NME Award Winners 1994-2018 (Part One)

The final step we need to take with the NME Awards is to summarise all the winners in one single, easy-to-digest place. So, continuing with the part one of two-part NME Poll Winners 1952-1992, let’s do that!

Best and Worst Single, Video and Album Categories

Here are all the winners for specific singles, videos, albums, films, and books!

Best Single / Track

  • 1994 – Radiohead – Creep
  • 1995 – Oasis – Live Forever (Best Single), Blur – Girls and Boys (NME Single of the Year)
  • 1996 – Oasis – Wonderwall (Best Single), Black Grape – Reverend Black Grape (NME Single of the Year)
  • 1997 – Manic Street Preachers – A Design for Life (Best Single), Underworld – Born Slippy (NME Single of the Year)
  • 1998 – The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
  • 1999 – Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
  • 2000 – Blur – Tender (Best Single), Aphex Twin – Windowlicker (NME Single of the Year)
  • 2001 – Coldplay – Yellow
  • 2002 – Ash – Burn Baby Burn
  • 2003 – The Vines – Get Free (Best Single), Doves – There Goes the Fear (NME Single of the Year)
  • 2004 – The White Stripes – Seven Nation Army
  • 2005 – Franz Ferdinand – Take Me Out
  • 2006 – Arctic Monkeys – I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
  • 2007 – The View – Wasted Little DJs
  • 2008 – Arctic Monkeys – Fluorescent Adolescent
  • 2009 – MGMT – Time to Pretend
  • 2010 – The Big Pink – Dominos
  • 2011 – Foals – Spanish Sahara
  • 2012 – Florence + the Machine – Shake it Out
  • 2013 – Foals – Inhaler
  • 2014 – Disclosure – White Noise
  • 2015 – Jamie T – Zombie
  • 2016 – Wolf Alice – Giant Peach
  • 2017 – Christine and the Queens – Tilted
  • 2018 – Charli XCX – Boys

Best Single Ever

  • 2000 – Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit

Best Dance Single / Dancefloor filler / Anthem

  • 1998 – The Prodigy – Smack My Bitch Up
  • 1999 – Fatboy Slim – The Rockafeller Skank
  • 2008 – The Wombats – Let’s Dance to Joy Division
  • 2009 – Dizzee Rascal and Calvin Harris – Dance Wiv Me
  • 2010 – La Roux – In for the Kill (Skream Remix)
  • 2011 – Professor Green – Jungle
  • 2012 – Katy B – Broken Record
  • 2013 – Calvin Harris feat. Florence Welch – Sweet Nothing
  • 2015 – Iggy Azalea feat. Charli XCX – Fancy

Worst Single

  • 1994 – Meat Loaf – I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)
  • 1995 – Whigfield – Saturday Night
  • 1996 – Robson Green and Jerome Flynn – I Believe
  • 1997 – Spice Girls – Wannabe
  • 1998 – Aqua – Barbie Girl
  • 1999 – Billie Piper – Because We Want To
  • 2000 – The Vengaboys – We’re Going to Ibiza
  • 2003 – Robbie Williams – Feel
  • 2004 – Fast Food Rockers – Fast Food Song

Best Music Video

  • 1995 – Blur – Parklife
  • 1996 – Pulp – Common People
  • 1997 – The Prodigy – Firestarter
  • 1998 – The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
  • 1999 – Manic Street Preachers – If You Tolerate This Your Children Will Be Next
  • 2000 – Blur – Coffee and TV
  • 2002 – Radiohead – Pyramid Song
  • 2003 – Black Rebel Motorcycle Club – Whatever Happened to My Rock and Roll (Punk Song)
  • 2004 – Radiohead – There There
  • 2005 – Green Day – American Idiot
  • 2006 – Oasis – The Importance of Being Idle
  • 2007 – The Killers – Bones
  • 2008 – Arctic Monkeys – Teddy Picker
  • 2009 – The Last Shadow Puppets – My Mistakes Were Made for You
  • 2010 – Biffy Clyro – The Captain
  • 2011 – My Chemical Romance – Na Na Na (Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na Na)
  • 2012 – Hurts – Sunday
  • 2013 – Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?
  • 2014 – Eagulls – Nerve Endings
  • 2015 – Jamie T – Zombie
  • 2016 – Slaves – Cheer Up London
  • 2017 – Slaves – Consume or Be Consumed
  • 2018 – The Big Moon – Sucker

Best Album / LP

  • 1994 – The Boo Radleys – Giant Steps
  • 1995 – Blur – Parklife (Best Album), Oasis – Definitely Maybe (NME Album of the Year)
  • 1996 – Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory? (Best Album), Tricky – Maxinquaye (NME Album of the Year)
  • 1997 – Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go (Best Album), Beck – Odelay (NME Album of the Year)
  • 1998 – Radiohead – OK Computer
  • 1999 – Manic Street Preachers – This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours
  • 2000 – The Flaming Lips – The Soft Bulletin (Best Album and NME Album of the Year)
  • 2001 – Primal Scream – XTRMNTR
  • 2002 – The Strokes – This is It
  • 2003 – Coldplay – A Rush of Blood to the Head (Best Album and NME Album of the Year)
  • 2004 – Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
  • 2005 – Franz Ferdinand – Franz Ferdinand
  • 2006 – Kaiser Chiefs – Employment
  • 2007 – Arctic Monkeys – Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not
  • 2008 – Klaxons – Myths of the Near Future
  • 2009 – Kings of Leon – Only by the Night
  • 2010 – Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
  • 2011 – Arcade Fire – The Suburbs
  • 2012 – The Horrors – Skying
  • 2013 – The Maccabees – Given to the Wild
  • 2014 – Arctic Monkeys – AM
  • 2015 – Kasabian – 48:13
  • 2016 – Foals – What Went Down
  • 2017 – Bastille – Wild World
  • 2018 – J Hus – Common Sense

Best Album Ever

  • 2000 – The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses

Worst Album

  • 2003 – Robbie Williams – Escapology
  • 2005 – Insane Clown Posse – Carnival of Carnage
  • 2006 – James Blunt – Back to Bedlam
  • 2007 – Robbie Williams – Rudebox
  • 2008 – Britney Spears – Blackout
  • 2009 – Jonas Brothers – A Little Bit Longer
  • 2010 – Jonas Brothers – Lines, Vines, and Trying Times
  • 2011 – Justin Bieber – My World
  • 2012 – Justin Bieber – Under the Mistletoe

Best Album Artwork

  • 2004 – Radiohead – Hail to the Thief
  • 2008 – The Good, The Bad & The Queen – The Good, The Bad & The Queen
  • 2009 – Muse – HAARP
  • 2010 – Kasabian – West Ryder Pauper Lunatic Asylum
  • 2011 – Klaxons – Surfing the Void
  • 2012 – Friendly Fires – Pala

Best Reissue

  • 2012 – The Smiths – The Complete Re-issues
  • 2013 – Blur – 21
  • 2014 – The Clash – Sound System
  • 2015 – Manic Street Preachers – The Holy Bible
  • 2016 – David Bowie – Five Years (1969-1973)
  • 2017 – Oasis – Be Here Now
  • 2018 – Radiohead – OK NOT OK

Best DVD / Best Music DVD / Best Music Film

  • 2005 – Oasis – Definitely Maybe
  • 2006 – Various Artists – Live 8
  • 2007 – Arctic Monkeys – Scrummy Man
  • 2008 – Nirvana – MTV Unplugged in New York
  • 2009 – Arctic Monkeys – Live at the Apollo
  • 2010 – The Mighty Boosh Live – Future Sailors Tour
  • 2012 – Foo Fighters – Back and Forth
  • 2013 – The Rolling Stones – Crossfire Hurricane
  • 2014 – The Stone Roses – Made of Stone
  • 2015 – Pulp – A Film About Life, Death and Supermarkets
  • 2016 – Blur – New World Towers
  • 2017 – Oasis – Supersonic
  • 2018 – Lady Gaga – Five Foot Two

Best Mixtape

  • 2018 – Avelino – No Bullshit

Best Book

  • 2011 – John Lydon – Mr. Rotten’s Scrapbook
  • 2012 – Noel Fielding – The Scribblings of a Madcap Shambleton
  • 2013 – Mike Skinner – The Story of the Streets
  • 2014 – Morrissey – Autobiography
  • 2015 – Viv Albertine – Clothes, Clothes, Clothes. Music, Music, Music. Boys, Boys, Boys
  • 2016 – Patti Smith – M Train
  • 2017 – Johnny Marr – Set the Boy Free
  • 2018 – Wiley – Eskiboy

Media Categories

The group of media awards, for radio, TV, films, and venues.

Best Radio Show

  • 1994 – John Peel (BBC Radio 1)
  • 1996-1997 – The Evening Session (BBC Radio 1)
  • 1998-1999 – Mark and Lard (BBC Radio 1)
  • 2000-2002 – The Evening Session (BBC Radio 1)
  • 2003 – The Evening Session / Lamacq Live (BBC Radio 1)
  • 2005-2008 – Zane Lowe (BBC Radio 1)

Best TV Show

  • 1995 – Knowing Me, Knowing You with Alan Partridge
  • 1996-1998 – Shooting Stars
  • 1999 – South Park
  • 2000 – The Royle Family
  • 2001 – The League of Gentlemen
  • 2002 – The Office
  • 2003 – The Osbournes
  • 2004 – The Office
  • 2005 – Little Britain
  • 2006 – Gonzo
  • 2007-2009 – The Mighty Boosh
  • 2010 – The Inbetweeners
  • 2011 – Skins
  • 2012-2013 – Fresh Meat
  • 2014 – Breaking Bad
  • 2015 – Game of Thrones
  • 2016 – This is England ’90
  • 2017 – Fleabag
  • 2018 – Stranger Things

Worst TV Show

  • 2009 – Big Brother

Best Film

  • 1994 – Reservoir Dogs
  • 1995 – Pulp Fiction
  • 1996 – The Usual Suspects
  • 1997 – Trainspotting
  • 1998 – The Full Monty
  • 1999 – Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels
  • 2000 – The Blair Witch Project
  • 2001 – Gladiator
  • 2002 – Moulin Rouge
  • 2004 – The Lord of the Rings – The Return of the King
  • 2005 – Shaun of the Dead
  • 2006 – Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire
  • 2007 – Pirates of the Caribbean – Dead Man’s Chest
  • 2008 – Control
  • 2010 – Inglourious Basterds
  • 2011 – Inception
  • 2012 – Submarine
  • 2013 – The Hobbit – An Unexpected Journey
  • 2015 – Northern Soul
  • 2016 – Beasts of No Nation
  • 2017 – My Scientology Movie
  • 2018 – Baby Driver

Best Website

  • 2000 – NME
  • 2003 – NME
  • 2004 – NME
  • 2005 – NME
  • 2006 – NME
  • 2007 – YouTube
  • 2008 – Facebook
  • 2009 – YouTube
  • 2010 – Muse

Best Band Blog / Twitter / Social Media

  • 2008 – The Modern Age (Best Music Blog), Radiohead (Best Band Blog)
  • 2009 – Noel Gallagher / Oasis
  • 2010 – Radiohead
  • 2011 – Hayley Williams
  • 2012 – Lady Gaga
  • 2013 – Alana Haim
  • 2014 – Alana Haim
  • 2015 – Liam Gallagher

People Categories

Continuing the odd and eclectic categories from 1954-1992, the NME Awards still give slightly odd awards out to individuals.

Genius/HERO of the Year

  • 2000 – Ali G
  • 2001 – Liam Gallagher
  • 2003 – Ozzy Osbourne
  • 2004 – Pete Doherty
  • 2005 – John Peel
  • 2006 – Bob Geldof
  • 2007 – Gerard Way
  • 2008 – Pete Doherty
  • 2009 – Barack Obama
  • 2010 – Rage Against the Machine
  • 2011 – Lady Gaga
  • 2012 – Matt Bellamy
  • 2013 – Barack Obama
  • 2014-2015 – Alex Turner
  • 2016 – Dave Grohl
  • 2017 – Beyoncé
  • 2018 – Ariana Grande

Bastard/Git/Arse/Dickhead/Waster/Villain of the Year

  • 1994 – John Major
  • 1996 – Damon Albarn
  • 1997-1999 – Liam Gallagher
  • 2000, 2001, 2003 – Robbie Williams
  • 2004 – George W. Bush, (Villain of the Year), Pete Doherty (Waster of the Year)
  • 2005-2009 – George W. Bush
  • 2010 – Kanye West
  • 2011 – David Cameron
  • 2012 – Justin Bieber
  • 2013-2014 – Harry Styles
  • 2015 – Nigel Farage
  • 2016 – Donald Trump
  • 2017 – Nigel Farage
  • 2018 – Piers Morgan

Best Dressed / Most Stylish

  • 1996 – Jarvis Cocker
  • 2003 – The Hives
  • 2005 – Brandon Flowers
  • 2006 – Ricky Wilson
  • 2007 – Faris Rotter
  • 2008 – Noel Fielding
  • 2009 – Alexa Chung
  • 2010 – Lady Gaga
  • 2011 – Brandon Flowers

Worst Dressed / Least Stylish

  • 1996 – Jarvis Cocker
  • 1997 – Liam Gallagher
  • 2003 – Christina Aguilera
  • 2005 – Jonathan Ross
  • 2006 – Justin Hawkins
  • 2007 – Jonathan Ross
  • 2008-2009 – Amy Winehouse
  • 2010 – Lady Gaga
  • 2011 – Justin Bieber

Best Comedian

  • 1995-1996 – Steve Coogan

Political and Real World Categories

Continuing some of the odder categories from the earlier NME Polls. For clarity, I’ve separated the “live” events from the other “musical” events, although I think the award category was sometimes the same.

Musical Moment / Event of the Year

  • 1996 – Skinner, Baddiel and The Lightning Seeds – Three Lions
  • 2012 – The Stone Roses reunite
  • 2013 – Olympics opening ceremony
  • 2014 – Noel Gallagher and Damon Albarn come together for Teenage Cancer Trust
  • 2015 – Jamie T’s comeback
  • 2016 – The Libertines’ secret Glastonbury set
  • 2017 – Coldplay’s Viola Beach tribute at Glastonbury
  • 2018 – One Love Manchester

Greatest Musical Event Ever

  • 2000 – Woodstock

Non-Musical Event of the Year

  • 1994 – Unity March
  • 1995 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 1996 – French Nuclear Testing

Bummer / Disappointment

  • 1995 – Kurt Cobain’s Suicide
  • 1997 – The Stone Roses breaking up

Hype of the Year

  • 1994 – Jurassic Park

Object of Desire / Most Desirable / Hottest / Sexiest Woman

  • 1994 – Björk (Object of Desire)
  • 1995 – Kylie Minogue (Object of Desire)
  • 1997 – Louise (Most Desirable Human Being)
  • 1998 – Louise (Most Desirable Human Being)
  • 1999 – Natalie Imbruglia (Most Desirable Human Being)
  • 2003 – Avril Lavigne
  • 2004 – Brody Dalle
  • 2005 – Barbara Knox
  • 2006 – Madonna
  • 2007 – Kate Moss
  • 2008 – Kylie Minogue
  • 2009 – Hayley Williams
  • 2010 – Karen O
  • 2011 – Alison Mosshart
  • 2012 – Hayley Williams
  • 2013 – Amy Lee

Most Desirable / Hottest / Sexiest Man

  • 1996 – Liam Gallagher (Most Desirable Human Being)
  • 2003 – Chris Martin
  • 2004 – Har Mar Superstar
  • 2005 – Brandon Flowers
  • 2006 – Pete Doherty
  • 2007 – Matt Bellamy
  • 2008 – Noel Fielding
  • 2009-2011 – Matt Bellamy
  • 2012 – Jared Leto
  • 2013 – Matt Bellamy

Best Haircut

  • 2003 – Liam Gallagher
  • 2004 – Caleb Followill

Worst Haircut

  • 2003 – Jack Osbourne

Join us again next week, when we’ll finish this list off!

Advertisements

NME Awards – The 1990s

In 1994, the NME Awards suddenly went public, relaunching for the first time in twenty years as an annual awards ceremony, The NME Brat Awards. I’d always thought as the NME of the 1990s as being rather closed-minded, but they do seem to have been remarkably aware of non-indie forms of music, presenting awards to the likes of Tricky and Goldie towards the end of the decade.

NME Brat Awards 1994

After taking a break in 1993, the NME Poll finally reinvented itself as an actual awards ceremony in early 1994. Presenters: Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer.

  • Best New Band: Elastica
  • Best Single: Radiohead, for Creep
  • Best Band: Suede
  • Best Album: The Boo Radleys, for Giant Steps
  • Best Dance Act: Orbital
  • Godlike Genius Award: John Peel
  • Live Event: Megadog
  • Rap Act: Cypress Hill
  • Best Film: Reservoir Dogs
  • Worst Record: Meat Loaf, for I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That)
  • Best Venue: The Forum
  • Event of 1993: Unity March
  • Best Radio Show: John Peel
  • Hype: Jurassic Park
  • Best Solo Artist: Björk
  • Best New Act: Credit to the Nation
  • Bastard: John Major
  • Object of Desire: Björk

NME Awards 1995

Presenters: Tip Top TV

  • Best LP: Blur, for Parklife
  • Best Single: Oasis, for Live Forever
  • Best New Band: Oasis
  • Best Solo Artist: Paul Weller
  • Worst Record: Whigfield, for Saturday Night
  • Film of the Year: Pulp Fiction
  • Best TV Show: Knowing Me Knowing You with Alan Partridge
  • Best Comedian: Steve Coogan
  • Most Desirable Human Being: Kylie Minogue
  • Best Club/Venue: Brixton Academy
  • NME Album of the Year: Oasis, for Definitely Maybe
  • NME Singles of the Year: Blur, for Girls and Boys
  • Philip Hall/On Award for Best New Act: Gene
  • Godlike Genius Award for Services to Music: Alan McGee, Creation Records
  • Live Act of the Year: Blur
  • Best Rap Artist: Warren G
  • Event of the Year: Glastonbury Festival
  • Bummer of the Year: Kurt Cobain‘s Suicide
  • Best Video: Blur, for Parklife
  • Best Band: Blur
  • Best Live Event: Orbital at Glastonbury

NME Awards 1996

Presenters: Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer

  • Best Live Act: Oasis
  • Best Band: Oasis
  • Best LP: Oasis, for (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
  • Best Single: Oasis, for Wonderwall
  • Vibes Award for Best Dance Act: Goldie
  • Best Dance Act: The Prodigy
  • Best Solo Artist: Paul Weller
  • The Special Award for Services Beyond the Call of Duty: Tony Crean for organising the War Child LP
  • Album of the Year: Tricky, for Maxinquaye
  • Single of the Year: Black Grape, for Reverend Black Grape
  • Worst Record: Robson Green and Jerome Flynn, for I Believe
  • Godlike Genius Award: Michael Eavis
  • Best Musical Event: Glastonbury Festival
  • Non-Musical Event: French Nuclear Testing
  • Best Dressed Person: Jarvis Cocker
  • Worst Dressed Person: Jarvis Cocker
  • Best Video: Pulp, for Common People
  • Live Act of the Year: Pulp
  • Best TV Programme: Shooting Stars
  • Best New Band: Supergrass
  • The Philip Hall Radar Award: Rocket from the Crypt
  • Best Radio Show: Radio 1’s Evening Session
  • Best Film: The Usual Suspects
  • Best Comedian: Steve Coogan
  • Most Desirable Human Being: Liam Gallagher
  • Git of the Year: Damon Albarn
  • Best Venue: Brixton Academy

NME Awards 1997

Took place on 28 January 1997.

  • Best LP: Manic Street Preachers, for Everything Must Go
  • Best Single: Manic Street Preachers, for A Design for Life
  • Best Live Act: Manic Street Preachers
  • Musical Moment of the Year: Skinner, Baddiel and The Lightning Seeds , for Three Lions
  • Best LP: Beck, for Odelay
  • Best Single: Underworld, for Born Slippy
  • Worst Single: Spice Girls, for Wannabe
  • Best Solo Artist: Beck
  • Best Radio Show: Radio 1 Evening Session
  • Most Desirable Person: Louise Wener
  • Best Video: The Prodigy, for Firestarter
  • Biggest Disappointment: The Stone Roses breaking up
  • Best Club/Venue: Brixton Academy
  • Best Band: Oasis
  • Worst Dressed Person: Liam Gallagher
  • Worst Band: Oasis
  • Arse of the Year: Liam Gallagher
  • Musical Event of the Year: Oasis at Knebworth
  • Radio 1 Evening Session Of The Year: Suede
  • Best New Band/Artist: Kula Shaker
  • Philip Hall/On Award for Best New Act: Super Furry Animals
  • Best Dance Act: The Prodigy
  • Vibes Award for Best Dance Act: Orbital
  • Best Film: Trainspotting
  • Best TV Show: Shooting Stars

NME Awards 1998

Took place on 27 January 1998. Presenter: Eddie Vedder

  • Best Band: The Verve
  • Best LP: Radiohead, for OK Computer
  • God Like Genius: Mark E. Smith of The Fall
  • Best Single: The Verve, for Bitter Sweet Symphony
  • Best Solo Artist: Beck
  • Worst Single: Aqua, for Barbie Girl
  • Best Film: The Full Monty
  • Musical Event Of 1997: Glastonbury Festival
  • Radio 1 Evening Session of the Year: Radiohead
  • Best TV Show: Shooting Stars
  • Best Dance Act: The Prodigy
  • Best Radio Show: Mark Radcliffe and Lard (Mark Riley)
  • Best New Band: Embrace
  • Best Club/Venue: Brixton Academy
  • Best Music Video: The Verve, for Bittersweet Symphony
  • Best Dance Single: The Prodigy, for Smack My Bitch Up
  • Dickhead Of The Year: Liam Gallagher
  • Most Desirable Person: Louise Nurding (Louise)

NME Premier Awards 1999

  • Best Single: Manic Street Preachers, for If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next
  • Best Band: Manic Street Preachers
  • Best Music Video: Manic Street Preachers, for If You Tolerate This, Your Children Will Be Next
  • Best Album: Manic Street Preachers, for This Is My Truth Tell Me Yours
  • Best New Band: Gomez
  • Best Radio Show: Mark Radcliffe
  • Best Dance Act: Fatboy Slim
  • Best Dance Record: Fatboy Slim, for The Rockafeller Skank
  • Godlike Genius: Massive Attack
  • Best TV Show: South Park
  • Best Film: Lock, Stock And Two Smoking Barrels
  • Musical Event of the Year: Glastonbury Festival
  • Best Solo Artist: Robbie Williams
  • Most Desirable Person: Natalie Imbruglia
  • Worst Record: Billie Piper, for Because We Want to
  • Dickhead of the Year: Liam Gallagher
  • Best Venue: Brixton Academy
  • The Pop Personality’s Brain That Should Be Kept Alive for Posterity: Nicky Wire
  • The Pop Personality Who Would Make the Best Drugs Czar: Shaun Ryder
  • The Pop Personality You Would To See On A Blind Date: Marilyn Manson and Billie Piper
  • The Pop Personality You Would Most Like as Your Doctor: Natalie Imbruglia
  • The Pop Personality You Would Most Like to Go Shopping with: Brian Molko
  • The Pop Personality You Would Most Like to Cook You a Meal: Tiny Woods
  • The Pop Personality You Would Most Like to Be Marooned on a Desert Island with: Louise
  • The Pop Personality You Would Most Like as Prime Minister: Nicky Wire
  • The Pop Personality That You’d Most Like as Your Driving Instructor: Jay Kay
  • The Pop Personality You Would Most Like to See in a Ring with Mike Tyson: Billie Piper

See also

Edited 12 Jun 2018 – clarified some formatting.

Electronic – Twisted Tenderness

Electronic‘s first album is widely celebrated as being excellent, and as I found out a couple of weeks ago, the second one turns out to be a lot better than any of us remembered too. But as I listened to that one to write the review, I found myself questioning my memories of the third one – is it really as bad as I remembered? Let’s find out.

I’m always a bit suspicious of noisy, industrial electronica, and listening to opening track Make it Happen, I wonder if that might be where my dissatisfaction with Twisted Tenderness stemmed from. It’s a nice enough jingly synth line at the beginning, and then a funky guitar line comes in before we get the vocal. This is telling: “Sometimes we find ourselves searching for something new,” Bernard Sumner tells us.

Well, doing “new” things just for the sake of it is a bit misguided, but let’s give it a chance anyway. Bernard and his bandmate Johnny Marr had clearly been listening to a lot of The Chemical Brothers (and as it turned out, Sumner was also working with them on Out of Control, which was rather better than this and appeared a few months later).

The other telling aspect is Arthur Baker, who turns up as producer here, with some supporting work from members of Doves and Black Grape. Baker has plenty of electronic music on his CV of course, but by the late 1990s seemed to have settled on a much darker, more industrial sound. Which is OK, of course – guitars are “electronic” too, but I suspect Electronic might have been on a mission to alienate their established fanbase here.

Eventually Make it Happen draws to a close and the charmless Haze begins. Where this succeeds over the preceding track is in its chorus: this time it fits nicely, whereas Make it Happen‘s seemed shoehorned in at best.

There’s a noticeable change in mood at the start of the one and only single Vivid, with its curious mix of electronic backing and harmonica with guitars and live drums. Despite that, it’s actually a pretty good song – it could have just about fitted as one of the less good moments on the preceding album Raise the Pressure. But that’s about it – it’s good, but nothing too great. And I can’t help but worry that might be as good as this album gets.

Neither is it ever too bad though – at worst, it’s listenable, even if it’s not really our thing. The less good moments (Breakdown) are always balanced by the better ones (Can’t Find My Way HomeTwisted Tenderness). I suspect the latter is intended to provide continuity to the previous releases, but even so, barely a moment goes by when you don’t find yourself looking at this album’s neighbours on the shelf and wishing you were listening to one of them instead.

Like No Other is forgettable, and Late at Night was almost going to be the second single, but never quite got its full release, and honestly that’s no major injustice. The better moments still appear – Prodigal Son drags on a bit, but it’s pretty good, but closing tracks When She’s Gone and Flicker are nothing special.

When I write these reviews, I just listen to the album and write what I think. Sometimes I’m wrong, and people quite rightly call me out for it. Other times their arguments (like mine) are clearly tempered by their memories. But I wonder if anyone will rush in to defend this album? Because honestly, right now I think I’m right – either it isn’t very good, or I’m just not its intended audience. Probably the latter, but in that case, who is?

You can still find Twisted Tenderness at all major retailers.

The BRIT Awards 1996

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

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

Best British Album

Presented by Lenny Kravitz. Nominees:

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

Winner: Oasis

Best British Dance Act

Presented by Vic ReevesBob Mortimer and Ulrika Jonsson. Nominees:

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

Winner: Massive Attack

Best British Female

Presented by Tina Turner. Nominees:

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

Winner: Annie Lennox

Best British Group

Presented by Pete Townshend from The Who. Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Lightning Seeds
  • Oasis
  • Pulp
  • Radiohead

Winner: Oasis

Best British Male

Presented by Iggy Pop. Nominees:

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

Winner: Paul Weller

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Robbie Williams. Nominees:

  • Black Grape
  • Cast
  • Elastica
  • Supergrass
  • Tricky

Winner: Supergrass

Best British Producer

Nominees:

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

Winner: Brian Eno

Best British Single

Presented by Jo Whiley. Nominees:

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

Winner: Take That

Best British Video

Presented by Michael Hutchence from INXS. Nominees:

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

Winner: Oasis

Best International Female

Presented by Kylie Minogue. Nominees:

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

Winner: Björk

Best International Group

Presented by Celine Dion. Nominees:

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

Winner: Bon Jovi

Best International Male

Nominees:

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

Winner: Prince

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Martin Clunes and Neil Morrissey. Nominees:

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

Winner: Alanis Morissette

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Nominees:

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

Winner: Braveheart

Artist of a Generation

Meaningless special award presented by Bob Geldof.

Winner: Michael Jackson

The Freddie Mercury Award

Presented by Roger Taylor from Queen.

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

Outstanding Contribution

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

Winner: David Bowie

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

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

Mercury Music Prize 1995-1997

By the mid-1990s, the Mercury Prize was firmly placed as a reliable guide to the albums worth hearing of that year. Certainly there were omissions – indie always seemed to be overrated, while the pop and R&B inclusions were a little unpredictable, but there are still a huge number of great albums in the lists below.

Mercury Music Prize 1995

Nominees:

  • Guy Barker – Into the Blue
  • Elastica – Elastica
  • PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
  • Leftfield – Leftism
  • James MacMillan – Seven Last Words from the Cross
  • Van Morrison – Days Like This
  • Oasis – Definitely Maybe
  • Portishead – Dummy
  • Supergrass – I Should Coco
  • Tricky – Maxinquaye

Winner: PortisheadNoel Gallagher famously thought he should have won for Definitely Maybe, but he turned out to be wrong.

Mercury Music Prize 1996

Took place on 10th September 1996.

Nominees:

  • Artists for War Child – Help
  • Black Grape – It’s Great When You’re Straight… Yeah!
  • Peter Maxwell Davies / BBC Philharmonic – The Beltane Fire / Caroline Mathilde
  • Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go
  • Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack
  • Oasis – (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
  • Courtney Pine – Modern Day Jazz Stories
  • Pulp – Different Class
  • Underworld – Second Toughest in the Infants
  • Norma Waterson – Norma Waterson

Winner: Pulp. Presented to Jarvis Cocker, who then immediately handed over the award to Brian Eno and Tony Crean for the Help project.

Mercury Music Prize 1997

Took place on 28th August 1997, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Nominees:

  • The Chemical Brothers – Dig Your Own Hole
  • Beth Orton – Trailer Park
  • Primal Scream – Vanishing Point
  • The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land
  • Radiohead – OK Computer
  • Roni Size / Reprazent – New Forms
  • Spice Girls – Spice
  • Suede – Coming Up
  • John Tavener – Svyati
  • Mark-Anthony Turnage – Your Rockaby

Winner: Roni Size / Reprazent

Further information