Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The Ivor Novello Awards

First posted 5/20/2012. Updated 5/21/2014.

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Named after entertainer Ivor Novello, these awards for songwriting and composing – nicknamed The Ivors – are presented annually by the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (BASCA). Since it was founded in 1956, the organization has given out more than 1000 awards to primarily British and Irish songwriters and composers.

Despite the best efforts of Dave’s Music Database, a source cannot be found for checking out past Ivor winners. This is maddenly common for music awards. One would think the official sites would have all the past winners and nominees available in an easy-to-search database, but more often than not, it isn’t possible to find out winners beyond the most recent year. Here’s what the DMDB has found about past Ivor winners (performer listed first and then writers in parentheses):


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Retrograde” by James Blake (James Blake)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Strong” by London Grammar (Dominic Major, Hannah Reid, Daniel Rothman)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Let Her Go” by Passenger (Mike Rosenberg)


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Pelican” by The Maccabees (Sam Doyle, Rupert Jarvis, Orlando Weeks, Felix White, Hugo White)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Next to Me” by Emeli Sandé (Hugo Chegwin, Harry Craze, Anup Paul, Emeli Sandé)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Dance with Me Tonight” by Olly Murs (Claude Kelly, Oliver Murs, Steve Robson)


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Video Games” by Lana Del Rey (Lana Del Rey & Justin Parker)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “The A Team” by Ed Sheeran (Ed Sheeran)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Rolling in the Deep” by Adele (Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth)

    Lana Del Rey “Video Games”


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Pass Out” by Tinie Tempah (Timothy McKenzie, Patrick Okogwu, & Marc Williams)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Becoming a Jackal” by the Villagers (Conor O’Brien)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “She Said” by Plan B (Eric Appapoulay, Richard Cassell, Benjamin Drew, Tom Wright-Goss)


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Daniel” by Bat for Lashes (Natasha Khan)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “The Fear” by Lily Allen (Lily Allen & Greg Kurstin)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “The Fear”

    Lily Allen “The Fear”


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Grounds for Divorce” by Elbow (Guy Garvey, Richard Jupp, Craig Potter, Mark Potter, & Peter Turner)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “One Day Like This” by Elbow (Guy Garvey, Richard Jupp, Craig Potter, Mark Potter, & Peter Turner)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Mercy” by Duffy
  • Best Selling British Single: “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay

    Coldplay “Viva La Vida”


  • Best Contemporary Song: “People Help the People” by Cherry Ghost (Simon Aldred)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Love Is a Losing Game” by Amy Winehouse (Amy Winehouse)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Shine” by Take That
  • Best Selling British Single: “Beautiful Liar” by Beyonce & Shakira (Amanda Ghost)


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Rehab” by Amy Winehouse (Amy Winehouse)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Elusive” by Scott Matthews (Scott Matthews)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” by Scissor Sisters (Elton John, Scott Hoffman, & Jason Sellards)
  • Best Selling British Single: “A Moment Like This” by Leona Lewis
  • International Hit of the Year: “Sorry” by Madonna

    Amy Winehouse “Rehab”


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Athlete” by Wires
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Suddenly I See” by KT Tunstall
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “You’re Beautiful” by James Blunt (Amanda Ghost & Sacha Skarbek)
  • Best Selling British Single: “That’s My Goal” by Shayne Ward
  • International Hit of the Year: “You’re Beautiful”

    James Blunt “You’re Beautiful”


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Take Me Out” by Franz Ferdinand (Robert Hardy, Alex Kapranos, Nick McCarthy, & Paul Thomson)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Dry Your Eyes” by The Streets (Mike Skinner)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Toxic” by Britney Spears (Cathy Dennis, Bloodshy, Henrik Jonback, & Avant)
  • Best Selling British Single: “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” by Band Aid 20 (Bob Geldof & Midge Ure)
  • International Hit of the Year: “Vertigo” by U2 (Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, & Larry Mullen Jr.)

    Franz Ferdinand “Take Me Out”


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Stronger Than Me” by Amy Winehouse (Salaam Remi)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Leave Right Now” by Will Young (Francis Eg White)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Superstar” by Jamelia (Mich Hansen, Joseph Belmaati, & Remee)
  • Best Selling British Single: “Mad World” by Michael Andrews & Gary Jules (Roland Orzabal)
  • International Hit of the Year: “White Flag” by Dido (Dido Armstrong, Rollo Armstrong, & Rick Nowels)

    Michael Andrews with Gary Jules “Mad World”


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Weak Become Heroes” by The Streets (Mike Skinner)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “The Other Side” by David Gray (David Gray)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Just a Little” by Liberty X (Michelle Escoffery, John Hammond Hagan, and George Hammond Hagan)
  • International Hit of the Year: “Complicated” by Avril Lavigne (Christy Lauren, David Alspach, Graham Edwards & Avril Lavigne)
  • Best Selling UK Single: “Anything Is Possible” by Will Young (Cathy Dennis and Chris Braide)


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Shining Light” by Ash
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Walk On” by U2 (Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Paul Hewson, & Larry Mullen)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue (Cathy Dennis & Rob Davis)
  • International Hit of the Year: “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”
  • Best Selling UK Single: “Pure and Simple” by Hear’Say (Pete Kirtley, Tim Hawes, & Alison Clarkson)

    Kylie Minogue “Can’t Get You Out of My Head”


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Seven Days” by Craig David (Craig David, Mark Hill & Darren Hill)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Babylon” by David Gray (David Gray)
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Pure Shores” by All Saints (Shaznay Lewis & William Orbit)
  • Best Selling British Single: “Can We Fix It” by Bob the Builder (Paul Joyce)
  • International Hit of the Year: “It Feels So Good” by Sonique (Sonique, Linus Burdick, Simon Belofsky, & Graeme Pleeth)

    David Gray “Babylon”


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Why Does It Always Rain on Me” by Travis
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Strong” by Robbie Williams
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Beautiful Stranger” by Madonna
  • International Hit of the Year: “Genie in a Bottle” by Christina Aguilera


  • Best Contemporary Song: “Here’s Where the Story Ends” by Tin Tin Out (Harriet Wheeler and David Gavurin)
  • Best Song Musically and Lyrically: “Believe” by Cher (Brian Higgins, Stuart McLennan, Paul Barry, Steve Torch, Matt Gray & Tim Powell) Cher
  • PRS Most Performed Work: “Angels” by Robbie Williams (Robbie Williams & Guy Chambers)
  • Best Selling British Single: “Believe”
  • International Hit of the Year: “Believe”

    Cher “Believe”

    1995: Best Contemporary Song: “Back for Good” by Take That
    1994: Best Contemporary Song: “Pray” by Take That
    1974 Best Song: “Streets of London” written by Ralph McTell
    1972 International Hit of the Year: “Without You” (Peter Ham and Tom Evans)
    1961 PRS Most Performed Work: “My Kind of Girl” by Leslie Bricusse
    1961 Outstanding Song: “What Kind of Fool Am I?” (Leslie Bricusse & Anthony Newly)
    1960 Most Performed Work: “As Long As He Needs Me” (Lionel Bart)
    1959 “The Ballad of Bethnal Green” (Paddy Roberts)
    1955 Outstanding Song: “In Love for the Very First Time” (Paddy Roberts & Jack Woodman)

    Resources and Related Links:
  • Saturday, May 17, 2014

    John Legend’s “All of Me” hits #1 in 30th week on chart

    All of Me

    John Legend

    Writer(s): John Stephens/ Toby Gad (see lyrics here)

    Released: August 12, 2013

    First Charted: September 21, 2013

    Peak: 13 US, 15 RR, 110 AC, 14 A40, 13 RB, 2 UK, 15 CN, 13 AU (Click for codes to singles charts.)

    Sales (in millions): 8.0 US, 2.16 UK, 13.00 world (includes US + UK)

    Airplay/Streaming (in millions): -- radio, 1580.0 video, 1606.0 streaming


    Click on award for more details.

    About the Song:

    “All of Me” took 30 weeks to hit the top of the pop charts, the third-longest climb to the top after Los Del Rio’s “Macarena” and Lonestar’s “Amazed.” A major factor was Legend’s performance of the song at the Grammys in January 2014. As Legend told Billboard, “By all rights, I shouldn’t have gotten that slot to perform by myself…but producer Ken Ehrlich believed in the song and thought it was special enough to deserve its own slot.” SF

    The song sent him not only to #1 in the U.S., but in Australia, Canada, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal, Sweden, and Switzerland. Rolling Stone’s Jon Dolan called the song a “mountainous piano crusher” WK and Exclaim!’s Ryan Patrick praised what he called “Legend’s current commercially friendly, sentimental sound.” WK

    Legend premiered the song in June 2013 on Oprah Winfrey’s prime-time television show Oprah’s Next Chapter. It was the third single from his Love in the Future album. Previous singles “Who Do We Think We Are” and “Made to Love” failed to chart. In fact, Legend’s last song to hit the pop charts had been in 2008 with “Green Light,” one of only two Legend songs to hit the top 40. The other was “Ordinary People” in 2005. In fact, in a ten-year career, Legend had only hit the Hot 100 four times, leading to the suspicion that he’d be a respected name in the music industry, but one who never had a major hit.

    Legend co-wrote this piano-driven ballad with songwriter Toby Gad (Beyonce’s “If I Were a Boy”). She suggested to Legend that he write a song as a dedication to model Chrissy Teigen, his then-fiancee and later wife, in the vein of Billy Joel’s “She’s Always a Woman.” SF As he told BBC News about Teigen, “She’s definitely affected my songwriting.” SF The two met in 2007 on the set of his video for “Stereo” and married in 2013 in September 14. The black-and-white video, shot just days before the couple’s wedding in Italy, features the two making love and finishes with footage from their actual wedding. Legend sang the song to her during the wedding.


    Last updated 11/7/2021.

    Thursday, May 15, 2014

    Brian Eno's Top 20 Albums

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    Happy birthday, Brian Eno! Born Brian Peter George Eno on May 15, 1948, this English musician has made a name for himself as a record producer, composer, singer, and one of the principal innovators of ambient music. In celebration of his birthday, the DMDB offers up the top 20 albums of Eno’s career. The majority of the albums on this list feature Eno as a producer. Albums on which he was a performer are noted with an asterisk (*). It should also be pointed out that the top 18 albums on this list are in the DMDB’s Top 1000 Albums of All Time and the top three albums also make the DMDB’s Top 100 Albums of All Time list.

    The Top 20 Brian Eno Albums

    1. U2…The Joshua Tree (1987)
    2. U2…Achtung Baby (1991)
    3. Talking Heads…Remain in Light (1980)
    4. Roxy Music…For Your Pleasure (1973) *
    5. U2…The Unforgettable Fire (1984)
    6. U2…All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000)
    7. Coldplay…Viva La Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008)
    8. Talking Heads…Fear of Music (1979)
    9. Brian Eno…Another Green World (1975) *
    10. David Byrne/Brian Eno…My Life in the Bush of Ghosts (1981) *

    11. Roxy Music…Roxy Music (1972) *
    12. Talking Heads…More Songs about Buildings and Food (1978)
    13. Brian Eno…Here Come the Warm Jets (1974) *
    14. U2…No Line on the Horizon (2009)
    15. Devo…Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo (1978)
    16. U2…Zooropa (1993)
    17. Roxy Music…Stranded (1973) *
    18. Brian Eno…Before and After Science (1977) *
    19. Coldplay…Mylo Xyloto (2011)
    20. David Bowie…Outside (1995)

    Resources and Related Links:

    Wednesday, May 7, 2014

    190 years ago: Beethoven premieried his 9th symphony

    Symphony No. 9 in D minor (Choral)

    Ludwig van Beethoven

    Composed: 1818-1824

    First Performed: May 7, 1824

    Peak: --

    Sales (in millions): --

    Genre: classical > symphony


    1. Allegro ma non troppo
    2. Molto vivace
    3. Adagio molto e cantabile
    4. Presto – Allegro assai

    Average Duration: 68:10


    4.216 out of 5.00 (average of 8 ratings)

    Awards: (Click on award to learn more).

    About the Work:

    “On May 7, 1824, Ludwig van Beethoven experienced what must certainly have been the greatest public triumph of his career. The audience which gathered at the Hoftheater adjacent to the Vienna Kärtnertor heard not only the abridged local premiere of Beethoven’s Missa Solemnis (the Kyrie, Credo, and Gloria were given) and Op. 124 Overture, but also the first performance of the composer’s ‘Choral’ Symphony. The event was a rousing success; indeed, one of the most moving accounts of Beethoven’s final years describes how the profoundly deaf composer, unable to hear the colossal response of his admirers, had to be turned around by one of the soloists so that he could see the hundreds of clapping hands!” AMG

    “Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 started life as two separate works – a symphony with a choral finale, and a purely instrumental work in D minor. He labored on these sporadically for almost 10 years before finally deciding (in 1822) to combine the two ideas into one symphony, with Friedrich von Schiller’s Ode an die freude (Ode to Joy) – a text he had contemplated setting for a number of years – as the finale.” AMG

    “The finished work is of visionary scope and proportions, and represents the apogee of technical difficulty in its day. There are passages, notably a horn solo in the slow movement, which would have been almost impossible to play on the transitional valveless brass instruments of Beethoven’s time. As Dennis Matthews writes: ‘As with other late-period works, there are places where the medium quivers under the weight of thought and emotion, where the deaf composer seemed to fight against, or reach beyond, instrumental and vocal limitations.’” AMG

    “The Ninth also personifies the musical duality that was to become the nineteenth century – the conflict between the Classic and Romantic, the old and new. The radically different styles of Brahms and Liszt, for instance, both had their precedents in this work. On one hand, there was the search for a broader vocabulary (especially in terms of harmony and rhythm) within the eighteenth century framework; on the other, true Romanticism, embracing the imperfect, the unattainable, the personal and the extreme – qualities that violate the very nature of Classicism. When viewed individually, the first three movements still have their roots distinctly in the eighteenth century, while the fourth – rhapsodic, and imbued with poetic meaning – seems to explode from that mold, drawing the entire work into the realm of program music, a defining concept of musical Romanticism.” AMG

    “Beethoven’s Ninth represents a fitting culmination to the composer’s symphonic ouvre – a body of work that is still unmatched in its scope and seminal ingenuity – and remains a pillar of the modern symphonic repertoire.” AMG

    Resources and Related Links:

    Last updated 4/17/2022.