The Space Brothers – Shine

For a while, in the late 1990s, The Space Brothers seemed to epitomise dance music. They would appear, once or twice a year, with a one-off single that was just so catchy and memorable that you couldn’t stop yourself wondering who exactly these people were. Then, eventually, two decades ago this week, they finally appeared with their first and only album, Shine.

It opens with Your Place in the World, a sweet piece with trippy beats and heady vocals. This is not, however, a piece that would catch your imagination by itself in particular – you need to have a bit of a feel for what’s coming up already in order to understand its importance. It’s good – although some of the vocal effects are a little unsettling – and the vinyl noise particularly helps, but it wouldn’t grab you if you didn’t know what you had picked up.

The title track is different. This was the single that had launched their career just over two years earlier. The Space Brothers had already had their hands on some of the biggest Balearic summer hits at this point, and it’s apparent even just from the high portamento-driven pads that there’s something a bit different going on here. As it builds, you realise it has everything – the slightly (but not uncomfortably) acid-infused bass line, the clicking synth riff line, the huge drum builds, and, of course, that vocal.

The vocalist, for this and second hit Forgiven, is Miss Joanna Law, who was at this stage already a decade into her career. A year before Shine originally came out, she had appeared on Way Out West‘s seminal The Gift, and both there and here provided vocals that lifted the song far beyond itself. This is entirely brilliant, and provided their biggest hit, although it only just scraped the top twenty.

This is Love is next, with a surprise heavy sample from Jean-Michel Jarre‘s Oxygène (Part I). It’s encouraging to see that The Space Brothers have no shame in revealing their influences quite this openly, but it still comes as something of a surprise. It makes for a curiously understated track, with the sort of chanting that kept cropping up on dance tracks around this time.

By now, the tracks are mixing into each other thick and fast, so the huge effect-laden snares of fourth single Heaven Will Come should come as little surprise. Most of the other tracks on here star Kate Cameron on vocals, who appears to have starred on pretty much every trance hit around this time. This is one of the slower pieces, but probably one of the better ones on here.

After all of that, the guitar twirls and disco beats of I Still Love You come as something of a surprise. It builds into another bounding trance track, so whatever variety seemed to briefly be promised quickly disappears. This is not a particularly eclectic album, but it is one of the best and most coherent examples of Balearic trance to appear under a single artist’s name.

In amongst the other pieces, it’s The Light that particularly stands out. The lyrics may be a bit new age, but the vocal delivery is impressively commanding. For me, though, it’s the remix that blows me away – this album, probably appropriately, comes with a second disc, mixed by Paul Oakenfold, and featuring a remixed version of pretty much the whole album, and the trance remix of this laid back track somehow seems to work a lot better. On the main album, this is one of those pieces that builds and builds, with a lot of promise, but it never quite seems to know where it’s going.

But in spite of putting the wrong version on the main album, you can’t deny that The Space Brothers are masters of their craft. Forgiven, originally released as Forgiven (I Feel Your Love) in late 1997 (The Space Brothers seemed to be putting brackets on the end of all their singles for a while), you have to remind yourself that this would have been the difficult second single, following after Shine. It does share a lot of the same sounds, including the portamento, and even the same vocalist, but in many ways it’s a better song. Just maybe not the best choice for second single, unless you don’t mind pigeonholing yourself.

The Same Journey opens with another piece of Jean-Michel Jarre, the unsettling vocal sample from Zoolook. Having got that out of the way, it’s a spacious piece, with plenty of room for vocal acrobatics. Ultimately, it’s probably fair to say that it’s one of the less good tracks on here, but it’s not bad, by any stretch of the imagination. The bar is pretty high here.

Then it’s time for more portamento, with the third single, Legacy (Show Me Love). They set a solid formula on those first three hits, but ultimately I’m glad they deviated from it for most of the album. This is another great single track, though, and not a bad comeback after a longer break, or indeed a bad choice of single to preempt the album. It just does sound a bit as though you’ve heard it all before at this point.

After all that, closing track Beyond the Sun is anticlimactic, to say the least. Kate Cameron does her best, but she’s really only just repeating “remember” most of the time while another vocalist wails something unintelligible. This track would be filler on pretty much any album, and while it works reasonably well in context as a closing track, you can’t really see it ever fitting anywhere else.

Until that final track, though, Shine is an exceptional album – a now-timeless document of late 1990s Balearic trance, that while now somewhat dated, still stands up well. I don’t know where The Space Brothers are now, but I’d like to think they’re still sitting on a beach in Ibiza, and continuing to large it. Whatever that means.

Copies of Shine still seem to be floating around, here for example, but keep an eye out that you aren’t actually looking at the single of the same name, as there appears to be some confusion!

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NME Awards – 2000-2003

The 2000s was, of course, the decade when nothing could be achieved without a heavy dose of corporate sponsorship, so the NME Awards flitted from Carling to Shockwave and the awards all gained individual sponsors. Let’s take a look at the first half of that decade.

NME Premier Awards 2000

Hosted at the Mermaid Theatre in London on 1 February 2000, by Steve Lamacq and Mary Anne Hobbs.

  • Philip Hall On Award: Terris
  • Live Act of the Year: Mogwai
  • Best Live Act: Super Furry Animals
  • On the Decks Award for Dance Act of the Year: Death in Vegas
  • Carling Premier Best New Artist: Muse
  • Breezeblack Mix of 1999: Junior Carter
  • Best Solo Artist: Beck
  • Best Album Ever: The Stone Roses, for The Stone Roses
  • Best Single Ever: Nirvana, for Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Total Genius Of The Year: Ali G
  • Greatest Musical Event Ever: Woodstock
  • Best Radio Show: Radio 1 Evening Session
  • Carling Premier Best LP: The Flaming Lips, for The Soft Bulletin
  • NME Album of the Year: The Flaming Lips, for The Soft Bulletin
  • NME Single of the Year: Aphex Twin, for Windowlicker
  • Best TV Show: The Royle Family
  • Musical Event of the Year: Glastonbury
  • Best Venue: Brixton Academy
  • Dickhead of the Year: Robbie Williams
  • Best Website: NME
  • Worst Record Of The Year: The Vengaboys, for We’re Going to Ibiza
  • Best Film: The Blair Witch Project
  • Best DJ: Fatboy Slim
  • NME.COM Award for Best NME Premier Show Performance: Ooberman
  • Best Dance Act: The Chemical Brothers
  • Best Music Video: Blur, for Coffee and TV
  • Best Band: Blur
  • Best Single: Blur, for Tender
  • Best Band Ever: The Beatles
  • Godlike Genius Award for Services to Music: Shaun Ryder
  • Radio 1 Evening Session Session of the Year: Supergrass
  • Artist of the Year: Travis

NME Awards 2001

Hosted at Planit Arches, London, on 6 February 2001, by Peter Kay.

  • Best Band: Radiohead. Also nominated: ColdplayOasisPrimal ScreamU2
  • Best Dance Act: Fatboy Slim. Also nominated: Artful DodgerMobySoniqueUnderworld
  • Best Radio Show: Steve LamacqThe Evening Session. Also nominated: Mark Radcliffe and Lard (Mark Riley), Chris MoylesJohn PeelDreem Team
  • Best Metal Act: Marilyn Manson. Also nominated: At the Drive-InLimp BizkitQueens of the Stone AgeSlipknot
  • Best Club DJ: Carl Cox. Also nominated: Fatboy SlimDavid HolmesJudge JulesPaul Oakenfold
  • Radio 1 Evening Session of the Year: Coldplay
  • Best New Artist: Coldplay. Also nominated: At the Drive-InBadly Drawn BoyDovesJJ72
  • Best Single: Coldplay, for Yellow. Also nominated: Blur, for Music is My RadarEminem, for StanLimp Bizkit, for Take a Look AroundOasis, for Go Let it Out
  • NME Carling Awards Tour Award: Amen / JJ72 / Alfie
  • Best Rock Act: U2. Also nominated: OasisManic Street PreachersAC/DCThe Beatles
  • Hero of the Year: Liam Gallagher
  • Godlike Genius: U2
  • Best Hip Hop/Rap Act (presented by Run DMC): Eminem. Also nominated: Cypress HillDr. DreOutkastWu-Tang Clan
  • Villain of the Year: Robbie Williams
  • Philip Hall Award – Brightest Hope for 2001: Starsailor
  • Best Pop Act: All Saints. Also nominated: FiveMadonnaS Club 7Britney Spears
  • Best Club: Cream. Also nominated: Fabric, Gatecrasher, Home, Rock City
  • Best Album: Primal Scream, for XTRMNTR. Also nominated: Badly Drawn Boy, for The Hour of BewilderbeastColdplay, for ParachutesEminem, for The Marshall Mathers LPRadiohead, for Kid A
  • Best R&B/Soul Act: Kelis. Also nominated: Craig DavidDestiny’s ChildMacy GraySugababes
  • Best Solo Artist: Badly Drawn Boy
  • Best Film: Gladiator
  • Musical Event of the Year: Carling Weekend Reading and Leeds. Also nominated: Glastonbury, OasisRadiohead, T in the Park
  • NME.com Fans Award for Best Live Act: Moby
  • Best TV Programme: The League of Gentlemen. Also nominated: The Royle FamilyThe SimpsonsTrigger Happy TVThe Sopranos

NME Carling Awards 2002

Hosted at Planit Arches, London, on 25 February 2002, by Zane Lowe.

  • Best New Act: The Strokes. Also nominated: Gorillaz, Linkin Park, Starsailor, The White Stripes
  • Band of the Year: The Strokes. Also nominated: The CharlatansRadioheadU2The White Stripes
  • Album of the Year: The Strokes, for Is This It. Also nominated: The Charlatans, for WonderlandMuse, for Origins of SymmetryRadiohead, for AmnesiacSlipknot, for Iowa
  • Best Pop Act: Kylie Minogue. Also nominated: Britney SpearsMadonnaS Club 7Robbie Williams
  • Best Solo Artist: Ian Brown. Also nominated: Ryan AdamsPJ HarveyKylie MinogueAndrew WK
  • Best Music Video: Radiohead, for Pyramid Song. Also nominated: Basement Jaxx, for Where’s Your Head AtFatboy Slim, for Weapon of ChoiceGorillaz, for Clint EastwoodU2, for Elevation
  • Best Live Act: U2. Also nominated: Ash, Linkin Park, Muse, Radiohead
  • Outstanding Contribution to NME: The Charlatans
  • Best Radio 1 Session: The Charlatans
  • Best Heavy Metal Group: Lostprophets. Also nominated: Andrew WKLinkin ParkSlipknotSystem of a Down
  • Honorary NME Carling Tour Award: Lostprophets
  • Honorary NME Carling Tour Award: Andrew WK
  • Honorary NME Carling Tour Award: The Coral
  • Philip Hall On Award: The Coral
  • Best Radio Show: The Evening Session
  • Best Hip-Hop/Rap Act: Missy Elliott. Also nominated: Bubba SparxxEminemD12OutkastRoots Manuva
  • Best R&B/Soul Act: Aaliyah. Also nominated: Alicia KeysCraig DavidDestiny’s ChildSo Solid Crew
  • Best Dance Act: Basement Jaxx. Also nominated: The AvalanchesAphex TwinDaft PunkFatboy Slim
  • Best TV Show: The Office. Also nominated: JackassLater with Jools HollandThe SimpsonsThe Sopranos
  • Best Film: Moulin Rouge. Also nominated: American Pie 2Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s StoneLord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the RingShrek
  • Godlike Genius Award: Nick Kent and Pennie Smith
  • Best Single: Ash, for Burn Baby Burn. Also nominated: Ian Brown, for FearDandy Warhols, for Bohemian Like YouGorillaz, for Clint EastwoodKylie Minogue, for Can’t Get You Out of My Head, and The Strokes, for Hard to Explain

NME Carling Awards 2003

Hosted at Hammersmith Palais, London, 13 February 2003, by Bill Bailey.

  • Best Album: Coldplay, for A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • Album of the Year: Coldplay, for A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • NME Artist of the Year: Oasis. Also nominated: Black Rebel Motorcycle ClubColdplayEminemPinkThe Vines
  • Best UK Band: Oasis
  • Best New Band: The Libertines
  • Best Live Band: The Datsuns. Also nominated: The HivesMuseOasisThe Polyphonic SpreeThe Vines
  • Best Radio Show: Steve Lamacq (The Evening SessionLamacq Live). Also nominated: Chris MoylesMary Anne Hobbs (The Breezeblock), Gary CrowleyMark Radcliffe and Lard (Mark Riley), John Peel
  • Greatest Music Moment of the Year: Ozzfest. Also nominated: Oasis at Finsbury Park, Glastonbury Festival, Reading and Leeds Festivals, T in the Park, V2002
  • Best Single: The Vines, for Get Free. Also nominated: Foo Fighters, for All My LifeQueens of the Stone Age, for No One KnowsDoves, for There Goes the FearColdplay, for The ScientistAsh, for Envy
  • Single of the Year: Doves, for There Goes the Fear
  • Best International Band: The Hives
  • The Fuck Me! Award For Innovation: The Polyphonic Spree
  • Philip Hall Radar Award: Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Also nominated: JetThe KillsKings of LeonThe ThrillsThe Warlocks
  • Best International Band: The Hives. Also nominated: Black Rebel Motorcycle ClubFoo FightersThe VinesThe White Stripes
  • Best Video: Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, for Whatever Happened To My Rock And Roll (Punk Song)
  • Best Solo Artist: Ryan Adams. Also nominated: EminemAvril LavigneMs. Dynamite, PinkThe Streets
  • Hero of the Year: Ozzy Osbourne. Also nominated: Graham CoxonLiam GallagherDave GrohlChris MartinCraig Nicholls
  • Hottest Woman: Avril Lavigne. Also nominated: Karen OCharlotte HatherleyChristina AguileraMegan Martha WhiteKylie Minogue
  • Hottest Man: Chris Martin. Also nominated: Liam GallagherFabrizio MorettiCraig NichollsDave GrohlJulian Casablancas
  • Best TV Show: The Osbournes. Also nominated: The OfficeJackassGonzoI’m Alan PartridgePhoenix Nights
  • Best Live Venue: London Astoria. Also nominated: Brixton Academy, Barrowland Ballroom, Shepherd’s Bush Empire, Rock City, O2 Academy Birmingham
  • Best Haircut: Liam Gallagher. Also nominated: Didz HammondCraig NichollsDave GrohlFabrizio MorettiJack White
  • Best Dressed: The Hives
  • Best Website: NME. OasisFoo FightersBlack Rebel Motorcycle Club, Popbitch
  • Event of the Year: Reading and Leeds Festivals
  • Villain of the Year: Robbie Williams
  • Worst Album: Robbie Williams, for Escapology, Gareth Gates, for What My Heart Wants to SayThe Streets, for Original Pirate MaterialThe Vines, for Highly EvolvedWestlife, for UnbreakableColdplay, for A Rush of Blood to the Head
  • Worst Single: Robbie Williams – ‘Feel’
  • Worst Band: Nickelback. Also nominated: S Club JuniorsWestlifeStereophonicsAtomic KittenBlue
  • Worst Haircut: Jack Osbourne. Also nominated: Gareth GatesKelly OsbourneKelly JonesPinkChad Kroeger
  • Worst Dressed: Christina Aguilera

See also

Retro chart for stowaways – 22 July 2006

While the Chart for stowaways undergoes a bit of a much-needed overhaul, here’s the singles chart from this week in 2006:

  1. Röyksopp – Beautiful Day without You
  2. Depeche Mode – John the Revelator / Lilian
  3. Pet Shop Boys – I’m with Stupid
  4. Paul Oakenfold feat. Brittany Murphy – Faster Kill Pussycat
  5. Goldfrapp – Fly Me Away
  6. Chicane feat. Tom Jones – Stoned in Love
  7. Sohodolls – Stripper
  8. Fatboy Slim – That Old Pair
  9. Massive Attack – Live with Me
  10. Veto Silver – When You’re with That Girl EP

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

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

The BRIT Awards 1993

The BRIT Awards 1993 were, by relative standards, uncontroversial and reasonably unexciting. To tell the truth, I only picked this year because of the host. The show took place at London’s glittering Alexandra Palace on February 16th 1993. Here’s a quick introduction, and here’s your host, fresh out of the Crystal Maze, Richard O’Brien.

If you thought he was an odd choice of presenter, you wait till you see the award presenters!

Best British Group

Brilliantly presented by Vic and Bob. Nominees:

  • The Cure
  • Erasure
  • Right Said Fred
  • Shakespears Sister
  • Simply Red

Winner: Simply Red.

Best British Newcomer

Presented by Lenny Kravitz. Nominees:

  • Dina Carroll
  • KWS
  • Take That
  • Tasmin Archer
  • Undercover

Yes, that’s KWS and Undercover up against Take That. Wow.

Winner: Tasmin Archer.

Best British Video

Voted for by the audience of Going Live, and presented by exotic protoplasm par excellence Naomi Campbell. Nominees:

  • Simply Red – For Your Babies
  • Genesis – Jesus He Knows Me
  • Erasure – Take A Chance On Me
  • Annie Lennox – Walking on Broken Glass
  • Shakespears Sister – Stay

The BRITs website also lists the following, which I assume were weeded out in earlier phases of the contest:

  • George Michael – Too Funky
  • Lisa Stansfield – All Woman
  • Peter Gabriel – Digging in the Dirt
  • Tasmin Archer – Sleeping Satellite
  • The Cure – I’m in Love

Winner: Shakespears Sister.

Best British Single

Voted for by listeners of BBC Radio 1. Presented by Simon Mayo and Jaki Brambles out of BBC Radio 1. The top five nominees:

  • 5. Wet Wet Wet – Goodnight Girl
  • 4. Take That – It Only Takes a Minute
  • 3. Take That – A Million Love Songs
  • 2. Shakespears Sister – Stay

A soppy bunch of singles this year. Note that already darlings of the music biz, Take That managed to grab three of the top five nominations! They really were that big from day one.

Winner: Take That for Could it Be Magic.

Best Classical Recording

Presented by Meat Loaf while everyone else smiled politely. Nominees:

  • Nicholas Parnacourt – Beethoven – 9th Symphony
  • Cecelia Bartoli – Puccini – Heroines
  • Gorecki – Symphony No. 3
  • John Taverner – The Protecting Veil
  • Nigel Kennedy – Violin Concerto – Beethoven

Winner: Nigel Kennedy.

Best British Female

Presented by Lulu. Nominees:

  • Annie Lennox
  • Kate Bush
  • Lisa Stansfield
  • Siobhan Fahey
  • Tasmin Archer

Winner: Annie Lennox.

Best Soundtrack/Cast Recording

Presented by Roger Taylor out of Queen. Nominees:

  • Bugsy (Ennio Morricone)
  • Frankie and Johnny (various artists)
  • Hook (John Williams)
  • Mo’ Money (various artists)
  • Wayne’s World (various artists)

Winner: Wayne’s World.

Best International Group

Presented by Chrissie Hynde. Nominees:

  • Crowded House
  • En Vogue
  • Nirvana
  • R.E.M.
  • U2

Winner: R.E.M.

Best British Album

Sponsored by the Britannia Music Club, and presented by Ruby Wax. Nominees:

  • Annie Lennox – Diva
  • Elton John – The One
  • Genesis – We Can’t Dance
  • Right Said Fred – Up
  • Shakespears Sister – Hormonally Yours
  • The Orb – U.F. Orb

Winner: Annie Lennox.

Best British Male

Presented by Lisa Stansfield. Nominees:

  • Elton John
  • Eric Clapton
  • George Michael
  • Joe Cocker
  • Mick Hucknall
  • Phil Collins

Winner: Mick Hucknall.

Best International Newcomer

Quite literally presented, in character, by Smashie and Nicey (Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse), and I’d agree that The Shamen should have been up for every award. Nominees:

  • Arrested Development
  • Boyz II Men
  • Curtis Stigers
  • Nirvana
  • Tori Amos

Curtis Stigers, you will remember, had The One and Only one hit.

Winner: Nirvana.

Best British Producer

Presented by Paul Young. Nominees:

  • Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne
  • Pete Waterman
  • Peter Gabriel
  • Steve Lipsom
  • Trevor Horn

Winner: Peter Gabriel.

Best International Solo Artist

Presented by Kylie Minogue. Nominees:

  • Curtis Stigers
  • Enya
  • kd lang
  • Madonna
  • Prince

Winner: Prince.

Most Successful Live Act

Presented by Billy Bragg in honour of the most successful live act of 1992.

Winner: U2.

Outstanding Contribution

Presented by Long John Baldry.

Winner: Rod Stewart.

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

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