Andrew H. Walker, Getty Images Nine days after the deadly tornado that touched…
- Posted by Johnny Dee
Wrong: Simply Red and KLF (Best British Act, 1992)
The biggest indignity for the KLF, an anti-establishment act who prided themselves in manipulating the music industry, was that they had to share the prize with Simply Red, purveyors of wan shoulder-pad soul. In an attempt to hijack the back-slapping event, the pop rave pranksters dumped a dead sheep at the door to the after-show party and promptly announced their split.
Right: New Order, 'True Faith' (Best British Video, 1988)
From its inception in 1982, the Brit Awards was dominated by establishment artists such as Cliff Richard, Phil Collins, Paul Young and Noel Edmonds. It clearly was not a place where left-field electronic bands from Manchester -- who may or may not have taken drugs -- would be welcomed. That notion was thrown out in 1988 when a video that featured glum men in foam costumes slapping one another was given the credit it so richly deserved. Hurrah!
Wrong: Mick Hucknall (Best British Male, 1993)
Surely the only reason the ginger warbler was given this honour was because he had suffered the indignities of being upstaged by KLF the previous year. From Cliff Richard to Paul Weller every year before and since, this award has been given to a solo artist -- that's the point of it . However, for some inexplicable reason, the criteria were changed in 1993, to the benefit of the Simply Red frontman. Worse, his group hadn't even released an album since 1991.
Right: Blur (Best British Band, 1995)
Faced with competition from rival award shows such as the Mercury Prize and NME's Brat Awards, the Brits faced up to the challenge of pretending to be cool by acknowledging the rise of Britpop by giving the biggest award of the night to a bunch of scruffy herberts who played guitars and sang about pigeons (Oasis won British Breakthrough Act -- beating off stiff competition from Echobelly and PJ & Duncan). Pink Floyd fans were not amused. Makes yer proud.
Wrong: Annie Lennox (Best British Female, 1996)
Lennox had hardly been prolific since the end of Eurythmics. In fact, in the entire 1990s she released a sum total of two albums. That didn't stop her being nominated every single year. It's not until you see the list of women who won when she didn't that you realise why the Brits loved her so -- there were no other British female artists. Say what you like, but no one's expecting a lifetime achievement award for Des'Ree any day soon.
Right: Belle & Sebastian (British Breakthrough Act, 1999)
Sponsored by Radio One and voted via that newfangled Internet thing, it was roundly expected that one of the much-hyped pop acts Steps, Blue or Another Level would triumph. Instead, the winner was a melodic indie band from Glasgow whose most notable song was about a sex toy ('The Boy With the Arab Strap'). A victory for common sense, then. Or maybe just some excellent bloc voting by mischievous Scottish students.
Wrong: Michael Jackson (Artist of a Generation, 1996)
The Brits loves inventing awards, especially if it secures the attendance of an American megastar. No one, incidentally, won this award before or after Jacko turned up to sing 'Earth Song' and suffer the horror of Jarvis Cocker's arse disrupting his majestic performance. Other short-lived prizes include Best British Pop Act, the Freddie Mercury Award, Best Comedy Recording and the Sony Award for Technical Excellence.
Right: The White Stripes (Best International Act, 2004)
In a night dominated by the combined forces of evil that were Dido, the Darkness and Busted, music fans could at least find solace in the White Stripes beating the Black Eyed Peas. Sadly, Jack and Meg were unable to attend the ceremony, where they could have met Lionel Richie -- choosing instead to send a video message thanking us for awarding them "The Most Wonderful Band In All of the Magic Kingdom." Those darn Brits and their crazy new categories.
Wrong: Kula Shaker (Best British Newcomer, 1997)
Having crowned Blur and Oasis at previous ceremonies, the Brits must have thought they were on to a winner, awarding the latest purveyors of cool '60s-influenced guitar rock. Sadly though the stripey-trousered fops had already come unstuck -- after singer Crispian Mills admitted a fondness for swastikas in the music press and everyone simultaneously realising they were totally rubbish. Sadly, no one had told the Brits.
Right: Arctic Monkeys (Best British Band, 2007)
Retrace the history of the Brits, and the pattern is usually that if you've won, your career is over, you've just released your worst album or your name is Annie Lennox. Timing is tricky in the fickle world of fashionable rock, but in 2007 they got it right by acknowledging the crazy sounds those youngsters were digging. Already showing signs of award-show fatigue, the Arctic Monkeys accepted via video linkup, magnificently dressed as characters from 'The Wizard of Oz.' It were reet magical, as they don't say in Yorkshire.
Wrong: The Darkness (Best British Album/British Group/British Rock Group, 2004)
A tongue-in-cheek celebration of heavy metal, the Darkness were a good joke that had been done far better before -- by Spinal Tap and Bad News. Sadly, the band began to believe its own hype -- not helped by its inglorious triumph at the Brits where they were chosen above Radiohead, who have never won at the Brits, as Best British Band. After numerous bouts of the kind of rock-star ego twittery they were supposed to be ridiculing, they disappeared into obscurity. Well, rehab.
Right: Iron Maiden (Best British Live Act, 2009)
Asked to bet on which bands listeners of the easygoing BBC Radio 2 would vote as best live act, and you would imagine Coldplay or Dame Vera Lynn would be among the favourites, but certainly not an ancient heavy metal band who once requested the nation to bring their daughters to the slaughter. However, they did, and it was enough to make you choke on your Werthers Original -- especially as they'd only played one UK date in the past two years. Never mind, though: The rock gods were happy.