Youssou N’Dour – The Guide (Wommat)

Let’s face it, there aren’t a lot of reasons why you, in 1994, might have been interested in Youssou N’Dour‘s The Guide (Wommat). They’re probably much the same as now – either you know and love Senegalese music, or you liked 7 Seconds when it came out. Either way, there’s a lot to enjoy on this album. It’s 25 years old this week, which is as good a reason as any to give it a listen.

N’Dour was, by this stage, very well established, having found success in his native Senegal and across Africa more than a decade earlier, and starting to gather European hits in the mid-eighties, starting in France. He had worked with Peter Gabriel on a number of occasions, including providing backing vocals for In Your Eyes. By 1993, his name was well known in the UK, even if his music was not particularly. He was one of the first artists to controversially fuse traditional African music with electronic sounds

This album opens with the catchy Leaving (Dem). Without understanding most of the lyrics or knowing much of the backstory, it’s going to be difficult to comment on specific tracks here, but at worst the tracks here are all pleasant, and some are very nice indeed. Old Man follows, with a softer jazz feel, getting disconcertingly faster as the track goes on.

Without a Smile (Same) and Mame Bamba follow. By the late 1980s, N’Dour was regularly providing French and English language lyrics and titles for album tracks alongside the various African (and apparently invented) languages that had appeared on earlier releases, but it often feels here as though the actual lyrics matter less than the feel of the words. N’Dour’s music seems broadly joyful and celebratory, and somehow understanding every word might spoil it – for me, this is a celebration of the beautiful world we live in and the people who inhabit it.

Which brings us to 7 Seconds, the brilliant collaboration with Neneh Cherry that hit the top three in the UK and number one in several European countries in mid-1994, certainly the most successful song to be sung in Wolof on the UK chart, and probably among the most successful French songs too. The collaboration appears to have been initiated by Cherry, who had been listening to N’Dour since his western breakthrough in the 1980s. It’s a pretty transparent song actually, talking about how a newborn doesn’t know anything about war or conflict. There’s a dark undertone, in a way, but really if you have thought of this as a joyful album so far, this underlines that feeling somewhat. Think of it as untainted, unknowing innocence, and it’s really rather beautiful.

N’Dour has his work cut out to keep you listening after that, though. How You Are (No Mele) is the track he chooses, which lists the independence dates of various African countries. It’s good, and unusually the meaning is firmly in the lyrics this time, so there’s a marked contrast between this and its neighbour Generations (Diamono), where the music is chirpy and beautiful even if you don’t understand the lyrics.

The questionable choice on this release was to put way too many tracks on here – this was the early nineties, and artists were beginning to explore extending the form of the album out to the full length of a CD. So Youssou N’Dour has put no fewer than fifteen tracks on here, and however varied, that’s enough to really burn the listener out. Couple that with English-speaking audiences being unused to other languages, and you’re pretty much guaranteed that a lot of listeners will just have this on in the background while doing something else.

Some tracks deserve that – Tourista is nice enough, but far from a standout song. Undecided (Japoulo) was the follow-up single in the UK, sadly only reaching number 53 but remaining to this day one of his biggest hits. Other than 7 Seconds it’s the most electronic track on here, which is undoubtedly why it was picked as a single. For that release, Neneh Cherry stepped in again to provide backing vocals, and Deep Forest reworked it, but despite those then-huge names, it failed to make much impact.

But this is where having so many tracks starts to become a problem – Love One Another (Beuguente), Life (Adouna) and My People (Samay Nit) fade into the background, rightly or wrongly. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with this album, but its component parts would have stood out a lot better if there hadn’t been quite as many of them.

That isn’t to say that nothing stands out at all at this end of the album – Oh Boy is a nice jazzy piece, and Silence (Tongo) has some wonderfully lively uncredited backing vocals on it, and some great percussive work. It’s just that by now, most listeners will have lost a lot of their energy and interest. Closing the album is a translated cover of Bob Dylan‘s Chimes of Freedom, which is probably the most unexpected thing to turn up here. In particular, you can imagine this being brilliant as a live performance.

So, at the end, this is an interesting album. It feels almost offensive to N’Dour and all the great musicians who worked on this to describe it as background music, and of course that’s unfair, because speakers of other languages and listeners of other styles will find plenty to like here. Really, the problem is purely the number of tracks – and even that is only a problem when you sit down to pay it full attention. There’s enough great material here – just maybe don’t try to listen to it all at once.

You can still find The Guide (Wommat) at all major retailers.

Chart for stowaways – 10 November 2018

Here’s the latest album chart for stowaways:

  1. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  2. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  3. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  4. The Prodigy – No Tourists
  5. Moby – Long Ambients 1: Calm. Sleep.
  6. Culture Club & Boy George – Life
  7. Dead Can Dance – Dionysus
  8. Primal Scream – Give Out But Don’t Give Up – Original
  9. Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics
  10. Kraftwerk – 3-D Der Katalog

Chart for stowaways – 27 October 2018

These are the week’s top albums:

  1. The Future Sound of London – My Kingdom (Re-Imagined)
  2. The Radiophonic Workshop – Burials in Several Earths
  3. The Radiophonic Workshop – Possum (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  4. John Carpenter – Halloween – OST
  5. Kraftwerk – 3-D Der Katalog
  6. Neneh Cherry – Broken Politics
  7. Primal Scream – Give Out But Don’t Give Up – Original
  8. The Beloved – Single File
  9. Readymade FC – Babilonia
  10. Orbital – Monsters Exist

Ivor Novello Awards – The 1990s

Ivor Novello Awards 1990

Grosvenor House in London hosted the Ivor Novello Awards on 2nd April 1990.

  • Best Contemporary Song: All Around the World, written by Lisa Stansfield, Ian Devaney and Andrew Morris. Also nominated: Back to Life (However Do You Want Me), performed by Soul II Soul, written by Jazzie B, Caron Wheeler, Nellee Hooper and Simon LawShe Drives Me Crazy, performed by Fine Young Cannibals, written by David Steele and Roland Gift
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: The Living Years, performed by Mike + The Mechanics, written by BA Robertson and Mike Rutherford. Also nominated: Another Day in Paradise, written by Phil Collins; Room in Your Heart, performed by Living in a Box, written by Marcus Vere, Richard Darbyshire and Albert Hammond
  • Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: Ruth Rendell Mysteries, written by Brian Bennett. Also nominated: Sherlock Holmes, written by Patrick Gowers; Agatha Christie’s Poirot, written by Christopher Gunning
  • Best Film Theme or Song: Henry V Nons Nobis Domine, written by Patrick Doyle. Also nominated: Nothing Has Been Proved, written by Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe; Travelling East, written by Eric Clapton and Michael Kamen
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Herbert Kretzmer
  • Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Too Many Broken Hearts, performed by Jason Donovan, written by Stock Aitken Waterman (Mike Stock, Matt Aitken and Pete Waterman). Also nominated: Back to Life (However Do You Want Me); Something’s Gotten Hold of My Heart, performed by Marc Almond and Gene Pitney, written by Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway
  • International Hit of the Year: She Drives Me Crazy. Also nominated: Buffalo Stance, written by Cameron Mcvey, Philip Ramacon, Neneh Cherry and Jamie Morgan; Another Day in Paradise, written by Phil Collins
  • Best Theme from a TV/Radio Commercial: Abbey Endings (Abbey National), written by Lionel Bart. Also nominated: Big Day (Maxwell House), written by David Mindel; Terry Keeps His Clips On (Toshiba), written by Viv Stanshall
  • The Best British Musical: Aspects of Love, written by: Don Black, Charles Hart and Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: David Bowie
  • Most Performed Work: This Time I Know It’s for Real, written by Stock Aitken Waterman and Donna Summer. Also nominated: Something’s Gotten Hold of My HeartToo Many Broken Hearts
  • Songwriters of the Year: Stock Aitken Waterman
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: The Kinks (Mick Avory, Dave Davies, Ray Davies, Ian Gibbons and Jim Rodford)

Ivor Novello Awards 1991

The 1991 ceremony took place at Grosvenor House in London on 2nd May 1991.

  • Best Contemporary Song: Killer, written by Adam ‘Adamski’ Tinley and Seal. Also nominated: Don’t Worry, written by Kim Appleby, Craig Logan and George Deangelis; Unbelievable, performed by EMF, written by James Atken, Ian Dench, Zachary Foley, Mark Decloedt and Deran Brownson
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Sacrifice, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Also nominated: We Let the Stars Go, performed by Prefab Sprout, written by Paddy McaloonNothing Ever Happens, performed by Del Amitri, written by Justin Currie
  • Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: Victorian Kitchen, written by Paul Reade. Also nominated: Tidy Endings, written by Stanley Myers; The Green Man, written by Tim Souster
  • Best Film Theme or Song: Witches, written by Stanley Myers. Also nominated: Arachnophobia, written by Trevor Jones; Lily Was Here, written by Dave Stewart
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: John Barry
  • Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Sacrifice / Healing Hands, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Also nominated: World in Motion, performed by Englandneworder (New Order), written by Bernard Sumner, Stephen Morris, Gillian Gilbert, Keith Allen and Peter Hook; Killer, written by Adam ‘Adamski’ Tinley and Seal
  • Best Theme from a TV/Radio Commercial: Only You (Fiat Tempra), written by Geoff MacCormack and Simon Goldenberg. Also nominated: Citric Bite (Schweppes Tonic), written by Don Gould and James LowtherNick of Time (Audi), written by Tony Sadler and Gaynor Sadler
  • International Hit of the Year: All Around the World, written by Lisa Stansfield, Ian Devaney and Andrew Morris. Also nominated: Close to You, performed by Maxi Priest, written by Gary Benson, Winston Sela and Maxi Elliott; I’ve Been Thinking About You, performed by Londonbeat, written by George Chandler, Jimmy Chambers, Jimmy Helms and Liam Henshall
  • Special Award for International Achievement: Albert Hammond
  • PRS Most Performed Work: Blue Savannah, performed by Erasure, written by Andy Bell and Vince Clarke. Also nominated: All I Wanna Do Is Make Love to You, performed by Heart, written by Robert John ‘Mutt’ LangeKiller, written by Adam ‘Adamski’ Tinley and Seal
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Robert Farnon
  • Songwriter of the Year: Phil Collins
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, Ronnie Wood and Bill Wyman

Ivor Novello Awards 1992

May 1992 saw Grosvenor House in London host the 37th Ivor Novello Awards ceremony.

  • Best Contemporary Song: Crazy, written by Seal. Also nominated: Walking Down Madison, written by Kirsty MacColl and Johnny Marr; Sit Down, written by Timothy Booth, Lawrence Gott, James Glennie and Gavan Whelan
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: The Whole of the Moon, performed by The Waterboys, written by Mike Scott. Also nominated: The Show Must Go On, performed by Queen, written by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon; Stars, performed by Simply Red, written by Mick Hucknall
  • Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: The Darling Buds of May, written by Philip Burley and Barrie Guard. Also nominated: Clarissa, written by Colin Towns; A Question of Attribution, written by Gerald Gouriet
  • Best Theme from a TV/Radio Commercial: Driven By You (Ford Motor Company), written by Brian May. Also nominated: Eagle Star – Reflections (Eagle Star Insurance), written by RAF Ravenscroft and Kevin Dillon-LambExcaliber (Carling Black Label), written by Rachel Portman
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Tony Hatch and Jackie Trent
  • Best Selling ‘A’ Side: Bohemian Rhapsody / These are the Days of Our Lives, performed by Queen, written by Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon. Also nominated: Any Dream Will Do, performed by Jason Donovan, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice; I’m Too Sexy, performed by Right Said Fred, written by Fred Fairbrass, Rob Manzoli and Richard Fairbrass
  • Best Film Theme or Song: Under Suspicion, written by Christopher Gunning. Also nominated: Dances with Wolves, written by John Barry; The One and Only, written by Nik Kershaw
  • International Hit of the Year: Crazy, written by Seal. Also nominated: Unbelievable; 3 AM Eternal, performed by The KLF, written by Bill Drummond, Jimmy Cauty and Ricky Lyte
  • Award in Recognition of the Exceptional Success of a Single Song: Everything I Do (I Do It For You), written by: Bryan Adams, Michael Kamen and Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange
  • Best British Musical: Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, written by: Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
  • PRS Most Performed Work: I’m Too Sexy. Also nominated: The One and Only, performed by Curtis Stigers, written by Nik Kershaw; Any Dream Will Do, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: David Gilmour, Nick Mason, Roger Waters and Richard Wright
  • Songwriter of the Year: Mick Hucknall
  • Special Award for International Achievement: Bernie Taupin
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Eric Clapton

Ivor Novello Awards 1993

26th May 1993 saw Grosvenor House in London host the Ivor Novello Awards.

  • Best Contemporary Song: Would I Lie to You, performed by Charles and Eddie, written by Peter Vale and Mick Leeson. Also nominated: Stay, performed by Shakespears Sister, written by Marcella Detroit, Siobhan Fahey and Dave Stewart; Friday I’m In Love, performed by The Cure, written by Robert Smith, Simon Gallup, Porl Thompson, Boris Williams and Perry Bamonte
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Why, written by Annie Lennox. Also nominated: The Disappointed, performed by XTC, written by Andy Partridge; Tears in Heaven, written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings
  • Best Theme from a TV / Radio Production: Civvies, composed by Michael Storey. Also nominated: Blackheath Poisonings, written by Colin Towns; Kyrie Eleison, written by Christopher Gunning
  • Best Film Theme or Song: Tears in Heaven, written by Eric Clapton and Will Jennings. Also nominated: Final Analysis, written by George Fenton; Chaplin, written by John Barry
  • Songwriters of the Year: Colin Angus and Richard West
  • PRS Most Performed Work: Deeply Dippy, performed by Right Said Fred, written by Fred Fairbrass, Rob Manzoli and Richard Fairbrass. Also nominated: Would I Lie to You; Stay
  • Best Selling Song: Would I Lie to You. Also nominated: Goodnight Girl, performed by Wet Wet Wet, written by Marti Pellow, Neil Mitchell, Tom Cunningham and Graeme Clark; Ain’t No Doubt, written by Jimmy Nail, Danny Schogger, Charlie Dore and Guy Pratt; Stay
  • International Hit of the Year: Would I Lie to You. Also nominated: Stay; Tears in Heaven; Why
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Les Reed
  • Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection: Marcella Detroit, Siobhan Fahey and Dave Stewart
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Bernie Calvert, Allan Clarke, Bobby Elliott, Tony Hicks, Graham Nash and Terry Sylvester
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: George Shearing
  • Special Award for International Achievement: Rod Temperton

Ivor Novello Awards 1994

The 1994 ceremony took place at Grosvenor House on 25th May.

  • Best Contemporary Song: Pray, performed by Take That, written by Gary Barlow. Also nominated: Moving On Up, performed by M People, written by Paul Heard and Mike Pickering; Arranged Marriage, performed by Apache Indian, written by Stephen Kapur, Simon Duggal and Diamond Duggal
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: If I Ever Lose My Faith in You, written by Sting. Also nominated: Ordinary World, performed by Duran Duran, written by Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo; I Don’t Wanna Fight, performed by Tina Turner, written by Steve Duberry, Billy Lawrie and Lulu
  • Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: Stalag Luft, written by Stanley Myers. Also nominated: Harnessing Peacocks, written by Richard Holmes; Unnatural Causes, written by Richard Harvey
  • Best Film Theme or Song: The Piano, written by Michael Nyman. Also nominated: Into the West, written by Patrick Doyle; Indochine, written by Patrick Doyle
  • The PRS Most Performed Work: Ordinary World. Also nominated: Little Bird, written by Annie Lennox; Tears in Heaven
  • Best Selling Song: Mr Blobby, written by David Rogers and Paul Shaw. Also nominated: Dreams, written by Timothy Laws and Gabrielle; Babe, performed by Take That, written by Gary Barlow
  • The International Hit of the Year: Living on My Own, written by Freddie Mercury. Also nominated: I Feel You, performed by Depeche Mode, written by Martin Gore; Ordinary World, written by Simon Le Bon, Nick Rhodes, John Taylor and Warren Cuccurullo
  • The Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection: Paul Weller
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Roger Cook and Roger Greenaway
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Ron Goodwin
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Tim Rice
  • Special Award for International Achievement: Bono, Adam Clayton, Larry Mullen Jnr and The Edge
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Musical Theatre: Andrew Lloyd Webber
  • Songwriter of the Year: Gary Barlow

Ivor Novello Awards 1995

Forty years into its history, the 1995 ceremony took place at Grosvenor House on 23rd May.

  • Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Lonnie Donegan
  • Best Contemporary Song: You Gotta Be, written by Des’ree Weekes and Ashley Ingram. Also nominated: Parklife, performed by Blurwritten by Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James and Dave RowntreeZombieperformed by The Cranberrieswritten by Delores O’Riordan
  • Best Song Musically & Lyrically: Think Twice, performed by Celine Dion, written by Andy Hill and Peter Sinfield. Also nominated: Patience of Angels, performed by Eddi Reader, written by Boo Hewerdine; Dear John, written by Mark Nevin and Kirsty McColl
  • Best Theme from a TV/Radio Production: Middlemarch, written by Stanley Myers. Also nominated: Crocodile Shoes, written by Tony McAnaney; Beyond the Clouds, written by George Fenton
  • Best Commissioned Film Score: Shadowlands, written by George Fenton. Also nominated: Deadly Advice, written by Richard HarveyThe Joy Luck Club, written by Rachel Portman
  • Best Song Included in a Film: Circle of Life, written by Elton John and Tim Rice. Also nominated: Love is All Around, performed by Wet Wet Wet, written by Reg Presley; In the Name of Our Father, performed by U2, written by Bono, Gavin Friday and Maurice Roycroft
  • The Radio 1 Award for Continuing Innovation in Music: Brian Eno
  • The Best Selling Song: Love is All Around. Also nominated: Baby Come Back, performed by Pato Banton, written by Eddy GrantStay Another Day, performed by East 17, written by Tony Mortimer, Dominic Hawken and Robert Kean
  • International Hit of the Year: Love is All Around. Also nominated: 7 Seconds, written by Cameron McVey, Jonathan Peter Sharp, Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry; Baby I Love Your Way, performed by Big Mountain, written by Peter Frampton; Without You, performed by Mariah Carey, written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans
  • The PRS Most Performed Work: Love is All Around. Also nominated: Stay Another DayBaby Come Back
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Don Black
  • Lifetime Achievement Award: Van Morrison
  • The Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection: Elvis Costello
  • Songwriter of the Year: Tony Mortimer

Ivor Novello Awards 1996

Grosvenor House in London hosted the Ivor Novello Awards on 30th May 1996.

  • The PRS Most Performed Work: Back for Good, performed by Take That, written by Gary Barlow. Also nominated: No More I Love Yous, performed by Annie Lennox, written by David Freeman and Joseph Hughes; A Girl Like You, written by Edwyn Collins
  • The Best Selling Song: Back for Good. Also nominated: Fairground, performed by Simply Red, written by Mick Hucknall; Missing, performed by Everything But The Girl, written by Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt
  • International Hit of the Year: Kiss from a Rose, written by Seal. Also nominated: Back for Good; No More I Love Yous
  • Best Contemporary Song: Alright, performed by Supergrass, written by Danny Goffrey, Gaz Coombes and Michael Quinn. Also nominated: Wonderwall, performed by Oasis, written by Noel Gallagher; A Girl Like You, written by Edwyn Collins
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Common People, performed by Pulp, written by Jarvis Cocker, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey and Russell Senior. Also nominated: No More I Love Yous; Back for Good
  • Best Commissioned Film Score: Don Juan De Marco, composed by Michael Kamen. Also nominated: Pin for the Butterfly, composed by Ilona SekaczNostradamus, composed by Barrington Pheloung
  • Best Commissioned Score from a TV/Radio Production: The Hanging Gale, written by Shaun Davey. Also nominated: Pride & Prejudice, written by Carl Davis; Yugoslavia, written by Debbie Wiseman
  • Best Song Included in a Film or Television Programme: Have You Ever Really Loved a Woman, composed by Robert John ‘Mutt’ Lange, Michael Kamen and Bryan Adams. Also nominated: Kiss from a Rose, composed by SealGoldeneye, performed by Tina Turner, composed by Bono and The Edge
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Tony Macaulay
  • Outstanding Contribution to British Musical Theatre: Cameron Mackintosh
  • An Outstanding Contemporary Song Collection: Joan Armatrading
  • Songwriters of the Year: Blur (Damon Albarn, Graham Coxon, Alex James, Dave Rowntree) and Noel Gallagher (presented jointly)
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Small Faces (Kenney Jones, Ronnie Lane, Steve Marriott and Ian McLagan)
  • Outstanding Services to British Music: Jeff Lynne

Ivor Novello Awards 1997

London’s Grosvenor House hosted the 1997 ceremony on 19th May.

  • PRS Award for Most Performed Work of 1996: Fast Love, written by George Michael. Also nominated: Give Me a Little More Time, written by Gabrielle, Benjamin Wolff, Andrew Dean, Ben BarsonDon’t Look Back in Anger, performed by Oasis, written by Noel Gallagher
  • Best Commissioned Film Score: 101 Dalmatians, composed by Michael Kamen. Also nominated: Independence Day, composed by David ArnoldTwelfth Night, composed by Shaun Davey
  • Best Selling British Written Single in the UK: Hetty Wainthropp Investigates, composed by Nigel Hess. Also nominated: Wannabe, performed by Spice Girls, written by Victoria Adams, Melanie Brown, Emma Bunton, Melanie Chisholm, Geri Halliwell, Matt Rowe and Richard Stannard
  • Best Music Commissioned for a Broadcast Production: Cold Lazurus, composed by Christopher GunningRhodes, composed by Alan Parker
  • Best Contemporary Song: A Design for Life, performed by Manic Street Preachers, written by James Dean Bradfield, Sean Moore and Nicky Wire. Also nominated: Lifted, performed by Lighthouse Family, written by Paul Tucker, Martin Brammer and Tunde BaiyewuFirestarter, performed by The Prodigy, written by Liam Howlett and Keith Flint
  • Outstanding Song Collection: Richard Thompson
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Too Much Love Will Kill You, performed by Queen, written by Brian May, Frank Musker and Elizabeth Lamers. Also nominated: I Am I Feel, performed by Alisha’s Attic, written by Terence Martin, Karen Poole and Michelle PooleNeighbourhood, performed by Space, written by Thomas Scott, Andrew Parle, James Edwards and Francis Griffiths
  • International Achievement: The Cranberries (Noel Hogan and Dolores O’Riordan)
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Mike Chapman and Nicky Chinn
  • International Hit of the Year: Wannabe
  • Songwriter of the Year: George Michael
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music Award: Elvis Costello
  • Lifetime Achievement: Led Zeppelin (John Bonham, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant)

Ivor Novello Awards 1998

The 1998 Ivor Novello ceremony took place on 28th May 1998 at Grosvenor House, London.

  • PRS Most Performed Work: I’ll Be Missing You (Every Breath You Take), performed by Puff Daddy, written by Sting. Also nominated: Say What you Want, performed by Texas, written by Sharleen Spiteri and Johnny McElhoneBlack Eyed Boy, performed by Texas, written by Sharleen Spiteri, Johnny McElhone, Edward Campbell, Richard Hynd and Robert Hodgens
  • Best Original Film Score: William Shakespeare’s Romeo + Juliet, composed by Craig Armstrong, Marius De Vries and Nellee Hooper. Also nominated: Tomorrow Never Dies, composed by David ArnoldWilde, composed by Debbie Wiseman
  • Best Selling UK Single: Candle in the Wind 1997, written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin. Also nominated: Teletubbies Say Eh-Oh!, written by Andrew McCrorie-Shand; I’ll Be Missing You (Every Breath You Take)
  • Best Original Music For A Broadcast: Rebecca, composed by Christopher Gunning. Also nominated: Melissa, composed by Richard Harvey and Steve BakerCrime Traveller, composed by Anne Dudley
  • Best Contemporary Song: Karma Police, written by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Phil Selway, Colin Greenwood and Ed O’Brien. Also nominated: Smile, written by James McColl, Ken McAlpine and Alan TilstonThe Drugs Don’t Work, written by Richard Ashcroft
  • Best Song Collection: Johnny McElhone and Sharleen Spiteri
  • Best Original Song for a Film or Broadcast: Picture of You, written by Paul Wilson, Andy Watkins, Ronan Keating and Eliot Kennedy. Also nominated: Step By Step, written by Annie LennoxSurrender, written by David Arnold, David McAlmont and Don Black
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Paranoid Android, performed by Radiohead, written by Thom Yorke, Jonny Greenwood, Phil Selway, Colin Greenwood and Ed O’Brien. Also nominated: Brimful of Asha, written by Tjinder Singh; Angels, written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers
  • International Achievement: Enya, Nicky Ryan and Roma Ryan
  • Best Dance Music: You’re Not Alone, performed by Olive, written by Tim Kellett and Robin Taylor-Firth. Also nominated: Gunman, performed by 187 Lockdown, written by Julian Jonah and Danny HarrisonSunchyme, performed by Dario G, written by Gilbert Gabriel, Nick Laird Clowes, Stephen Spencer, Paul Spencer and Scott Rosser
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Morrissey
  • International Hit of the Year: Candle in the Wind 1997. Also nominated: I’ll Be Missing You (Every Breath You Take); Spice Up Your Life, performed by Spice Girls, written by Richard Stannard, Matt Rowe, Melanie Brown, Victoria Adams, Geri Halliwell, Emma Bunton and Melanie Chisholm
  • Songwriter of the Year: Richard Ashcroft
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Barry Mason

Ivor Novello Awards 1999

The 1999 Ivor Novello Awards were presented on 27th May 1999 at Grosvenor House, London.

  • PRS Most Performed Work: Angels, written by Robbie Williams and Guy Chambers. Also nominated: High, performed by Lighthouse Family, written by Paul Tucker and Tunde BaiyewuNever Ever, performed by All Saints, written by Shaznay Lewis, Sean Mather and Esmail Jazayeri
  • Best Selling UK Single: Believe, performed by Cher, written by Brian Higgins, Steve Torch, Paul Barry, Stuart McLennan, Tim Powell and Matt Gray. Also nominated: No Matter What, performed by Boyzone, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim SteinmanC’est La Vie, performed by B*Witched, written by Tracy Ackerman, Ray Hedges, Martin Brannigan, Edele Lynch, Keavy Lynch, Lindsay Armaou and Sinéad O’Carroll
  • Best Original Film Score: Firelight, composed by Christopher Gunning. Also nominated: Dancing at Lughnasa, composed by Bill WhelanEver After, composed by George Fenton
  • Best Contemporary Song: Here’s Where the Story Ends, performed by Tin Tin Out, written by Harriet Wheeler and David Gavurin. Also nominated: Road Rage, performed by Catatonia, written by Mark Roberts, Cerys Matthews, David Jones, Aled Richards and Owen PowellWhat Can I Do, performed by The Corrs, written by Andrea Corr, Caroline Corr, Sharon Corr and James Corr
  • Best Original Music for a Television / Radio Broadcast: Close Relations, composed by Rob Lane. Also nominated: Life of Birds, composed by Steven Faux and Ian ButcherSelfridges: The Shop, composed by Barrie Bignold
  • Best Song Commissioned for a Film or Broadcast: The Flame Still Burns, written by Chris Difford, Marti Frederiksen and Mick Jones. Also nominated: Why Won’t You Shag Me, written by Owen Vyse and Guy PrattKipper, written by Robert Heatlie
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: Believe. Also nominated: C’est La Vie; A Little Soul, performed by Pulp, written by Jarvis Cocker, Nick Banks, Candida Doyle, Steve Mackey and Mark Webber
  • Outstanding Song Collection: Jamiroquai (Wallis Buchanan, Simon Katz, Jay Kay, Derrick McKenzie, Toby Smith and Stuart Zender)
  • The Ivors Dance Award: Horny, written by Mousse T and Errol Rennalls. Also nominated: Sing It Back, performed by Moloko, written by Mark Brydon and Róisín Murphy; I Can’t Help Myself, performed by Lucid, written by Mark Hadfield and Adam Ryan Carter
  • International Achievement: Martin Gore
  • The Jimmy Kennedy Award: Peter Callander and Mitch Murray
  • International Hit of the Year: Believe, written by Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennan, Paul Barry, Steve Torch, Matt Gray and Tim Powell. Also nominated: Life, written by Des’ree Weekes and Prince Sampson; No Matter What, written by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Jim Steinman
  • PRS Outstanding Contribution to British Music: Chrissie Hynde
  • The Special International Award: Hal David
  • Songwriters of the Year: Guy Chambers and Robbie Williams
  • Lifetime Achievement: Rod Stewart

Further Reading

1 Giant Leap – 1 Giant Leap

For me, the surprise hit of 2002 was 1 Giant Leap‘s debut album. Without warning, Jamie Catto, formerly of Faithless, and Duncan Bridgeman disappeared and travelled around the world, working variously with established western artists, stars of what I hesitatingly call “world music,” and less well known names, mixing together their vocals, instrumentation, atmosphere, and also (on the DVD, for this was also a “video album”) the visuals.

Being a mix of sounds from all over the world, it contains instruments and vocal styles that are almost totally alien to me, so I won’t try and describe the sound too much. But Dunya Salam, which opens the album, is gloriously atmospheric, with a deep synth sound, acoustic stylings, and what, if I had to guess, I would assume was a vocal from west Africa (having checked, Baaba Maal is indeed from Senegal).

The second track was also the first single, the brilliant My Culture, featuring vocals from Catto’s former band mate Maxi Jazz, and also Robbie Williams. The lyrics – particularly those delivered by Maxi Jazz – are typically expressive and evocative. With all the bits put together it somehow didn’t work too amazingly as a four minute pop song, but within the context of the album it works brilliantly.

“Only silence remains,” says the sample at the start of my favourite track The Way You Dream. The eastern stylings of the introduction gradually build over a few minutes into something very powerful. Without warning, it’s then Michael Stipe of R.E.M. who turns up to deliver the lead vocal.

I’m not sure I ever really appreciated quite how good a vocalist Stipe is, and he’s in extremely good company on this album. Also performing on this track, for example, is Asha Bhosle, as in Brimful of Asha, the 1997 hit from Cornershop. And the many other things which I should feel ashamed for not knowing her for.

If I had one criticism, it’s that all the geographical cross-mixing can make the album can feel a little disjointed in places. In the context of the “one world” theme of the album, the jump to Ma’ Africa is entirely logical, but the African gospel-style vocals of The Mahotella Queens could come as a bit of a surprise if you weren’t expecting it.

Next up is the second single, the slightly more complete but less catchy Braided Hair, with vocals from Speech and Neneh Cherry from off of the 1990s, which leads into the Maori sound of Ta Moko, with its incredibly moving spoken word introduction. Before you know it this has seamlessly passed the baton onto Bushes to kick off the second half of the album, and Baaba Maal is back with us again.

This is an album which definitely works best listened to in one go, without ever using the skip button, and while everyone will find quieter moments within it, the seventy minutes of music comes together to form something quite exceptional.

Bushes is possibly the darkest track on the album, with sudden unexpected industrial samples and moments of feedback, but in no way is it out of place. Passion, with its tropical conch-shell style percussion and a vocal from Michael Franti is excellent too, as it builds into a huge percussive crescendo. Daphne is tucked away a little unfair towards the end where you might forget it, but is great too.

Of the later tracks, All Alone (On Eilean Shona) is my personal favourite. Eilean Shona, the tiny tidal island on a Scottish loch, with its population of two somehow seems an entirely apt place to set this song. The vocals are fantastic, and the rather unexpected African vocal which turns up half way through does nothing to detract from the deep Celtic atmosphere. We are all of the same tribe, no matter what our background.

Racing Away features a welcome lead vocal appearance from the fantastic Horace Andy, and then already we’re onto the final track Ghosts. The vocal this time is performed by Eddi Reader, and finally, softly, gently, the album comes to a close in beautiful fashion, evoking the ghosts that haunt all of us. Sorry, I’m not sure why I suddenly went all philosophical there.

If, like me, you enjoy a bit of “world music” mixed with electronics, you’re going to get a lot out of this album. There’s really very little to criticise on here – every track brings something, even if it just adds to the general atmosphere.

Incidentally, the review above is for the album, because over a decade later I still haven’t got round to buying the video version yet – if I ever do, you will be able to read about it here.

You can find 1 Giant Leap at all major retailers as a CD or DVD. We previously reviewed the second album What About Me? here.

The BRIT Awards 1997

Girl power and all that. Ben Elton took the reins at Earls Court on 24th February 1997.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1996 ceremony here, and the 1998 ceremony here.

Best British Album

Presented by Zoë Ball. Nominees:

  • Kula Shaker – K
  • Lighthouse Family – Ocean Drive
  • Manic Street Preachers – Everything Must Go
  • George Michael – Older
  • Ocean Colour Scene – Moseley Shoals

Winner: Manic Street Preachers

Best British Dance Act

Presented by Samantha Fox. Nominees:

  • The Chemical Brothers
  • Jamiroquai
  • Mark Morrison
  • The Prodigy
  • Underworld

Winner: The Prodigy

Best British Female

Presented by Naomi Campbell. Nominees:

  • Dina Carroll
  • Gabrielle
  • Donna Lewis
  • Louise
  • Eddi Reader

Winner: Gabrielle

Best British Group

Presented by Colin Jackson and Vinnie Jones. Nominees:

  • Kula Shaker
  • Lightning Seeds
  • Manic Street Preachers
  • Ocean Colour Scene
  • Spice Girls

Winner: Manic Street Preachers

Best British Male

Presented by Elton John. Nominees:

  • Mick Hucknall
  • George Michael
  • Mark Morrison
  • Sting
  • Tricky

Winner: George Michael

Best British Newcomer

Voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 1. Presented by Jo Whiley. Nominees:

  • Alisha’s Attic
  • Ash
  • Babybird
  • The Bluetones
  • Kula Shaker
  • Lighthouse Family
  • Longpigs
  • Mansun
  • Mark Morrison
  • Skunk Anansie
  • Space
  • Spice Girls

Winner: Kula Shaker

Best British Producer

Presented by Sharleen Spiteri from Texas. Nominees:

  • Absolute and Richard Stannard
  • Mike Hedges
  • Hugh Jones
  • John Leckie
  • Tricky

Winner: John Leckie

Best British Single

Voted for by listeners of independent radio. Presented by Mrs. Merton. Nominees:

  • Babybird – You’re Gorgeous
  • Kula Shaker – Tattva
  • Lighthouse Family – Lifted
  • Manic Street Preachers – A Design for Life
  • George Michael – Fastlove
  • Mark Morrison – Return of the Mack
  • Oasis – Don’t Look Back in Anger
  • The Prodigy – Firestarter
  • Spice Girls – Wannabe
  • Underworld – Born Slippy

Winner: Spice Girls

Best British Video

Presented by Frank Skinner. Voted for by viewers of VH-1. Nominees:

  • The Chemical Brothers – Setting Sun
  • Dodgy – Good Enough
  • Jamiroquai – Virtual Insanity
  • Manic Street Preachers – A Design for Life
  • George Michael – Fastlove
  • Orbital – The Box
  • The Prodigy – Breathe
  • The Prodigy – Firestarter
  • Spice Girls – Say You’ll Be There
  • Spice Girls – Wannabe

Winner: Spice Girls – Say You’ll Be There

Best International Female

Presented by Eddie Izzard. Nominees:

  • Toni Braxton
  • Neneh Cherry
  • Sheryl Crow
  • Celine Dion
  • Joan Osborne

Winner: Sheryl Crow

Best International Group

Presented by Lennox Lewis. Nominees:

  • Boyzone
  • The Fugees
  • The Presidents of the United States of America
  • R.E.M.
  • Smashing Pumpkins

Winner: The Fugees

Best International Male

Nominees:

  • Bryan Adams
  • Babyface
  • Beck
  • Robert Miles
  • Prince

Winner: Beck

Best International Newcomer

Presented by Gary Barlow from Take That and Louise from Eternal. Nominees:

  • Fun Lovin’ Criminals
  • Robert Miles
  • Joan Osborne
  • The Presidents of the United States of America
  • The Tony Rich Project

Winner: Robert Miles

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Presented by Lenny Henry. Nominees:

  • Madonna / Various Artists – Evita
  • Chris Rea – La Passione
  • Various Artists – Dangerous Minds
  • Various Artists – Mission: Impossible
  • Various Artists – Trainspotting

Winner: Trainspotting

Freddie Mercury Award

Winner: Elton John for Candle in the Wind 1996

International Sales Award

Winner: Spice Girls

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Tim Rice.

Winner: Bee Gees

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

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

Various Artists – Electrospective (The Remix Album)

There are times when I really enjoy writing these reviews, and others when I wonder why I put myself through this. There’s really only one rule – I have to listen to the entire album in order while I write the review. Earlier this year I reviewed the original Electrospective compilation in its full glory, and now it’s the turn of its companion remix album.

Inevitably a remix album is always going to be a hit or miss affair, with occasional forgotten gems and occasional dross mixed in alongside one another. And so this is – but at worst, this is a journey through the story of the remix, from the early 80s extended versions to the modern reinventions, with everything in between.

Electrospective (The Remix Album) begins its first disc firmly in the 1980s, full of handclaps and drum solos, with the original 12″ versions of Heaven 17‘s Penthouse and PavementTalking Loud and Clear by OMD, and Talk Talk‘s original US mix of It’s My Life. Of these, it is the third which truly shines – perhaps because it’s the best song of this bunch anyway, or perhaps because there really is something special about this mix.

The next bunch are less exciting – Malcolm McLaren‘s Madam Butterfly drags rather over its ten minute duration, and Vicious Pink‘s Cccan’t You See and Grace Jones‘s I’m Not Perfect (But I’m Perfect for You) do little to pick things up – this is left instead to Buffalo Stance by Neneh Cherry, although Kevin Saunderson‘s techno take on this has nothing on the original.

By thus stage we’re firmly in the late eighties, an age of big shoulder pads, big string pads, and orchestral hits. Derrick May‘s club mix of Good Life by Inner City is every bit as good as the original, as is François Kevorkian‘s reworking of Personal Jesus by Depeche Mode.

But for something that’s supposed to be a chronicle of “the remix” there are some odd omissions – where’s Shep Pettibone hiding? Where are all the DMC remixes? There’s a lot missing, but in a way this feels more effective as a companion album to Electrospective than a guide to what it means to be a remix.

François Kevorkian turns up again for the next track, the totally brilliant 1990 remix of Yazoo‘s Situation, after which disc one closes with a couple of disappointments – a thoroughly unexciting version of Soul II Soul‘s Back to Life and The Orb‘s rather misguided take on Crystal Clear by The Grid. Although it is very nice to see The Grid on a compilation like this.

By disc two, we are firmly into the mid 1990s. The first track is a brilliant remix which I hadn’t heard before of William Orbit‘s incredible Water from a Vine Leaf, and another surprise follows – the amusingly energetic Cappella Club Mix of Always by Erasure.

The rest of the 1990s are less well represented, with a good but somewhat unexciting Brothers in Rhythm take of Reach by Judy CheeksPaul van Dyk‘s reworking of Passion by Amen! UK, which starts off promisingly but in the long run doesn’t really go anywhere. Then there’s Deep Dish with a pretty poor version of Wrong by Everything But the Girl.

Finally, we work our way towards the end of the decade with unremarkable versions of Around the World by Daft Punk (remixed by Masters at Work), Telex‘s Moskow Diskow remixed by Carl Craig, and the slightly better Simple Minds‘s Love Song.

Before this review turns any more into an extended track listing, we should reflect a little on what we’ve heard. Where the original collection brought together thirty years of electronic hits, this one consists of thirty years of remixed electronic hits. And if that’s the goal, it’s pretty successful. It’s not comprehensive, and neither is it particularly amazing, but it is fun to listen to, and many of the tracks which were chosen are rare and unusual, which is all very worthwhile.

The last few tracks take us firmly into the 21st century, and the inclusion of one of The Human League‘s 2003 remixes (The Sound of the Crowd) is a pleasant surprise, even if the version itself is nothing special. On the other hand, Ewan Pearson‘s Strippedmachine version of Goldfrapp‘s Strict Machine is something incredibly special, and is a very welcome inclusion.

The closing tracks come in the form of Tom Neville‘s rather dull version of Kelis‘s Milkshake and the rather more entertaining Pass Out by Tinie Tempah – apparently he’s never been to Scunthorpe.

Ultimately, Electrospective (The Remix Collection) does what it says on the tin – it’s a fun journey through some selected remixes from the last three decades. Which is more than enough to make it an entirely worthwhile listen.

You can find Electrospective (The Remix Album) at Amazon here.

Five More Fascinating BRIT Awards Facts

Well you’ll have seen the ceremony by now of course, so here are some more of my “fascinating” facts…

Recognising the “Rest of the World”

Apart from one award in 1983, the BRITs didn’t fully separate Britain from the rest of the world until 1986, when Huey Lewis & the News received the first Best International Artist award. In 1989, Michael Jackson and Tracy Chapman were named the first Best International Solo Artists, but then in 1990, 1992, and 1993, there was only space for one combined Best International Solo Artist award, won by Neneh CherryPrince, and Prince respectively.

The International Breakthrough Artist (or Best International Newcomer) first turned up in 1988, and was won by Terence Trent D’Arby. The Best International Album award didn’t arrive until 2002, and the first winner was Kylie Minogue for Fever, although Michael Jackson had already won the Best Album award for Thriller in 1984.

BRIT Awards Luvvies

Some people just seem to walk the awards, and get nominated almost annually for the same award. Some of them even seem to win it annually. Here’s a quick selection:

  • Robbie Williams – won British Male Solo Artist in 1999, 2001, 2002, and 2003, as well as a whole heap of other stuff and nominations in the same category in 1998, 2006, and 2010. Phil Collins had been his predecessor for that award, winning in 1986, 1989, and 1990 with further nominations in 1992 and 1993.
  • Annie Lennox – astoundingly, won British Female Solo Artist in 1984, 1986, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1993, and 1996, plus a nomination in 2004, making her the most successful artist to win any single award. Lisa Stansfield (one win in 1991 but nominations in 1992, 1993, 1995, and 1998) and Alison Moyet (wins in 1985 and 1988) also tried to topple her crown but failed. PJ Harvey tried her hardest with nominations in 1994, 1996, 1999, 2001, 2002, 2005, and 2008, but failed to win any of them.
  • Jamiroquai – managed a Best Dance Act nomination 6 out of the 11 times it was awarded despite not even really being a dance act.
  • Robbie Williams again – won Best British Single with Take That in 1993, 1994, and 1996, and then solo in 1999, 2000, and 2001. And then again with Take That in 2007 and 2008, giving him a shelf full of eight awards in this category. He also got a good set of Best Video awards to go on the shelf below.
  • You might think there would be enough International Male Solo Artists for a bit of variety, but apparently not. Prince won in 1992, 1993, 1995, and 1996 (the last time as The Artist Formerly Known As Prince, and then he was nominated as The Artist in 1997 before he ran out of silly names). Then Beck took over, winning in 1997, 1999, and 2000 and being nominated in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2007, and 2009. Eminem won in 2001, 2003, and 2005, with two further nominations. Most recently, Kanye West won in 2006, 2008, and 2009. In the International Female Solo Artist category, things are nearly as repetitive, with multiple wins for BjörkKylie MinogueMadonna, and RihannaAlicia Keys has taken six nominations but no wins as yet.
  • U2 – won International Group in 1988, 1989, 1990, 1998, and 2001, with further nominations basically every year: 1992, 1993, 1994, 2005, and 2006. While they were taking a break, R.E.M. stepped in in 1992, 1993, and 1995 plus nominations in 1997, 1999, and 2000, before being replaced by Foo Fighters for 2008 and 2012 after unsuccessful nominations in 1996 and 2003.
  • Finally, the Outstanding Contribution is normally pretty free of repetition, right? Nope. The Beatles shared the award in 1977. Then John Lennon grabbed it posthumously in 1982. Then they came back again for it as a group in 1983. George Martin got it in 1984. Finally, Paul McCartney broke two decades of silence by grabbing it in 2008. The other people who think it’s OK to take it home more than once are Elton John and Queen.

Best Soundtrack or Original Cast Recording

It’s a bit of a shame that this award hasn’t been given since 2001. For sixteen years, it was handed out to the likes of Top GunPhantom of the OperaBatman (in 1990 and 1996), Twin PeaksTrainspotting, and American Beauty.

But soundtracks are a key part of music, so I think it is a shame that they don’t do this one any more…

Back from the Dead

From 1990 to 1998, there was a Best Producer award. Then from 1999 to 2010, there wasn’t. But now it’s back, and rightfully so. Previous winners include Dave Stewart out of EurythmicsTrevor HornPeter GabrielBrian Eno (twice), Nellee Hooper, and Youth.

The people behind the music generally remain forgotten by the BRITs. The first ever Outstanding Contribution award in 1977 was shared between The Beatles and EMI boss LG Wood. In 2011 Tony Visconti was given a rare special award for Innovation in Production. But the biggest surprise for me was the same year, and was largely forgotten about by the mainstream media, maybe because they didn’t know who he was. But the Outstanding Contribution award in 2011 was quite rightly given to Daniel Miller.

Also back from the dead is the Best Live Act award, won by U2 in 1993, Spice Girls (as Best Selling British Live Act) in 2000, and then MuseKaiser ChiefsMuse again, Take That, and Iron Maiden from 2005 to 2009, before inexplicably being axed again just as live music exploded in popularity.

Special Awards and Long Forgotten Awards

Occasionally, the BRITs decide to give an award to somebody just because they want to. Some of them are for charity deeds, or just generally for selling pretty well. Here’s a summary:

  • 1994 – Special Sales Award – Meat Loaf
  • 1996 – Freddie Mercury Award – Help! Project
  • 1996 – Artist of a Generation – Michael Jackson
  • 1998 – Freddie Mercury Award – Elton John
  • 1999 – Freddie Mercury Award – Jubilee 2000
  • 2005 – BRITs 25 – The Best Song Award – Robbie Williams – Angels
  • 2010 – BRITs Hits 30 – Spice Girls – Wannabe / Who Do You Think You Are
  • 2010 – BRITs Album of 30 Years – Oasis(What’s the Story) Morning Glory
  • 2011 – Innovation in Production – Tony Visconti

But to me a really fascinating moment was when I discovered by accident that there had once been a Best Comedy Recording award at the BRITs. I’m still not clear how long it went on for, or who most of the winners were, as it was largely undocumented, but I’d love to see that one come back.

Awards Week will continue tomorrow with something else that I make up on the spot.

Incidentally, apologies about some of the missing videos on recent posts – the BRITs official website got remodelled after I’d written the pieces, and some of the YouTube ones got removed. Never mind…

Edit: this post originally said the first international award was in 1986 – in fact there was one in 1983.

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).