Ahead of the Hyundai Mercury Prize Awards ceremony on Thursday 20th September, Hyundai Motor UK has commissioned a survey revealing that the British public believe Michael Jackson’s Thriller to be the most inspiring album of all time.
The classic 1982 record was identified as the album to have had the biggest impact in the British public’s lives. Since its launch it has sold around 66 million copies worldwide and features some of Michael Jackson’s biggest hits including Billie Jean, Beat It and Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin.
Second spot went to The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, while third was secured by Abba and their Gold: Greatest Hits compilation. Other life-changing records in the top 40 include Definitely Maybe by Oasis, Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon and David Bowie’s Heroes.
Tony Whitehorn, Hyundai Motor UK President and CEO, said: “These results are a great example of exactly why we are a title sponsor of the Hyundai Mercury Prize. Music means so much to so many people in the UK, creating memories, inspiring changes and lifting moods. It’s so often a key part of the driving experience, too, with a quarter of those polled saying that it’s while driving that they listen to most of their music. I’m sure we can all relate to sitting in the car listening to the end of your favourite song, even as you’ve reached your destination.”
Nadine Shah, who is on this year’s Hyundai Mercury Prize shortlist for her record, Holiday Destination, named PJ Harvey’s Let England Shake and Blur’s Think Tank as the albums which have most inspired her.
She said: “Think Tank really embodies where Blur were geographically when they made it. They were in Morocco and you can really hear that all throughout the album – it’s just great.”
Ed Sheeran made the top 40 to thanks to his album, X, and he’s joined by the Spice Girls for their debut album, Spice, and Robbie Williams for Escapology.
Rock royalty, Queen, are also in the top 40 for A Night at the Opera, alongside other legends of rock, Led Zeppelin for Led Zeppelin IV and Black Sabbath for Paranoid. Past winners of the Mercury Prize made the cut too – including Arctic Monkeys’ Whatever People Say I Am, That’s What I’m Not and Different Class by Pulp.
The 1960s was identified as the decade to have produced the most inspiring music to date – and a number of records from that era appear in the list. These include albums by The Beatles, The Doors, The Beach Boys in addition to The Mamas & the Papas and Bob Dylan.
Carried out through OnePoll.com, the research also found three quarters have been inspired by a piece of music, while 81 per cent have an album they turn to during difficult times. And it appears to help – two thirds said music makes them happier, half said it makes them less stressed or anxious and a third said it comforts them.
Forty-two per cent have experienced such a strong connection to a piece of music they have even felt as if the song was written about them personally. Almost half said their home is the place where they tend to listen to their favourite music – however a quarter usually enjoy in their car.
The greatest Mercury Prize winners of all-time were also identified – with Arctic Monkeys coming top for their debut album. Elbow came second for The Seldom Seen Kid and Pulp came third for Different Class.
Jorja Smith, who is also up for the Hyundai Mercury Prize, said: “My favourite albums are ‘Frank’ by Amy Winehouse and ‘The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill’. They’re both just so real, and a great album is one that you can listen to and not think about anything else.”
The 2018 Hyundai Mercury Prize Awards Show is on Thursday, 20 September at the Eventim Apollo, Hammersmith featuring live performances from many of the shortlisted artists and will be broadcast on BBC TV and radio. Tickets are available here: bit.ly/2018HMPTickets