The British Rock & Pop Awards 1981

The 1981 ceremony was held on 8th February 1982, to celebrate the music of the preceding year. The ceremony took place at the Lyceum, London, and was presented by Dave Lee Travis and Sue Cook.

Best Female Singer

Winner: Toyah

Daily Mirror Readers’ Award for the Outstanding Pop Personality

Winner: Adam Ant

Best Group or Band

Winner: Adam and the Ants

Best Male Singer

Winner: Shakin’ Stevens

Best Album

Winner: The Human League, for Dare

Best Single

Winner: Ultravox, for Vienna

Nationwide Golden Award for the Artist or Group with the Most All-Round Family Appeal

Winner: unknown

Best Newcomer

Nominees included Duran Duran.

Winner: unknown (but not Duran Duran!)

Performances

Comparison with the BRIT Awards

If you would like to see the comparison, the 1982 BRIT Awards are covered here. While the nominee list was similar, Toyah Willcox and Shakin’ Stevens failed to win, and Ultravox and Bananarama weren’t even nominated.

Sources

The British Rock & Pop Awards 1979

The 1979 ceremony was held on 26th February 1980, to celebrate the music of the preceding year. It was simulcast on BBC TV and BBC Radio 1, and took place again at the Café Royal, London. It was presented by Dave Lee Travis and Sue Lawley, with commentary by Mike Read on the Radio 1 broadcast.

Best Female Singer

Winner: Kate Bush

Daily Mirror Readers’ Award for the Outstanding Pop Personality

Winner: Paul McCartney

Best Group or Band

Winner: The Police

Best Male Singer

Winner: Gary Numan

Best Album

Presented by Rick Wakeman, with remote help from Anne Nightingale.

Winner: The Police, for Regatta de Blanc

Best Single

Winner: Boomtown Rats, for I Don’t Like Mondays

Radio 1’s Disc Jockeys’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Pop Music

Presented by John Peel.

Winner: Jerry Dammers with Radio 1’s Disc Jockeys’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Pop Music for his work with The Specials

Nationwide Golden Award for the Artist or Group with the Most All-Round Family Appeal

Winner: unknown

Further Details

Presenters included Barron KnightsKate BushMarianne FaithfullAndy Gibb, and Leo Sayer, and possibly also Thereza Bazar of Dollar.

It was reported the following year that Gary Numan supposedly won “multiple awards”, which may tell us that he won the All-Round Family Appeal award, but we can’t tell that for sure.

Performances

Ronnie Hazlehurst and His Orchestra performed the music again, with Apollo performing dance routines.

Sources

Stowaway Heroes – Trevor Horn

You probably know Trevor Horn‘s name, but you might not realise quite why. Let me give you a clue – after a few years as a session musician, he formed a group called Buggles. You’ll know them for this UK number one from 1979:

He then launched the career of Dollar, produced an ABC album, and then brought us this from Frankie Goes to Hollywood:

But for me, what makes him a stowaway hero is Left to My Own Devices, one of the most iconic songs from Pet Shop Boys:

So welcome to our mini-hall of fame, Trevor Horn! You are a stowaway hero.

British Rock & Pop Awards 1982-1984

Due to a fundamental failing on my part, this post was actually written several months ago, accidentally deleted, and has now been recreated for your general entertainment. In the third article in this series, we look at the final three years of this nearly-decade-long award ceremony, before the BPI Awards (later the BRITs) supplanted them.

1982

The seventh ceremony took place in February 1983, at The Lyceum in London, and were presented by Anne Diamond (see BFI record).

On 15th January, Tommy Vance and Kid Jensen voiced this promo for the awards for BBC Radio 1 (also trailed here). This confirms that the following categories were included and were open for voting: Best Female SingerBest Male SingerBest GroupBest Single, and Best Album.

Thereza Bazar of Dollar presented the Best Album award.

The winners were ABC, with The Lexicon of Love (in third place), Madness, with Complete Madness (in second), and the overall winner was Duran Duran, with Rio.

The 1983 BPI Awards can be viewed here.

1983

The eighth and final ceremony, celebrating the music of the year 1983, took place on 21st February 1984 at The Lyceum in London, and.was presented by David Jensen and Sarah Kennedy, the latter of whom, as we’ll learn, didn’t write her own script, and hopefully didn’t pick her own wardrobe either.

In the award for Best British Rock/Pop Single were True, by Spandau Ballet, in third place, and Duran Duran with Is There Something I Should Know? in second place.

The winner was Karma Chameleon, by Culture Club.

By 1985, the BPI Awards (later the BRITs) were swiftly gaining momentum, and were well on the way to becoming the definitive British music award ceremony. They were also fully televised, for the first time since 1977, effectively taking the place of the British Rock & Pop Awards. Whether that’s the reason why these awards were discontinued, or whether there’s some other reason, is long lost in the mists of time, but for comparison the 1984 BPI Awards can be viewed here.