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Mercury prize pits Radiohead vs. ex-Zeppelin Plant

LONDON (Reuters Life!) - Radiohead’s “In Rainbows” is up against 11 other albums including “Raising Sand” by Alison Krauss and former Led Zeppelin frontman Robert Plant, in this year’s Nationwide Mercury Prize.

Thom Yorke, lead singer of British band Radiohead, performs at the Roskilde Festival July 3, 2008. REUTERS/Scanpix/Jens Nørgaard Larsen

Also on the shortlist for album of the year is “The Age of the Understatement” by The Last Shadow Puppets, featuring Miles Kane of The Rascals and Alex Turner of the Arctic Monkeys.

Chairman of the judges Simon Frith said: “This turns out to be a remarkably rich year for British music.

“What is most striking is the continued resilience and flexibility of the album as a way of organizing music-making. It remains an unrivalled source of musical invention and imagination, a way of linking songs, exploring themes and developing sounds.”

The shortlist of 12 albums of the year was chosen by an independent panel from more than 240 entries by UK artists.

Previous winners of the award include the Klaxons, Arctic Monkeys, Antony and the Johnsons and Franz Ferdinand.

This year’s Nationwide Mercury Prize winners announcement will be broadcast live on BBC2 on September 9.

The full shortlist for album of the year is as follows:

- Elbow (“The Seldom Seen Kid”)

- Radiohead (“In Rainbows”)

- British Sea Power (“Do You Like Rock Music?”)

- Robert Plant and Alison Krauss (“Raising Sand”)

- Burial (“Untrue”)

- Estelle (“Shine”)

- Adele (“19”)

- Laura Marling (“Alas I Cannot Swim”)

- Rachel Unthank & The Winterset (“The Bairns”)

- Neon Neon (“Stainless Style”)

- Portico Quartet (“Knee-Deep In The North Sea”)

- The Last Shadow Puppets (“The Age Of The Understatement”)

(Reporting by Mike Collett-White, editing by Paul Casciato)

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