and Steve Baker; Crime Traveller, composed by Anne Dudley
- Best Contemporary Song: Karma Police, written by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Phil Selway, Colin Greenwood and Ed O’Brien. Also nominated: Smile, written by James McColl, Ken McAlpine and Alan Tilston; The Drugs Don’t Work, written by Richard Ashcroft
- Best Song Collection: Johnny McElhone and Sharleen Spiteri
- Best Original Song for a Film or Broadcast: Picture of You, written by Paul Wilson, Andy Watkins, Ronan Keating and Eliot Kennedy. Also nominated: Step By Step, written by Annie Lennox; Surrender, written by David Arnold, David McAlmont and Don Black
- Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Paranoid Android, performed by Radiohead, written by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Phil Selway, Colin Greenwood and Ed O’Brien. Also nominated: Brimful of Asha, written by Tjinder Singh; Angels, written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers
- International Achievement: Enya, Nicky Ryan and Roma Ryan
- Best Dance Music: You’re Not Alone, performed by Olive, written by Tim Kellett and Robin Taylor-Firth. Also nominated: Gunman, performed by 187 Lockdown, written by Julian Jonah and Danny Harrison; Sunchyme, performed by Dario G, written by Gilbert Gabriel, Nick Laird Clowes, Stephen Spencer, Paul Spencer and Scott Rosser
- PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Morrissey
- International Hit of the Year: Candle in the Wind 1997. Also nominated: I’ll Be Missing You (Every Breath You Take); Spice Up Your Life, performed by Spice Girls, written by Richard Stannard, Matt Rowe, Melanie Brown, Victoria Adams, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm
- Songwriter of the Year: Richard Ashcroft
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Barry Mason
Ivor Novello Awards 1999
The 1999 Ivor Novello Awards were presented on 27th May 1999 at Grosvenor House, London.
- PRS Most Performed Work: Angels, written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers. Also nominated: High, performed by Lighthouse Family, written by Paul Tucker and Tunde Baiyewu; Never Ever, performed by All Saints, written by Shaznay Lewis, Sean Mather and Esmail Jazayeri
- Best Selling UK Single: Believe, performed by Cher, written by Brian Higgins, Steve Torch, Paul Barry, Stuart McLennan, Tim Powell and Matt Gray. Also nominated: No Matter What, performed by Boyzone, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman; C’est La Vie, performed by B*Witched, written by Tracy Ackerman, Ray Hedges, Martin Brannigan, Edele Lynch, Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou and Sinéad O’Carroll
- Best Original Film Score: Firelight, composed by Christopher Gunning. Also nominated: Dancing at Lughnasa, composed by Bill Whelan; Ever After, composed by George Fenton
- Best Contemporary Song: Here’s Where the Story Ends, performed by Tin Tin Out, written by Harriet Wheeler and David Gavurin. Also nominated: Road Rage, performed by Catatonia, written by Mark Roberts, Cerys Matthews, David Jones, Aled Richards and Owen Powell; What Can I Do, performed by The Corrs, written by Andrea Corr, Caroline Corr, Sharon Corr and James Corr
- Best Original Music for a Television / Radio Broadcast: Close Relations, composed by Rob Lane. Also nominated: Life of Birds, composed by Steven Faux and Ian Butcher; Selfridges: The Shop, composed by Barrie Bignold
- Best Song Commissioned for a Film or Broadcast: The Flame Still Burns, written by Chris Difford, Marti Frederiksen and Mick Jones. Also nominated: Why Won’t You Shag Me, written by Owen Vyse and Guy Pratt; Kipper, written by Robert Heatlie
- Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Believe. Also nominated: C’est La Vie; A Little Soul, performed by Pulp, written by Jarvis Cocker, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey and Mark Webber
- Outstanding Song Collection: Jamiroquai (Wallis Buchanan, Simon Katz, Jay Kay, Derrick McKenzie, Toby Smith and Stuart Zender)
- The Ivors Dance Award: Horny, written by Mousse T and Errol Rennalls. Also nominated: Sing It Back, performed by Moloko, written by Mark Brydon and Róisín Murphy; I Can’t Help Myself, performed by Lucid, written by Mark Hadfield and Adam Ryan Carter
- International Achievement: Martin Gore
- The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Peter Callander and Mitch Murray
- International Hit of the Year: Believe, written by Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennan, Paul Barry, Steve Torch, Matt Gray and Tim Powell. Also nominated: Life, written by Des’ree Weekes and Prince Sampson; No Matter What, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman
- PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Chrissie Hynde
- The Special International Award: Hal David
- Songwriters of the Year: Guy Chambers and Robbie Williams
- Lifetime Achievement: Rod Stewart
She had risen pretty much out of nowhere over the preceding decade or so, and could now be regarded as a mature musician. For her fourth and most successful solo album, Beth Orton worked again with one of the stalwarts of what I hesitatingly call “folktronica,” Ben Watt, and also perhaps more surprisingly, Johnny Marr turned up to help out as well.
Daybreaker was released fifteen years ago this week, and opens with a sweet pop song called Paris Train, although there’s little clue in the lyrics why that might be a suitable title. When Orton is at her blandest, her songs are pleasant but distinctly unmemorable, and this is a good example of this.
Concrete Sky is the collaboration with Johnny Marr, and perhaps because of this, it does stand out somewhat, although Mount Washington, which follows, is the first track on here that really gets anywhere close to catchy. Then comes Anywhere, which was the lead single – and deservedly so – it’s probably the best track on the album.
Honestly, it might have sold well, but this isn’t a great album from this point onwards. The title track Daybreaker is pleasantly trippy and has some fun sound effects in it, but it’s not exactly exciting. Carmella and God Song are either pleasant or dull, depending on your perspective. The titles are still pretty perplexing for the most part, as well.
Some of them are witty, at least – This One’s Gonna Bruise, a collaboration with Ryan Adams, is a pleasant listen too. Orton’s haunting vocal breathlessly works its way through the notes, and the contrast with the electronic rhythm of the opening beats of Ted’s Waltz is notable too. But don’t get too excited – there’s nothing that would pass for uptempo on this half of the album.
Maybe not getting excited is exactly the point. There is a nice rhythmic quality to Ted’s Waltz, making it stand out somewhat, and while this might be a downtempo album by its very nature, it certainly isn’t boring. But hopefully it’s also OK to find it a little dull at times.
In which case, closing track Thinking About Tomorrow is entirely appropriate, as it’s forgettable on every level. It’s a shame, but there it is. Ultimately Daybreaker is far from a bad album, but it’s not even Beth Orton‘s finest hour. Get Central Reservation instead.
You should still be able to find Daybreaker at all major retailers.
Time now for the last of our old artists of the week. As always, please accept my apologies for errors, plagiarism, laziness, greed, or anything else that might annoy you!
Ben Watt and Tracey Thorn formed Everything But The Girl way back in 1984, after each releasing a solo album. Throughout the 1980s, they scored numerous minor hit singles and albums, but their biggest hits were always cover versions, including 1988’s I Don’t Want to Talk About It. In 1992, Ben Watt famously came very close to death, suffering for over a year from a near-fatal illness.
Their return in 1994 with Amplified Heart saw them carefully examining different musical directions, but it was at the end of the year when they worked with Massive Attack on the Protection album, and this saw them head into the world of dance music. Todd Terry‘s 1995 remix of Missing propelled them to the top end of the charts, providing them with their biggest hit, and the following year they returned with the Walking Wounded album, with numerous substantial hits.
In 1998 they wored with Deep Dish on The Future of the Future, and this saw them heading deeper and darker into house and drum and bass territory. 1999’s Temperamental album was a deep and dark affair, with extensive exploratory tracks but a few accessible moments.
Since then they seem to have faltered somewhat as a band, but of course they are now married with children. Ben Watt spent three years running the Lazy Dog club in London, and continues to put out individual deep house tracks on small independent labels including his own Buzzin’ Fly label. They’ve also put out their third singles compilation Like the Deserts Miss the Rain, and, more recently, an astoundingly good remix album, Adapt or Die.
Ben Watt is back already with another solo album (and beard). The album’s called Fever Dream, and this track is Between Two Fires:
Tracey Thorn‘s solo material seems to have had its ups and downs, but when it’s up, it’s definitely up. This week sees her first solo compilation, creatively called Solo: Songs and Collaborations 1982-2015, which includes material from all of her solo projects before, during, and after she joined Ben Watt and became Everything But The Girl. There’s a nice array of collaborations too, most famously including Massive Attack, but also Adam F and The Style Council, among others.
As a taster, here’s a live version of Why Does the Wind?
An album so good that it needs to be reviewed twice, apparently. Walking Wounded was originally covered here back in 2012, and then in 2014, without realising, I reviewed it again. I delayed it a bit, just because the repetition seemed a little unnecessary, but now things are quieter and a little more time has passed, here is the second review, in its entirety…
After a decade or so of recording folk music – all very well written and delivered, but not really appropriate for this blog for the time being – Ben Watt‘s recovery from terminal illness spurred them to explore different directions starting with the collaboration with Massive Attack on Protection in 1994, and then Todd Terry‘s anthemic remix of Missing in 1995. Walking Wounded draws influence from these, as well as all their previous work, becoming a fascinating mix of influences.
The first track is my personal favourite, the final single Before Today, where somehow the minimal drum & bass backing and Tracey Thorn‘s excellent vocal delivery come together perfectly. It’s atmospheric and dark, and yet at the same time light and vacuous in a way that no other group could manage.
Second single Wrong is the closest to the sound of Missing, although Todd Terry doesn’t seem to have actually had his hands on the original version. Again, somehow Thorn’s haunting lyrics and vocals fit perfectly alongside the spacious electronic beats and bleeps. The confusingly titled third single Single follows, darker and trippier than its neighbours. The fascinating mix of folk-based lyrics and electronic backing continues, coming together perfectly.
After all of that, the more folky, pop-flavoured The Heart Remains a Child stands out somewhat. While it certainly isn’t bad, it wouldn’t be unfair to regard it as the low point of the first half of this album.
Things change very quickly with the title track and lead single Walking Wounded. If you don’t remember where you were the first time you heard those soaring strings and drum & bass backing, you have no soul. The lyrics, too, when Thorn sings about, “nothing can replace the us I knew,” are incredibly evocative. Suddenly, listening to this, it’s 1996 again and I’m breaking out in spots, which is a bit disturbing.
This is an intricately structured album, and so in spite of falling pretty much in the middle, what should probably be side B opens with Flipside. What this signals is a change to the less pop-orientated, darker, more introspective half of the album. Flipside is totally brilliant, but realistically never would have been a single.
There are just four tracks on this half of the album, of which Big Deal is probably the weakest. It’s by no means bad – it’s a little plodding, but the piano backing and vinyl crackle does give it a certain darkness. Once the drum & bass backing opens up, it still isn’t the best track on the album, but it seems to fit perfectly.
Mirrorball is probably the closest track to the traditional sound of Everything But The Girl, driven largely by the acoustic guitar and gentle percussion. It’s all been turned electronic though, so it sounds both contemporary and a good fit for the album, even though it is much more obviously a folk song than anything else on here.
Good Cop Bad Cop could probably have been a single if they had felt in need of another echo of the first. It’s one of the darkest lyrics and vocal deliveries on the album, so the almost joyful backing provides a strange contrast. It’s a clever choice for the last track on the main part of the album.
The inspiration for Walking Wounded has been taken from Japanese imports, and so the barcode appears on the front cover, and there are a couple of remixes tacked on the end in seemingly random fashion. In reality I suspect it’s far from random – Todd Terry‘s remix of Wrong isn’t entirely different from the original, but takes it in a slightly more beat-orientated direction, while Omni Trio‘s take on the title track is very different, and also totally brilliant. It’s a much deeper, more exploratory version, but is every bit as excellent as the original.
Despite being somewhat underplayed, and released in the middle of the dreaded Britpop era, I’m going to say that Walking Wounded is one of the most important albums of its time. It’s small and compact, but every track is good, with only a couple of very minor blips. And although it didn’t really say anything entirely new, either in songwriting or production terms, all the elements come together to form something truly exceptional.
You can find Walking Wounded at all major retailers, such as Amazon.