Young, Moyet, Wham! Big BPI Winners
Awards Show Televised Live
The production from London’s Grosvenor House Hotel was televised for the first time to an estimated audience of some 11 million in the U.K. and linked with a BBC Radio One live sound broadcast transmission. It included performances by Alison Moyet, Tina Turner, Bronski Beat and Howard Jones.
Frankie Goes To Hollywood picked up the best British newcomer award, sponsored by Radio One, and another trophy for best British single for “Relax,” a multi-million-seller that was initially banned by the BBC because of the sexual innuendo of its lyrics.
There was a standing ovation for Bob Geldof, called up for a special award from the sponsoring British Phonographic Industry, for his organization of the Band Aid single “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” and its spinoff activities, which have raised around 8.5 million pounds for Ethiopian famine relief.
These awards are made on artistic, not sales, merit, via BPI member companies. The majors have the same one-vote power as the smallest independents.
In the British male artist category, Paul Young won against a final nominee list of David Bowie, Howard Jones, Nik Kershaw and Paul McCartney. In the top female sector, Alison Moyet, formerly Alf of Yazoo, beat Tracey Ullman, Sade, Annie Lennox and Kim Wilde.
Wham!’s competitors in the top British group division were Queen, U2, Bronski Beat and Frankie Goes To Hollywood. Other nominees in the best international group/artist category, won by Prince, were Michael Jackson, Lionel Richie, Bruce Springsteen and ZZ Top.
Named top British album was Sade’s “Diamond Life” (Epic), topping Nik Kershaw’s “Human Racing” (MCA), U2’s “Unforgettable Fire” (Island), Queen’s “The Works” and “Welcome To The Pleasure Dome” by Frankie Goes To Hollywood (ZTT).
In the top British single category, “Relax” (ZTT) beat off four other finalists: Frankie’s own “Two Tribes,” Bronski Beat’s “Smalltown Boy” (Forbidden Fruit), “Careless Whisper” by George Michael (Epic) and Sade’s “Smooth Operator” (Epic). The best British video award, sponsored by BBC-TV’s “Top Of The Pops,” went to Duran Duran for “Wild Boys.”
Trevor Horn was named top producer for the second time. He first won the title in 1982 for his work with ABC, Malcolm McLaren, Dollar and Spandau Ballet. This year was his third consecutive nomination and notably reflected his success with Frankie Goes To Hollywood, which became the first group in the U.K. to reach No. 1 with its first three singles and first album.
Horn’s competitors in the final round of BPI voting were Peter Collins (Nik Kershaw, Tracey Ullman), Laurie Latham (Paul Young), Steve Lillywhite (Big Country) and the team of Tony Swain and Steve Jolley (Alison Moyet, Spandau Ballet, Bananarama).
Neil’s “Hole In My Shoe” was named best comedy record, holding off nominated records by “Weird Al” Yankovic, Roland Rat, Mel Brooks and Alexei Sayle. Best classical record was Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons,” by the Academy of Ancient Music, directed by Christopher Hogwood. That title was originally released in 1983 as part of a boxed set, but was only out as a single album last year, selling more on Compact Disc than LP and cassette formats put together.
Prince’s “Purple Rain” soundtrack won over the nominated scores for “Footloose,” “Give My Regards To Broad Street,” “Electric Dreams” and “The Woman In Red.” A special BPI award for contributions to British music went to the Police.
The following morning the mass-circulation Daily Mirror announced its reader-voted pop poll. Alison Moyet was named top female singer, with the highest individual score in the results list (32% of the poll); George Michael was top male singer, Duran Duran best group and King (with front man Paul King) the main “tip for success.”