British Rock & Pop Awards 1979-1981

From 1982 (confusingly the 1981 ceremony thanks to the year numbering) onwards, the British Rock & Pop Awards were happening concurrently with the British Record Industry Awards (later the BPI Awards, and even later the BRIT Awards).

1979

The awards for 1979 seem to have taken place on 26th February 1980. Simulcast on BBC TV and BBC Radio 1, and again at the Café Royal, London (see BFI record). Presented by Dave Lee Travis and Sue Lawley. Awards included:

  • Best Single
  • Best Album
  • Best Male Singer
  • Best Female Singer
  • Best Group or Band
  • Radio 1’s Disc Jockeys’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Pop Music
  • Daily Mirror Readers’ Award for the Outstanding Pop Personality
  • Nationwide Golden Award for the artist or group with the most all-round family appeal

Presenters included Barron KnightsKate BushMarianne FaithfullAndy Gibb, and Leo Sayer.

Rick Wakeman presented The Police with the Best Album award for Regatta de Blanc.

Kate Bush seems to have either won Best Female Singer for a second year running, or the previous entry was an error (see here). Paul McCartney won the Daily Mirror Readers’ Award.

Dave Lee Travis introduced John Peel to present Jerry Dammers with Radio 1’s Disc Jockeys’ Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Pop Music for his work with The Specials. Apparently Gary Numan also won “multiple awards” (see video entry for next year).

1980

Again presented by Dave Lee Travis and Sue Lawley (see BFI record here) on 24th February 1981. This entry on a Wikipedia talk page is largely apocryphal, but mentions The Jam winning the Best Single Award for Going Underground, which is mentioned in more detail here.

Best Male Singer nominees included:

  • Gary Numan
  • Cliff Richard
  • Paul McCartney
  • David Bowie

Winner: David Bowie. Presented by Lulu. See also image here and entry here. There’s an alternative recording of the video here.

Ultravox were nominated for Best Video for Passing Strangers, but failed to win.

Showaddywaddy were also in attendance according to this page, and MadnessAdam and the Ants, Hazel O’ConnorHot ChocolateMadness, and Ronnie Hazlehurst and His Orchestra all performed (see here).

1981

The 1981 ceremony took place on 8th February 1982 at the Lyceum, London, and were presented by Dave Lee Travis and Sue Cook (see BFI record).

Ultravox won the Best Single award for Vienna (see here). Toyah Willcox won the Best Female Singer award (see Daily Mirror article here and record company coverage here, but note that her IMDB biography is incorrect). She also performed I Want to Be Free:

Shakin’ Stevens also won the Best Male Singer award (see here), while Duran Duran were nominated for Best Newcomer, and performed Girls on Film and My Own Way (see here). Bananarama performed Shy Boy (see here).

If you would like to see the comparison, the 1982 BRIT Awards are covered here.

This series will continue next week with 1982.

Advertisements

The British Record Industry Awards 1984

On February 21st 1984, Tim Rice was standing on stage at the Grosvenor House Hotel, about to introduce the fourth BRIT Awards. This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1983 ceremony here, and the 1985 ceremony here.

Best British Female

Nominees:

  • Annie Lennox
  • Alison Moyet
  • Bonnie Tyler
  • Tracey Ullman
  • Toyah Wilcox

Winner: Annie Lennox

Best British Group

Nominees:

  • Culture Club
  • Eurythmics
  • Madness
  • The Police
  • UB40

Winner: Culture Club

Best British Male

Nominees:

  • David Bowie
  • Elton John
  • Paul McCartney
  • Cliff Richard
  • Paul Young

Winner: David Bowie

Best British Newcomer

Nominees:

  • Big Country
  • Howard Jones
  • Tracey Ullman
  • Wham!
  • Paul Young

Winner: Paul Young

Best British Producer

Nominees:

  • Peter Collins
  • Trevor Horn
  • Langer and Winstanley
  • Steve Levine
  • Steve Lilywhite

Winner: Steve Levine

Best British Single

Winner: Culture ClubKarma Chameleon

Best Classical Recording

Nominees:

  • Kiri Te Kanawa – Songs of the Auvergne
  • Puccini – La Rondine
  • Simon Rattle – War Requiem – Britten
  • Tippett – Triple Concerto
  • Trevor Pinnock – Water Music – Handel

Winner: Kiri Te Kanawa

Best Comedy Record

Winner: Neil

Best International Artist

Nominees:

  • Darryl Hall and John Oates
  • Michael Jackson
  • Billy Joel
  • Men at Work
  • Lionel Richie

Winner: Michael Jackson

Best Selling Album

Winner: Michael JacksonThriller

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Winner: Prince – Purple Rain

Outstanding Contribution

Winner: George Martin

Sony Trophy for Technical Excellence

Winner: Spandau Ballet

Performances

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: fix links (6 January 2018).

The British Record Industry Awards 1983

The third ceremony took place at Grosvenor House Hotel in London on 8th February 1983, where it was presented by Tim Rice.

This post is part of a series about the history of the BRIT Awards. You can read about the 1982 ceremony here, and the 1984 ceremony in a couple of days’ time.

Since there’s not a lot of video of the 1983 ceremony, here’s some BBC coverage:

Best British Album

Nominees:

  • The Kids from Fame – The Kids from Fame
  • Madness – Complete Madness
  • Barbara Streisand – Love Songs

Winner: Barbara Streisand.

Best British Female

Nominees:

  • Sheena Easton
  • Toyah Wilcox
  • Kim Wilde
  • Mari Wilson

Winner: Kim Wilde.

Best British Group

Nominees:

  • ABC
  • Dire Straits
  • Yazoo

Winner: Dire Straits.

Best British Male

Nominees:

  • Phil Collins
  • Paul McCartney
  • Cliff Richard
  • Shakin’ Stevens

Winner: Paul McCartney.

Best British Newcomer

Nominees:

  • ABC
  • Culture Club
  • Musical Youth
  • Yazoo

Winner: Yazoo.

Best British Producer

Nominees:

  • Trevor Horn
  • Clive Langer & Alan Winstanley
  • George Martin
  • Martin Rushent

Winner: Trevor Horn.

Best British Single

Nominees:

  • Irene Cara – Fame
  • Dexys Midnight Runners – Come on Eileen
  • Survivor – Eye of the Tiger

Winner: Dexys Midnight Runners.

Best Classical Recording

Nominees:

  • Christopher Hogwood – Violin Concertos – Bach
  • Julian Lloyd Webber – Portrait – John WIlliams
  • Mariner – Symphonies 6, 7 & 8
  • Simon Rattle – Glagolitic Mass – Jacanek
  • Rodrigo – Concerto Como Un

Winner: Julian Lloyd Webber.

Best International Artist

Nominees:

  • Julio Iglesias
  • Kid Creole and The Coconuts
  • Barry Manilow

Winner: Kid Creole and The Coconuts.

Life Achievement

Winner: Pete Townshend.

Sony Trophy for Technical Excellence

Winner: Paul McCartney.

Special Award

Winner: Chris Wright.

Outstanding Contribution

Winner: The Beatles.

Performances

Unknown

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: removed one video that is no longer available (13 August 2017).

Edit: fix links (6 January 2018).

The British Record Industry Awards 1982

Four and a bit years took place between the first ceremony in 1977 and its follow-up. Apparently perturbed by the domination of television at the previous ceremony, the “record industry” decided to reclaim its own awards. So there were no live performances, and there was no TV broadcast this year… and therefore no videos.

Now though, let’s transport ourselves back to London’s Grosvenor House Hotel on 4th February 1982, where David Jacobs is our host for the evening.

Best British Album

Nominees:

  • Adam and the Ants – Kings of the Wild Frontier
  • The Human League – Dare
  • Queen – Queen’s Greatest Hits

Winner: Adam and the Ants.

Best British Female

Nominees:

  • Randy Crawford
  • Sheena Easton
  • Toyah Wilcox

Winner: Randy Crawford.

Best British Group

Nominees:

  • Adam and the Ants
  • Madness
  • The Police

Winner: The Police.

Best British Male

Nominees:

  • Elvis Costello
  • Cliff Richard
  • Shakin’ Stevens

Winner: Cliff Richard.

Best British Newcomer

In a quite astonishing line-up of nominations, Depeche Mode were pitted against The Human League and Soft Cell, as well as some other people you’ve probably never heard of:

  • Depeche Mode
  • The Human League
  • Linx
  • Soft Cell
  • Toyah Wilcox

Winner: The Human League.

Best British Producer

Nominees:

  • Stuart Colman
  • Chris Neil
  • Martin Rushent

Winner: Martin Rushent.

Best British Single

Nominees:

  • Adam and the Ants – Prince Charming
  • Adam and the Ants – Stand and Deliver
  • Soft Cell – Tainted Love

Winner: Soft Cell.

Best Classical Recording

Nominees:

  • James Levine – Tosca – Puccini – Scotto
  • Simon Rattle – Symphony No. 10 – Mahler
  • Vernon Handley – Pomp and Circumstance

Winner: Simon Rattle.

Outstanding Contribution

Unlike the 1977 award, which was shared between two winners, this time there were three prospective nominees for the Outstanding Contribution award. They were:

  • John Lennon
  • The Police
  • Cliff Richard

Winner: John Lennon.

Performances

Unknown

Further Reading / Viewing

The BPI Awards 1985

As promised, today we start our journey through the BRIT Awards ceremonies of the past. We begin way back on 11th February 1985 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London, where Noel Edmonds is introducing the BPI Awards 1985:

The year we’re celebrating, 1984, is, as we now know, one of the most important years in electronic pop music. This ceremony is also among the best documented of any of them. But having seen what we’ve seen in recent years, this is a fascinatingly corporate affair. As we’ll see Edmonds, the James Cordon of his day, does a great job, but the show is almost entirely lacking in glitz, glamour, or indeed Mr. Blobby. As he says, there were fourteen awards altogether, so based on various online sources here’s my relatively complete record of the 1985 ceremony.

Best British Female Solo Artist

Presented by Sting. Nominees:

  • Annie Lennox
  • Alison Moyet
  • Sade
  • Tracey Ullman
  • Kim Wilde

Winner: Alison Moyet.

Best British Album

Presented by Pete Townsend, somewhat the worse for wear. I’m not sure what Noel means when he says “he was the recipient of a special award” – in a previous year perhaps? Anyway, nominees:

  • Sade – Diamond Life
  • Nik Kershaw – Human Racing
  • U2 – The Unforgettable Fire
  • Queen – The Works
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Welcome to the Pleasuredome

In subsequent years, U2 would be forced into the International categories, so it’s strange that they were nominated here, but there we go.

Winner: Sade.

Best Classical Recording

Presented by Richard Baker out of The 1930s. Nominees:

  • Arnold Bax Symphony No. 4 – Ulster Orchestra conducted by Bryden Thomson
  • Britten’s The Turn of the Screw – Royal Opera House Orchestra conducted by Sir Colin Davis
  • Mozart’s The Magic Flute – Rundfunkchor Leipzig and Staatskapelle Dresden conducted by Sir Colin Davis
  • Verdi’s Il Travatore – Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia conducted by Carlo Maria Giulini
  • Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons – The Academy of Ancient Music conducted by Christopher Hogwood

Winner: Vivaldi‘s Four Seasons.

Best British Group

Presented by Rick Parfitt and Francis Rossi from Status Quo, who at the time had recently given up touring apparently. Before starting again a couple of years later. Nominees:

  • Bronski Beat
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood
  • Queen
  • U2
  • Wham!

Winner: Wham!

Best British Producer

Presented by George Martin. Nominees:

  • Peter Collins
  • Steve Jolley and Tony Swain
  • Laurie Latham
  • Steve Lillywhite
  • Trevor Horn

Apparently it’s about time he won it for the third time running. Winner: Trevor Horn, who seems to have attended with an animal on his head.

Best British Single

Frankie Goes to Hollywood stood a pretty good chance of winning this one. Nominees:

  • Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax
  • Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Two Tribes
  • George Michael – Careless Whisper
  • Sade – Smooth Operator

Winner: Frankie Goes to Hollywood – Relax.

Best British Male Solo Artist

Presented by Toyah Willcox. Nominees:

  • David Bowie
  • Howard Jones
  • Nik Kershaw
  • Paul McCartney
  • Paul Young

Unfortunately I can’t work out how to embed this video, but you can watch it in full here.

The winner is, of course, Paul Young.

Best Soundtrack / Cast Recording

Presented by Barbara Dickson and Elaine Paige. Nominees:

  • Electric Dreams (various artists)
  • Footloose (various artists)
  • Give My Regards to Broad Street (Paul McCartney)
  • Purple Rain (Prince and the Revolution)
  • The Woman in Red (Stevie Wonder and Dionne Warwick)

Winner: Purple Rain.

Best International Artist

Presented by a rather confused Holly Johnson out of Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Nominees:

  • Michael Jackson
  • Prince and the Revolution
  • Lionel Richie
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • ZZ Top

Winner: a decidedly bemused Prince, but without The Revolution in tow.

Radio 1 Best British Newcomer

Presented by Steve Wright in the afternoon.

Make sure you pay attention to Steve’s advice to stop taping records off the radio. As he says, it’s very, very naughty. Also in a fascinatingly off-colour joke, we learn that apparently Michael Jackson isn’t gay.

Winner: Frankie Goes to Hollywood.

Remember, Relax was banned on BBC Radio 1, so I’m particularly intrigued that their listeners would have voted for them in such numbers!

Runners up: Nik Kershaw (second place), Bronski Beat (third place).

Best Comedy Recording

Presented by “windswept and interesting” Billy Connolly. Nominees:

  • Wierd Al Yankovic – Eat It
  • Neil (The Young Ones) – Hole in My Shoe
  • Roland Rat – Rat Rapping
  • Mel Brooks – To Be or Not to Be (The Hitler Rap)
  • Alexei Sayle – Ullo John Got a New Motor

Winner: Neil from The Young Ones.

Best British Video

Although the strategy of getting nominated multiple times wasn’t quite as successful for Wham! in the video category. Nominees:

  • Duran Duran – Wild Boys
  • Wham! – Wake Me Up Before You Go Go
  • Wham! – Last Christmas

Winner: Duran Duran.

Outstanding Contribution

Winner: The Police.

Special Award

A special award was given to Bob Geldof and Midge Ure for their work on the Band Aid single.

Performances

Just the introductions, I’m afraid…

  • Alison Moyet – All Cried Out
  • Bronski Beat – Smalltown Boy
  • Howard Jones – What is Love?
  • Nik Kershaw – Wouldn’t it Be Good
  • Tina Turner – What’s Love Got to Do with It

Further Reading / Viewing

Edit: by strange coincidence The Guardian decided to celebrate the same ceremony by publishing Neil Tennant‘s review from Smash Hits, which you can read here. Thanks to daveid on the Pet Shop Boys forum for spotting this one.

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