Know about half of them, bought that Arctic Monkeys album for Laura but I don’t much care for them.
What Lorcan meant to say is he bought the Noel Gallagher album, day of release.
I have heard of four of the artists and own none of their albums.
I could show you Prog magazine’s shortlist of best new band of 2018 and you would know less of them than I do, despite all of them being newer than half the Mercury shortlist (Arctic Monkeys? Noel Gallagher? These are not young people’s bands.)
I was going to say, it feels more like an indication of how old the Mercury panel is.
Yes, but only so I could find out how bad it was!
Such a dull list…
I have heard of six of the artists and probably listened to a few songs from each.
That’s not bad really Todd.
One thing to note on the Mercury Prize is they tend to like the shortlist to be quite eclectic and cover a lot of genres so even when I was young and listening to everything new I often hadn’t heard of some of the acts.
So if I look at 1995 when I was 22 I have no idea who Guy Barker or James MacMillan are (the wiki link says they are a jazz trumpeter and a Scottish classical composer).
Portishead – Dummy (Winner)
Guy Barker – Into the Blue
The Boo Radleys – Wake Up!
Elastica – Elastica
PJ Harvey – To Bring You My Love
Leftfield – Leftism
James MacMillan – Seven Last Words from the Cross
Van Morrison – Days Like This
Oasis – Definitely Maybe
Supergrass – I Should Coco
Tricky – Maxinquaye
I’ve got at least three of those albums (can’t remember if I ever got Maxinquaye)
On the satellite radio in the car, I’ve been listening to the indie music station for about a year or so now.
Christel listens to more mainstream/pop/Top 40 radio in her car. It gets amusing when I ride with her and some big name act comes on and I’ll ask, “Who’s that?”
I did buy Maxinquaye so I had 4 of them (Dummy, Leftism and I Should Coco too - and Definitely Maybe by osmosis as I was in college and everyone played it all the time).
It also shows they were never afraid to list an older act. Van Morrison then was 50 which is just slightly younger than 51 for Noel Gallagher now.
The three I definitely have are Dummy, Leftism and To Bring You My Love.
I’ve realised I’m really emphasising the ‘old man’ aspect another way by banging on about the 90s again when Robert was bringing us up to date.
The flipside of that is that you get accusations of tokenism though - so you have ‘the jazz act’, ‘the grime slot’, etc.
To be honest I’ve always been a bit unclear on what the Mercury Prize is judging and how they select their nominees - there always seems to be a deliberately uneasy mix of commercially successful and popular acts alongside more niche or undersung musicians, as though they need the former to attract attention to the latter, but they want to retain the cool credibility factor while still making room for very mainstream acts. Their lists have always felt a bit contrived to me.
This article, although a bit wanky and up its own arse, makes the case that this year’s list is maybe playing it safer than ever.
I wouldn’t disagree, it is a strange award in many ways and those niche acts never actually win it. They’ve also made some howlers to match the Oscars along the way in picking winners - M People for example (and I quite liked M People but that’s not a classic album).
On the other hand like most awards stuff or top 50 lists I do get value in them just showcasing what is usually some very good music. It’s reminded me I need to get a couple of those albums.
Yeah, that’s fair I think - on balance the quality of the music is still a cut above most similar awards. That’s probably a big part of why it’s retained its prestige.
I was just making a joke about feeling old, not trying to make a larger point
It took almost 24 hours for my ears to stop ringing after the Ministry gig, that made me feel old…
Thank you for helping to maintain the Old Man Forum.