Artist News Awards

Official Charts Company announces “real winners” of Mercury Prize

By | Published on Wednesday 29 October 2014

Official Charts Company

The Official Charts Company has this morning announced what it’s calling the “real winners” of the Mercury, ahead of tonight’s apparently now pointless prize-giving ceremony.

Whoever ‘wins’ tonight, FKA Twigs, Kate Tempest and GoGo Penguin can be happy in the knowledge that they’ve had the biggest percentage sales increases of all the nominees, while Royal Blood have had the biggest sales overall.

GoGo Penguin saw the biggest uplift at 138% – going from 1522 sales of their album ‘V2.0’ pre-nomination to 3617 in total after. Kate Tempest comes next, with a 124% lift for ‘Everybody Down’ – from 3075 to 6881 – followed by bookies’ favourite FKA Twigs, whose album ‘LP1’ leapt from 6980 sales to 12,750.

But they all look like clueless layabouts next to Royal Blood, who’ve been at their market stall day and night since they were nominated, and have sold an extra 59,060 of their eponymous debut album since the shortlist was announced – taking them from 95,258 units to a total of 154,318 – an increase of 62%.

They beat nearest sale figure rivals Bombay Bicycle Club, who have to date sold 79,888 of their latest album, ‘So Long, See You Tomorrow’. They’ve only seen a 7% increase in sales since nomination (second from last ahead of Anna Calvi with 6%), but that album’s been out for ages, hasn’t it?

Anyway, OCC supreme leader Martin Talbot had this to say about all these stats: “Royal Blood set the Official Albums Chart alight this summer when they hit number one with the fastest-selling British rock debut in three years, and if the Mercury Prize was decided based on pure sales, it would most definitely be a one-horse race for the band”.

He added: “This year’s shortlist is full of faces yet to land on the radar of the wider British public, but all deserving of a place under the Mercury spotlight. Who the judges ultimately choose, is anyone’s guess. But certainly, if this were the public choosing, it could be between FKA Twigs, Kate Tempest, Royal Blood, or GoGo Penguin”.

Could be, sure. But thankfully this is one prize that the public aren’t allowed anywhere near. Mercury judge John Kennedy stressed: “The aim of the Mercury Prize is to try and highlight albums that might have got slightly overlooked. This year’s list is a good example of the Prize doing that. If the artists on this year’s list are lesser known by the general public then hopefully the Prize will help get them better known as they certainly deserve to be. The winner has to reflect a particular year in music but also potentially to have a created a classic piece of work that can stand the test of time. Craft, skill, context, innovation, individuality and talent all come into play”.

Anyway, we’ll find out this evening who’s actually won the whole thing, and then we can get on with our lives.

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