Ivor Novello Awards – The 1980s

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1980

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

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1981

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

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1982

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

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1983

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

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1984

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

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1985

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

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1986

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

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1987

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

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1988

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

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

Ivor Novello Awards 1989

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

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

Further Reading

Albums chart of the year 2017

It’s been a great year for reissues, so it’s no surprise to see a few on the 2017 top twenty. Here’s the full list:

  1. Depeche Mode – Spirit
  2. Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygène 3 [number 21 in 2016]
  3. Saint Etienne – Home Counties
  4. David Bowie – Legacy [number 27 in 2016]
  5. Kraftwerk – 3-D Der Katalog
  6. Pet Shop Boys – Release [released in 2002]
  7. Goldfrapp – Silver Eye
  8. Erasure – World Be Gone
  9. The Human League – Anthology – A Very British Synthesizer Group [number 37 in 2016]
  10. Pet Shop Boys – Nightlife [released in 1999, number 89 in 2004, number 177 in 2005, number 83 in 2006]
  11. Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon [released in 1973, number 34 in 2014, number 20 in 2015, number 42 in 2016]
  12. Pet Shop Boys – Fundamental [released in 2005, number 5 in 2006]
  13. Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark – The Punishment of Luxury
  14. New Order – Lost Sirens [released in 2013]
  15. Jean-Michel Jarre – Oxygène Trilogy [number 40 in 2016]
  16. Pet Shop Boys – Yes [released in 2009, number 172 in 2015, number 171 in 2016]
  17. Dusty Springfield – Reputation [released in 1990, number 35 in 2016]
  18. C Duncan – The Midnight Sun [number 12 in 2016]
  19. Gorillaz – Humanz
  20. Pet Shop Boys – Elysium [number 2 in 2012, number 14 in 2013, number 179 in 2014, number 120 in 2016]

NME Poll Winners 1952-1992 (Part Two)

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

Best Newcomer

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

Best New Artist

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

Technical Categories

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

Musician of the Year

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

Best Guitarist

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

Best Bassist

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

Best Keyboardist/Electronics

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

Best Drummer

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

Best Instrumentalist

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

Best Producer

  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975 – Eddie Offord

Best Songwriter/Composer

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

Best Solo Artist

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

Best Female Singer

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

Best British Female Singer

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

Best US Female Singer

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

Best Male Singer

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

Best British Male Singer

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

Best US Male Singer

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

Outstanding Popular Singer

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

Best Instrumental Personality

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

Best Musical Personality

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

Best British Musical Personality

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

Genre-Specific Categories

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

Best Soul / Funk Act

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

Best Reggae Act

  • 1984 – Smiley Culture
  • 1985 – UB40

Best R&B / Blues Act

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

Best Traditional Jazz Act

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

Best Group

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

Best Group

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

Best British Group

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

Best British Small Band

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

Best British Large Band or Orchestra

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

Best British Instrumental Unit

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

Best Live Act

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

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

NME Poll Winners – The 1970s

In 1972, NME celebrated its twentieth birthday, with the same anniversary of its poll winners awards ceremony the following year. Their readership seems to have been fascinatingly obsessed with Cliff Richard and Elvis Presley during the first half of the decade, and then in 1976 seem to have been very dismissive of the early Sex Pistols, before falling very deeply in love with them the following year.

1970

The NME website (and consequently Wikipedia, which definitely doesn’t include material copied from other websites) includes the 1971 results here by mistake, so I’ve tried to transcribe what I can read on the article scan. Apologies for the omissions:

  • British Male Singer: Tom Jones
  • World Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • British Vocal Group: The Beatles
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Dusty Springfield
  • British Female Singer: Lulu
  • Best TV/Radio Show: Top of the Pops, followed in second place by Top Gear
  • Top Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • Best Instrumental Unit: [illegible]
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • Best New Group: Jethro Tull
  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • New Disc Singer: [illegible]
  • British Blues Group: Fleetwood Mac

Due to the public’s obsession with Elvis and Cliff not entirely matching the contents of the magazine, this was the last of the live shows until 1994.

1971

There was no ceremony show from 1971 onwards, but there was still a poll, with the following winners:

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Diana Ross
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World Vocal Group: Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Female Singer: Cilla Black
  • Best British Single: Mungo Jerry, for In the Summertime
  • Best TV/Radio Show: Top of the Pops
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • New Disc Singer: Elton John
  • Best New Group: McGuinness Flint
  • Top British Group: The Beatles
  • British Instrumental Unit: The Shadows
  • Top Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • Best British LP: The Beatles, for Let It Be

1972

  • World Male Singer: Elvis Presley
  • World Female Singer: Diana Ross
  • World Musical Personality: Elvis Presley
  • World Vocal Group: T. Rex
  • British Male Singer: Cliff Richard
  • British Female Singer: Cilla Black
  • British Vocal Group: T. Rex
  • British Vocal Personality: Cliff Richard
  • British New Group: New Seekers
  • British Instrumental Unit: Collective Consciousness Society
  • TV or Radio Show: Top of the Pops
  • Disc Jockey: Jimmy Savile
  • New Disc Singer: Rod Stewart
  • Best 1971 Single Disc: George Harrison, for My Sweet Lord
  • Best 1971 Album: tied between T. Rex, for Electric Warrior and John Lennon, for Imagine

1973

  • British Male Singer: David Bowie
  • British Female Singer: Maggie Bell
  • British Group: Yes
  • British Stage Band: Genesis
  • Most Promising New Name (British): Leo Sayer
  • Disc Jockey: John Peel
  • TV Show: Old Grey Whistle Test
  • British Single: The Who, for 5.15
  • British Album: Pink Floyd, for The Dark Side of the Moon
  • Best Guitarist: Eric Clapton
  • Best Keyboardist: Rick Wakeman
  • Best Bass Guitarist: Paul McCartney
  • Best Drummer: Carl Palmer
  • Best Producer: David Bowie
  • Best Instrumentalist: Roy Wood
  • Best Songwriters: Elton John / Bernie Taupin
  • Best Soul Act: Stevie Wonder
  • Best Dressed Album: Yes, for Yessongs
  • World Singer: David Bowie
  • World Female Singer: Diana Ross
  • World Group: Yes
  • World Stage Band: Alice Cooper
  • World Album: Pink Floyd, for The Dark Side of the Moon
  • World Single: Golden Earring, for Radar Love
  • World’s Most Promising New Name: Golden Earring

1974

Again, the NME website and Wikipedia have repeated the 1973 results here by mistake, but this time unfortunately there is no alternative source for the results.

1975

  • British Male Singer: Paul Rodgers
  • British Female Singer: Kiki Dee
  • British Group: Roxy Music
  • British Stage Band: Genesis
  • British Disc Jockey: Noel Edmonds
  • British Music TV Show: The Old Grey Whistle Test
  • Most Promising New Name: Bad Company
  • Music Radio Show: Alan Freeman Show
  • World Male Singer: Robert Plant
  • World Female Singer: Joni Mitchell
  • Drummer: Carl Palmer
  • Misc. Instrument: Mike Oldfield
  • Producer: Eddie Offord
  • Album: Rod Stewart, for Smiler
  • Single: Bad Company, for Can’t Get Enough
  • Best Dressed LP: Yes, for Relayer
  • Soul Act: Stevie Wonder
  • Klutz of the Year: Steve Harley

1976

  • Best Group: Led Zeppelin
  • Best Female Singer: Linda Ronstadt
  • Turkey of the Year: Sex Pistols, with Johnny Rotten in second place, and “punk rock” in third
  • Best Male Singer: Robert Plant
  • Most Promising Emergent Act: Eddie and the Hot Rods
  • Best Keyboardist: Rick Wakeman
  • Best Drummer: John Bonham
  • Best Songwriter/Composer: Bob Dylan
  • Best Television Show: The Old Grey Whistle Test
  • Best Disc Jockey: John Peel
  • Most Missed Dead Act: Jimi Hendrix
  • Best Guitarist: Jimmy Page
  • Best Single: Thin Lizzy, for The Boys Are Back In Town
  • Best Album: Led Zeppelin, for The Song Remains The Same
  • Most Wonderful Human Being: Johnny Rotten
  • Best Miscellaneous Instrumentalist: Mike Oldfield
  • Best Radio Show: Alan Freeman‘s Saturday Show
  • Best Dressed Sleeve: Led Zeppelin, for The Song Remains The Same
  • Best Bassist: Paul McCartney

1977

  • Best Group: Sex Pistols
  • Best New Group/Act: Tom Robinson
  • Male Singer: David Bowie
  • Female Singer: Julie Covington
  • Best Album: Sex Pistols, for Never Mind the Bollocks
  • Best Single: Sex Pistols, for God Save the Queen
  • Keyboards: Rick Wakeman
  • Drummer: Paul Cook
  • Misc. Instrument: Mike Oldfield
  • Disc Jockey: John Peel
  • Radio Show: John Peel Show
  • TV Show: The Old Grey Whistle Test
  • Event of the Year: Elvis dying
  • Most Wonderful Human Being: Johnny Rotten
  • Prat of the Year: Freddie Mercury

1978

  • Best Male Singer: David Bowie
  • Best Female Singer: Debbie Harry
  • Best Album: The Jam, for All Mod Cons
  • Best Single: The Clash, for (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
  • Best Songwriter: Elvis Costello
  • Best Dressed Sleeve: The Rolling Stones, for Some Girls
  • Best Group: The Clash
  • Best New Group: Public Image Ltd.
  • Best Guitarist: Mick Jones
  • Best Bassist: Jean Jacques Burnel
  • Best Keyboardist: Dave Greenfield
  • Best Drummer: Keith Moon
  • Best DJ: John Peel
  • Best Radio Show: John Peel Show
  • Best TV Show: Revolver
  • Most Wonderful Human Being: Sid Vicious
  • Pin-Up of the Year: Debbie Harry
  • Film: Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Creep of the Year: John Travolta

1979

  • Male Singer: Sting
  • Songwriter: Paul Weller
  • Best Group: The Jam
  • Guitarist: Paul Weller
  • Bassist: Bruce Foxton
  • Keyboards: Dave Greenfield
  • Drums: Rick Buckler
  • Female Singer: Kate Bush
  • Best New Act: The Specials
  • Most Wonderful Human Being: John Peel
  • Image of the Year: Gary Numan
  • Creep of the Year: Gary Numan
  • Single: The Specials, for Gangsters
  • Album: The Jam, for Setting Sons
  • TV Programme: Fawlty Towers
  • Best Dressed Sleeve: Public Image Ltd., for Metal Box
  • Disc Jockey: John Peel
  • Radio Show: John Peel Show
  • Face of the Decade: Johnny Rotten
  • Farce of the Decade: Mod Revival
  • Film of the Year: Quadrophenia

See also

NME Poll Winners – The 1960s

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

1960

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

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

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

1961

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

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

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

1962

Presented by Roger Moore.

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

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

1963

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

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

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

1964

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

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

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

1965

Presented by Jimmy Savile.

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

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

1966

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

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

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

1967

Presented by Roger Moore.

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

1968

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

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

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

1969

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

See also

Pet Shop Boys – Actually

By 1987, thirty years ago this week, Pet Shop Boys were comfortably at the top of their game. Actually may have only peaked at number two on the charts, but it yielded two number one singles, plus another number one that wasn’t actually on the album (Always on My Mind), a number two, and another top ten hit. That’s quite impressive, by anybody’s standards.

It opens with One more chance, one of the many songs that they originally recorded with Bobby O in 1984, and that had already been released as a single in some territories. They completely re-recorded it for their second album, and then remixed it as a 12″ version, removing an entire verse in the process, and that’s the version that opens the album. Putting 12″ mixes on your album was still considered pretty revolutionary at this point, and so this is an unusual but undeniably catchy opener.

Then Dusty Springfield turns up out of nowhere – literally, as she had barely recorded anything for about a decade – to duet on the brilliant What have I done to deserve this? The shift of dynamic is ingenious – neither of the first two tracks really have much in common with anything on the debut album Please, and yet they still sound familiar.

Shopping is next, a social commentary on Thatcherite 1980s Britain. This is the single that never was – it’s catchy and you’ve almost certainly heard it before, but it was never released anywhere apart from on Actually. In a way it has some similarities to Opportunities (Let’s make lots of money) from the first album, and you have to wonder whether they intentionally wrote it as a “catchy” song. Pretty good though.

The singles alternate on each side of the album, so next comes the album’s one flop – the autumn single Rent only peaked at number 8. It’s a beautiful track though, one of the gentlest of Pet Shop Boys‘ early career, supplemented on the single by a couple of brilliant François Kevorkian remixes. The album version is a bit more plodding than the single mix, but still a brilliant track.

The pressure to write hit singles was clearly on at this stage, and so Hit Music pastiches a number of other people’s songs. It’s my least favourite track on here, but you can still easily appreciate the songwriting talent behind it – there’s a wonderful melancholy in the middle section that seems to appear from nowhere. This is also the second of three consecutive songs to talk about paying bills and rent (It Couldn’t Happen Here contains the line “Who pays your bills?”) which does make you wonder slightly what was going through Neil Tennant‘s mind at the time.

Side B opens with the slowest track on here, the exceptional It Couldn’t Happen Here. Famously co-written with Ennio Morricone and scored by Angelo Badalementi, it’s a beautifully melancholic piece about a friend of Neil Tennant‘s who had been diagnosed with AIDS. It also gave its name to the 1988 film which Pet Shop Boys famously released when they were unable to fund the tour they wanted to stage.

This leads to the enormous opening single It’s a Sin. If you don’t like this, you have no soul. Appearing on pretty much every top 100 list in the last thirty years, it hit number one across most of Western Europe and made the top ten pretty much everywhere else. With an appropriately overblown video to accompany it, it is a truly era-defining track.

I Want to Wake Up is the only track on here other than Hit Music that realistically never would have been a single, but it’s a strong album track. Strangely, Johnny Marr chose to rework it for his 1993 Remix, which took it to a very different place. Then the album version of Heart is, of course, not quite as good as the version that topped the charts six months or so later, but it’s still an excellent song, particularly when you reach the trick ending.

Nothing can really prepare you for the haunting quality of Kings Cross, another song about Margaret Thatcher, the then-British Prime Minister who was at the time busy selling off the nation’s public services. But even a conservative would appreciate this song on some level – it’s an exceptionally beautiful, if poignant, closing track.

So Actually sees Pet Shop Boys at their chart-topping, era-defining best, and anything that followed could never be this good. Or could it? If nothing else, the thirty years that have followed have been full of surprises.

At the time of writing, your best bet is to wait a little before purchasing Actually. It will be available again soon with the accompanying disc Further Listening 1987-1988.

Stowaway Heroes – Shep Pettibone

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

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

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

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