THE 2008 PENGUIN AWARD WINNERS! Just in time for Happy Krimble, we're going to announce the winners a tad early. Before we being, if you'd like to refresh your memory as to the nominees you can click right here and see them all. Go ahead, I'll wait.
OK, I see you're back. Now turn around so I can see the rest of ya! Ahem. Alright, enough bandlyhoo, let's get on with the winnahs! I must say that the fields for SONG OF THE YEAR and ALBUM OF THE YEAR were both refreshingly crowded this time. Can this mean the music industry is improving?!?!? Well, let's not get silly. But unlike recent years, there was a much stronger competition in these two categories. But typically for recent years, the categories of DUET and COVER SONG OF THE YEAR have again been relatively thin on the ground. That may account for the sure-to-be controversial winner of the DUET OF THE YEAR. But we'll get to that in a moment. First. . .here are the winners.
WINNER OF SONG OF THE YEAR:
STEPPING STONE by DUFFY
Listen to Duffy's Stepping Stone here
WINNER OF ALBUM OF THE YEAR:
ROCKFERRY by DUFFY
Listen to Distant Dreamer: a song also nominated for song of the year from the Penguin Award winning album Rockferry
WINNER OF COVER SONG OF THE YEAR:
YOU AIN'T GOIN' NOWHERE by GLEN HANSARD & MARKETA IGLOVAListen to You Ain't Goin' Nowhere here
WINNER OF DUET OF THE YEAR:
SAILING TO PHILADELPHIA by MARK KNOPFLER & JAMES TAYLOR
Listen to Sailing to Philadelphia here
WINNER OF BEST ALBUM COVER ART:
Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust by SIGUR ROS
So there you have it. For the second year in a row, the song and album winner is from the same artist (an occurrence which rarely happened in the history of the Penguin Awards). Last year Amy Winehouse won song and album. This year it's a Welsh wandswide (hey, who let the ravishing Kay Francis in here?!?) with Duffy taking the two top prizes. The race for album of the year, though very strong, was really no contest since Duffy's album was played endlessly on my metaphorical turntable this year. However, the race for song of the year was tortuously difficult for me this year. Literally at any given time there was a different front runner: The Guggenheim Grotto's VERTIGO, Sigur Ros' VON (LIVE) and Declan O'Rourke's GALILEO being the strongest challengers. But once again, the sheer repeated plays of STEPPING STONE demonstrated to me the staying power of Duffy's song and it's inevitable place as song of the year. Bizarrely, on more than one occasion, I was known to put the song on endless repeat in my car and I listened to that song over and over for an hour without shutting it off. If that don't say somethin' about my unhealthy attachment to the song, I don't know what done do!
The much weaker field for Cover Song of the Year saw really only one front-runner: Glen & Marketa's cover of Bob Dylan's YOU AIN'T GOIN' NOWHERE just lifted me up every time I heard it. I guess that's why they won an Oscar, innit??? Well, now the pair can add a Penguin Award to their mantle.
As for the winner of DUET OF THE YEAR, you may have noticed that the particularly weak field of nominees has resulted in a song from the year 2000 winning the Penguin Award in 2008. But, as those of you familiar with the Penguin Award by-laws (codified in the year 1622) a nominee of winner of a Penguin Award does not necessarily have to have been recorded in that year. And this Mark Knopfler & James Taylor song (relating the true origin of the Mason-Dixon line) from 2000 is something I simply never heard before this year; hence it is eligible. While I usually weight those songs made this year more than older songs, if the older song manages to demolish all the others -- it wins! And so SAILING FOR PHILADELPHIA did.
Finally, we come to the best album cover. I don't know about you but nekkid asses make me laugh. And the cover of Sigur Ros' album "Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust" really depicts the wacky abandon of the album title which translates as "With A Buzz In Our Ears We Play Endlessly".
So once again, congratulations to all the nominees and winners as this year's Penguin Awards now take their place in the history of modern music as we know it, already! See ya next year. Happy listening!