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Tuesday, 13 August, 2002, 09:07 GMT 10:07 UK
Mercury Prize nominees: Your views
This year's Mercury Music Prize nominations have thrown up the usual mix of diverse artists including Beverley Knight, The Coral, David Bowie, Gemma Hayes, Roots Manuva and Joanna MacGregor.
The shortlist and winner are decided by a group of judges who look for creativity and artistic credibility, rather than commercial success.
The chairman of the judges, Simon Frith, described the shortlist as "the most joyful" for years.
But what did you think?
This debate is now closed. A selection of your comments is below.
Beverley Knight embarrasses the UK with her talent. In America a black singer with her talent would reign supreme but England does not and will not embrace her talent the way it should. Maybe she needs to sell out to Simon Fuller, Capital Radio and the marketing machine, then perhaps we would have a soul diva on our hands. Good for you Bev, for keeping Black British soul music alive and being proud. Good luck for tonight.
If the Mercury Music Prize is to go to a new and original British act then only two fit the bill, The Streets and Roots Manuva, the others have been done before but these two are truly "brand new". Praise be to Mike Skinner. We hear you brother.
Gemma Hayes should win, though her album is not as good as her EPs and B-sides. Oddly, though, I have to wonder where Idlewild are the best band to come out of Scotland since Simple Minds and The Proclaimers.
How many people in this country have got BBC Four? After many years of making little impact the Mercury prize is starting to generate real interest and making people like me aware of new and exciting music. BBCi's coverage has been excellent. It is a shame therefore that the award ceremony itself has been relegated from a channel the majority of people could watch
Nice to see a mix of acts, ages and styles. Out of all the music awards held every year, Mercury at least pays some homage to talent and substance in an industry otherwise drowning in repetative dance acts and bubble-gum teen pop. Thankfully no nomination for S Club Juniors then...
By far the best and diverse nominations for ages. I hope The Streets wins the prize, but it's no bad thing if any of them do.
Congratulations to all those nominated, but it's a disappointing selection. Once again, the panel have largely failed to look further than the current music press darlings, yielding yet another predictably pompous shortlist. Also sad to see such a poor showing for dance and electronic acts. What no Boards Of Canada?
I've only heard two of the albums on the shortlist. But for those two at least, I have to agree with them - they are excellent albums. Its just nice to be free of pop trash at least once a year!
Bowie .... complete bobbins - he has always been overrated but this is ridiculous.
If the prize is judged on creativity, then it has to go to the Streets for the newest sound in years. Much as I like Bowie, I think that he's been around too long to receive an award like this.
The Mercury Music Prize is a good thing because it introduces new music to people who otherwise would not have even heard of the majority of the artists let alone taken a chance and bought a copy of the album. There are some great albums in this years nominations - Coral, The Doves, The Streets and in my opinion the best debut album by a british band since Oasis released Definitely, Maybe - The Electric Soft Parade's Holes in the Wall. I hope that any of these four bands win so that they get the acclaim they rightly deserve and then more people will realise that there actually is some good music out there today, even though it may not get in the top ten.
Beverley Knight? Ha ha ha ha! Shurely shome mishtake? Whitney Houston karaoke - just what the world needs! For God's sake don't encourage the woman to produce anymore sentimental god-awful ballads. It's got to be The Streets this year - real music from the UK, not a poor interpretation of bad American music.
I wish the judges were honest enough to cut the jazz and classical albums that get a token showing in the nominations. Guy Barker and Joanna MacGregor are both very very fine musicians, but are not representative of their very wide and eclectic fields.
Please not The Streets. Definitely some of the most embarrassing and cringing rubbish I've ever heard. Don't let them win!
Some very good nominees there, in particular Roots Manuva, the Streets and Gemma Hayes. I hope Gemma Hayes wins due to the fact that she is from somewhere close to where I live. From a musical stand point, I'd rather Roots Manuva won, I enjoyed Run Come Save Me more than Original Pirate Material. I find it strange that Bowie is nominated, I thought the Mercury Prize was for relatively new/young acts.
A diverse shortlist as ever, but much as I like the Bowie album, isn't he a bit long in the tooth?! And where is the excellent Black Rebel Motorcycle Club?
Yes as diverse as ever, but of the albums I know not one of them excels like winners in the past. The Coral, Doves, Electric Soft Parade are good albums but none really shine. As for Bowie or Beverley Knight, scraping the barrel. The Bees, The Streets or Ms Dynamite are the only significant albums that I've heard from the list.
If you've not heard it, check out Joanna MacGregor's Play - pure genius and not wholly "classical".
I want the album that has universal approval amongst people I know (a rarity!) to win - Run Come Save me by Roots Manuva. His lyrics are not pseudo-American rubbish, but about British life, things recognisable to us. Same goes for the Streets; either would be a win for a truly brilliant and innovative, very British album.
I've been unable to find either a list of who the judges are or any description of how the shortlist is drawn up. Without this basic information I don't see why any music buyer should take the prize seriously. At least if I buy a music magazine, I can see who's written the review.
Doves, without a doubt, if only for the magnificent track Pounding.
Contrary to some other opinions voiced here, I believe it was exceedingly daring of the Mercury judges to nominate the Bowie album. It is a wonderful collection of tracks and deserves recognition on that basis, regardless of the fact that he's released so much quality music already.
The Electric Soft Parade album deserves to win. It's exciting, varied, and original. Certainly better than anything Bowie has done for the last 30 years...although I saw Labyrinth again last night.
Only three acts that are truly original - The Streets, Roots Manuva and The Bees - like to see the prize make a difference - so The Bees gets my vote - probably the least well known and a truly beautiful album. Time to put the Isle of Wight on the map.
I like Doves, they're a great band, and they deserve to win that prize. Thumbs up for their performances!
The Mercury Music Prize is a sham, the list smacks of industry back slapping, the exclusion of the Reindeer Sections's Son of Evil Reindeer shows a dispicable lack of musical taste. The album works on so many more levels than that of The Bees for example, which is a two song album at best. I fear that big fat brown envelopes have been changing hands and that the music industry, especially Mercury, should be ashamed of themselves.
Having followed the music scene for the last 45 years, I was fortunate enough to see the most exciting band
I have seen in years at the Manchester Uni gig last June. Can't wait for The Coral to make it big time.
I think it should go to Doves. I agree with Andy from London, Pounding is excellent and the best track on the album. Was lucky enough to see them live in Amsterdam and their drummer is unbelievable, fantastic.
Got to be The Streets to win, although glad Roots Manuva and Ms Dynamite are included. But why on earth are the Mercury panel still so enthralled by guitar music? The vast majority of guitar-led bands are just doing rehashes of old genres that were pedestrian at the best of times. I doubt very much whether the panel would ever be brave enough to nominate some truly orignal work - High Contrast anyone? I suppose the panel feel that they don't have to acknowledge drum 'n' bass since Roni Size won for the (average) New Forms. Oh well, at least there's no Oasis. Now that would just be plain insufferable.
I'm sure Gemma Hayes is a lovely girl, but one Dido was quite enough, I don't think we need an Irish one too. And where are Spiritualized?
Has to be Doves or The Coral. Fantastic music. The Streets are different but it just makes me cringe and Bowie is a has-been.
The BRMC are American which is why they aren't nominated. Bowie has made his best album in years and surely deserves some recognition for that..will The Streets still be making quality music in 30 years?
On the whole a good shortlist, reflecting Mercury's usual eclecticism. However, I agree with Keli Richards: I was very disappointed not to see a nom for Boards of Canada's beautiful, haunting and ethereal soundscape of an album, Geogaddi.
It's gotta be The Bees for all out summery genius like never before! The Streets is barely listenable after more than a couple of times, and the rest are po-faced numpties. THE BEES!
Nah, nah, nah. Whither Aphex Twins Superb Drukgs or The Lo-Fidelity Allstars' Don't Be Afraid Of Love which manages to touch base with every musical cornerstone of the last 30 years and yet still be dazzlingly original. These Mercury dudes don't know they're born...quite nice to see The Streets nominated though (!)
Joanna MacGregor deserves to win for her ability to cross so many musical boundaries. Above all her sheer musical excellence is a key element for her deserving a prize such as this.
The winner should be Gemma Hayes, but the award went to a female singer-songwriter last year, so I reckon it'll go to The Streets.
Three or four excellent choices, one or two duds, but who nominated Beverley Knight?! I suppose there's always some token pap in there, but remember when the judges let their guard down and the execrable M-People sneaked in to inexplicably win - let that be a lesson to the judges not to repeat the mistakes of history...
By the way Jon, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club may have produced a mighty fine album, but unfortunately they suffer in the nomination stakes from being distinctly American.
Beverley Knight and David Bowie, but no Idlewild! That just doesn't make sense. They surely cannot claim that it is too recent to be entered as The Coral's album only came out this week. Anyway, my vote goes to Gemma Hayes. A great debut album.
I love Bowie and like his new album... what can I say?
Bowie = da winner,
It's about time Bowie's greatness was acknowledged. It is irrelevant that he has been around for yonks. It is the music that matters, and no one is making it as good as he is. No-one. He is that rare thing in pop culture - a true artist.
It's an interesting list and has quite a few of my faves. I think putting Bowie forward is great. He has inspired a number of those on the list and his latest album is great. But I expect The Doves to win.
The Irish Dido?! Who said that? I discovered Gemma Hayes last summer when I found her debut EP in a shop in France. All acoustic, I loved it, and I love her album. There's a variety and depth to her material far beyond the bland likes of Dido.
Oh no! The Mercury music prize is being spoiled by tedious "garidge" rubbish like The Streets... A pretty good list, but losing the "garidge" would make it even better.
If further proof was needed that the Mercury is a popularity prize rather than a serious award for musical talent it will come with the inevitable failure of either Joanna MacGregor or Guy Barker to win. In any sane universe they'd be so far ahead you wouldn't see the rest of the pack.
In response to Paul Fisher re Bowie, this is obviously a comment from someone who hasn't taken the time to listen to his new album. To have come back from the wilderness after such a long time demonstrates his nous for creating great music. He or Doves should win, but I'm sure the Streets will.
I don't believe it, where are Kid Galahad in the nominations? They are by far the most talented original band in today's music scene. Who nominated these bands anyway???
An eclectic list, but they're all pop albums. I'm disappointed not to see Geogaddi by Boards Of Canada nominated (although I suspect Warp Records probably didn't enter them).
Out of the list, I'd like Doves to win. It's the best predominantly guitar-based album in a long time.
Please don't let The Streets win! It's not original, it just sounds like that because no one else would dare release something so awful! People should stop criticising Bowie, the new album has a nice range of styles and has a fantastic sound - well worth the seven year wait. Roots Manuva is a fine album, but perhaps not quite good enough to win. Doves have used marketing tricks to get where they are, and while the album is good, it isn't fantastic. The other nominees almost feel like token entries from the other genres and are unlikely to win. Yet again they've missed out shortlisting several much better albums.
Bowie has produced a great album and definitely deserves his nomination. A few people have mentioned his age...not sure what that has to to with anything. I expect that The Coral will win though.
Roots Manuva because his album is simply a brilliant piece of UK originality. The Streets is a shocking nomination. His music is purile. I feel embarrassed to come from the same city as that man.
Of course David Bowie! Not only has he released one of the best albums of his career but also the best of the year. His nominee is a surprise only because the British have no memory. For god's sake, who will remember Doves or Coral in 30 years from now? No one, although Bowie will agree that the Streets album is very good!
The Electric Soft Parade should win for sure. The album is the most refreshing music I've heard for a long time. In fact it's the first time in years that an album has just blown me away on the first listen. They have an uncanny knack for strong melodic choruses, and the songs are very well written. The production is great, sounds like they went to town with Pro Tools. Very, very well done indeed!
Although the list of nominees is pretty awesome, I couldn't shake off my disappointment that Kid Galahad failed to appear. Live they are astounding, fully giving voice to their eclectic sound and they have one of the best frontmen I have ever seen. Utterly inspiring.
Cannot believe that Kid Galahad, one of this country's finest new bands is not included in the nominations.
Obviously Joanna MacGregor has bags of talent and deserves an award for bucking the trend in the classical genre and seeking to promote and introduce a wide-variety of lesser known compositions, rather than re-hash the well-known ones - Classic FM style. She even set up her own record label. However, Joanna MacGregor┐s never gonna win - it's a token gesture, particularly as the record companies can┐t make any money out of her!
As the Mercury prize has been going a few years now, its time to decide about the obviously token classical and jazz nominations. As it's a relatively weak year in rock/pop, it could be a good chance to give it to Guy Barker. Not the best jazz album of the year, but definitely worthy of acclaim.
Bowie, God bless you Maam, my personal favourite of the list, but probably doesn't need the gong. Of the rest, the Streets are riding the zeitgeist, but the music is not the most inspiring. In summary, I think the gong should go to Bev Knight, so all the quality acts are treated fairly and the Mercury prize can retain its spirit of contrariness.
Great to see the Mercury list again this year - the highlight of the music awards. Of the ones I've heard I love most of them, the ones I haven't heard - well, the Mercury just makes me wanna go out and hear 'em. Of course we are all gonna hate one or two of them - that's the idea, a diverse range of music. I would hate it if I liked them all - 'cos then it would just be pop, wouldn't it?
I think the Streets is getting a bit of a hard review from people. Yes, it touches on the cringeworthy, but it does present some more interesting points of view (that people may not always appreciate), and I think there is creativity in there that warrants nomination.
However, it is with out a shadow of a doubt, in my opinion, that Doves should win. Both their albums have shown the world that guitars and decent production can go together to create music that breaks through the usual din of many of today's new bands, and I believe they still lead the pack in "creativity and artistic credibility".
To those who complain that the nominations are too guitar based, I would say there are two reasons for that...1)There has been way too much garage, R'n'B and rubbish like of that type recently, that the judges will never be able to battle through the tripe to the beef (if there is any) within 12 months and 2) to make music with an instrument relies on passion and not just creativity. Anyone can press a key.... see? The only feeling there is at the end of my finger!
I can't stand garage music, but the Streets prove that its originality and quality that counts, not genre.
Will he be making good music in 30 years? Who cares, this is a great album.
If The Bees don't win this I'll eat my mother.
The Bees? What? There are thousands of bands at this level. This smacks of backhanders. They're good but not that good. For god's sake! However take Roots Manuva who has made two exceptional albums seeping originality that doesn't deny where it comes from in the world. This music is progressing forward not looking back. Let's think about this.
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