Tuesday, July 27, 1999 Published at 16:01 GMT 17:01 UK
Manics lead Mercury shortlist
Another award for the Manic Street Preachers?
The Manic Street Preachers, Blur and the Stereophonics lead the nominations for this year's Mercury Music Prize.
The annual award seeks to recognise the best album made by an act from the UK or Ireland released between August 1998 and July 1999.
The Manic Street Preachers are nominated for their album This Is My Truth, Tell Me Yours. It won Best Album at the Brit Awards earlier this year, while the band won Best British Group. Bookmakers William Hill made the group 3-1 favourite to win the prize.
Blur are nominated for their downbeat 13 album, while the Stereophonics' nomination for Performance and Cocktails is another milestone in the band's rise to fame.
Dance music is strongly represented this year. Faithless' Sunday 8pm album is nominated, as are Underworld's Beaucoup Fish and the Chemical Brothers' Surrender - which is second favourite with William Hill at 4-1.
Londoner Talvin Singh's mix of jazz, traditional Indian sounds and club beats has gained him a nomination. Leeds trio Black Star Liner, who also mix dance music with Asian influences, are also nominated.
Beth Orton also makes the shortlist with her fragile brand of folky pop, which has brought her a devoted following. Central Reservation follows her first album Trailer Park onto the shortlist.
Other styles of music are also recognised. Jazz artist Denys Baptiste is nominated for his debut album Be Where You Are.
He told the BBC's London station GLR: "I'm completely shocked. The other entries were great, and this is one of my very first records. I'm very pleased, it's great."
Past winners include drum 'n' bass DJ Roni Size and pop group M People, while Pulp won in 1996 with Different Class.
Last year's victors were Gomez, whose Bring It On album became one of 1998's biggest sellers after they won the prize.
This year's prize attracted 140 entries for the panel - chaired by music critic Simon Frith - to sift through.
Frith said of the large number of nominations for dance acts: "Dance music seems to be central to British pop music sensibility.
"The Chemical Brothers album most perfectly intergrates pop and dance, more clearly than Underworld which is pure dance."
He said the panel had not deliberately excluded mainstream pop acts, and pointed out one notable omission - Robbie Williams' album I've Been Expecting You - had not actually been entered for the competition.
The first Mercury prize was awarded in 1992. The award became so well known it still bears the name of its original sponsor, even though it is now backed by hi-fi manufacturers Technics.
The winners will be announced on 7 September.
The nominations are:
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