Although British pop is the healthiest it has been for years, with the emergence of bands such as Blur, Oasis, Pulp and The Cranberries, the Brit Awards next month will be fought out between veterans such as Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Eric Clapton and Morrissey.
Nominations for the awards stress the difficulties for new British bands, competing with stars from nearly four decades of music. Indeed the teen sensation Take That, which scooped the top awards last year, receive no nominations this year.
Nominated for best male solo artist are Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Morrissey, Seal and Paul Weller. Best female nominees include Kate Bush, Eddi Reader, Lisa Stansfield, Des'ree and Michelle Gayle. Pink Floyd are nominated for both best British band and best album, while new bands Portishead, Oasis, Echobelly, Eternal and PJ and Duncan compete for best British newcomer.
The nominations are made by 500 voters drawn from the music industry, media, record dealers and music publishers. The awards will be made next month at London's Alexandra Palace.
Blur, China Black, East 17 and Wet Wet Wet are nominated for best single; but even here they are stalked by a nominee from years gone by - Tom Jones.
Leading article, page 13