Sorry – I meant to do this a few days ago, but Depeche Mode are back with a big box set containing everything. All the fans own most of it already, and the non-fans neither want nor afford it, but apparently it’s a great idea anyway – this is MODE:
As we saw earlier in this series of posts, the modern definition of an album is relatively straightforward – there are a number of sneaky clauses, but the main decider is simply what the dealer price is. Singles are more complex, and have evolved over time. If you have a bit of spare time, you can try to digest the rules here, but here’s a high-level summary.
Permitted formats (using my own terminology to try to simplify it):
- Single: digital or CD, with one track, and a maximum playing time of 15 minutes
- Maxi: vinyl, digital, CD, or USB, with up to four songs (three tracks on a 7″ single), and a maximum playing time of 25 minutes
- Remix: vinyl, digital, CD, or USB, with one song, and a maximum playing time of 40 minutes
This is probably less of a deal nowadays, but of these, you can have up to 3 physical formats, from:
- Any combination of Single CD, 7″, or 12″ vinyl
- Two Maxi or Remix CD, DVD, or USB formats
- Plus up to 3 digital bundle formats, and any number of digital single-track versions of the lead song
This might seem confusing if you haven’t seen it before, but, apart from the odd tweak here or there, this is pretty much how the UK chart has worked since the late 1980s – the digital formats are a more recent addition, of course. But other than that, five formats were reduced to four in the early 1990s; and four became three in 1998. Singles were reduced to three tracks and twenty minutes for a while, but then sense prevailed, and it was decided to try to rip music fans off a little less by expanding the rules again.
But once you step past all those rules, there are, of course, a couple of gaps. Something that costs the same as a single, but runs past the 25-minute limit might be an EP, or a mini-album. Or if it’s a bit longer, maybe it’s a full album that just retails at a lower cost. There’s no hard and fast rule, but by original definition, an EP, or “Extended Play” release, would have normally been a 7″ single playing at 33 1⁄3 rpm, running at maybe 15 minutes in terms of total playing time.
So where do those releases fall? The answer has evolved over time – in the 1960s, EPs had their own chart, and since then, Budget Albums have been a thing – albeit a thing that nobody really talks about much.
The UK EP Chart
As the Single and Album charts came to be established as two separate things, it was inevitable that EPs would get their own place in history, but it was somewhat short-lived.
Melody Maker may have been second to launch an Album Chart in the UK, but they led the charge with the EP Chart, kicking it off in November 1959 with a Top 10, and running until May 1963. Record Retailer also published an EP chart from March 1960 to December 1967, which slowly worked its way up from a Top 10 to a Top 15, and finally a Top 20. Finally, Music Echo and Pop Weekly also published short-lived EP charts in around 1965-1966. And after the Record Retailer chart ended the following year, there has never since been an EP chart in the UK.
Of course, that’s fairly appropriate – EPs were hugely successful in the 1960s, often acting like cut-price albums, but they fell out of favour over time, to a point where the term is often used these days for something that is really just a single.
The UK Budget Album Chart
For a while after the disappearance of the EP charts, EPs were either incorporated into other charts, or were lost for good. Then, by the late 1960s, Budget Albums started to appear on the market, often as cover albums by anonymous artists, but they appear to have been initially excluded from the main charts.
In 1969, Record Retailer published the first Budget Album Chart, although confusingly, it appears to have actually been a Mid-Price Album Chart, due to the actual prices involved. Then, in early 1970, an actual Budget Album Chart appeared, as did a Mid-Price Album Chart. NME, meanwhile, allowed all lower-price albums on their album chart.
From August 1971 to January 1972, Budget Albums were allowed onto the now-official UK Album Chart, and there was a sudden but short-lived influx of low-cost albums on the chart, many of them anonymous cover albums, and some of them entering right at the top spot. After that, they were removed for good.
The Record Retailer Budget Album chart lasted until June 1975, when it was retired. It’s not clear to me whether Budget Album charts then disappeared altogether for a couple of decades, or was published somewhere all along – a lot of people seem not to care particularly. But from 1997, the Budget Album chart has become available again, albeit with a bit of searching.
It’s a funny old chart – you can see one on UKChartsPlus’s sample edition here. In that particular week, it appears to be primarily made up of cut-price multi-artist compilations, discounted “greatest hits” collections by established artists. EPs make it on, occasionally, but it’s fairly rare – this only appears to have happened twice in 2010, for example.
Browsing through the hits, you see some interesting entries – for instance, The Human League had multiple hits with their cut-price best of The Best Of (#10 in 2000), Best Of (#7 in 2001), and The Best Of (A’s, B’s & Rarities) (#32 in 2005), but also studio album Dare peaked at #16 on a reissue in 2006. Depeche Mode had a number 1 with their Goodnight Lovers EP in 2002, and then had multiple hits with reissues in 2004. Plenty of other artists have never had a single hit on there.
If all this makes the Budget Album chart sound like some kind of purgatory, where badly behaved singles and albums are sent to live out the rest of their days – well, that’s because it is, pretty much.
Next time: midweek charts and artist charts.
This series of posts owes a lot to the following sources which weren’t directly credited above:
Closing this mini-series out is a quick look at Daniel Miller‘s Mute Records, which, since its launch in 1978, has become one of the most cult, collectible labels. Initially devised as an engine to release Miller’s own electronic act The Normal, it has grown to house a huge roster of artists from a broad range of genres.
Key artists include Depeche Mode, Yazoo, Erasure, Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Moby, Goldfrapp, and more recently, New Order, but it has also housed some hugely influential underground artists, including Fad Gadget, Nitzer Ebb, and Laibach. The list could be endless. Many of those artists were lost when Mute was sold to EMI in 2002, and didn’t follow back when it regained its independence at the end of the decade, but the list of artists is still very strong.
Perhaps most notable in recent times is the now-legendary box set MUTE433, a compilation of different artists performing John Cage‘s 4’33”. Which is clearly brilliant, even if I don’t really want a copy (thanks all the same). By the time you read this, it might already be in the shops.
You can find out more about Mute by going to
These were the top ten albums fourteen years ago this week!
- New Order – Waiting for the Sirens’ Call
- Moby – Hotel
- Basement Jaxx – The Singles
- Mylo – Destroy Rock & Roll
- Everything But The Girl – Adapt or Die – Ten Years of Remixes
- Client – City
- Daft Punk – Human After All
- Bent – Ariels
- Depeche Mode – Remixes 81-04
- Télépopmusik – Angel Milk
Depeche Mode don’t release a lot of b-sides, and when they do, they are a little intriguing. On the back of their 2009 comeback single Wrong, they included the jaunty and intriguing Oh Well, and then proceeded to follow it up with a whole album of b-sides and remixes as the second disc of Sounds of the Universe. It appeared ten years ago this week, and we reviewed the first disc exactly five years ago this week.
It opens with Light, which is pretty good. Definitely b-side material, but good nonetheless. It’s a catchy song, but I don’t think anyone would argue that it should have been on an album. The Sun and the Moon and the Stars is nice, though, and sees principle songwriter Martin L. Gore delivering the lead vocal. In many ways, with the bleak electro backing, it sounds like something from his solo back catalogue, and again, I’m not sure it’s really Depeche Mode album material, but it’s a nice song, and it’s always good to get another Gore vocal.
This was, of course, the era when Dave Gahan, coming back from his solo material, was now able to contribute to the songwriting progress as well. So, having contributed three tracks to the main album (Hole to Feed, Come Back, and Miles Away / The Truth Is), there wasn’t quite as much space for Gore’s material. So most of what’s on the second disc is his, and normally with a Gahan vocal.
Ghost is another of these, with a catchy vocal and some wonderfully dark electronic backing. You can tell the quality is high here though – again, while Sounds of the Universe is far from Depeche Mode‘s finest hour, the standard is actually pretty high – and Ghost isn’t quite up there.
But we do get a decent range of Depeche Mode‘s signature sounds here – and one of the less well known of those is Martin L. Gore‘s abstract instrumentals, of which Esque is one. Running at just over two minutes, it’s a pleasant interlude, which tends to be pretty much all they’re ever used for, but it’s a good example of the style.
Let’s face it, though – Oh Well is the reason you’re interested in this bonus disc. Frankly, why this wasn’t on the main album is a bit of a mystery to me – maybe they just didn’t quite feel it fit somehow. This is, though, the first ever songwriting collaboration between Dave Gahan and Martin L. Gore, and it also features a joint vocal from the two of them, alongside some gloriously dirty electronics. It’s brilliant – better, actually, than several of the tracks on the main release.
That’s it for the bonus tracks – the remaining tracks are all remixes, and of an odd selection of tracks. First up, Efdemin turn up for a dubby (but full-vocal) mix of Corrupt. It’s alright, but Depeche Mode remixes are often pretty inscrutable, and this is a good example of that. It’s fairly relaxed, fully of soft beats and vocal samples, and not a huge amount else.
Minilogue‘s Earth mix of In Chains is easier to understand, reworking the opening track from the main album. While it was reasonable as an opening track, it isn’t the best source material that Depeche Mode have ever provided, but this turns out to be a spacey house mix, with huge amounts of reverb and some more dub influence on the vocals, but it bounces along pleasantly for eight minutes or so.
But while some of their remixes may be particularly challenging, others do hit their mark, and you can trust The Orb‘s Thomas Fehlmann to be the first to do that here, with his excellent Flowing Ambient Mix of Little Soul. It retains large chunks of the original, but adds a huge throbbing synth line that just chugs along gently for nine and a half minutes. It’s pure brilliance, of a sort that only seems to happen once in a while with Depeche Mode‘s remixes.
The remaining remixes are good, but don’t really break new ground. SixToes‘ somewhat anarchic string version of Jezebel is enjoyable, and it’s definitely an odd definition of the “remix”, as it’s difficult to figure out exactly who would play this and where, but it’s also very pleasant. Electronic Periodic‘s Dark Drone Mix of Perfect is an odd combination of electro and house, but works well too.
Finally, Caspa turns up to rework lead single Wrong. This is a pretty good glitchy version, although probably not quite up to the standard of some of the versions on the single, such as Trentemøller‘s take. But it closes out a decent collection in appropriate fashion – there’s not much special here, but there’s nothing really bad either.
All in all, the bonus tracks and remixes from Sounds of the Universe are pretty good. There were some better remixes spread across the singles, but this isn’t a bad collection. Both the bonus tracks and the remixes have plenty of sounds from Depeche Mode‘s universe (excuse the pun) to offer, and so it’s definitely worth hearing. Above all, this is where you can find Oh Well.
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
After a few stormy years with Depeche Mode and Yazoo, Vince Clarke‘s third attempt at a group was The Assembly, formed with Yazoo‘s producer (and provider of the first album title) Eric Radcliffe. It was a short-lived project, which supposedly was intended to consist of collaborations with multiple vocalists, but after the follow-up with Paul Quinn failed to break the charts, Clarke moved onto Erasure, and the rest is history.
So the lovely Never Never sadly never made it onto an album. Released thirty-five years ago this week, barely a year and a half after Yazoo had disbanded, it peaked at number four on the UK charts. As a standalone hit, it’s largely forgotten now, but it’s worth remembering from time to time.
It’s a great song, for the first time on a Clarke production featuring some very audible acoustic guitar work, and also including some early pre-echoes of Erasure‘s early work. But the overriding mood here is of Yazoo‘s unfinished business – you can’t help but wonder whether Clarke wrote this intending that Alison Moyet would be delivering the vocal. Instead, it’s Feargal Sharkey who does the honours, and he does a great job.
Side B brings us the brilliantly syncopated instrumental Stop/Start. Again, this would have fitted perfectly on the tail end of Yazoo‘s imaginary third album, and it’s hard to stop thinking about that now, but there’s also a fairly different feel to this track that maybe would prevent it from fitting in quite so well with Upstairs at Eric’s and You and Me Both.
The 12″ version of the single just gives us two extended versions – Never Never gains a long introduction which honestly sounds exceptional, and Stop/Start also gets some extra bits at the front, although they don’t add a huge amount in this instance. They also seem to have left the radio on in the background for the extra part of this recording, for some reason.
It’s a short, compact single, with just two tracks on each format, but you have to wonder slightly what might have happened if an album had followed. Instead, Clarke found peace and sold millions of records as half of Erasure, and Never Never was largely forgotten.
The 1996 CD reissue of Never Never has long since fallen out of print, but you can still find it as a stream or download.