🎤 Mercury Prize - Best of the rest (1998) 🎤

Today we look at the year 1998 when the award was won by Gomez - Bring it on, during a very strong year.

As per normal you have up to 3 votes and I’ll close the poll on Monday.

Previous winners from these threads…

1992 - Saint Etienne - Foxbase Alpha
1993 - PJ Harvey - Rid of me
1994 - Pulp - His ‘n’ Hers
1995 - Tricky - Maxinquaye
1997 - Radiohead - OK Computer
1999 - Blur - 13
2000 - Doves - Lost souls
2001 - Radiohead - Amnesiac
2002 - The Streets - Original Pirate Material
2003 - Radiohead - Hail to the thief
2005 - Bloc Party - Silent Alarm
2006 - Hot Chip - The Warning
2008 - Radiohead - In Rainbows
2009 - The Horrors - Primary Colours
2010 - Wild Beasts - Two Dancers
2011 - Metronomy - The English Riviera
2012 - Field Music - Plumb
2013 - Jon Hopkins - Immunity
2015 - Aphex Twin - Syro
2016 - David Bowie - Blackstar
2017 - The xx - I see you
2019 - Little Simz - Grey Area
2020 - Dua Lipa - Future Nostalgia
2021 - Sault - Untitled (rise) / Mogwai - As the love continues
2023 - Young Fathers - Heavy Heavy

  • 4hero - Two Pages
  • Asian Dub Foundation - Rafi’s Revenge
  • Eliza Carthy - Red Rice
  • Catatonia - International velvet
  • Cornershop - When I was born for the 7th time
  • Massive Attack - Mezzanine
  • Propellerheads - Decksanddrumsandrockandroll
  • Pulp - This is hardcore
  • John Surman - Proverbs and songs
  • The Verve - Urban Hymns
  • Robbie Williams - Life thru a lens
0 voters

Cornershop, Massive Attack and ADF for me. Pretty good shortlist compared to some of the dreck we’ve been seeing


Tough choice, great list.

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Seems as though 1998 was a bit of a golden era for British and Irish music!

Good, good year. The 4Hero album is the standout for me now (though I was mainly an indie kid at the time). Intoxicating breaks, beats, jazz and soul. The reinterpretations companion album was great too.

Then Massive Attack and a nostalgic vote for Catatonia just ahead of Pulp. Gomez would have been some way down my list at the time as well as today.

Easy first for my favourite Massive Attack album, plus ADF and a mostly-nostalgic vote for The Verve. (Still go back to the early Verve stuff sometimes, but Urban Hymns not so much)

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That’s a pretty solid list, although think Boards of Canada, PJ Harvey and Autechre should have made the cut at least (BoC probably should’ve won too).

Really surprised Gomez won against the best Cornershop album, the best Massive Attack album, the best Pulp album and 4hero. All of those records are sooooo much better


Hard agree here. Pulp gets my third vote as well but I have a massive soft spot from His n’ Hers.

The Verve album was okay at the time and the Propellerheads were fun. Checking out the 4hero album to remind myself of it.

Is This Desire would have been up for the 1999 prize I believe

My recollection is very foggy now but I think Bring It On was raved about quite a bit at the time, it’s one of those awards that made sense back then but obviously now seems rather absurd

God I loved that Catatonia album at the time lols


reckon Urban Hymns is the only one i’ve heard in full

Catatonia, Cornershop, Pulp.

I checked but it wasn’t in the '99 nominations either. Released in September so maybe missed the cutoff. I think it’s her best one so surprised that it didn’t get considered. Maybe they gave it to Stories… to make up??

not to mention the best robbie williams album

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@TKC get in here, i hope youve voted!

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cheers mate, done

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Massive Attack, Pulp and Catatonia.

Hated that Verve album. One of the few albums I have returned to Our Price for a refund because I hated it so much.

Nah. Bring It On is a cracking album and was a worthy winner. Granted, a very strong shortlist, mind, with Massive Attack being a strong runner-up.



Maybe because it had a more ‘commercial sound’ it’s not as appreciated as much as the first two albums, but little 14 year old Zygotic loved Urban Hymns and I still think it holds up. ‘The Drugs Don’t Work’, released around the time of my best friend’s suicide, fucking killed me. What a track.


Gods, look at all these classic albums! Mezzanine, When I Was Born, This Is Hardcore, Two Pages, Rafi’s Revenge, Decksanddrums…

Oh, and Urban Hymns is here, too.
For some reason.

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