The Mercury Prize-nominated albums that didn't win but became classics
- Jack Taylor
- 2 November 2012
Alt-J - An Awesome Wave
Some of the most significant UK albums 'robbed' on the night
With Leeds indie quartet Alt-J announced as this year’s winner of the coveted Mercury Prize for their debut album An Awesome Wave, it’s only a matter of time before the inevitable fallout and tedious discussion hits the blogosphere of who was 'robbed' on the night and who rightfully deserved to win the twenty grand lump sum bestowed on the winners. That said - let he who is without sin cast the first stone. Sardonic wit intact we take a retrospective look at previous years' nominees who were 'snubbed' on the night but went on to make their mark in glorious fashion.
Blur - Parklife - 1994
An album that went on to define the Britpop subgenre and spawned a renaissance in Mod culture reminding us of the virtues of such English gentry as Ray Davies while instilling a sense of rebellious youth culture into our psyche reminiscent of the tribal nature of cult classic Quadrophenia.
The Prodigy - The Fat of the Land - 1997
Having contributed to the dirge-disco of the 90s, otherwise known as the UK Rave scene, the Prodigy managed to re-ignite a somewhat damp squib by reinventing themselves as a hybrid of punk-dance mentalists. While giving rise to a whole new subversive counter-culture the Prodigy have since subsequently failed to progress from the critical acclaim and commercial success of their landmark effort - while spawning an era of Matrix fanboy soundalikes to many peoples dismay.
Radiohead - OK Computer - 1997
Often cited as an influence and name checked as having had a profound effect on the music industry in terms of innovating and subverting mainstream formats, OK Computer almost single-handedly carried music over into the 21st Century whilst leaving behind the fallout of grunge and American radio rock for the nostalgic few who were bereft of any ambition to stray from pastures of old.
The Streets - Original Pirate Material - 2001
The advent of MP3 and success of numerous indie labels at the turn of the century were the catalyst that set the industry’s tectonic plates in motion. Something had to give, and voila, the result was the unhinged DIY aesthetic of The Streets/Mike Skinner. Original Pirate Material brought the underground London grime scene to the public consciousness and breathed new life into a derivative UK hip-hop Scene while the majors looked on in despair.
Amy Winehouse - Back to Black - 2007
Having gone on to score numerous accolades - including five Grammys - and shifting over 20 million units, Back to Black’s success went on to dwarf everyone else amongst the Mercury nominees that year. With it’s ill-fated life imitating art shtick it was a morbidly prophetic eulogy to a lifestyle that would ultimately consume the pint-sized songstress.