Freddie Mercury Blows A Kiss

Alternative Mercury Music Prize

A few days ago, possibly on the day the Mercury Music Prize nominees were announced, former Stylus Magazine dot com writer Nick Southall stuck a list of “better” Mercury Music Prize winners up on his blog. I have put together my own list. To be honest, I don’t think they are in any meaningful sense better than what actually won. I’m glad I don’t have to judge the Mercury Music prize ‘cos I don’t think my choice would always go down too well. Yeah, the best British album released in 1997 was a Suede B-side album.

Here are my choices, Spotify links included so you can go and listen to any of them:

1992 – Denim: Back in Denim

I wrote about this here. Not at the time obviously. I preferred Mr Blobby then.

1993 – Manic Street Preachers:  Generation Terrorists

I wrote about the closing track, Condemned to Rock ‘n Roll, here.

1994 – Morrissey: Vauxhall and I

1995 – Spiritualized: Pure Phase

1996 – The Auteurs: After Murder Park

1997 – Suede: Sci-Fi Lullabies

1998 – The Divine Comedy: Fin de Siecle

I think I kind of “stopped bothering” with music in the late ’90s. Think my Mum bought this album on cassette, it is good though.

1999 – The Auteurs: How I Learned to Love the Bootboys

2000 – Primal Scream: XTRMNTR

2001 – Aphex Twin: Drukqs

2002 – Busted: Busted

Bit patchy but “You Said No”, “Year 3000” and the one about the hot teacher were great singles.

2003 – Blur: Think Tank

Easily their best. The only Balearic Britpop album?

2004 – Bark Psychosis: Codename: Dustsucker

2005 – Sway: This Is My Promo

Wrote about this here. He had a top ten hit last year!

2006 – Scott Walker: The Drift

I once said this about it:

“The grotesque depths of The Drift, with their bleak vistas of cruelty and carnage, put paid to the notion that any one decade has the monopoly on human suffering. Amongst shifting soundscapes Walker croons, growls, croaks and occasionally even sings about Mussolini, Milosevic, Russian revolutionaries, 9/11 and Elvis Presley’s still-born brother. It’s an avant-garde archive of pain stretching back into the darkness of history. The music – harsh, dissonant and on occasions terrifyingly silent – falls far beyond what can reasonably be described as rock or pop but its shifting dynamics project an intensity and immediacy that’s utterly immersive. Yet amid the despair, flashes of beauty, and queasy humour. Staring further into an abyss than many have dared as “A Lover Loves” comes to a close, Walker whispers “it’s alright.” On this cathartic end note he suggests that the horrors of history still allow for a semblance of hope. ”

2007 – Burial: Untrue

2008 – The Indelicates: American Demo

2009 – Various Artist: Five Years of Hyperdub

2010 – Forest Swords: Dagger Paths

2011 – PJ Harvey: Let England Shake

This actually won the prize but it’s really good and I couldn’t think of anything better. As, my girlfriend asked when I was jotting this list down: “do people still listen to albums?”


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