So we go from a Monday evening in 1977 to a Thursday evening at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London. So why did it take four years to get it back on the music industry’s radar? Well, the reports from those who were there was that because of the TV domination, it took away from the event experience and the Music industry was keen to get its celebration evening back in the format they would enjoy.
So although no performance and no broadcast....it was renamed the British Record Industry Awards and has been an unbroken run of annual UK record industry award shows every since.
The first in a series of “industry only” events took place at the Grosvenor House where the music business tucked into a £50 per head three course meal including wine and gave out prizes to those who had done best in the previous 12months (absolutely no point in trying to recap the previous four!).
The instigator of the show was BPI Chairman Chris Wright who took his example from the American Grammys. Wright pushed ahead pulling together a team that could produce an event that could ‘celebrate great music and great artists in the previous year’ employing former Polydor and State Records executive Wayne Bickerton to produce the show, and top DJ David Jacobs to hose the event. Of course it has grown over the years to become the enormous TV event we have today, but we know Chris remains proud that he laid out the foundations for such a successful future.
1982 was the year of the “new romantics” and Human League, Adam Ant and Soft Cell – all fringes and frills with a touch of mascara – each made their mark with a selection of new fangled dance records which the judges deemed worthy of an award. The voting system for this new form of British award show involved BPI member record companies nominating artists in each category but the companies were not allowed to nominate their own artists. However, when the second round of voting for the actual winner came around, companies were able to vote for their own acts. Hosted by David Jacobs, the show included Queen, Madness and Elvis Costello among the also-rans, but there were no international awards to be won. Top of the nominations were Adam & the Ants with four, followed by two for both Soft Cell and Toyah Wilcox. From Toyah, Sheena Easton and Dollar’s Thereze Bazarre are pictured for the latest fashion and probably showing how most artists would continue to come along and enjoy the event.