Album of 30 Years

I thought this rather interesting when I belatedly stumbled across it today: the shortlist for the BRIT Awards’ ‘Best Album of 30 Years’ accolade, representing the finest of 30 years of previous BRIT Award-winning albums.

They are as follows:

– Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head
– Dido, No Angel
– Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms
– Duffy, Rockferry
– Keane, Hopes & Fears
– Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
– Phil Collins, No Jacket Required
– Sade, Diamond Life
– The Verve, Urban Hymns
– Travis, The Man Who

The thing is, the BRITs being the music industry’s own awards, to be eligible you had to have already won a BRIT Award – in the Best British Album category – and you win this in the first place based on sales figures.

So, I had a look and found the other past winners… and realised that the shortlist probably is as good as it can get, although I would definitely substitute the two Manic Street Preachers albums at the expense of pretty much any of them bar Brothers in Arms and Urban Hymns. I would also like to see Annie Lennox (Union Jack-et negotiable) win a BRIT each year, even though she has seven already.

Do you favour any of these over the actual nominees? If, as many believe, Britannia ruled the (air)waves in the ’60s and ’70s, are these award-winning albums conclusive proof that things have gone downhill dramatically ever since?

– Adam and the Ants, Kings Of the Wild Frontier
– Blur, Parklife (Pink Floyd’s The Division Bell had been nominated)
– Coldplay, Parachutes and X&Y
– The Darkness, Permission to Land
– Fairground Attraction, First Of a Million Kisses
– Fine Young Cannibals, The Raw and the Cooked
– Annie Lennox, Diva
– Manic Street Preachers, Everything Must Go and This is My Truth, Tell Me Yours
– George Michael, Listen Without Prejudice
– Seal, Seal
– Stereo MCs, Connected
– Sting, Nothing Like the Sun

If, like me, you initially find the idea of the ten albums in contention representing the pinnacle of 30 years of British music as depressing as a bowl of cold porridge on a wet winter’s morn (and the use of ‘Best’ as contentious as, well, the last equivalent survey we discussed), you might find this stirs you from your malaise.

Ten ‘better’ albums, even if they weren’t as commercially-successful – from 1980 onwards, please. From UK artists only, don’t forget. (The Division Bell… Hello?)

Should you care to vote, voting closes at 9pm (UK) tomorrow – Thursday 28 January. The winning album will be the one with the most votes when voting ends.

You have to register to vote and the registration form asks for everything other than your shoe size, which may prove off-putting to some. (Slight exaggeration there, but why should one’s date of birth, not to mention telephone number, be required? Presumably the only advantage to registering is being able to cast a vote and leave a comment, not buy cigarettes, and nobody should expect a ring-back.)

The 2010 BRIT Awards will take place on 16 February. Will you be watching?

Author: FEd

Features Editor of David Gilmour’s official blog, The Blog (‘Features’ previously being its rather naff title), affectionately – or lazily – shortened to ‘FEd’.

54 thoughts on “Album of 30 Years”

  1. Wow, I have to admit, that’s quite an embarrassment. To me, only Oasis could possibly be justified in that list. Keane(!?!?)’s a copy (Travis) of a copy (Coldplay) of an original (Radiohead) that’s totally snubbed.

    My Personal Top 10 List, in no particular order: Radiohead’s OK COMPUTER and KID A, Spiritualized’s LADIES & GENTLEMEN…, My Bloody Valentine’s LOVELESS, Tricky’s MAXINQUAYE, The Smith’s THE QUEEN IS DEAD, Portishead’s DUMMY, Aphex Twin’s RICHARD D. JAMES, Pink Floyd’s THE FINAL CUT and THE DIVISION BELL.

    Maybe I should have gone for a top 20; I feel bad leaving off Primal Scream, Massive Attack, THE STONE ROSES, Oasis, the Manic Street Preachers, etc. If I think more about it, my list will probably alter even more…

  2. **Off-topic**

    Something funny happened, and I knew our friends here would appreciate it. It is very well known that Marcus and I met here on David’s site. Our friends outside of the blog know this too. A friend of ours gave Marcus and I matching DSOTM boxer shorts (Anthill’s gone crazy with merchandising the past few years, haven’t they? That’s another story for another day.)

    Our friend said that since Marcus and I are such Pink Floyd fans, we needed nicknames. So now I’m Pink and Marcus is Floyd. I thought it was pretty funny and thought some of you might too.

    49 more days till the expected arrive of James David!

    I hope you all are doing well. Thanks for the space FEd!

    ~Erin

    1. It is very well known that Marcus and I met here on David’s site.

      That’s great. I didn’t understand it.

      My best wishes, Erin. 🙂

  3. It just shows you how ignorant these contests can be, only to satisfy one ego.

    No, I won’t be watching nominations that night, I’ll probably be washing my hair! 😀

  4. What a bunch of junk. I’m not a big Radiohead fan, but I’d still take The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, or In Rainbows over any of those.

    That said, it is a bit sad that the British don’t have more to show from the last 30 years after virtually dominating for the previous 20.

    Did Closer by Joy Division come out in 1980 or 1979? I’m a big Public Image Ltd. fan, but Album (or Compact Disc, if you like…) is still a bit of a stretch for this list.

    Heck, I’d take Bang Bang Rock and Roll by Art Brut over these.

  5. Just wanted to say how much I enjoyed the chatroom yesterday. It is a fun crowd in there.

  6. Hi FEd,

    Oh, very interesting topic today. 8)

    I had a look at the list, and I voted for Coldplay “A Rush to Blood to The Head”. In my opinion, they’re an innovative band who have been good to get a new and original sound. In particularly, I admire Jonny Buckland, for his guitar style and I think he is, probably, one of a few best guitarists of the last decade. However in the list, there’s other great artists like: Verve, Travis, Dire Straits who they could win the Brit Awards.

    I quite agree with the list but, I would substitute Oasis with Mika.

    I believe, sometimes these lists are very far from public and don’t satisfy who listen to music.

    Have a nice day to all. 🙂

    Bye, Hydrea

  7. Sorry Fed, I think that’s an insult to cold porridge, still another evening freed up to watch Gdansk… at least the Division Bell was classy enough to become a postage stamp and it didn’t need forty licks to stick it to an envelope!

    Heather

  8. It’s a disappointing list, but there wasn’t a lot to choose from really.

    My BRIT list would be:

    – Coldplay, A Rush of Blood to the Head
    – Dire Straits, Brothers in Arms
    – Keane, Hopes & Fears
    – Oasis, (What’s the Story) Morning Glory?
    – The Verve, Urban Hymns
    – Travis, The Man Who

    – Blur, Parklife
    – The Darkness, Permission to Land
    – Manic Street Preachers, Everything Must Go
    – Sting, Nothing Like the Sun

    I’ll be back with a list that doesn’t have to follow BRIT rules later. It will be miles better, LOL.

    Alan McGee’s rant made me laugh. What’s he done since Oasis anyway?

  9. I’d keep ‘Brothers in Arms’ and ‘Urban Hymns’ change the Coldplay one to ‘X&Y’ and add:

    ‘Division Bell’
    ‘A Momentary Lapse of Reason’
    ‘On An Island’
    ‘Performance and Cocktails’ – Stereophonics
    ‘Hounds of Love’ – Kate Bush
    ‘Let’s Dance’ – David Bowie
    ‘Dare’ – Human League
    ‘Be Yourself Tonight’ – Eurythmics

    Happy coincidence that Sade has popped up when she’s got a new album out next month?

    1. You cynic, you. 😛

      Performance and Cocktails was nominated for Best Album in 2000, I recall, and missed out to Travis.

    2. All you people forgot about Radiohead?

      Four-time nominee for Best Album. Beaten by Duffy (2009), Dido (2002), Coldplay (2001) and The Verve (1998).

      Although not a Radiohead fan, I am surprised at that.

      The BRIT vaults throw up an interesting statistic: Radiohead have been nominated for an award on 15 occasions but have never won.

  10. Dire Straits’ “Brothers in Arms” is, probably, the only album of the ones above that I would include in my personal list.

    Then, some of my favourites are, of course, Pink Floyd’s “The Division Bell” and “The Final Cut”, Iron Maiden’s “Piece of Mind”, “Synchronicity” by The Police, Alan Parsons’ “Stereotomy”, Radiohead’s “OK Computer”, Massive Attack’s “Mezzanine” and Portishead’s “Dummy”.

    1. I remember being fortunate to attend the Unplugged concert at Bray Studios. It was stunning.

  11. Excuuuuuuuuse me!!!!!!!!

    A best of for 30 years and no Pink Floyd? 😕

    Sorry, can’t post what I think of the list.

    Jan

  12. Interesting George Michael solo is on your list above but not WHAM? They never got a BRIT award. I remember back in the 80s you couldn’t get away from them with their Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go.

    Thanks.

    Andrew

  13. Hello everyone. Here’s my list:

    Hounds Of Love- Kate Bush
    The Dreaming- Kate Bush
    Scary Monsters And Super Creeps- David Bowie
    Dummy- Portishead
    Maxinquaye- Tricky
    Momentary Lapse Of Reason- Pink Floyd
    The Division Bell- Pink Floyd
    Suede- Suede
    Dog Man Star- Suede
    You Arsenal- Morrissey
    Nearly God- Tricky

    OK, I know there’s 11 in my list, but it’s a Marshall list. It’s one louder, innit.

  14. Another list, in a list of too many lists. I’m still buying “new” records of those 3 decades since I couldn’t afford them earlier, so I still discover great compositions and songs and I can’t imagine reducing them to 10 for a list. It was quite hard to fill-out a list for a decade…

    (Slight exaggeration there, but why should one’s date of birth, not to mention telephone number, be required? Presumably the only advantage to registering is being able to cast a vote and leave a comment, not buy cigarettes, and nobody should expect a ring-back.)

    That’s data mining at its best. I always enter dummy data here, and only very few web forms are clever enough and need a special treatment. 😉

    The 2010 BRIT Awards will take place on 16 February. Will you be watching?

    No.

    BTW: We finally have winter here in Bavaria. With snow and lame drivers it took me 3 hours for 140km. 🙁

    Best regards

    Taki

  15. Aside from both Pink Floyd albums I would have included maybe Stanley Road or Wild Wood by Paul Weller.

  16. Brit Awards, IMHO, what a joke! Actually, award shows in general.

    Didn’t The Spice Girls win the Outstanding Contribution To Music Award in 2000? 😉

    Odd list. Not sure if I understood the rules perfectly, but, if the albums have to have previously won Best Brit Album and have to be the ten biggest sellers from that list of winners, there is some logic behind that silliness.

    Stupid rules of course lead to stupid results. My logic.

    Anyway, ‘best sellers’, that is ‘most popular’ doesn’t mean ‘best’.

    I read “And he (McGee) accused the Brits of being nothing more than a marketing exercise for the big record labels.” I think he is right.

    I wonder, did Pink Floyd or David ever win any Brit Award?

    1. Pink Floyd were nominated for Best Album (for The Division Bell) as well as Best Group in 1995. Blur won both awards.

      They were nominated for the same two titles back in 1977, at a special Silver Jubilee awards ceremony to commemorate the music made during Queen Elizabeth II’s 25 years on the throne.

      The winners and other nominees can be found here. Stiff competition and a certain inevitability about the results, I’m sure you’ll agree.

  17. The Division Bell is my favourite album… it still sounds so fresh and new every time I listen to it.

    Have a nice weekend!
    Cheers… Paul

  18. I’d also add Marillion’s “Misplaced Childhood” to my list.

    Happy weekend FEd and everyone. 🙂

  19. Absolutely great article the interview to Alan McGee. We could not be irritated enough to assist to such sickness.

    But then again, who of us bothers to see the Brit Awards? Am I the only non-mainstream music lover here? I don’t think so. If we are David’s fans we are not mainstream.

    The only thing I disagree with McGee is about retirement. Honestly that was a bit shallow. I think rockers should rock until they have the strength and passion to do it.

    Look at Johnny Winter, Ozzy Osbourne, Andy Latimer for example. They all risked to die in their mature years, but were blessed to survive serious illnesses, and what do they do? Do they sit and count money? No, they stand up and entertain their public. That’s what an artist does, no matter how old.

  20. Muse – Absolution
    Manic Street Preachers – Holy Bible
    Radiohead – OK Computer
    Pulp – Different Class
    Oasis – Definitely Maybe
    Happy Mondays – Pills ‘N’ Thrills and Bellyaches
    Portishead – Portishead
    Coldplay – Parachutes
    Bush – Razorblade Suitcase
    Supergrass – I Should Coco

  21. Will I be watching on Feb 16th? No!

    Best LP of last 30 years? How The West Was Won. (If The Wall had been released one month later it would have been a contender.) Others include: Division Bell, Joshua Tree, Scary Monsters, Lexicon of Love, Queen Is Dead, Love Over Gold, On An Island & Avalon.

    We had the conversation at work about our favourite LPs. Perhaps it is because of our ages and therefore era, but all of us named albums from the 1960s and 1970s.

  22. Hi FEd,

    Appropo of nothing at all, except David’s comments about Syd tapes in the recent MOJO. I would love to hear what David would make of a new version of “Two Of A Kind”. It would be a fitting title for a song about two lost friends. Richard wrote it for Syd. Syd sang it on John Peel’s show. But it was never properly recorded. I reckon David could do a smashing up to the minute job on it.

    I am now the proud owner of “By the Way” [nice birthday pressie] and am resisting the urge to cut the plastic bag around “Wish You Were Here”. How long can I last out, I wonder?

    1. I would love to hear what David would make of a new version of “Two Of A Kind”. It would be a fitting title for a song about two lost friends. Richard wrote it for Syd. Syd sang it on John Peel’s show. But it was never properly recorded. I reckon David could do a smashing up to the minute job on it.

      I entirely agree.

  23. personally i think music should be judged by the soul, not by corporate numbers. it is quite a personal experience for all. the fact that the division bell [and others] has not won more acclaim on paper is literally meaningless to those who are quite happy in their own space. i myself felt that live in gdansk was one of the most moving experiences i have seen and heard in quite some time.

    i am quite sure david will continue to refresh the soul of all those who follow his works.

  24. hello my friend, my list is

    division bell
    momentary lapse of reason
    on an island, i like this album and
    brothers in arms (dire straits)
    oasis (morning glory)
    metallica (masters of puppets)
    eric clapton (unplugged)
    stevie ray vaughan (texas flood)
    nirvana (nevermind)

    i think this is a good list. and you?

    DAVID IS GREAT!!!

    1. I like your list (except Oasis) and agree with your last words. 😉

      And good to see some rebel who doesn’t obey all the rules, because I don’t think that Metallica, Stevie Ray Vaughan or Nirvana are/were UK artists. 😛

  25. I agree with Gianluca above – That’s what an artist does, no matter how old. – ” ♫♪♪ It’s better to burn out, than it is to rust,,♫♪♪,,”

    As for The Brits – The view from way across the pond is that these albums were more successful in that they had a hit single that accounted for sales and were less successful in being a collection of works representative of their artists, which is what I feel an album is, or should be.

    That said, last years sales figures indicate the hit single is back on the rise.

  26. OK then, here’s a list of sorts.

    Pink Floyd ” Oh By the Way”, ah! that’s too many already, but it was issued in the last 30 years!

    Amplifier by Amplifier
    Mr Johnson & me – Eric Clapton
    Black Crows with Jimmy Page -Live at the Greek
    OAI natch
    Division Bell natch
    Harpo’s Ghost – Thea Gilmore
    Amused to Death – The other fella
    Out of the Blue – ELO
    In between Dreams – Jack Johnson
    Long road out of Eden – Eagles

    …and probably loads more.

    BTW what is it about Coldplay? Am I missing something, that makes whiney voiced minimalist lyrics so special?

  27. Hi: The first time I have made a comment.

    I sat by David (and said hullo) at the amazing concert of Leonard Cohen at the 02 Arena, London in 2009. I am the Dad of The Webb Sisters who sing with Leonard Cohen (and Sting on his new album).

    I have just seen the concert that was on Sky Arts – David in concert (Graham Nash / David Crosby guesting). I just want to say how fantastic David and the band sounded. BRILLIANT.

    My daughters will be back in the UK soon and I will show them David’s concert before they resume Leonard’s world tour with him.

    1. Thank you very much, Graham.

      I thoroughly enjoyed Leonard Cohen’s show, in Cardiff, last year. An amazing concert, as you said of the O2.

      Compliments to your talented daughters.

    2. You must be one very proud Dad, Graham. I was lucky enough to attend Leonard Cohen’s Edinburgh and Glasgow shows last year. If I remember correctly he described your daughters as “sublime” – they were.

  28. On another note, 22nd of January on your Calendar deserves a birthday. Make it mine.

    XX

    Err… please?

    1. Consider it done, Roger.

      Happy Birthday to Ash, who’s having cards thrust at her and, I hope, is being forced to eat cake today.

    2. Err… thanks.

      It looks so much better don’t you think?

      So what’s it going to be on Saturday? Red or White at Twickenham? Red for you I should imagine. 🙂

    3. So what’s it going to be on Saturday? Red or White at Twickenham? Red for you I should imagine. 🙂

      Yes, Red for me. It always has to be Red, whether it be football, rugby, wine or an election. 😉

    4. Yes, Red for me. It always has to be Red, whether it be football, rugby, wine or an election.

      …and Pepsi cans. :))

  29. Here would be mine:

    Pink Floyd – The Wall (nominated for 1980 Album Of the Year Grammy but LOST to Christopher Cross)
    Rush – Moving Pictures
    Iron Maiden – The Number of the Beast
    Genesis – The Mama Album
    Genesis – We Can’t Dance
    Queen – Innuendo
    Pink Floyd – The Division Bell
    Black Sabbath – Heaven and Hell
    Jethro Tull – A
    Styx – Paradise Theatre
    Emerson Lake and Powell – self titled
    Van Halen – 1984
    Judas Priest – Painkiller
    Slayer – Reign in Blood
    Queensryche – Operation Mindcrime

  30. Have to admit there have been some entertaining moments, Sam Fox and Mick Fleetwood for example. It was a shame for them because it wasn’t their fault (and they did behave like professionals and kept going), but it was so funny. I’d be tempted to watch if we knew that level of entertainment was lined up again.

    Can’t fathom why The Division Bell didn’t win. Something to do with the age group and interest level of the voters I guess. The thing is, there’s more of them than there are of us.

    ash 😕

  31. Thank you very much, Graham.

    I thoroughly enjoyed Leonard Cohen’s show, in Cardiff, last year. An amazing concert, as you said of the O2.

    Compliments to your talented daughters.

    Thank you Fed. Charley & Hattie will be back in the UK later this week. I will also share your kind comments with them re Cardiff concert with Leonard Cohen.

    I hope David sees my earlier message re how super the recent concert was on Sky Arts.

    Graham Webb

  32. You must be one very proud Dad, Graham. I was lucky enough to attend Leonard Cohen’s Edinburgh and Glasgow shows last year. If I remember correctly he described your daughters as “sublime” – they were.

    Lorraine. Thank you. Yes, Leonard Cohen always kindly refers to The Webb Sisters as ‘sublime.’ I met (amazing) David at Leonard’s 02 Arena concert.

    Great that you enjoyed the ‘Leonard’ concerts in Glasgow and Edinburgh. The girls just played 5 ‘Webb Sisters’ gigs in LA and San Fran (Brian Ray from Paula McCartney Band on bass) and their brother Brad on percussion. Brad (on drums) is about to tour again with JAMIE CULLUM.

    Thank you again.

    GRAHAM WEBB

  33. I wasn’t able to watch the Brit awards. Thanks for posting this. Now I know who won.

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