Erasure – Wonderland

There is, as Andy Bell so wisely tells us, “something going on, something not quite right.” Because just a couple of years after Vince Clarke left the breathtakingly successful Yazoo, and not long before they were very near the top of the charts with Sometimes, Erasure were to be found right at the bottom with their number 71 hit Wonderland.

Who Needs Love (Like That) is, of course, one of the best songs of their career. Clarke had written it long before the two met, and Bell actually performed it as one of his audition pieces. It also gave them a minor hit, which isn’t something you can say for anything else on here.

Is that because they weren’t very good? Honestly, partly I think the answer is yes. Reunion and Cry So Easy both have nice enough melodies, but they seem naïve and a little empty. The production is probably the thing that’s most obviously lacking – producer Flood has made the best of a bad job, but if you consider for a moment what else was going on in the world of music at the time (the first Pet Shop Boys album and Depeche Mode‘s Black Celebration to name but two), this seems very empty – perhaps even rushed.

There are exceptions, in addition to the opening single – Push Me, Shove Me in particular, which didn’t actually make it onto the earlier US version of the album, is Erasure at their best. Perhaps they just needed slightly tighter editorial controls at the time.

It doesn’t last – Heavenly Action holds a special place in my heart, as I’m sure it does for many people who grew up on Pop! The First 20 Hits, but honestly it isn’t actually very good. What on earth is it supposed to be about?

The first few tracks on Side B aren’t much better either. Say What has a nice swing rhythm, but not a huge amount else – it might at least have been moderately contemporary at the time though. Love is a Loser is nice, but very cheesy indeed. Senseless is better – at least the chorus is fairly catchy, but you do have to wonder exactly what they were throwing away at this point if this is what made it onto the album.

After all that, My Heart… So Blue is something of a surprise. It might not be the best song that Clarke and Bell have ever written, but it’s pretty good, and paves the way well for the exceptional and entirely unexpected Oh L’Amour.

I think the first few times I heard it, it passed me by somehow, but over time I’ve come to see it as what it is – one of Erasure‘s finest moments, and its eventual chart success in 2003 was entirely deserved. For the first time on this album, I have to confess that there’s something truly beautiful here.

So finally, the album comes to an end, with the derogatory Pistol. Another one that was missed off the original US release, you do have to wonder slightly whether they were just making it up as they went along.

Wonderland is, at least, where it all began for Erasure, but it seems fair to view it as being closer to the lower end of the scale than some of their later works. Try to remember these were the same people who had a run of five number one albums starting just two years later, and you might see something in it. One for completists.

Having said all of that, there is a new deluxe edition of this album, which may well bring out the qualities that make it amazing. See here. Also available on vinyl.

The Best of the BRIT Awards

The 2016 BRIT Awards take place tonight, but unfortunately (well, fortunately, for me) I’m actually on holiday right now, so I’ll have to catch up when I’m back. In the meantime, here’s something I knocked up a few weeks ago – you could call it The BRIT Award Awards, or perhaps The Best of the BRIT Awards.

I’ve gone through each of the previous ceremonies, and worked out the most nominated and winning artists for each category. So here goes! For the most part, we’ll be using the current awards and names.

British Male Solo Artist

  • Phil Collins. Won 1986, 1989, 1990.
  • George Michael. Won 1988, 1997.
  • Cliff Richard. Won 1977, 1982. Nominated 1983, 1984, 1988, 1990.
  • Paul Weller. Won 1995, 1996, 2009.
  • Robbie Williams. Won 1999, 2001, 2002, 2003.

The winner is Robbie Williams, with four wins. Honourable mention to Ed Sheeran for scraping into sixth place.

International Male Solo Artist

  • Beck. Won 1997, 1999, 2000.
  • Eminem. Won 2001, 2003, 2005.
  • Prince. Won 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996.
  • Justin Timberlake. Won 2004, 2007. Nominated 2014.
  • Kanye West. Won 2006, 2008, 2009.

Winner: Prince, and an honourable mention for Bruno Mars, for just missing out on the nominations.

British Female Solo Artist

  • Kate Bush. Won 1987. Nominated 1986, 1988, 1990, 1993, 1995, 2006, 2012.
  • Dido. Won 2002, 2004. Nominated 2001.
  • Annie Lennox. Won 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1996.
  • Alison Moyet. Won 1985, 1988. Nominated 1984, 1986, 2003.
  • Lisa Stansfield. Won 1991, 1992. Nominated 1990, 1993, 1995, 1998.

The winner is Annie Lennox, a tearaway success with six wins.

International Female Solo Artist

  • Beyoncé. Won 2004. Nominated 2007, 2009, 2012, 2015.
  • Björk. Won 1994, 1996, 1998. Nominated 2002, 2006, 2008, 2012, 2016.
  • Madonna. Won 2001, 2006. Nominated 1986, 1987, 1988, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1999.
  • Kylie Minogue. Won 2002, 2008. Nominated 1989, 1995, 2001, 2004, 2005, 2011.
  • Rihanna. Won 2011, 2012. Nominated 2008, 2010, 2013.

The winner is Björk, much loved and much deserved.

British Group

  • Arctic Monkeys. Won 2007, 2008, 2014. Nominated 2012.
  • Coldplay. Won 2001, 2003. 2012. Nominated 2006, 2009, 2015, 2016.
  • Manic Street Preachers. Won 1997, 1999.
  • Simply Red. Won 1993, shared win 1992.
  • Travis. Won 2000, 2002.

The winner, with three wins and rather more nominations than Arctic Monkeys, is Coldplay!

International Group

  • Bon Jovi. Won 1996. Nominated 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990.
  • Foo Fighters. Won 2008, 2012, 2015. Nominated 1996, 2003.
  • Kings of Leon. Won 2009. Nominated 2004, 2008, 2011, 2014.
  • R.E.M. Won 1992, 1993, 1995. Nominated 1997, 1999, 2002.
  • U2. Won 1988, 1989, 1990, 1998, 2001. Nominated 1992, 1993, 1994, 2005, 2006, 2016. Nominated for British Group 1985, 1986.

Winner: with five wins, U2.

British Producer of the Year

  • Brian Eno. Won 1994, 1996. Nominated 1988.
  • Flood. Co-won 2014. Nominated 1994, 1995, 2012, 2013.
  • Trevor Horn. Won 1983, 1985, 1992. Nominated 1984, 1986, 1987, 1993, 1995.
  • David A. Stewart. Won 1986, 1987, 1990. Nominated 1992.
  • Stock, Aitken and Waterman. Won 1988. Nominated 1987, 1990, 1992. Pete Waterman nominated separately in 1993.

Winner: Trevor Horn.

British Single

Adele and Coldplay tie for fifth and sixth place in the nominations, so we have six nominees:

  • Adele. Won 2013. Nominated 2009, 2012, 2016.
  • Blur. Won 1995. Nominated 1995 (again), 1996, 1998, 2000.
  • Coldplay. Won 2006. Nominated 2001, 2009, 2013.
  • Queen. Won 1977, 1992.
  • Take That. Won 1993, 1994, 1996, 2007, 2008. Nominated 1993 (twice more!)
  • Robbie Williams. Won 1999, 2000, 2001. Nominated 1998, 1999 (again), 2002, 2013.

Winner: Take That, with an honourable mention for Robbie Williams for taking part in several of their wins too.

British Artist Video

There are seven nominees in this category, because four artists are tied for the bottom position, with one win and two nominations.

  • All Saints. Won 1998. Nominated 1999, 2001.
  • Blur. Won 1995. Nominated 1996 (twice), 1998.
  • The Cure. Won 1990. Nominated 1991, 1993.
  • Peter Gabriel. Won 1987. Nominated 1993, 1994.
  • One Direction. Won 2014, 2015. Nominated 2016.
  • Spice Girls. Won 1997. Nominated 1997 (again), 1998.
  • Robbie Williams. Won 1999, 2000, 2001. Nominated 1999 (again), 2002 (twice).

Winner: Robbie Williams.

British Album

Six nominees again for this one:

  • Arctic Monkeys. Won 2007, 2008, 2014.
  • Blur. Won 1995. Nominated 1996, 2004.
  • Coldplay. Won 2001, 2003. Nominated 2006, 2009, 2012, 2016.
  • Florence + The Machine. Won 2010. Nominated 2012, 2016.
  • Manic Street Preachers. Won 1997, 1999. Nominated 1997.
  • Oasis. Won 1996. Nominated 1995, 1998.

That’s a decisive win for Arctic Monkeys!

And that’s your lot! If it seems a slightly odd list, think of it as a list of the typical nominees and winners at the BRITs. If you’re more interested in the ceremony that’s about to happen, that would be here.

Anyway, enjoy the ceremony tonight, and we’ll catch up on the results here very soon.

The BRIT Awards 2015

Closing Awards Week for this year (apart from a brief chart tomorrow) is our round-up of this year’s BRIT Award ceremony. The event took place on Wednesday night (the 25th) at the O2 Arena in London, and the hosts were Ant & Dec, for the first time since 2001.

Of course, the most exciting thing that happened was when Madonna fell down three stairs, but she bravely soldiered on, through a pretty lacklustre song. And Kanye West was the victim of a bit of censorship, while some of his naughty words escaped the censors, but I’m not entirely clear why we should care about either of these facts.

Anyway, here are the winners of the 2015 BRIT Awards. The first two awards were announced before the actual ceremony…

Critics’ Choice Award

Always an influential award, handed out a couple of months before the big night. Nominees:

  • James Bay
  • George The Poet
  • Years & Years

Winner: James Bay

British Producer

In association with The MPG Awards. Nominees:

  • Paul Epworth
  • Flood
  • Alison Goldfrapp & Will Gregory
  • Jake Gosling

Winner: Paul Epworth

British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Rita Ora and Orlando Bloom. The nominees:

  • Damon Albarn
  • George Ezra
  • Paolo Nutini
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Sam Smith

Winner: Ed Sheeran.

British Group

Presented by Jimmy Page. The nominees:

  • Alt-J
  • Clean Bandit
  • Coldplay
  • One Direction
  • Royal Blood

Winner: Royal Blood

International Female Solo Artist

Presented by Lewis Hamilton and Ellie Goulding. Nominees:

  • Beyoncé
  • Lana del Rey
  • Sia
  • St. Vincent
  • Taylor Swift

Winner: Taylor Swift

British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Mark Ronson. Nominees:

  • Lily Allen
  • Paloma Faith
  • FKA twigs
  • Ella Henderson
  • Jessie Ware

Winner: Paloma Faith, who went on forever about floors for some reason

Global Success Award

The British artist whose global releases sold the most outside the UK. Presented by Kim Kardashian-West. What’s up, London?

Winner: Sam Smith

International Male Solo Artist

Presented by Cara Delevigne. Nominees:

  • Beck
  • Hozier
  • John Legend
  • Jack White
  • Pharrell Williams

Winner: Pharrell Williams

British Single

Presented by Lisa Snowden and Lionel Richie. Nominees:

  • Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne – Rather Be
  • Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – I Got U
  • George Ezra – Budapest
  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • Ella Henderson – Ghost
  • Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne – My Love
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • Sigma – Nobody to Love
  • Sam Smith – Stay with Me

Winner: Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars

International Group

Presented by John Bishop. Nominees:

  • The Black Keys
  • First Aid Kit
  • Foo Fighters
  • 5 Seconds of Summer
  • The War on Drugs

Winner: Foo Fighters

British Breakthrough Act

Presented by Fearne Cotton and Charli XCX. Nominees:

  • Chvrches
  • FKA twigs
  • George Ezra
  • Royal Blood
  • Sam Smith

Winner: Sam Smith

British Artist Video of the Year

Yes, that’s the confusing name for the Best Video award now. Voted for using tweets, which is novel. They started with the ten most viewed videos on YouTube, apparently:

  • Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – I Got U
  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • One Direction – You and I
  • Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down
  • Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne – My Love
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • Sigma – Nobody to Love
  • Sam Smith – Stay with Me
  • Charli XCX – Boom Clap

The final shortlist of five, presented by the tiny Jimmy Carr and the enormous

  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • One Direction – You and I
  • Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • Sam Smith – Stay with Me

Winner: One Direction, accepted by Simon Cowell

MasterCard British Album

The award that, in the absence of an Outstanding Contribution award, is considered the biggie. Supported by The Sun’s Bizarre column. Presented by Russell Crowe from off of Neighbours.

  • Alt-J – This is All Yours
  • George Ezra – Wanted on Voyage
  • Royal Blood – Royal Blood
  • Ed Sheeran – X
  • Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour

Winner: Ed Sheeran

Performances

  • Taylor Swift – Blank Space
  • Sam Smith – Lay Me Down
  • Royal Blood – Figure it Out
  • Ed Sheeran – Bloodstream
  • Kanye West – All Day
  • Take That – Let in the Sun
  • George Ezra – Budapest
  • Paloma Faith – Only Love Can Hurt Like This
  • Madonna – Living for Love

The BRIT Awards 2012

Tuesday 21st February 2012 saw James Corden hosting the BRIT Awards, for the second time at The O2 Arena in London.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 2011 ceremony here, and the 2013 ceremony here.

British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Plan B. Nominees:

  • James Blake
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • James Morrison
  • Professor Green
  • Ed Sheeran

Winner: Ed Sheeran

British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Kylie Minogue. Nominees:

  • Adele
  • Kate Bush
  • Florence and the Machine
  • Jessie J
  • Laura Marling

Winner: Adele

British Breakthrough Act

Presented by Cesc Fàbregas and Nicole Scherzinger. Nominees:

  • Anna Calvi
  • Jessie J
  • Emeli Sandé
  • Ed Sheeran
  • The Vaccines

Winner: Ed Sheeran

British Group

Presented by Jo Whiley and Huey Morgan. Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Chase & Status
  • Coldplay
  • Elbow
  • Kasabian

Winner: Coldplay

British Single

Presented by Tinie Tempah. Nominees:

  • Adele – Someone Like You
  • Ed Sheeran – The A Team
  • Example – Changed the Way You Kiss Me
  • Jessie J feat. B.o.B – Price Tag
  • JLS featuring Dev – She Makes Me Wanna
  • Pixie Lott – All About Tonight
  • Military Wives / Gareth Malone – Wherever You Are
  • Olly Murs feat. Rizzle Kicks – Heart Skips a Beat
  • One Direction – What Makes You Beautiful
  • The Wanted – Glad You Came

Winner: One Direction

MasterCard British Album of the Year

Presented by George Michael. Nominees:

  • Adele – 21
  • Coldplay – Mylo Xyloto
  • Florence + The Machine – Ceremonials
  • PJ Harvey – Let England Shake
  • Ed Sheeran – +

Winner: Adele. Famously she banged on for a bit too long without really saying anything and got cut off without warning.

International Male Solo Artist

Presented by Jessie J and Jack Whitehall. Nominees:

  • Ryan Adams
  • Aloe Blacc
  • David Guetta
  • Bon Iver
  • Bruno Mars

Winner: Bruno Mars

International Female Solo Artist

Presented by Jenson Button. Nominees:

  • Beyoncé
  • Björk
  • Feist
  • Lady Gaga
  • Rihanna

Winner: Rihanna

International Group

Presented by Brian May and Roger Taylor from Queen. Nominees:

  • Fleet Foxes
  • Foo Fighters
  • Jay Z and Kanye West
  • Lady Antebellum
  • Maroon 5

Winner: Foo Fighters

International Breakthrough Act

Presented by will.i.am and Rob Brydon. Nominees:

  • Aloe Blacc
  • Bon Iver
  • Lana del Rey
  • Foster The People
  • Nicki Minaj

Winner: Lana del Rey

Critics’ Choice

Presented by James Corden and Jessie J. Nominees:

  • Michael Kiwanuka
  • Maverick Sabre
  • Emeli Sandé

Maverick Sabre came in second place. Winner: Emeli Sandé

British Producer

Presented by Laura Marling. Nominees:

  • Paul Epworth
  • Flood
  • Ethan Johns

Winner: Ethan Johns

Outstanding Contribution to Music

Presented by Ray Winstone.

Winner: Blur

You should be able to watch the entire show here.

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

The BRIT Awards 2015 – Nominations

Finally, the nominees have been announced for the 2015 BRIT Awards.

MasterCard British Album

  • Alt-J – This is All Yours
  • George Ezra – Wanted on Voyage
  • Royal Blood – Royal Blood
  • Ed Sheeran – X
  • Sam Smith – In the Lonely Hour

British Female Solo Artist

  • Lily Allen
  • Paloma Faith
  • FKA Twigs
  • Ella Henderson
  • Jessie Ware

British Male Solo Artist

  • Damon Albarn
  • George Ezra
  • Paolo Nutini
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Sam Smith

British Group

  • Alt-J
  • Clean Bandit
  • Coldplay
  • One Direction
  • Royal Blood

International Male Solo Artist

  • Beck
  • Hozier
  • John Legend
  • Jack White
  • Pharrell Williams

International Female Solo Artist

  • Beyoncé
  • Lana del Rey
  • Sia
  • St. Vincent
  • Taylor Swift

International Group

  • The Black Keys
  • First Aid Kit
  • Foo Fighters
  • 5 Seconds of Summer
  • The War on Drugs

Critics’ Choice Award

This is the one that’s already been announced. The nominees were:

  • James Bay
  • George The Poet
  • Years & Years

And the winner: James Bay

British Producer

  • Paul Epworth
  • Flood
  • Alison Goldfrapp & Will Gregory
  • Jake Gosling

Yes, the one award that’s really worth caring about includes a nomination for Goldfrapp this year! Could be interesting…

British Single

  • Clean Bandit feat. Jess Glynne – Rather Be
  • Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – I Got U
  • George Ezra – Budapest
  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • Ella Henderson – Ghost
  • Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne – My Love
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • Sigma – Nobody to Love
  • Sam Smith – Stay with Me

British Video

  • Duke Dumont feat. Jax Jones – I Got U
  • Calvin Harris – Summer
  • One Direction – You and I
  • Rita Ora – I Will Never Let You Down
  • Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars – Uptown Funk
  • Route 94 feat. Jess Glynne – My Love
  • Ed Sheeran – Thinking Out Loud
  • Sigma – Nobody to Love
  • Sam Smith – Stay with Me
  • Charli XCX – Boom Clap

British Breakthrough Act

  • Chvrches
  • FKA Twigs
  • George Ezra
  • Royal Blood
  • Sam Smith

No Outstanding Contribution again unfortunately – we’ll have to just pick an aging rock act for ourselves. Anyway, the ceremony takes place on February 25th, and we’ll walk through the results here on this very blog shortly afterwards.

The BRIT Awards 2014

On February 19th at the O2 Arena in London it was time for this year’s BRIT Awards, presented once again by James Corden. Here’s a round-up…

Best Producer

Nominees:

  • Paul Epworth
  • Flood & Alan Moulder
  • Ethan Johns

Winner: Flood & Alan Moulder.

Critics’ Choice Award

Nominees:

  • Ella Eyre
  • Chlöe Howl
  • Sam Smith

Winner: Sam Smith.

British Breakthrough Act

Presented by Tinie Tempah and Fearne Cotton. Nominees:

  • Bastille
  • Disclosure
  • Laura Mvula
  • London Grammar
  • Tom Odell

Winner: Bastille.

International Female Solo Artist

Presented by Nick Grimshaw. Nominees:

  • Lady Gaga
  • Lorde
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Katy Perry
  • Pink

Winner: Lorde.

British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Prince. Nominees:

  • Birdy
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Jessie J
  • Laura Marling
  • Laura Mvula

Winner: Ellie Goulding.

International Group

Presented by footballer Cesc Fàbregas and Nicole Scherzinger from The Pussycat Dolls. Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire
  • Daft Punk
  • Haim
  • Kings of Leon
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Winner: Daft Punk, collected by Nile Rodgers.

British Group

Presented by Lily Allen. Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Bastille
  • Disclosure
  • One Direction
  • Rudimental

Winner: Arctic Monkeys.

International Male Solo Artist

Presented by Pharrell Williams and Kylie Minogue. Nominees:

  • Bruno Mars
  • Drake
  • Eminem
  • John Grant
  • Justin Timberlake

Winner: Bruno Mars.

British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Noel Gallagher. Nominees:

  • James Blake
  • David Bowie
  • Jake Bugg
  • John Newman
  • Tom Odell

Winner: David Bowie, although he looked suspiciously like Kate Moss. That’s Bowie’s third win at the BRITs – he also won this award in 1984 and the coveted Outstanding Contribution award in 1996.

British Video

This didn’t seem to have any nominees at the time of my previous post, which is how it got forgotten. It’s particularly special, though, since this is the first time this has been awarded since 2002! Voted for via YouTube, and presented by Jimmy Carr. Nominees:

  • Ellie Goulding – Burn
  • Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding – I Need Your Love
  • Naughty Boy feat. Sam Smith – La La La
  • John Newman – Love Me Again
  • One Direction – Best Song Ever

Winner: One Direction.

British Single of the Year

Awarded based on sales, and presented by Katy Perry. Nominees:

  • Bastille – Pompei
  • Disclosure – White Noise
  • Ellie Goulding – Burn
  • Calvin Harris feat. Ellie Goulding – I Need Your Love
  • Olly Murs – Dear Darlin’
  • Naughty Boy – La, La, La
  • John Newman – Love Me Again
  • One Direction – One Way or Another
  • Passenger – Let Her Go
  • Rudimental – Waiting All Night

Winner: Rudimental.

MasterCard British Album of the Year

Presented by Emeli Sandé. Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys – AM
  • Bastille – Bad Blood
  • David Bowie – The Next Day
  • Disclosure – Settle
  • Rudimental – Home

Winner: Arctic Monkeys.

Global Success

Presented by model and actress Rosie Huntington-Whiteley.

Winner: One Direction.

So that’s it for another year! More in 2015!

Performances

  • Arctic Monkeys – R U Mine?
  • Katy Perry – Dark Horse
  • Bruno Mars – Treasure
  • Beyoncé – XO
  • Disclosure / Lorde / AlunaGeorge – Royals / White Noise
  • Ellie Goulding – I Need Your Love / Burn
  • Bastille / Rudimental / Ella Eyre – Pompeii / Waiting All Night
  • Pharrell Williams / Nile Rodgers – Get Lucky / Good Times / Happy

Further Reading / Viewing

The BRIT Awards 1995

Alexandra Palace in London was the venue on 20th February 1995, and Chris Evans took to the stage to present the awards, now with a “voting academy” (I’m sure you were just as excited as everyone else was).

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1994 ceremony here, and the 1996 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Best British Album

Presented by Cindy Lauper. Nominees:

  • Blur – Parklife
  • Eternal – Always and Forever
  • Massive Attack – Protection
  • Oasis – Definitely Maybe
  • Pink Floyd – The Division Bell

Winner: Blur

Best British Dance Act

Nominees:

  • Brand New Heavies
  • Eternal
  • M People
  • Massive Attack
  • The Prodigy

Winner: M People

Best British Female

Presented by Jarvis Cocker. Nominees:

  • Kate Bush
  • Des’ree
  • Michelle Gayle
  • Eddi Reader
  • Lisa Stansfield

Winner: Eddi Reader

Best British Group

Presented by Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Eternal
  • M People
  • Oasis
  • Pink Floyd

Winner: Blur

Best British Male

Nominees:

  • Eric Clapton
  • Elvis Costello
  • Morrissey
  • Seal
  • Paul Weller

Winner: Paul Weller

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Ray Davis. Nominees:

  • Echobelly
  • Eternal
  • Oasis
  • PJ and Duncan
  • Portishead

Winner: Oasis

Best British Producer

Nominees:

  • Ed Buller
  • Flood
  • Nellee Hooper
  • Trevor Horn
  • Stephen Street

Winner: Nellee Hooper

Best British Single

Presented by Lisa I’Anson. Nominees:

  • Blur – Girls and Boys
  • Blur – Parklife
  • China Black – Searching
  • D:Ream – Things Can Only Get Better
  • East 17 – Stay Another Day
  • Michelle Gayle – Sweetness
  • Tom Jones – If I Only Knew
  • Oasis – Whatever
  • The Grid – Texas Cowboys
  • Wet Wet Wet – Love is All Around

Winner: BlurParklife

Best British Video

Presented by Simone Angel and Tommy Vance. Nominees:

  • Blur – Parklife
  • Jamiroquai – Space Cowboy
  • The Rolling Stones – Love is Strong
  • Seal – Prayer for the Dying
  • Suede – The WIld Ones

Winner: Blur

Best International Female

Presented by Jimmy Nail. Nominees:

  • Tori Amos
  • kd lang
  • Madonna
  • Kylie Minogue
  • Sinéad O’Connor

Winner: kd lang

Best International Group

Presented by Des’ree. Nominees:

  • Counting Crows
  • The Cranberries
  • Crash Test Dummies
  • R.E.M.
  • Neil Young and Crazy Horse

Winner: R.E.M.

Best International Male

Nominees:

  • Bryan Adams
  • Warren G
  • Youssou N’Dour
  • Prince
  • Luther Vandross

Winner: Prince

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Tom Jones. Nominees:

  • Carleen Anderson
  • Counting Crows
  • Marcella Detroit
  • Warren G
  • Lisa Loeb

Winner: Lisa Loeb

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Nominees:

  • Elton John and Hans Zimmer – The Lion King
  • Various Artists – Forrest Gump
  • Various Artists – Four Weddings and a Funeral
  • Various Artists – Philadelphia
  • Various Artists – Pulp Fiction

Winner: Pulp Fiction

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Sting.

Winner: Elton John

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: corrected Echobelly’s entry and added Tom Jones’s missing nomination.

The BRIT Awards 2014 – Nominations

Here’s the full list of nominees for this year’s BRITs…

Best Producer

Nominees:

  • Paul Epworth
  • Flood & Alan Moulder
  • Ethan Johns

Flood has been nominated three times – in 1994, 1995, and 2012. Paul Epworth was also previously nominated in 2012, losing out to Ethan Johns. In addition to the 2012 win, he was also nominated in 2011.

Critics’ Choice Award

Nominees:

  • Ella Eyre
  • Chlöe Howl
  • Sam Smith

The winner – already announced – will be Sam Smith. Not the beer.

British Breakthrough Act

Nominees:

  • Bastille
  • Disclosure
  • Laura Mvula
  • London Grammar
  • Tom Odell

Tom Odell was last year’s Critics’ Choice winner, with Laura Mvula one of the runners up. Which must have saved them a bit of time when trying to come up with the British Breakthrough Act nominees.

International Female Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Lady Gaga
  • Lorde
  • Janelle Monáe
  • Katy Perry
  • Pink

Lady Gaga won this award in 2010, as well as the International Album and International Breakthrough Artist, with a further nomination in this category in 2012. Pink won in 2003, with further nominations in 2001, 2007, 2009, and also in other categories for International Newcomer in 2001, and International Album and Pop Act in 2003. Katy Perry has yet to win a BRIT, but was nominated for International Album in 2011, and International Female in both 2009 and 2011.

British Female Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Birdy
  • Ellie Goulding
  • Jessie J
  • Laura Marling
  • Laura Mvula

Ellie Goulding won the Critics’ Choice award in 2010, and received nominees for British Breakthrough Act and British Female Solo Artist the following year. Laura Marling won the British Female Solo Artist award in 2011, and was nominated again in 2012. Jessie J was another favourite from the Critics’ Choice category, with a 2011 win, followed by nominations in 2012 for British Female Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act, and British Single.

International Group

Nominees:

  • Arcade Fire
  • Daft Punk
  • Haim
  • Kings of Leon
  • Macklemore & Ryan Lewis

Arcade Fire were only ever nominated at the BRITs until their two 2011 wins for International Group and International Album. Daft Punk have still never managed a win, despite nominations in 1998 and 2002 for International Group (twice), International Newcomer, and International Album. Kings of Leon have six nominations to their name, plus two wins in 2009 for International Album and International Group.

British Group

Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys
  • Bastille
  • Disclosure
  • One Direction
  • Rudimental

Arctic Monkeys had a good track record at the BRITs between 2006 and 2008, managing five wins, but recent years have just seen one nomination (British Group in 2012).

International Male Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • Bruno Mars
  • Drake
  • Eminem
  • John Grant
  • Justin Timberlake

Bruno Mars won this award in 2012, while Eminem won in 2001, 2003, and 2005, with further nominations in 2000, 2010, and 2011. Justin Timberlake has taken it twice previously, in 2004 and 2007.

British Male Solo Artist

Nominees:

  • James Blake
  • David Bowie
  • Jake Bugg
  • John Newman
  • Tom Odell

James Blake was previously nominated for the Critics’ Choice award in 2011, and the British Male Solo Artist in 2012, but has yet to manage a win. David Bowie just has two previous wins to his name – British Male Solo Artist in 1984 and the Outstanding Contribution award in 1996. He was also nominated in this category in 1985, 2000, and 2004.

British Single

Nominees:

  • Bastille – Pompei
  • Disclosure – White Noise
  • Ellie Goulding – Burn
  • Calvin Harris and Ellie Goulding – I Need Your Love
  • Olly Murs – Dear Darlin’
  • Naughty Boy – La, La, La
  • John Newman – Love Me Again
  • One Direction – One Way or Another
  • Passenger – Let Her Go
  • Rudimental – Waiting All Night

Olly Murs has been nominated for this award (in 2011 and 2012) but has yet to manage a win. One Direction managed their only BRITs win two years ago in this category with What Makes You Beautiful. Last year’s award was won by Adele‘s Bond theme Skyfall.

MasterCard British Album of the Year

Nominees:

  • Arctic Monkeys – AM
  • Bastille – Bad Blood
  • David Bowie – The Next Day
  • Disclosure – Settle
  • Rudimental – Home

Arctic Monkeys have won this award twice before – in 2007 for Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not, and again in 2008 for Favourite Worst Nightmare. This is the first time David Bowie has ever been nominated in the British Album category.

The final ceremony takes place in just under a month on February 19th at the O2 Arena in London.

Q Awards Winners 1990-2012 (Part Two)

We’ll look at this year’s ceremony next week, but for now here’s a continuation of the list that we started last week, of all the winners to date, by award:

Songwriter and Producer

Although seemingly now discontinued, these were a couple of Q’s better awards, recognising the contributions of the people behind the music.

Best Songwriter / Q Classic Songwriter

  • 1990 – Prince
  • 1991 – Richard Thompson
  • 1992 – Neil Finn
  • 1993 – Neil Finn
  • 1994 – Morrissey
  • 1995 – Van Morrison
  • 1996 – Rod Stewart
  • 1997 – Paul McCartney
  • 1998 – Paul Weller
  • 1999 – Ian Dury / Chas Janke
  • 2000 – Guy Chambers and Robbie Williams
  • 2001 – Kate Bush
  • 2002 – Jimmy Cliff
  • 2003 – Dexys Midnight Runners
  • 2004 – Elton John
  • 2005 – Nick Cave
  • 2006 – Noel Gallagher
  • 2007 – Billy Bragg
  • 2008 – John Mellencamp
  • 2009 – Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens)
  • 2010 – Neil Finn
  • 2011 – Gary Barlow

Best Producer

  • 1990 – Paul Oakenfold / Steve Osborne
  • 1991 – Trevor Horn
  • 1992 – Daniel Lanois / Peter Gabriel / The Orb
  • 1993 – Flood / Brian Eno / The Edge
  • 1994 – Stephen Street
  • 1995 – Tricky
  • 1996 – John Leckie
  • 1997 – Nellee Hooper
  • 1998 – Norman Cook
  • 1999 – William Orbit
  • 2000 – Pete Devereux and Mark Hill (Artful Dodger)
  • 2001 – Nigel Godrich
  • 2002 – Moby
  • 2003 – Nigel Godrich
  • 2004 – Mick Jones
  • 2005 – Gorillaz / Danger Mouse

Best Newcomer

One thing the Q Awards do pretty well is having lots of almost identically-named awards. They do show a pretty good track record with the newcomer and breakthrough artists though…

Best New Act

  • 1990 – They Might Be Giants
  • 1991 – Seal
  • 1992 – Tori Amos
  • 1993 – Suede
  • 1994 – Oasis
  • 1995 – Supergrass
  • 1996 – Alanis Morissette
  • 1997 – Fun Lovin’ Criminals
  • 1998 – Gomez
  • 1999 – Basement Jaxx
  • 2000 – Badly Drawn Boy
  • 2001 – Starsailor
  • 2002 – Electric Soft Parade
  • 2003 – The Thrills
  • 2004 – Razorlight
  • 2005 – James Blunt
  • 2006 – Corinne Bailey-Rae
  • 2007 – The Enemy
  • 2008 – The Last Shadow Puppets
  • 2009 – White Lies
  • 2011 – WU LYF
  • 2012 – Django Django

BEST BREAKTHROUGH ARTIST

  • 2007 – Kate Nash
  • 2008 – Duffy
  • 2009 – Mr Hudson
  • 2010 – Plan B
  • 2011 – Ed Sheeran

Q’s Next Big Thing

  • 2010 – Clare Maguire
  • 2011 – Lana del Rey

Best Live Act

One of the jewels in the Q Awards’s crown:

  • 1990 – Rolling Stones
  • 1991 – Simple Minds
  • 1992 – Crowded House
  • 1993 – Neil Young
  • 1994 – Pink Floyd
  • 1995 – Oasis
  • 1996 – Pulp
  • 1997 – The Prodigy
  • 1998 – Roni Size / Reprazent
  • 1999 – Stereophonics
  • 2000 – Oasis
  • 2001 – Manic Street Preachers
  • 2002 – The Hives
  • 2003 – Robbie Williams
  • 2004 – Muse
  • 2005 – U2
  • 2006 – Muse
  • 2007 – Muse
  • 2008 – Kaiser Chiefs
  • 2009 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2010 – Biffy Clyro
  • 2011 – Blur

Best Artist

The oddly named ‘Best Act in the World Today’ Award goes right back to the Q Awards’ beginnings in 1990, but was also recently joined by special solo awards too…

Best Act in the World Today

  • 1990 – U2
  • 1991 – R.E.M. / U2
  • 1992 – U2
  • 1993 – U2
  • 1994 – R.E.M.
  • 1995 – R.E.M.
  • 1996 – Pulp
  • 1997 – Oasis
  • 1998 – Manic Street Preachers
  • 1999 – Blur
  • 2000 – Travis
  • 2001 – Radiohead
  • 2002 – Radiohead
  • 2003 – Radiohead
  • 2004 – Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • 2005 – Coldplay
  • 2006 – Oasis
  • 2007 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2008 – Coldplay
  • 2009 – Muse
  • 2011 – Coldplay
  • 2012 – Muse

Best Male

  • 2010 – Paolo Nutini
  • 2011 – Tinie Tempah

Best Female

  • 2010 – Florence + The Machine
  • 2011 – Adele

Best Solo Artist

  • 2012 – Emeli Sandé

Q Innovation Award / Innovation in Sound

Perhaps the most fascinating of all the awards, except for the couple of years when it was given to really dull and non-innovative artists.

  • 2002 – Depeche Mode
  • 2003 – Muse
  • 2004 – The Human League
  • 2005 – The Prodigy
  • 2006 – The Edge
  • 2007 – Sigur Rós
  • 2008 – Massive Attack
  • 2009 – Sonic Youth
  • 2010 – Mark Ronson
  • 2011 – Kaiser Chiefs
  • 2012 – Underworld

Outstanding Lifetime Icon / Idol Achievement Awards

I suspect that, like me, you’re totally taken aback by this slew of near-identical awards. But hats off to them for finding a hundred different ways to honour U2 and R.E.M.!

Special Merit Award

  • 1990 – Paul McCartney
  • 1991 – Lou Reed
  • 1992 – Led Zeppelin
  • 1993 – Elton John
  • 1999 – Keith Richards
  • 2000 – Jerry Dammers / The Specials
  • 2001 – Elvis Costello
  • 2002 – Tom Jones
  • 2004 – Shane McGowan
  • 2006 – Manic Street Preachers
  • 2007 – Ryan Adams

Q Inspiration

  • 1992 – B.B. King
  • 1993 – Donald Fagen
  • 1994 – The Kinks
  • 1995 – David Bowie / Brian Eno
  • 1996 – U2
  • 1997 – Patti Smith
  • 1998 – Blondie
  • 1999 – New Order
  • 2000 – Joe Strummer
  • 2001 – John Lydon
  • 2002 – Echo and the Bunnymen
  • 2003 – The Cure
  • 2004 – Pet Shop Boys
  • 2005 – Björk
  • 2006 – a-ha
  • 2007 – Damon Albarn
  • 2008 – Cocteau Twins
  • 2009 – The Specials
  • 2010 – Suede
  • 2011 – Fatboy Slim
  • 2012 – Pulp

Lifetime Achievement

  • 1997 – The Who
  • 1998 – R.E.M.
  • 2003 – Duran Duran
  • 2004 – Roxy Music
  • 2005 – Bee Gees
  • 2006 – Peter Gabriel
  • 2007 – Johnny Marr

Q Icon

  • 2003 – Jane’s Addiction
  • 2004 – U2
  • 2005 – Jimmy Page
  • 2006 – Jeff Lynne
  • 2007 – Sir Paul McCartney
  • 2008 – Adam Ant
  • 2009 – Marianne Faithfull
  • 2010 – Bryan Ferry
  • 2011 – Noel Gallagher
  • 2012 – Dexys Midnight Runners

Q Outstanding Contribution to Music Award

  • 2005 – Paul Weller
  • 2006 – Smokey Robinson
  • 2007 – Johnny Marr
  • 2008 – David Gilmour
  • 2009 – Robert Plant
  • 2011 – Siouxsie Sioux

Q Legend

  • 2005 – Joy Division
  • 2006 – The Who
  • 2007 – Ian Brown
  • 2008 – Glen Campbell
  • 2009 – Edwyn Collins

Q Idol

  • 2006 – Take That
  • 2007 – Kylie Minogue
  • 2008 – Grace Jones
  • 2009 – Spandau Ballet
  • 2010 – Madness
  • 2012 – Brandon Flowers

Hall of Fame Award

  • 2010 – Take That
  • 2011 – Queen

Q Awards 1990-1993

The first couple of years of the Q Awards seem to have been largely forgotten by the internet, falling into that early 90s gap before everything was reported and recorded. With this in mind, here’s everything I could find out about the first few years of the awards…

1990

The inaugural Q Awards were held in October 1990. This much is beyond dispute. Apart from that, though, it isn’t easy to find information about what actually happened.

Best Album

Winner: World Party for Goodbye Jumbo

Best Reissue / Compilation

Winner: Beach Boys for Pet Sounds

Best Live Act

Winner: Rolling Stones

Best Act in the World Today

Winner: U2

Best New Act

Winner: They Might Be Giants

Best Producer

Winner: Paul Oakenfold / Steve Osborne

Songwriter Award

Winner: Prince

Merit Award

Winner: Paul McCartney

1991

October 1991 saw the second ceremony, with the following winners:

Best album

Winner: R.E.M. for Out of Time

Best live act

Winner: Simple Minds

Best Act in the world today

Winner: R.E.M. / U2

Best new act

Winner: Seal

Best producer

Winner: Trevor Horn

Songwriter award

Winner: Richard Thompson

Merit award

Winner: Lou Reed

1992

In October 1992 the third awards ceremony took place. Here’s a picture of Brett Anderson out of Suede at the awards.

BEST ALBUM

Winner: R.E.M. for Automatic for the People

Best reissue / compilation

Winner: Bob Marley for Songs of Freedom

BEST LIVE ACT

Winner: Crowded House

BEST ACT IN THE WORLD TODAY

Winner: U2

BEST NEW ACT

Winner: Tori Amos

BEST PRODUCER

Winner: Daniel Lanois / Peter Gabriel / The Orb

SONGWRITER AWARD

Winner: Neil Finn

Q Inspiration award

Winner: B.B. King

MERIT AWARD

Winner: Led Zeppelin

1993

In October 1993 the fourth awards ceremony took place. Here’s a picture of Brett Anderson again, this time with Morrissey.

BEST ALBUM

Winner: Sting for Ten Summoner’s Tales

BEST REISSUE / COMPILATION

Winner: Beach Boys for Good Vibrations

BEST LIVE ACT

Winner: Neil Young

BEST ACT IN THE WORLD TODAY

Winner: U2

BEST NEW ACT

Winner: Suede

BEST PRODUCER

Winner: Flood / Brian Eno / The Edge

SONGWRITER AWARD

Winner: Neil Finn

Q INSPIRATION AWARD

Winner: Donald Fagen

MERIT AWARD

Winner: Elton John

Epilogue

It would probably help if I had a copy of Q Magazine to hand, so I could tell you a little more about what happened, but unfortunately all my back issues are stored away somewhere half way round the world. I’ll report back, some day in the future…

FURTHER INFORMATION