Sunday, February 12, 2012

Why the Grammys Are Hard to Take Seriously

Well, the Grammys are tonight. In past years, I’ve made my predictions for Album of the Year, but not much else. Of course, Adele is so widely expected to sweep tonight that it makes predictions somewhat, well, predictable. Even my “Steve Theory” (initially presented in a January 2010 blog post called And the Grammy Goes to…Steve?) supports her 21 as the winner. Okay, I haven’t actually asked Steve which album would win, but I know his tastes and this is the one he’d pick.

Since the only real story tonight will be if Adele doesn’t win Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year, there isn’t much else of note to report. With the death of Whitney Houston just yesterday, the most moving moment at the Grammys is likely to be a tribute on her behalf. We’ll see what happens.

Is anyone NOT picking Adele to go home with a lot more than two of these tonight?

Instead, this seems like a good time to vent. For those who regularly follow this blog, this entry won’t be too surprising. As some of you may know, Dave’s Music Database is a consolidation of all kinds of data such as sales figures, chart data, airplay, awards, and appearances on best-of lists to determine the best songs, albums, and acts of all time. This mix of looking at commercial success and critical acclaim for artists and their works over time produces pretty sturdy results, if I do say so myself.

The Grammys, however, don’t often prove to much of an indication of what will stand the test of time. As evidenced through several previous DMDB blog posts, the Grammys have a habit of bad picks for the big four: Best New Artist, Album of the Year, Song of the Year, and Record of the Year (check those links here or under the “Related DMDB Blog Entries” heading below). While there are certainly deserving winners each year, there are so many worthy candidates who either don’t win or don’t even get nominated as to make the Grammys laughable.

The Grammys never saw fit to award Led Zeppelin with any of its prizes.

Oh, I’ll still watch. I’m eager to see Bruce Springsteen perform. The Beach Boys are supposed to play alongside some of today’s hip new acts. I hope someone offers a moving speech in tribute to Whitney Houston. There will hopefully be some surprises. I also think if the big four awards go the way they should, this might prove to be the rare year when the Grammys get it right. Still, it doesn’t make up for how many grievous errors music’s king of the hill has made. While Starland Vocal Band and Milli Vanilli can boast to having Grammy gold sitting atop their fireplace mantels (albeit the latter only held on to it briefly), a slew of notable acts can make no such claim. Just check out this post from from a year ago at Grammy time, in which they note the following acts who’ve never won a Grammy for ANYTHING, much less one of the big four awards: The Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, The Doors, The Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Janis Joplin, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Bob Marley, Queen, Diana Ross, Tupac Shakur, The Supremes, The Who, and Neil Young. Sigh.

The Grammys decided Milli Vanilli was more worthy of Grammy gold than any of those fly-by-night acts listed above.

Related DMDB Blog Entries and Other Resources:

1 comment:

  1. Oh wait, did you say Milli Vanilli? *rolls eyes* Grammy needs to go back into science and the art of making better music as they say.

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