NME Award Winners 1994-2018 (Part Two)

Let’s now complete our summary of the NME Awards, with all the winners in one single, easy-to-digest place. So, as an extension of part two of the NME Poll Winners 1952-1992, here’s the final part!

Best Newcomer

Continuing the list that saw Cliff Richard and The Stone Roses share the limelight previously, these are the more recent newcomers.

Best New Artist

  • 1994 – Elastica (Best New Band), Credit to the Nation (Best New Solo Act)
  • 1995 – Oasis
  • 1996 – Supergrass
  • 1997 – Kula Shaker
  • 1998 – Embrace
  • 1999 – Gomez
  • 2000 – Muse
  • 2001 – Coldplay
  • 2002 – The Strokes
  • 2003 – The Libertines
  • 2004 – Kings of Leon
  • 2005 – Razorlight
  • 2006 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2007 – Klaxons
  • 2008 – The Enemy
  • 2009 – MGMT
  • 2010 – Bombay Bicycle Club
  • 2011 – Hurts
  • 2012 – The Vaccines
  • 2013 – Palma Violets
  • 2014 – Drenge
  • 2015 – Royal Blood
  • 2016 – Rat Boy
  • 2017 – Dua Lipa
  • 2018 – Stefflon Don

Philip Hall Under the Radar Award

  • 1995 – Gene
  • 1996 – Rocket from the Crypt
  • 1997 – Super Furry Animals
  • 2000 – Terris
  • 2001 – Starsailor
  • 2002 – The Coral
  • 2003 – Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  • 2005 – Kaiser Chiefs
  • 2006 – The Long Blondes
  • 2007 – The Twang
  • 2008 – Glasvegas
  • 2009 – The Big Pink
  • 2010 – The Drums
  • 2011 – The Naked and Famous
  • 2012 – The Child of Lov
  • 2014 – Fat White Family
  • 2018 – Pale Waves

Best Live Music Categories

Most award ceremonies now seem to recognise live music, but the NME Awards have been doing it since way back in the early 1990s.

Best Live Act

  • 1995 – Blur
  • 1996 – Oasis (Best Live Act), Pulp (NME Live Act of the Year)
  • 1997 – Manic Street Preachers
  • 2000 – Super Furry Animals (Best Live Act), Mogwai (NME Live Act of the Year)
  • 2001 – Moby
  • 2002 – U2
  • 2003 – The Datsuns
  • 2004 – Queens of the Stone Age
  • 2005 – Muse
  • 2006 – Franz Ferdinand
  • 2007 – Kasabian
  • 2008 – Muse
  • 2009 – Muse
  • 2010 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2011 – Biffy Clyro
  • 2012 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2013 – The Rolling Stones
  • 2014 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2015 – Royal Blood
  • 2016 – Wolf Alice
  • 2017 – The 1975
  • 2018 – Kasabian

Best Festival Headliner

  • 2017 – Adele
  • 2018 – Muse

Best Live Event

  • 1994 – Megadog
  • 1995 – Orbital at Glastonbury Festival
  • 1996 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 1997 – Oasis at Knebworth (Best Musical Event)
  • 1998 – Glastonbury Festival (Best Musical Event)
  • 1999 – Glastonbury Festival (Best Musical Event)
  • 2000 – Glastonbury Festival (Best Musical Event)
  • 2001 – Carling Weekend – Reading and Leeds (Best Musical Event)
  • 2002 – Ozzfest (Best Musical Event)
  • 2003 – Carling Weekend – Reading and Leeds (Best Musical Event)
  • 2005 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 2006 – Carling Weekend – Reading and Leeds (Best Musical Event)
  • 2007 – Carling Weekend – Reading and Leeds
  • 2008 – Carling Weekend – Reading and Leeds
  • 2009 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 2010 – Blur at Hyde Park

Best Festival

  • 2010 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 2011 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 2012 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 2013 – Carling Weekend – Reading and Leeds
  • 2014 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 2015 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 2016 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 2017 – Glastonbury Festival
  • 2018 – Glastonbury Festival

Best Small Festival

  • 2011 – RockNess
  • 2012 – RockNess
  • 2013 – Festival No. 6
  • 2014 – Sŵn
  • 2015 – Liverpool Psych Fest
  • 2016 – End of the Road
  • 2017 – End of the Road
  • 2018 – Festival No. 6

Radio Session of the Year

  • 1997 – Suede (Radio 1 Evening Session of the Year)
  • 1998 – Radiohead (Radio 1 Evening Session of the Year)
  • 1999 – Junior Carter (Breezeblock Mix of the Year)
  • 2000 – Supergrass (Radio 1 Session of the Year), Ooberman (Best NME Premier Show Performance)
  • 2001 – Coldplay (Radio 1 Session of the Year)
  • 2002 – The Charlatans (Radio 1 Session of the Year)

Best Club / Live Venue

  • 1994 – The Forum
  • 1995 – Brixton Academy
  • 1996 – Brixton Academy
  • 1997 – Brixton Academy
  • 1998 – Brixton Academy
  • 1999 – Brixton Academy
  • 2000 – Brixton Academy
  • 2001 – Cream
  • 2003 – London Astoria
  • 2004 – Brixton Academy
  • 2005 – Brixton Academy
  • 2006 – Brixton Academy
  • 2007 – Brixton Academy
  • 2008 – Wembley Stadium

Tour Award

  • 2001 – Amen / JJ72 / Alfie
  • 2002 – Lostprophets / Andrew WK / The Coral

Genre-Specific Artist Categories

These are just a selection of the artist categories that relate to a particular genre of music.

Best Dance Act

  • 1994 – Orbital
  • 1996 – The Prodigy (Best Dance Act), Goldie (Vibes Award for Best Dance Act)
  • 1997 – The Prodigy (Best Dance Act), Orbital (Vibes Award for Best Dance Act)
  • 1998 – The Prodigy
  • 1999 – Fatboy Slim
  • 2000 – The Chemical Brothers (Best Dance Act), Death in Vegas (On the Decks Award for Best Dance Act)
  • 2001 – Fatboy Slim
  • 2002 – Basement Jaxx

Best Hip Hop / Rap Act

  • 1994 – Cypress Hill
  • 1995 – Warren G
  • 2001 – Eminem
  • 2002 – Missy Elliott

Best Metal Act

  • 2001 – Marilyn Manson
  • 2002 – Lostprophets

Best Rock Act

  • 2001 – U2

Best Pop Act

  • 2001 – All Saints
  • 2002 – Kylie Minogue

Best R&B / SOUL Act

  • 2001 – Kelis
  • 2002 – Aaliyah

One-off awards

There are a whole load of odd, eclectic, and occasionally wonderful one-off awards. Here are all the ones I could find.

One-off Awards

  • 1996 – Special Award for Services Beyond the Call of Duty – Tony Crean
  • 1999 – Brain That Should Be Kept Alive for Posterity – Nicky Wire
  • 1999 – Would Make the Best Drugs Czar – Shaun Ryder
  • 1999 – Would To See On A Blind Date – Marilyn Manson and Billie Piper
  • 1999 – Would Most Like as Your Doctor – Natalie Imbruglia
  • 1999 – Would Most Like to Go Shopping with – Brian Molko
  • 1999 – Would Most Like to Cook You a Meal – Tiny Woods
  • 1999 – Would Most Like to Be Marooned on a Desert Island with – Louise
  • 1999 – Would Most Like as Prime Minister – Nicky Wire
  • 1999 – Most Like as Your Driving Instructor – Jay Kay
  • 1999 – Most Like to See in a Ring with Mike Tyson – Billie Piper
  • 2004 – Fight of the Year – Jack White vs. Jason von Bondie
  • 2004 – Living Legend – Arthur Lee
  • 2004 – Most Missed – Johnny Cash
  • 2005 – Special Award for Lifelong Service to Music – John Peel
  • 2010 – Giving it Back Fan Award – Lily Allen
  • 2014 – Songwriters’ Songwriter – Paul McCartney
  • 2016 – Best Actor – Idris Elba
  • 2016 – Best Actress – Vicky McClure
  • 2016 – Vlogger of the Year – KSI

Best Solo Artist

In earlier decades, this award had been split pretty arbitrarily, and this continues. I’ve grouped these into British and International, since this is what they are currently going with, but we’re actually looking at about six different award categories here.

Best British Solo Artist

  • 1995 – Paul Weller (Best Solo Artist)
  • 1996 – Paul Weller (Best Solo Artist)
  • 1999 – Robbie Williams (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2001 – Badly Drawn Boy (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2002 – Ian Brown (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2005 – Graham Coxon (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2007 – Jamie T (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2008 – Kate Nash (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2009 – Pete Doherty (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2010 – Jamie T (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2011 – Laura Marling (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2012 – Florence + the Machine (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2013 – Florence + the Machine (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2014 – Lily Allen (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2015 – Jake Bugg (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2016 – Charlie XCX
  • 2017 – M.I.A. (Female), Skepta (Male)
  • 2018 – Loyle Carner

Best International Solo Artist

  • 1994 – Björk (Best Solo Artist)
  • 1997, 1998, 2000 – Beck (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2003-2004 – Ryan Adams (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2006 – Kanye West (Best Solo Artist)
  • 2016 – Taylor Swift
  • 2017 – Christine and the Queens (Female), Frank Ocean (Male)
  • 2018 – Lorde

Best DJ

  • 2000 – Fatboy Slim
  • 2001 – Carl Cox

Best Group

Next, here are the categories for best group – of which there are still many.

Best British Band

  • 1994 – Suede (Best Band)
  • 1995 – Blur (Best Band)
  • 1996-1997 – Oasis (Best Band)
  • 1998 – The Verve (Best Band)
  • 1999 – Manic Street Preachers (Best Band)
  • 2000 – Blur (Best Band), Travis (NME Band of the Year)
  • 2001 – Radiohead (Best Band)
  • 2003 – Oasis (Best British Band and NME Band of the Year)
  • 2004-2005 – The Libertines
  • 2006 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2007 – Muse
  • 2008 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2009 – Oasis
  • 2010-2011 – Muse
  • 2012 – Kasabian
  • 2013 – Biffy Clyro
  • 2014 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2015 – Kasabian
  • 2016 – The Maccabees
  • 2017 – Biffy Clyro
  • 2018 – Alt-J

Best International Band

  • 2002 – The Strokes (Best Band)
  • 2003 – The Hives
  • 2004 – Kings of Leon
  • 2005 – The Killers
  • 2006 – The Strokes
  • 2007 – My Chemical Romance
  • 2008-2009 – The Killers
  • 2010 – Paramore
  • 2011 – My Chemical Romance
  • 2012 – Foo Fighters
  • 2013 – The Killers
  • 2014 – Haim
  • 2015 – Foo Fighters
  • 2016 – Run the Jewels
  • 2017 – Metallica
  • 2018 – Haim

Best Band Ever

  • 2000 – The Beatles

Worst Band

  • 1997 – Oasis
  • 2003 – Nickelback
  • 2005 – Insane Clown Posse
  • 2006 – Son of Dork
  • 2007 – Panic! At the Disco
  • 2008 – The Hoosiers
  • 2009-2011 – Jonas Brothers
  • 2012-2013 – One Direction
  • 2014 – The 1975
  • 2015-2017 – 5 Seconds of Summer

Best Collaboration

  • 2018 – Craig David and Bastille

Most Dedicated Fans / Best Fan Community

  • 2012-2013 – Muse
  • 2014 – Arctic Monkeys
  • 2015 – Muse
  • 2016 – The Libertines

Best of All Time Awards

Finally, NME introduced the Godlike Genius Award in 1994, and have therefore followed with a suite of “best of all time” awards.

Godlike Genius Award

  • 1994 – John Peel
  • 1995 – Alan McGee
  • 1996 – Michael Eavis
  • 1997 – Mark E. Smith
  • 1999 – Massive Attack
  • 2000 – Shaun Ryder
  • 2001 – U2
  • 2002 – Nick Kent and Pennie Smith
  • 2005 – New Order and Joy Division
  • 2006 – Ian Brown
  • 2007 – Primal Scream
  • 2008 – Manic Street Preachers
  • 2009 – The Cure
  • 2010 – Paul Weller
  • 2011 – Dave Grohl
  • 2012 – Noel Gallagher
  • 2013 – Johnny Marr
  • 2014 – Blondie
  • 2015 – Suede
  • 2016 – Coldplay
  • 2017 – Pet Shop Boys
  • 2018 – Liam Gallagher

Outstanding Contribution to Music

  • 2002 – The Charlatans
  • 2009 – Elbow
  • 2010 – The Specials
  • 2011 – PJ Harvey
  • 2012 – Pulp
  • 2013 – The Cribs
  • 2014 – Belle and Sebastian
  • 2017 – WIley

The Fuck Me! / John Peel Award for Innovation / NME Innovation Award

  • 2003 – The Polyphonic Spree
  • 2004 – Dizzee Rascal
  • 2005 – The Others
  • 2006 – Gorillaz
  • 2007 – Enter Shikari
  • 2008 – Radiohead
  • 2011 – Crystal Castles
  • 2014 – Damon Albarn
  • 2018 – Boy Better Know

NME Icon

  • 2018 – Shirley Manson

And that concludes the results of the NME Polls and Awards, from 1954 to 2018. Join us in 2019 for another new ceremony!

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

NME Poll Winners 1952-1992 (Part Two)

Finally, having worked through all the other categories, let’s take a look at the artist winners for the NME Polls from 1952 to 1992. As I mentioned last week, it’s hard to trace the winners of a particular category through time, so I’ve taken a few liberties. Essentially anything that seems to be roughly the same category has been treated as the same thing. Also, for the year ranges, there are a few missing years here and there, so for instance 1967-1970 could mean anything between 2 and 3 wins.

Best Newcomer

For thirty-five years, the NME Poll included a newcomer award, variously titled “World’s Most Promising New Name”, “Best New Group”, and various other things. It’s an amazing time capsule of new acts throughout the ages – who would have thought that Cliff Richard and The Stone Roses could appear on the same list?

Best New Artist

  • 1956 – Ronnie Scott
  • 1958 – Cliff Richard
  • 1959 – Craig Douglas
  • 1960 – Emile Ford
  • 1961 – John Leyton
  • 1962 – Frank Ifield
  • 1963 – Gerry Marsden
  • 1964 – Mick Jagger
  • 1965 – Seekers (group) & Donovan (solo)
  • 1966 – Spencer Davis Group (group) & Stevie Winwood (solo)
  • 1967 – Bee Gees (group) & Engelbert Humperdinck (solo)
  • 1968 – Love Affair (group & Mary Hopkins (solo)
  • 1970 – Jethro Tull
  • 1971 – McGuinness Flint (group) & Elton John (solo)
  • 1972 – New Seekers (group) & Rod Stewart (solo)
  • 1973 – Golden Earring (World) & Leo Sayer (British)
  • 1975 – Bad Company
  • 1976 – Eddie and the Hot Rods
  • 1977 – Tom Robinson
  • 1978 – Public Image Ltd.
  • 1979 – The Specials
  • 1980 – UB40
  • 1981 – Altered Images
  • 1983 – The Smiths
  • 1984 – Bronski Beat
  • 1985 – The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • 1986 – The Housemartins
  • 1987 – The Proclaimers
  • 1988 – The House of Love
  • 1989 – The Stone Roses
  • 1990 – The Charlatans
  • 1991 – Kingmaker
  • 1992 – Suede

Technical Categories

A lot of categories seem to have come and gone throughout the history of the awards to celebrate particular types of performer. Here are some of the highlights!

Musician of the Year

  • 1952 – Ronnie Scott
  • 1954 – Eric Delaney
  • 1957 – Eddie Calvert

Best Guitarist

  • 1954 – Bert Weedon
  • 1973 – Eric Clapton
  • 1976 – Jimmy Page
  • 1978 – Mick Jones
  • 1979-1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – The Edge

Best Bassist

  • 1973, 1976 – Paul McCartney
  • 1978 – Jean Jacques Burnel
  • 1979-1982 – Bruce Foxton
  • 1983 – Peter Hook

Best Keyboardist/Electronics

  • 1973, 1976-1977 – Rick Wakeman
  • 1978-1981 – Dave Greenfield
  • 1982 – Vince Clarke
  • 1983 – Steve Nieve

Best Drummer

  • 1973, 1975 – Carl Palmer
  • 1976 – John Bonham
  • 1977 – Paul Cook
  • 1978 – Keith Moon
  • 1979-1982 – Rick Buckler
  • 1983 – Budgie

Best Instrumentalist

  • 1962-1963 – Jet Harris
  • 1973 – Roy Wood
  • 1975-1977 – Mike Oldfield
  • 1981 – Saxa
  • 1982 – The Emerald Express, Violin
  • 1983 – The TKO Horns
  • 1985 – Johnny Marr

Best Producer

  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975 – Eddie Offord

Best Songwriter/Composer

  • 1973 – Elton John / Bernie Taupin
  • 1976 – Bob Dylan
  • 1978 – Elvis Costello
  • 1979-1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – Elvis Costello
  • 1984-1985 – Morrissey / Johnny Marr

Best Solo Artist

Curiously, the solo artist categories were for the longest time broken up into “world”, “British”, and even “US” for a while.

Best Female Singer

  • 1952-1954 – Lita Roza
  • 1957 – Ruby Murray
  • 1958 – Alma Cogan
  • 1959-1961 – Connie Francis
  • 1962-1964 – Brenda Lee
  • 1965-1967 – Dusty Springfield
  • 1968 – Lulu
  • 1970 – Dusty Springfield
  • 1971-1973 – Diana Ross
  • 1975 – Joni Mitchell
  • 1976 – Linda Ronstadt
  • 1977 – Julie Covington
  • 1978 – Debbie Harry
  • 1979 – Kate Bush
  • 1981-1983 – Siouxsie Sioux
  • 1984-1986 – Elizabeth Fraser
  • 1987 – Suzanne Vega

Best British Female Singer

  • 1955, 1957 – Alma Cogan
  • 1959-1960 – Shirley Bassey
  • 1961-1962 – Helen Shapiro
  • 1963 – Kathy Kirby
  • 1964-1966 – Dusty Springfield
  • 1968, 1970 – Lulu
  • 1971-1972 – Cilla Black
  • 1973 – Maggie Bell
  • 1975 – Kiki Dee

Best US Female Singer

  • 1955-1957 – Doris Day
  • 1958 – Connie Francis

Best Male Singer

  • 1952-1954 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1955 – Frank Sinatra
  • 1956 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1958 – Frankie Vaughan
  • 1959-1962 – Elvis Presley
  • 1963 – Cliff Richard
  • 1964-1972 – Elvis Presley
  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975-1976 – Robert Plant
  • 1977-1978 – David Bowie
  • 1979 – Sting
  • 1980 – Paul Weller
  • 1981 – David Bowie
  • 1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – David Bowie
  • 1984 – Bono
  • 1985-1992 – Morrissey

Best British Male Singer

  • 1955, 1957 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1959-1967 – Cliff Richard
  • 1968-1970 – Tom Jones
  • 1971-1972 – Cliff Richard
  • 1973 – David Bowie
  • 1975 – Paul Rodgers

Best US Male Singer

  • 1955-1956 – Frank Sinatra
  • 1957 – Pat Boone
  • 1958 – Elvis Presley

Outstanding Popular Singer

  • 1955 – Frank Sinatra
  • 1957 – Pat Boone
  • 1958 – Elvis Presley

Best Instrumental Personality

  • 1958 – Eddie Calvert
  • 1959-1960 – Russ Conway
  • 1961 – Bert Weedon

Best Musical Personality

  • 1955 – Bill Haley
  • 1956 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1957-1959 – Elvis Presley
  • 1960 – Duane Eddy
  • 1961-1972 – Elvis Presley

Best British Musical Personality

  • 1956 – Dickie Valentine
  • 1957 – Tommy Steele
  • 1958-1959 – Frankie Vaughan
  • 1960 – Lonnie Donegan
  • 1961 – Adam Faith
  • 1962-1963 – Joe Brown
  • 1964 – Cliff Richard
  • 1965 – John Lennon
  • 1966-1972 – Cliff Richard

Genre-Specific Categories

These are just a selection of the categories that relate to a particular genre of music.

Best Soul / Funk Act

  • 1973, 1975 – Stevie Wonder
  • 1984 – Womack & Womack
  • 1985 – Cameo

Best Reggae Act

  • 1984 – Smiley Culture
  • 1985 – UB40

Best R&B / Blues Act

  • 1964-1965 – The Rolling Stones
  • 1966 – Spencer Davis Group
  • 1967-1968 – The Rolling Stones
  • 1970 – Fleetwood Mac

Best Traditional Jazz Act

  • 1961 – Acker Bilk
  • 1962-1963 – Kenny Ball

Best Group

Finally, we reach the categories for best group – of which there are a few.

Best Group

  • 1954 – Stargazers
  • 1955 – Four Aces
  • 1956 – Stargazers
  • 1957 – The Platters
  • 1958-1962 – Everly Brothers
  • 1963-1965 – The Beatles
  • 1966 – The Beach Boys
  • 1967-1970 – The Beatles
  • 1971 – Creedence Clearwater Revival
  • 1972 – T. Rex
  • 1973 – Yes
  • 1975 – Roxy Music
  • 1976 – Led Zeppelin
  • 1977 – Sex Pistols
  • 1978 – The Clash
  • 1979-1982 – The Jam
  • 1983 – New Order
  • 1984-1987 – The Smiths
  • 1988 – The Wedding Present
  • 1989 – The Stone Roses
  • 1990 – Happy Mondays
  • 1991-1992 – R.E.M.

Best British Group

  • 1955 – Stargazers
  • 1957 – King Brothers
  • 1958-1959 – The Mudlarks
  • 1960 – King Brothers
  • 1961-1962 – The Springfields
  • 1963-1971 – The Beatles
  • 1972 – T. Rex
  • 1973 – Yes

Best British Small Band

  • 1952 – Johnny Dankworth Seven
  • 1954 – Ronnie Scott and His Orchestra
  • 1955-1957 – The Kirchins
  • 1958-1959 – Lonnie Donegan
  • 1960-1963 – The Shadows

Best British Large Band or Orchestra

  • 1952-1961 – Ted Heath and His Music
  • 1962-1963 – Joe Loss

Best British Instrumental Unit

  • 1964-1971 – The Shadows
  • 1972 – Collective Consciousness Society

Best Live Act

  • 1973 – Alice Cooper (World) & Genesis (British)
  • 1975 – Genesis
  • 1982 – The Jam
  • 1985 – The Pogues

That’s it for now – we’ll continue our journey through the NME Awards soon.

NME Poll Winners 1952-1992 (Part One)

If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll know that we’ve spent the last few weeks working through the history of the NME Polls, from 1952 to 1992. It’s a long and complicated history, and one that pretty much encapsulates the first forty years of modern popular music in the UK. So as a side-step, it’s worth taking a couple of posts to look at them, award by award.

With such a complex history, it’s hard to trace the winners of a particular category through time, so I’ve taken a few liberties here. Essentially anything that seems to be roughly the same category has been treated as the same thing. Also, for the year ranges, there are a few missing years here and there, so for instance 1967-1970 could mean anything between 2 and 3 wins, but it definitely isn’t 4, as we have no information for the poll results from 1969, or even any meaningful confirmation that the poll took place.

Best and Worst Single, Video and Album Categories

Here are all the winners for specific singles, videos, and albums, including the wonderful “Best Dressed Album” (later “Best Dressed Sleeve”) award.

Best British Disc / Single

  • 1959 – Cliff Richard – Living Doll
  • 1960 – The Shadows – Apache
  • 1961 – John Leyton – Johnny Remember Me
  • 1962 – Frank Ifield – I Remember You
  • 1963 – The Beatles – She Loves You
  • 1964 – The Animals – The House of the Rising Sun
  • 1965 – The Rolling Stones – (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
  • 1966 – The Beatles – Eleanor Rigby
  • 1968 – The Beatles – Hey Jude
  • 1971 – Mungo Jerry – In the Summertime
  • 1972 – George Harrison – My Sweet Lord
  • 1973 – Golden Earring – Radar Love (World) & The Who – 5.15 (British)
  • 1975 – Bad Company – Can’t Get Enough
  • 1976 – Thin Lizzy – The Boys are Back in Town
  • 1977 – Sex Pistols – God Save the Queen
  • 1978 – The Clash – (White Man) In Hammersmith Palais
  • 1979 – The Specials – Gangsters
  • 1980 – The Jam – Going Underground
  • 1981 – The Specials – Ghost Town
  • 1982 – The Jam – Town Called Malice
  • 1983 – New Order – Blue Monday
  • 1984 – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax
  • 1985 – The Jesus and Mary Chain – Never Understand
  • 1986 – The Smiths – Panic
  • 1987 – Prince – Sign O The Times
  • 1988 – The House of Love – Destroy the Heart
  • 1989 – The Stone Roses – Fool’s Gold
  • 1990 – The Charlatans – The Only One I Know
  • 1991 – Nirvana – Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • 1992 – Suede – The Drowners

Best Dance Record

  • 1982 – Wham! – Young Guns (Go for It)
  • 1986 – Cameo – Word Up
  • 1987 – M/A/R/R/S – Pump Up the Volume
  • 1989 – Happy Mondays – WFL

Worst Record

  • 1991 – Bryan Adams – Everything I Do (I Do It for You)
  • 1992 – The Shamen – Ebeneezer Goode

Best Music Video

  • 1982 – Madness – House of Fun
  • 1983 – Michael Jackson – Thriller
  • 1984 – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes
  • 1985 – Talking Heads – Road to Nowhere

Best Long Player / Album

  • 1971 – The Beatles – Let it Be
  • 1972 – T. Rex – Electric Warrior & John Lennon – Imagine (tie)
  • 1973 – Pink Floyd – The Dark Side of the Moon
  • 1975 – Rod Stewart – Smiler
  • 1976 – Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains the Same
  • 1977 – Sex Pistols – Never Mind the Bollocks
  • 1978 – The Jam – All Mod Cons
  • 1979 – The Jam – Setting Sons
  • 1980 – The Jam – Sound Affects
  • 1981 – Echo and the Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here
  • 1982 – The Jam – The Gift
  • 1983 – Elvis Costello – Punch the Clock
  • 1984 – Cocteau Twins – Treasure
  • 1985 – The Smiths – Meat is Murder
  • 1986 – The Smiths – The Queen is Dead
  • 1987 – The Smiths – Strangeways Here We Come
  • 1988 – R.E.M. – Green
  • 1989 – The Stone Roses – The Stone Roses
  • 1990 – Happy Mondays – Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches
  • 1991 – Primal Scream – Screamadelica
  • 1992 – R.E.M. – Automatic for the People

Best Dressed Album / Sleeve

  • 1973 – Yes – Yessongs
  • 1975 – Yes – Relayer
  • 1976 – Led Zeppelin – The Song Remains the Same
  • 1978 – The Rolling Stones – Some Girls
  • 1980 – The Jam – Sound Affects
  • 1981 – Echo and the Bunnymen – Heaven Up Here
  • 1982 – Siouxsie and the Banshees – A Kiss in the Dreamhouse
  • 1983 – New Order – Power, Corruption and Lies
  • 1984 – Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Welcome to the Pleasuredome
  • 1985 – The Pogues – Rum, Sodomy and the Lash

Media Categories

The group of media awards, for radio, TV, films, and venues, are particularly fascinating, since other award ceremonies rarely have anything like this.

Best Disc Jockey

  • 1955-1957 – Jack Jackson
  • 1958-1959 – Pete Murray
  • 1960-1963 – David Jacobs
  • 1965-1972 – Jimmy Savile
  • 1973 – John Peel
  • 1975 – Noel Edmonds
  • 1976-1980 – John Peel

Best Music Radio Show

  • 1975-1976 – Alan Freeman
  • 1977-1992 – John Peel

Best TV Show

  • 1965-1972 – Top of the Pops
  • 1973-1977 – The Old Grey Whistle Test
  • 1978 – Revolver
  • 1979 – Fawlty Towers
  • 1980 – Not the Nine O’Clock News
  • 1981 – Coronation Street
  • 1982 – The Young Ones
  • 1983-1984 – The Tube
  • 1985 – The Old Grey Whistle Test
  • 1986 – The Singing Detective
  • 1987-1988 – Brookside
  • 1989 – Blackadder
  • 1990-1991 – Vic Reeves’ Big Night Out
  • 1992 – Have I Got News for You

Best Film

  • 1978 – Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • 1979 – Quadrophenia
  • 1980 – The Elephant Man
  • 1981 – Gregory’s Girl
  • 1982 – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
  • 1983 – Merry Christmas, Mr. Lawrence
  • 1984 – Nineteen Eighty-Four
  • 1985 – Letter to Brezhnev
  • 1986 – Mona Lisa
  • 1987 – Angel Heart
  • 1988 – A Fish Called Wanda
  • 1989 – Dead Poets’ Society
  • 1990 – Wild at Heart
  • 1991 – The Silence of the Lambs
  • 1992 – Wayne’s World

Best Club / Venue

  • 1986 – Town and Country Club
  • 1989 – The Haçienda
  • 1990-1992 – Town and Country Club

Best Fashion Item

  • 1989 – Flares
  • 1990-1992 – Dr. Marten Boots

People Categories

In later years, the poll included some odd nominations for people, often outside of the world of music, which provide an interesting window on the past.

Most Wonderful Human Being

  • 1976-1977 – Johnny Rotten
  • 1978 – Sid Vicious
  • 1979 – John Peel
  • 1980-1983 – Paul Weller
  • 1984 – Arthur Scargill
  • 1985 – Bob Geldof
  • 1986-1988 – Morrissey

Klutz/Prat/Creep/Bastard of the Year

  • 1975 – Steve Harley
  • 1977 – Freddie Mercury
  • 1978 – John Travolta
  • 1979 – Gary Numan
  • 1980 – Margaret Thatcher
  • 1981 – Adam Ant
  • 1982-1989 – Margaret Thatcher
  • 1990-1991 – Saddam Hussein
  • 1992 – John Major

Best Dressed Male

  • 1979 – Gary Numan
  • 1980 – Adam Ant
  • 1981 – Michael Foot
  • 1982 – Paul Weller
  • 1983 – David Bowie
  • 1984 – Paul Weller
  • 1985 – Morrissey

Best Dressed Female

  • 1982-1983 – Siouxsie Sioux

Worst Dressed Person

  • 1985 – Bob Geldof

Most missed Dead Person

  • 1976 – Jimi Hendrix
  • 1981 – John Lennon

Political and Real World Categories

These are some of the oddest categories – I’m honestly not sure what the “Hype of the Year” category was all about, but it is interesting to see just what was catching people’s eyes at the time.

Event of the Year

  • 1977 – Death of Elvis Presley
  • 1980 – Death of John Lennon
  • 1982 – The Jam Split
  • 1986 – 1986 FIFA World Cup
  • 1987 – Nuclear Agreement
  • 1988 – Nelson Mandela’s Birthday Bash
  • 1989 – Revolution in Eastern Europe
  • 1990 – Margaret Thatcher’s Resignation
  • 1991 – The release of the hostages
  • 1992 – Bill Clinton winning the US election

Pin-Up/Sex SYmbol/Object of Desire

  • 1978 – Debbie Harry
  • 1986 – Joanne Whalley
  • 1988-1989 – Wendy James
  • 1990 – Betty Boo
  • 1991-1992 – Toni Halliday

Bad News of the Year

  • 1987 – Another Conservative Victory at the General Election
  • 1988 – US Election Result

Hype of the Year

  • 1985 – The Jesus and Mary Chain
  • 1989 – Batman
  • 1990 – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • 1992 – Madonna – Sex

That concludes part one of the summary of NME Poll Winners. Next week, we’ll look at the artist categories.

NME Poll Winners – The 1990s

For the first half of the 1990s, the NME Poll continued as a quiet annual newspaper poll, focusing very strongly now on indie rock, and ignoring pretty much everything else that was going on in the world of music. But then, in 1994, it suddenly went public, relaunching an annual awards ceremony, The NME Brat Awards. More on that later, so for now, here are the last three years of poll results:

NME Readers’ Poll 1990

  • Best Single: The Charlatans, for The Only One I Know
  • Best LP: Happy Mondays, for Pills ‘n’ Thrills and Bellyaches
  • Best New Band/Artist: The Charlatans
  • Best Band: Happy Mondays
  • Event of the Year: Margaret Thatcher‘s Resignation
  • Solo Artist: Morrissey
  • Radio Show: John Peel
  • TV Show: Vic Reeves‘ Big Night Out
  • Film of the Year: Wild at Heart
  • Club or Venue: Town and Country Club
  • Hype of the Year: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
  • Fashion Item of the Year: DM Boots
  • Bastard of the Year: Saddam Hussein
  • Object of Desire: Betty Boo
  • Word/Phrase: ‘You wouldn’t let it lie!”

NME Readers’ Poll 1991

  • Best Band: R.E.M.
  • Best LP: Primal Scream, for Screamadelica
  • Best Single: Nirvana, for Smells Like Teen Spirit
  • Best New Band: Kingmaker
  • Best Venue: Town and Country Club
  • Best Solo Artist: Morrissey
  • Bastard of the Year: Saddam Hussein
  • Film of the Year: The Silence of the Lambs
  • Radio Show of the Year: John Peel
  • Fashion Item: DM Boots
  • Event of the Year: The release of the hostages
  • Object of Desire: Toni Halliday
  • TV Show: Vic Reeves‘ Big Night Out
  • Worst Record: Bryan Adams, for (Everything I Do) I Do It for You
  • Word/Phrase: “You fat bastard”

NME Readers’ Poll 1992

  • Best Band: R.E.M.
  • Best Album: R.E.M., for Automatic for the People
  • Solo Artist: Morrissey
  • Venue: Town and Country Club
  • Single: Suede, for The Drowners
  • Worst Record: The Shamen, for Ebeneezer Goode
  • New Band: Suede
  • Event: Bill Clinton winning the US election
  • Fashion Item: Dr. Martens
  • Bastard of the Year: John Major
  • Hype of the Year: Madonna, for Sex
  • TV Show of the Year: Have I Got News for You
  • Word/Phrase of the Year: “Not!”
  • Film of the Year: Wayne’s World
  • Radio Show of the Year: John Peel
  • Object of Desire: Toni Halliday

See also

Q Awards 2016

It may be a little late for this round-up, but I’m afraid that’s the way things go round here these days. The StubHub StubHub Q Awards took place in London on 2nd November, and these were the results. As always, the award names are ridiculously long and corporate and almost all of them were identical, but let’s go with it…

Q Best Act In The World Today, presented by The Cavern Club

  • Biffy Clyro
  • Coldplay
  • Muse
  • The 1975
  • U2

Winner: Muse

Q Best Solo Artist presented by Help Musicians UK

  • James Bay
  • Noel Gallagher
  • PJ Harvey
  • Michael Kiwanuka
  • Skepta

Winner: James Bay

Q Best Breakthrough Act, presented by Red Stripe

  • The Amazons
  • Blossoms
  • Christine and the Queens
  • Gallant
  • Jack Garratt
  • Lady Leshurr
  • Let’s Eat Grandma
  • Nothing But Thieves
  • Rat Boy
  • Spring King

Winner: Jack Garratt

Q Best Track, presented by Jack Daniel’s

  • Bastille – Good Grief
  • Catfish and the Bottlemen – Twice
  • Biffy Clyro – Howl
  • The 1975 – Somebody Else
  • Skepta – Man

Winner: Bastille

Q Best Album, presented by Absolute Radio

  • Bastille – Wild World
  • David Bowie – Blackstar
  • Christine and the Queens – Chaleur Humaine
  • Coldplay – A Head Full of Dreams
  • The 1975 – I Like It When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware of It

Winner: The 1975

Q Best Video, presented by Boxplus

  • Beyoncé – Formation
  • Coldplay – Up & Up
  • PJ Harvey – The Community of Hope
  • The 1975 – A Change of Heart
  • Wolf Alice – Lisbon

Winner: PJ Harvey

Q Best Live Act presented by StubHub

  • Coldplay
  • Muse
  • Savages
  • U2
  • Wolf Alice

Winner: U2

Q Hero, presented by Conker Spirit

Winner: Meat Loaf

Q Classic Songwriter, presented by Pretty Green

Winner: Ray Davies

Q Classic Album

Winner: The Charlatans, for Tellin’ Stories

Q Innovation In Sound

Winner: M.I.A.

Q Gibson Les Paul Award

Winner: The Edge

Q Outstanding Contribution To Music, presented by Buster & Punch

Winner: Blondie

Q Hall Of Fame, presented by StubHub

Winner: Madness

Which just about ends our awards coverage for another couple of months. You can read Q Magazine’s own coverage here.

Artist of the Week – Saint Etienne

You might recall that a few weeks ago I was re-running an old radio feature, the Artist of the Week, when as part of my radio show Music for the Masses, I would give a bit of history on an act. Let’s pick that up again with Saint Etienne. As always, apologies for any inaccuracies or omissions.

Saint Etienne are a group with a very unusual background. Before I mention anything else, I should perhaps make it clear: yes, they are named after the French football team, which probably makes them unique in one sense. However, their almost unrivalled technique of moulding modern beats to sixties melodies and beautiful songs makes them completely with parallel.

In the early 1990s, as acid house was in its wane, childhood friends Bob Stanley and Pete Wiggs worked with a number of guest vocalists on several tracks which scraped the lower reaches of the charts. The best known of these is their cover of Neil Young‘s Only Love Can Break Your Heart, which just broke into the Top 40 in 1991. For the first album Foxbase Alpha, they tracked down a more permanent vocalist, who still remains with them to this day, Sarah Cracknell.

With their first two albums, they scored further minor hits and started to make a name for themselves, but they did not manage to break the top end of the UK charts until 1993’s sublime collaboration with The Charlatans‘ Tim Burgess I Was Born on Christmas Day. The subsequent third album Tiger Bay reached the Top 10 and yielded several substantial hits, including Pale Movie and Like a Motorway.

They followed this in 1995 with a compilation of the singles so far, which was heralded by their biggest single to date, the Motiv8-produced He’s on the Phone, before taking three years to rethink their strategy.

Unfortunately recent albums have failed to give them the success they no doubt deserve. 1998’s Good Humor brought us the fantastic singles Sylvie and The Bad Photographer; 2000’s Sound of Water barely broke the Top 40; and their most recent album Finisterre, released nearly two years ago, failed to make any substantial impact despite being one of their best albums to date.

However, that does not mark the end for Saint Etienne. They are currently in the studio polishing off their seventh full-length album, due for release early next year [in fact Tales from Turnpike House was released in summer 2005, roughly eighteen months after this was written], and just last week released another retrospective compilation for the American market, which included a couple of new tracks as well.

Astoundingly, they have now released nearly 200 tracks, hardly any of which will fail to grasp the listener with their strong imagery and beautiful songwriting.