“It’s good tunes — that’s what we try to do,” said frontman Alex Turner after the group accepted the 20,000 pound award.
The Mercury Prize judges tend to court controversy every year by picking quirky and offbeat winners rather than chart-topping blockbusters.
This year was a glaring exception with the prize going to the Arctic Monkeys who in January smashed the British record for the fastest-selling debut album.
“Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I Am Not” sold over 363,700 copies in its first week.
Even Turner admitted to being surprised that they had won. “Normally it doesn’t go to a band that has sold as many albums as we have. But we are very pleased with it,” he said.
The Arctic Monkeys handed out free CDs of their music at early gigs which were in turn downloaded onto the Internet by fans and sent across cyberspace.
They were surprised as anyone when crowds at concerts then began singing back the words as they performed.
For the Mercury, first awarded in 1992, the quality of the music, not the weight of album sales is normally the prime consideration.
In 1994, M People’s “Elegant Slumming” beat competition from Blur, Pulp and the Prodigy — much to the surprise of the music press.
Last year Antony and the Johnsons won the prize for “I Am A Bird Now”. Lead singer Antony Hegarty, while born in England, spent more than 20 years in the United States, raising questions about his eligibility for the award.
The nominated albums for the 2006 award were:
Arctic Monkeys – “Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not”.
Isobel Campbell & Mark Lanegan – “Ballad of the Broken Seas”.
Editors – “The Back Room”.
Guillemots – “Through the Windowpane”.
Richard Hawley – “Coles Corner”.
Hot Chip – “The Warning”.
Muse – “Black Holes & Revelations”.
Zoe Rahman – “Melting Pot”.
Lou Rhodes – “Beloved One”.
Scritti Politti- “White Bread Black Beer”.
Sway – “This is My Demo”.
Thom Yorke – “The Eraser”.
yeehaa..my favourite band won…who can get bored with their smashing heavy banging tune, When Te Sun Goes Down??A brilliant song to bang your head to after a bad day!It’s wonderful they defeated the amazing Thom Yorke (Radiohead frontman) who has a critical accalim for his debut solo album,The Eraser. Muse also went home empty handed, but never mind, at least I still enjoy their heavy electronic guitar sound, Supermassive Black Hole…Im still wondering whether Arctic Monkeys will make any debut at this year’s grammy…looks like they will…yeah, consider they r already in the top 20 best albums of the year as compiled by metacitics.com..if you would like to have a copy of any of the songs in this article..please contact me…now still looking the best way to embed songs in my posts..any suggestions???