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.

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The BRIT Awards 1991

On February 10th 1991, the BRITs took place at the Dominion Theatre in London, presented, perhaps appropriately, in the form of a voice over, by voice over artiste extraordinaire Simon Bates.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1990 ceremony here, and the 1992 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Best British Album

Presented by The Bee Gee Robin Gibb. Nominees:

  • The Beautiful South – Choke
  • Elton John – Sleeping with the Past
  • George Michael – Listen Without Prejudice Vol. 1
  • Van Morrison – Enlightenment
  • Prefab Sprout – Jordan: The Come Back
  • Lisa Stansfield – Affection

Winner: George Michael

Best British Female

Presented by Annie Lennox. Nominees:

  • Betty Boo
  • Elizabeth Fraser
  • Dusty Springfield
  • Lisa Stansfield
  • Caron Wheeler

Winner: Lisa Stansfield

Best British Group

Presented by Roger Daltry. Nominees:

  • The Beautiful South
  • The Cure
  • Happy Mondays
  • Soul II Soul
  • The Stone Roses
  • Talk Talk

Winner: The Cure

Best British Male

Presented by Kim Appleby. Nominees:

  • Phil Collins
  • Elton John
  • George Michael
  • Van Morrison
  • Robert Smith
  • Jimmy Somerville

Winner: Elton John

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Jimmy Somerville. Nominees:

  • Beats International
  • Betty Boo
  • The Charlatans
  • Happy Mondays
  • The Las

Winner: Betty Boo

Best British Producer

Presented by Kim Appleby. Nominees:

  • Nellee Hooper
  • George Michael
  • Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne
  • Chris Thomas
  • Youth

Winner: Chris Thomas

Best British Single

Presented by Simon Mayo.

Winner: Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence

Best British Video

Presented by Philip Schofield and Simon Le Bon from off of Duran Duran. Nominees:

  • Adamski – Killer
  • The Beautiful South – A Little Time
  • The Beloved – Hello
  • Betty Boo – Where Are You Baby
  • The Cure – Close to Me
  • Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence
  • Go West – King of Wishful Thinking
  • Billy Idol – Cradle of Love
  • George Michael – Freedom 90
  • Seal – Crazy

Winner: The Beautiful South

Best Classical Recording

Nominees:

  • Matthew Best – Serenade to the Music
  • John Elliot Gardner – Vespers of the Blessed
  • Oliver Knussen – The Prince of the Pagodas
  • Zubin Mehta – In Concerto – Carreras
  • Kent Nagano – The Love for Three

Winner: Zubin Mehta

Best International Female

Presented by Paul Jones. Nominees:

  • Mariah Carey
  • Neneh Cherry
  • Whitney Houston
  • Janet Jackson
  • Madonna
  • Sinéad O’Connor
  • Tina Turner

Winner: Sinéad O’Connor

Best International Group

Presented by Shakin’ Stevens. Nominees:

  • B-52s
  • De La Soul
  • Faith No More
  • INXS
  • Roxette

Winner: INXS

Best International Male

Presented by Rick Astley. Nominees:

  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • MC Hammer
  • Michael Hutchence
  • Prince
  • Paul Simon

Winner: Michael Hutchence

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Chris Rea. Nominees:

  • Mariah Carey
  • Dee-Lite
  • MC Hammer
  • Maria McKee
  • Wilson Phillips

Winner: MC Hammer

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Presented by Rick Astley. Nominees:

  • Angelo Badalamenti – Twin Peaks
  • Angelo Badalamenti – Wild at Heart
  • Maurice Jarre – Ghost
  • Various Artists – Days of Thunder
  • Various Artists – Pretty Woman

Winner: Twin Peaks

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Terry Ellis.

Winner: Status Quo

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

The BRIT Awards 1994

The fourteenth BRIT Awards, on the fourteenth of February 1994, were something of a turning point for the BRITs. After corporate suits, total unmitigated chaos, and The 1980s, they had been through a number of incarnations, but somehow in 1994 the BRITs came of age. Since then, it has been essential annual viewing (or avoiding) for any fan of music.

In 1994, they were presented by Elton John and RuPaul, and took place at Alexandra Palace, in London.

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Tori Amos. Nominees:

  • Apache Indian
  • Gabrielle
  • Jamiroquai
  • Shara Nelson
  • Suede

Winner: Gabrielle.

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Kylie Minogue. Nominees:

  • 4 Non Blondes
  • Björk
  • Rage Against the Machine
  • Spin Doctors
  • SWV

Winner: Björk.

Best British Dance Act

Presented by Seal. Nominees:

  • Apache Indian
  • Jamiroquai
  • M People
  • Stereo MCs
  • The Shamen

Winner: M People.

Best Soundtrack/Cast Recording

Presented by Rozalla. Nominees:

  • Reservoir Dogs (various artists)
  • Sleepless in Seattle (various artists)
  • The Bodyguard (Whitney Houston / various artists)
  • The Jungle Book (various artists)
  • Whats Love Got To Do With It (Tina Turner)

Winner: The Bodyguard, accepted by Whitney Houston.

Best International Female Solo Artist

Presented by ze Jean-Paul Gauthier. Ze nominees:

  • Björk
  • Janet Jackson
  • Mariah Carey
  • Nanci Griffith
  • Tina Turner

Longeur vidéo ere.

Winner: Björk.

Best International Group

Presented by Kiki Dee. Nominees:

  • Crowded House
  • Nirvana
  • Pearl Jam
  • Spin Doctors
  • U2

Winner: Crowded House.

Best Selling Single and Album of 1993

Video here. Look at the size of his mouth!

Winner: Meat Loaf.

Best British Producer

Nominees:

  • Brian Eno
  • Flood
  • M People
  • Nellee Hooper
  • Youth

Winner: Brian Eno.

Best Music Video

Voted for by viewers of MTV Europe, and presented by Pip Dann. Nominees:

  • Gabrielle – Dreams
  • Jamiroquai – Too Young To Die
  • New Order – Regret
  • Peter Gabriel – Steam
  • Suede – Animal Nitrate

Shortlist:

  • Take That – Pray
  • Pet Shop Boys – Go West
  • Depeche Mode – I Feel You
  • David Bowie – Jump They Say
  • Sting – Fields of Gold

Winner: Take That.

Best International Male Solo Artist

Presented by Vivienne Westwood. Nominees:

  • Billy Joel
  • Lenny Kravitz
  • Meat Loaf
  • Neil Young
  • Terence Trent D’Arby

Winner: Lenny Kravitz.

Best British Single

Voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 1, and presented by Steve Wright. Nominees:

  • Apache Indian – Boom Shak-A-Lak
  • Dina Carroll – Don’t Be a Stranger
  • Gabrielle – Dreams
  • M People – Moving On Up
  • New Order – Regret
  • Paul Weller – Wild Wood
  • Radiohead – Creep
  • Shaggy – Oh Carolina
  • Suede – Animal Nitrate
  • Take That – Pray

Winner: Take That.

Best British Album

Presented by Jack Dee. Nominees:

  • Dina Carroll – So Close
  • Jamiroquai – Emergency on Planet Earth
  • Stereo MCs – Connected
  • Sting – Ten Summoners Tales
  • Suede – Suede

Winner: Stereo MCs.

Best British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora. Nominees:

  • Beverley Craven
  • Dina Carroll
  • Gabrielle
  • PJ Harvey
  • Shara Nelson

Winner: Dina Carroll.

Best British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Neneh Cherry. Nominees:

  • Apache Indian
  • Paul Weller
  • Rod Stewart
  • Sting
  • Van Morrison

Winner: Sting.

Best British Group

Presented by Paula Yates. Nominees:

  • Jamiroquai
  • M People
  • Stereo MCs
  • Suede
  • Take That

Winner: Stereo MCs.

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by John McCarthy and Jill Morrell.

Winner: Van Morrison.

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: removed numerous videos that are no longer available (13 August 2017).

The BRIT Awards 1998

“If,” said Chumbawamba, “John Prescott has the nerve to turn up at events like the BRIT Awards in a vain attempt to make Labour seem cool and trendy, then he deserves all we can throw at him.”

Indeed. For it was in 1998 that they put this unusually specific philosophy into practice by emptying a bucket of iced water over the Labour fatty.

But despite a bit of anarchy here and there, things remained pretty corporate. It was February 9th 1998, the venue was London Arena, and our host for the evening was Ben Elton out of comedy. Watch the opening here, and the introduction here.

Best International Male Solo Artist

Presented by Matthew Modine and Chaudia Schiffer. Nominees:

  • Jon Bon Jovi
  • Coolio
  • DJ Shadow
  • LL Cool J
  • Sash!

“Why,” you may ask, “Did Jon Bon Jovi merit a solo award nomination?” No idea. Video here.

Winner: Jon Bon Jovi.

Best British Newcomer

Voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 1, and presented by Max Beesley and Jo Whiley. Nominees:

  • All Saints
  • Shola Ama
  • Embrace
  • Olive
  • Beth Orton
  • Finley Quaye
  • Conner Reeves
  • Roni Size/Reprazent
  • Stereophonics
  • Travis

Winner: Stereophonics.

Best International Female Solo Artist

Was to be presented by Dusty Springfield, but sadly she was too unwell to do so (and would pass away a year later), so it was presented by Alexander McQueen and Honor Fraser. Nominees:

  • Erykah Badu
  • Björk
  • Meredith Brooks
  • Celine Dion
  • Janet Jackson

I am grateful grapefruit.

Winner: Björk.

Best British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Richard Branson. Nominees:

  • Shola Ama
  • Michelle Gayle
  • Louise
  • Beth Orton
  • Lisa Stansfield

Winner: Shola Ama.

International Sales Award

A special award for the best selling international album.

Winner: Spice Girls.

Best British Video

Voted for by viewers of The Box, and presented in character by Alan Partridge (Steve Coogan). Nominees:

  • All Saints – Never Ever
  • Blur – Song 2
  • David Bowie – Little Wonder
  • Chemical Brothers – Block Rockin’ Beats
  • Dario G – Sunchyme
  • Oasis – D’You Know What I Mean?
  • Republica – Drop Dead Gorgeous
  • Spice Girls – Spice up Your Life
  • Supergrass – Late in the Day
  • The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony

Winner: All Saints.

Best British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Errol Brown and Natalie Imbruglia. Nominees:

  • Gary Barlow
  • Elton John
  • Finley Quaye
  • Paul Weller
  • Robbie Williams

Winner: Finley Quaye.

Best International Group

Presented by Heather Small from M. People with unusually small hair and Jay Kay out of Jamiroquai. Nominees:

  • Daft Punk
  • Eels
  • Hanson
  • No Doubt
  • U2

Although Ben Elton introduces Jamiroquai as a former BRIT winner, this is in fact not true – he’s never won one in the entire history of the awards.

Winner: U2.

The Freddie Mercury Award

A special award for Doing A Song About Princess Diana. Presented by Tony Blair out of Starting Illegal Wars, on video from Washington DC. Cringeworthy video here.

Winner: Elton John.

Best Soundtrack/Cast Recording

Presented using the medium of song by Cleopatra (comin’ atcha). Nominees:

  • The Full Monty (various artists)
  • Men in Black (various artists)
  • Romeo + Juliet (various artists)
  • Space Jam (various artists)
  • Trainspotting 2 (various artists)

Winner: The Full Monty.

Best British Group

Presented by Frank Skinner and David Baddiel. Nominees:

  • Oasis
  • The Prodigy
  • Radiohead
  • Texas
  • The Verve

Winner: The Verve.

Best Dance Act

Nominees:

  • Brand New Heavies
  • The Chemical Brothers
  • Eternal
  • Jamiroquai
  • The Prodigy

Oh yes, the Dance Act award, which was sadly dropped in later years, and which inexplicably featured an annual nomination for not-very-dancey-and-frankly-pretty-lousy Jamiroquai.

Winner: The Prodigy.

Best British Single

Voted for by listeners of independent radio, and presented by Pam Grier and Samuel L. Jackson. Big up to the UK. Nominees:

  • All Saints – Never Ever
  • Blur – Song 2
  • Chumbawumba – Tubthumping
  • Eternal feat. Bebe Winans – I Wanna Be the Only One
  • Elton John – Candle in the Wind
  • Olive – You’re Not Alone
  • Radiohead – Paranoid Android
  • Texas – Say What You Want
  • The Verve – Bittersweet Symphony
  • Robbie Williams – Old Before I Die

Singles, according to Ben Elton, had experienced a big revival in 1997. Of course, as we now know, the draconian chart rules introduced later in 1998 would kill them in a way that they could never recover.

Winner: All Saints.

Best International Newcomer

Nominees:

  • Erykah Badu
  • Daft Punk
  • Eels
  • Hanson
  • No Doubt

Winner: Eels.

Best Producer

Nominees:

  • Nigel Godrich / Radiohead
  • Liam Howlett
  • Roni Size
  • Stephen Street
  • The Verve / Chris Potter / Youth

Winner: The Verve / Chris Potter / Youth.

Mastercard British Album

Presented by Zoë Ball. Nominees:

  • Oasis – Be Here Now
  • The Prodigy – The Fat of the Land
  • Radiohead – OK Computer
  • Texas – White on Blonde
  • The Verve – Urban Hymns

Winner: The Verve.

Outstanding Achievement

Presented by Sir George Martin.

Winner: Fleetwood Mac.

Performances

  • All Saints – Never Ever
  • Chumbawamba – Tubthumping
  • Finlay Quaye – Sun is Shining
  • Fleetwood Mac – The Chain and Don’t Stop
  • Robbie Williams and Tom Jones – Come Up and See Me
  • Shola Ama – You Might Need Somebody
  • Spice Girls – Stop
  • Texas featuring The Method Man – Say What You Want
  • The Verve – Lucky Man

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: removed numerous videos that are no longer available (13 August 2017).

The BRIT Awards 1990

The annual British music industry bash had been growing in every way for a number of years. In 1988, it decided to improve itself by stopping being quite so corporate. In 1989, it changed its name to the BRIT Awards and nearly destroyed itself. After the unmitigated disaster of the 1989 ceremony, the 1990 awards switched to a different venue and was altogether a little more self-conscious.

The ceremony would sadly see the last public appearance of Freddie Mercury, but on a lighter note would also see Fine Young Cannibals justifiably return their awards in reaction to a video of Margaret Thatcher choosing her favourite pop song (How Much is That Little Doggie in the Window? although it sadly didn’t win any awards in 1990).

For now, though, it’s February 18th 1990, we’re at the Dominion Theatre in London, and Cathy McGowan out of The 1960s is your host for the evening.

There’s also an introduction video here.

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Tina Turner. Nominees:

  • Lisa Stansfield
  • Shakespears Sister
  • Soul II Soul
  • The Beautiful South
  • The Stone Roses

Longer video here.

Winner: Lisa Stansfield.

Best British Producer

Presented by Andrew Lloyd Webber. Nominees:

  • Coldcut
  • Dave Stewart
  • Kate Bush
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Steve Lillywhite
  • Stock Aitken Waterman

Winner: Dave Stewart.

Best Classical Recording

Nominees:

  • Jeffrey Tate – Piano Concerto 24 & 25
  • John Elliot Gardner – St Matthews Passion – Bach
  • Nigel Kennedy – Four Seasons – Vivaldi
  • Ricardo Chailly – Walton – Façade – Stravinsky
  • Simon Rattle – Porgy & Bess – Gershwin

Winner: Simon Rattle.

Best Soundtrack/Cast Recording

Presented by Sinitta, who gets carried on on a stretcher. Nominees:

  • Aspects of Love (Original Cast Recording)
  • Batman (Prince)
  • Beaches (various artists)
  • Henry V (Simon Rattle)
  • The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover (Michael Nyman)

Winner: Batman.

Best British Group

Presented by Iron Maiden. Nominees:

  • Erasure
  • Eurythmics
  • Fine Young Cannibals
  • Simply Red
  • Soul II Soul
  • Tears for Fears

Video here.

Winner: Fine Young Cannibals.

Best Music Video

Presented by Bobby Brown. Nominees:

  • Billy Joel – We Didn’t Start The Fire
  • De La Soul – Eye Know
  • Eurythmics – Don’t Ask Me Why
  • Farley Jackmaster Funk – Free At Last
  • Four Tops – Loco in Acapulco
  • Guns ‘n’ Roses – Paradise City
  • Holly Johnson – Love Train
  • Janet Jackson – Miss You Much
  • Kaoma – Lambada
  • Lisa Stansfield – All Around the World
  • M – Pop Muzik
  • Neneh Cherry – Manchild
  • Paul McCartney – My Brave Face
  • Prince – Batdance
  • Queen – Invisible Man
  • Salif Keita – Nous Pas Bouger
  • Simply Red – If You Don’t Know Me by Now
  • Tears for Fears – Sowing the Seeds
  • The Alarm – A New South Wales
  • The Beautiful South – Song for Whoever
  • The Cure – Lullaby
  • Tina Turner – Simply the Best

Fortunately nobody had to read out that full list of nominees! Video here.

Winner: The Cure.

Best International Group

Presented by Ray Davis, a little too keen to remind us that The Kinks still exist. Nominees:

  • Bon Jovi
  • De La Soul
  • Guns ‘n’ Roses
  • Gipsy Kings
  • Milli Vanilli
  • U2

Video here.

Winner: U2.

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Gary Glitter, back in the days before we knew what we know now. Ugh. Nominees:

  • Bobby Brown
  • De La Soul
  • Guns ‘n’ Roses
  • Neneh Cherry
  • Paula Abdul

Video here.

Winner: Neneh Cherry.

Best International Solo Artist

Presented by Adam Ant. Nominees:

  • Bobby Brown
  • Gloria Estefan
  • Neneh Cherry
  • Prince
  • Tina Turner

Video here.

Winner: Neneh Cherry.

Best British Female

Nominees:

  • Annie Lennox
  • Kate Bush
  • Lisa Stansfield
  • Mica Paris
  • Yazz

Winner: Annie Lennox.

Best British Male

Nominees:

  • Chris Rea
  • Cliff Richard
  • Phil Collins
  • Roland Gift
  • Van Morrison

Winner: Phil Collins.

Best British Album

Nominees:

  • Eurythmics – We Too Are One
  • Fine Young Cannibals – The Raw and The Cooked
  • Simply Red – A New Flame
  • Soul II Soul – Club Classics Vol 1
  • Tears for Fears – The Seeds of Love

Winner: Fine Young Cannibals.

Best British Single

Voted for by the listeners of the Simon Mayo Breakfast Show on BBC Radio 1, and presented by Simon Mayo. Nominees:

  • Band Aid II – Do They Know it’s Christmas
  • Jason Donovan – Sealed With a Kiss
  • Jason Donovan – Too Many Broken Hearts
  • Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers – Swing the Mood
  • Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers – That’s What I Like
  • Jive Bunny & The Mastermixers – Lets Party
  • Lisa Stansfield – All Around the World
  • Marc Almond & Gene Pitney – Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart
  • Phil Collins – Another Day in Paradise
  • Simple Minds – Belfast Child
  • Sonia – You’ll Never Stop Me
  • Soul II Soul – Back to Life
  • Various Artists – Ferry ‘Cross the Mersey

An astonishing number of nominations, three of which were for Jive Bunny, but fortunately they didn’t manage to win. Unfortunately, um… well, watch the video here.

Winner: Phil Collins.

Outstanding Contribution

Winner: Queen.

Performances

  • Lisa Stansfield -Been Around the World
  • Neneh Cherry – Manchild
  • Nigel Kennedy – Vivaldi’s Four Seasons
  • Phil Collins – Another Day in Paradise
  • Soul II Soul – What is Soul II Soul

Further Reading / Viewing