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Portishead's win gave the prize
renewed credibility

Winner: Portishead - Dummy
Sounds like: Ethereal space jazz with hip-hop drum loops.
Key track: Sour Times - whose poignant refrain, "nobody loves me", sums up the band's intense, emotional style.

Subsequent career: Dummy sold 150,000 copies in the US based solely on word-of-mouth, but a crisis of confidence delayed the band's self-titled follow-up. Portishead are currently recording their third album.
Mercury barometer: High - Rewarding an innovative new act like Portishead was a shot in the arm for the Mercury prize.

Losers: Oasis - Definitely Maybe, Supergrass - I Should Coco

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