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

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Richard X – Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1

I’ve very probably mused about the nature of time here before, but the fifteenth anniversary of Richard X‘sPresents His X-Factor Vol. 1 is a pretty strange one to celebrate. He’s still producing artists, but has never bothered to follow this up, but as a collection of great retro soundclashes, it’s really pretty good. What blows my mind now is that some of the things he samples were as old then as the whole album is now.

It opens with the brief Start, in which a voice says “x” a few times, before Liberty X (remember them? They lost The X Factor, or something) turn up to introduce themselves over the introduction to Being Nobody, a soundclash between Ain’t Nobody and The Human League‘s Being Boiled. It’s brilliant in a way that pop seemed to stop being after Richard X‘s brief reign on the charts.

The Human League are probably the omnipresent force on this album, turning up briefly on Rock Jacket alongside a number of other influences and samples. This one’s a filler, though, carrying us along until another guest vocalist turns up.

This is really a who’s who of early 2000s British pop music in some ways, but I had no memory of who Javine was. Apparently she represented the UK at the 2005 Eurovision Song Contest, finishing, unsurprisingly, excruciatingly close to the bottom of the table. You Used To is a decent pop song, and who knows, maybe it could have been a huge hit too. Pop music is unpredictable sometimes.

Annie is next, pretty much right at the beginning of her career with the brilliant Just Friends, which is brilliant, and then for IX, a German computer repeatedly spells out Richard X‘s name, which makes a nice little interlude. Then the huge voice of Caron Wheeler, of Soul II Soul fame, turns up for the dull but worthy Lonely.

Deborah Evans-Strickland delivers vocals on the next two tracks, an eccentric posh version of Walk on By, and then Lemon/Lime. Pleasant, but there isn’t a lot of point in these unfortunately. Although some of the lyrics on the second track are pretty funny.

Finest Dreams brings Kelis, and was the third single from this album, peaking at number 8 in the UK. It marries another Human League track The Things That Dreams Are Made Of with The S.O.S. Band‘s 1986 hit The Finest (then fifteen years old), and works very well indeed. In fact, it performed better on the charts than either of the tracks it samples, which is impressive.

The unexpected vocalist on the next track is Tiga, who performs You (Better Let Me Love You X4) Tonight. It’s brilliant, but then most of Tiga‘s work seems to be of an extremely high calibre. It’s just a bit too repetitive though, and as with several of the tracks on here, it drags a little towards the end.

The next track, Mark One, is a moment that anyone who grew up in the 1990s will appreciate, as Mark Goodier turns up to do a very meta in-album advert for this album. It’s a brilliant transition to Sugababes‘ Freak Like Me, sampling Gary Numan and Tubeway Army‘s Are “Friends” Electric? for the backing track. I suspect this might be how the album started out, as Richard X‘s original bootleg version had been a near-hit a couple of years earlier.

Into U is lovely, bringing together a new vocal by Jarvis Cocker with a sample of Hope Sandoval, and some unusually underplayed backing. It makes a great final track, closing out a pretty good album. The actual closing track is the brief End, which is one of the nicer interludes, and then the album is over already.

So in summary, despite a strong cast of extras, Richard X‘s debut may not be the best album ever produced, but it’s pretty good, and it did bring us some of the best pop hits of 2002 and 2003. In short, it’s definitely worth a listen.

You can still find Richard X Presents His X-Factor Vol. 1 on wide release.

Artist of the Week – Massive Attack

Many moons ago, I had a radio show, which included an Artist of the Week feature, in which I gave some history on the act. I’m including them here because I think they give an interesting perspective, but watch out for any errors or omissions in this piece.

The Massive Attack story goes all the way back to 1983, when the Wild Bunch DJ collective was formed. Based in Bristol and showcasing varied musical styles and genres, they soon started to draw huge crowds. When the Wild Bunch came to an end in 1987, two of its members, Andrew “Mushroom” Vowles and Grant “Daddy G” Marshall teamed up with a graffiti artist Robert del Naja, more commonly known as 3D, and formed Massive Attack.

Working with another former Wild Bunch member Nellee Hooper, who has since gone on to huge success as a producer, and was at the time also working with Soul II Soul, they released their first singles Any Love and Daydreaming in 1990.

They soon saw the success they deserved, with Unfinished Sympathy and Safe from Harm both becoming huge hits and propelling the Blue Lines album towards the right end of the charts.

The first album saw great marketing difficulties because of their name, and possible links between it and the first Iraq war, so they dropped half of their name and temporarily became Massive. For various reasons the US tour that followed was something of a disaster, and they disappeared into the studio for three years.

Their comeback Protection is just as essential an album as the first, and, in chart terms at least, was more successful. It brought them three further hit singles: SlyProtection, and Karmacoma, and the remix album No Protection, although rather bizarre, was also a substantial hit.

Following another break, this time of four years, with only the one-off single Risingson to show for it, they returned in 1998 with their third album Mezzanine and three further hit singles, Teardrop, Angel, and Inertia Creeps.

One member down, they returned in early 2003 with their fourth album, 100th Window. Probably their darkest offering to date, it crept in at the top of the charts and quickly disappeared without a trace, with only one hit single and one non-charting single to show for it. More recently, they made a brief visit back to the charts at the end of last year with the soundtrack to the Luc Besson film Danny the Dog.

Q Awards 2015

So, with only a couple of weeks’ delay, it’s time for us to examine the winners at this year’s Q Awards. Who won the Q Best New Act Who Turned Up in the World Today award, presented by Trebor Extra-Strong Mints? Let’s find out…

Q Best Act in the World Today presented by Queen Bohemian Lager

Nominees:

  • Blur
  • Foals
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds
  • Muse
  • Ed Sheeran

Winner: Foals

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Citroën

Nominees:

  • Noel Gallagher
  • Ed Sheeran
  • Sam Smith
  • Taylor Swift
  • Kanye West

Winner: Ed Sheeran

Q Best New Act presented by Orange Amplification

Nominees:

  • Courtney Barnett
  • James Bay
  • The Bohicas
  • Circa Waves
  • Jess Glynne
  • Slaves
  • Soak
  • Songhoy Blues
  • Wolf Alice
  • Years & Years

Winner: James Bay

Q Best Track presented by Absolute Radio

Nominees:

  • Florence + The Machine – What Kind of Man
  • Foals – What Went Down
  • The Libertines – Gunga Din
  • New Order – Restless
  • Mark Ronson – Uptown Funk

Winner: The Libertines

Q Best Album presented by JBL

Nominees:

  • Blur – The Magic Whip
  • Everything Everything – Get to Heaven
  • Florence + The Machine – How Big, How Blue, How Beautiful
  • Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds – Chasing Yesterday
  • Jamie xx – In Colour

Winner: Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds

Q Hero

Winner: Mark Ronson

Q Best Live Act presented by The Cavern Club

Nominees:

  • Catfish & The Bottlemen
  • The Libertines
  • Mumford & Sons
  • Royal Blood
  • Ed Sheeran

Winner: Royal Blood

Q Classic Song

Winner: Queen, for Bohemian Rhapsody

Q Classic Album

Winner: Soul II Soul, for Club Classics Vol. One

Q Innovation in Sound presented by Sony Xperia

Winner: Gary Numan

Gibson Les Paul Award

Winner: Tony Iommi

Q Outstanding Contribution to Music

Winner: New Order

Q Icon

Winner: Duran Duran

Q Best Video

Nominees:

  • Florence + The Machine – Ship to Wreck
  • Foals – What Went Down
  • Miguel – Coffee
  • Muse – Psycho
  • The Weeknd – Can’t Feel My Face

Winner: Florence + The Machine

Nice to see Gary Numan, Duran Duran, and New Order all honoured in one go. I’m not sure I ever thought I’d see Duran Duran turn up in an “icon” category, but there you are. There’s plenty of excellent bonus coverage on the Q magazine website, including Stephen Morris of New Order pretending to be Alan Partridge, Gary Numan and ze Jean-Michel Jarre talking about their collaboration, and Father Christmas talking about his days in Queen.

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.

Various Artists – Electrospective

The basic way this blog works is that when I’m reviewing an album, I listen to it in full, and while doing so write what I feel about what I’m hearing. How, then, do I tackle a two-and-a-half hour long compilation? I feel the skip button may be seeing some usage on this occasion.

Electrospective is the centrepiece of a recent record company campaign to get us buying mid-price synth-based albums of which I heartily approve. The compilation is a fascinating and wonderful journey, encompassing maybe ten tracks from each of the primary decades of electronic music. But its omissions are also fascinating. Perversely, almost, it contains none of the pioneering sound of Jean Michel Jarre or Kraftwerk. The early 1980s focus rightly on OMD and The Human League, but there’s no sign of Soft Cell or Frankie Goes to Hollywood. The late 1980s largely forego the “indie dance” and trip hop movements in favour of pop and soul. But then, if you were faced with the task of compiling a forty-track journey through the history of electronic music, how would you tackle it?

Electrospective opens, as all definitive electronic compilations should, with Delia Derbyshire‘s 1963 version of Ron Grainer‘s essential Doctor Who theme. Fifty years on, in an age where literally anybody can make music with their portable telecommunications devices, it’s difficult to picture the boffins of the BBC Radiophonic Workshop slaving away generating tape samples and cutting them into exactly the right length to sync and make quite astonishing music. In a sense it’s unsurprising that they didn’t really succeed with the syncing (Derbyshire also revisited the theme in 1967 to create a rather more orderly but definitely less charming version).

Some of the other early tracks are a little odder. Roxy Music‘s Virginia Plain is, I can only assume, here to show some of the early electronic experimentation in which popular acts of the early 1970s were indulging, and it has a few nice Moog sounds in it, but frankly it’s largely tolerable at best. Even Brian Eno, introducing this album to its first taste of ambience, fails to impress particularly with Here Come the Warm Jets (1974).

The 1970s start to look a lot stronger after this, with Tangerine Dream‘s Rubycon and Can‘s brilliant I Want More before launching into another unmissable moment with The Normal‘s Warm Leatherette. The final trio of Cabaret VoltaireTelex and Simple Minds round of 1979 in less compelling fashion, and you should be clear by now that electronics is firmly planted in the world of music.

We then enter the 1980s in typically variable fashion. OMD‘s excellent Messages carries into Ultravox‘s more questionable SleepwalkThe Human League‘s astonishing The Things That Dreams are Made Of is followed by rather more questionable choices from Duran Duran and Heaven 17, and then a distinctly dodgy choice of remix for Yazoo‘s Don’t Go.

The mid-1980s are, as you might expect, rather stronger. Together in Electric Dreams is perhaps a little unnecessary, coming as it does only five tracks after the previous Human League moment, but then West End Girls mixes into Who Needs Live (Like That), and you’re definitely reminded that the eighties weren’t nearly as bad as everyone seems to suggest.

All this is not to say that this album is without its surprises. Nitzer Ebb‘s Control I’m Here is an unexpected pleasure, as is Soul II Soul‘s Back to Life (However Do You Want Me), which ends the 1980s a couple of tracks into the second disc.

The 1990s are, of course, where electronic music comes of age. A whole slew of enormous, exceptional, and very well chosen hits follow from Depeche ModeMobyThe Future Sound of LondonDaft Punk and Adam FMassive Attack turn up, as indeed they should, but here they are represented by the slightly disappointing choice of Inertia Creeps, by no means bad, but a track which surely belongs in the middle of Mezzanine rather than here?

Air‘s wonderful Kelly Watch the Stars and St. Germain‘s Rose Rouge are here to represent the rest of the late 90s French invasion, which is inevitably followed by the experimental indie of Radiohead and The Chemical Brothers.

Finally, our potted history of electronic music has brought us into the 2000s, by which time “electronic” had definitely ceased to be a label for weird experimental noises or extravagant expressionism. It had, in every imaginable way, gone mainstream. In a good way.

Goldfrapp hammer this home beautifully with the essential Strict Machine, and then Dare by Gorillaz leads us through to a string of 21st century floor fillers. Eric Prydz‘s probably Bo Selecta-inspired Proper Education with its Pink Floyd elements leads us into some less interesting tracks from David GuettaDeadmau5, and finally a total abomination by Swedish House Mafia. Not a great ending, admittedly, but a fair assessment of the journey of electronic music over the past half century.

Make no mistake – in terms of meeting its remit of compiling a handful of tracks from every decade of electronic music, this is a great release. But it’s difficult to ignore the many omissions – you can’t help but feel that perhaps a themed or era-specific compilation might tick the boxes a lot more convincingly. In the end, all you get is fleeting glimpses of particular acts and eras. All told though, for all its failings it’s a great listen, and I can’t help but recommend it.

There’s also a companion remix album, which we’ll touch on in a future week. If you’re in the US you can find Electrospective here; if you’re in the UK try here; and if you’re anywhere else then you’ll have to fend for yourself.