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Some Final Thoughts on The Grammy’s

I’ve got some final words to say about this years Grammy Awards. Truth be told, I haven’t had much interest in watching them anymore.

Now you would think that as a musician The Grammy Awards would be something always on my agenda of things to watch. To see the best of the best get their due. But sadly, the ceremony, much like the AMA’s, CMA’s and any other “MA’s” I may have missed, seems to have become nothing more than just a lackluster showcase for the music industry to pat itself on the back instead of awarding real talent.

Don’t get me wrong, this year Adele easily deserved to sweep everything. She is a true diamond in a sea of the same old same. But outside of her obvious and most deserving win, every year the awards seems to turn more and more into something that can’t be taken seriously.

Consider the way Chris Brown was graciously accepted back onto the stage again and won a pair of awards after his most recent shenanigans. Or the way Dave Grohl of The Foo Fighters was blatantly cut off during his acceptance speech when he started telling the truth about how music should come from the heart and not a computer. And lets not forget the fact that a group of “old men” (The Beach Boys) schooled everyone who hit the stage before them with true vocal harmony.

But I’d really like to focus the meat of this blog on the list of artists from the “Rock Performance” and “Metal” categories. Because, you know me, it’s all about the Rock and Metal.

First, here’s a list of winners from thirty years ago:

Record of the Year: Rosanna: Toto
Album of the Year: Toto IV
Song of the Year: Always on My Mind: Willie Nelson
Best New Artist: Men at Work
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Female: Pat Benatar-“Shadows of the Night ”
Best Rock Vocal Performance, Male: John Cougar Mellencamp -“Hurts So Good”
Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal: Survivor-“Eye of the Tiger”
Best Rock Instrumental Performance
: A Flock of Seagulls – “D.N.A.”

And now, here is a list of Grammy winners for 2012:

Record of the Year: “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele
Album of the Year: “21,” Adele
Song of the Year: “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele Adkins & Paul Epworth
New Artist: Bon Iver
Pop Solo Performance: “Someone Like You,” Adele
Rock Song: “Walk,” Foo Fighters
Rock Album: “Wasting Light,” Foo Fighters
Rock Performance: “Walk,” Foo Fighters
Hard Rock/Metal Performance: “White Limo,” Foo Fighters

Look at the variety of artists from three decades ago. All with hit songs and all deserving. Where is that variety today?

Please don’t misunderstand me, I love the Foo Fighters. Really, I do. But three different songs winning Grammy awards? And one Grammy for Best “Metal” performance? The Foo Fighters aren’t “Metal”.

It really upsets me that there seems to be a lack of true nominees in these categories whether by accident or deliberate intention. Every time you see the list of nominations you pretty much know who is going to win. And why is it that groups you’ve never heard of always seem to get a nod and bands that have Grammy history and new albums get ignored?

Consider artists like Journey, Foreigner and Night Ranger for example. Ok, I agree that it’s been years since any of them had songs that topped the charts. But all of these bands have released albums of brand new music, most of it very good and all within the time frame of nomination, but their body of work wasn’t even acknowledged by the academy.

Now I’m not saying any of these artists should win. Hardly. All I’m saying is that wouldn’t it be nice to at least recognize the efforts of bands that have stood the test of time and continue to deliver music for their fans? But instead, true musicianship gets over shadowed by the need for computer generated beats and auto-tuned vocal performances.

I guess I shouldn’t really be surprised though. I mean lets face it, this is the same awards show that gave the very first Grammy in the Hard Rock/Metal category to Jethro Tull instead of Metallica.

And don’t get me started on that whole Milli Vanilli incident.

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About James Wood

Influenced by life, love and the pursuit of the perfect song is what best describes my passion. I’m a closeted classic rock/metal-head from the 80′s who loves to write.

Posted on February 14, 2012, in Music, Thought and Opinion and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. So halfway through, I was getting ready to mention the Tull debacle, and there ya have it at the end. You are a god, my friend with a good memory!

    Agree with everything you mentioned, especially the lack of representation for the “elder” statesmen..plenty of good rock still coming down, and if the Grammy’s would acknowledge it exists, maybe this generation would be able to hear it…and embrace it. There’s so music talk that they are tired of the techno-crap out there, but the changes need to come from them. Unfortunately, we are not the right demographic, so our enlightened opinions don’t mean squat.

    On Chris Brown, apparently most of the social comments about him were negative…maybe the Grammys should start taking note about who is relevant and forgiven.

    Nice post.

    kath

    • Thanks Kath. I agree with you – they really need to let the public know there’s more than just Katy Perry and Gaga. Why not give some kind of honorary Grammy every year to one of these bands and let the nominees perform?

      They should really be ashamed of themselves for letting Chris Brown on that stage though. And how about the video of the women in the audience sitting down and texting while Glenn Campbell (one of the last REAL living legends) performed on that stage for the last time.

      I bet these same chicks would be on their feet cheering if Britney Spears was up there lip synching. So sad.

  2. Personally, I find “stars” to be the MOST self-congratulatory group of people in the world and it is pretty disgusting. Where are the recognitions for the true heros who never ask for one moment’s notice for the kindness they share with the world. Instead, our society (and many others) glorify and reward bad behavior.

    Okay, that’s all I’ve got.

    • Well said Michele! How they can welcome that guy back after what he did to Rhianna is appalling. And then give him a pair of Grammy’s too?

      And I totally agree with you about them not recognizing real heroes. There wouldn’t have been one word said about Whitney if she was still alive that night. But they used every moment they could to say goodbye to her but not one mention of the real heroes who serve (at least none that I heard).

  3. Spot on again, James. It seems like ever since Thriller, the Grammy Awards have been a lot about big sweeps and less about the (accurate) diversity of the offerings out there. (Even as a Tull fan I found their “Metal” win a bit odd.) Some years, like this one or Bonnie Raitt’s Nick of Time sweep, it makes sense. Certainly not every year, though.

    • Don’t forget 1993, the year Eric Clapton cleaned house. I think it was right after his son died. A tragic event to be sure but consider this:

      Eric Clapton’s stripped down *RE-MADE* version of “Layla” won Best Rock Song over some band named Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”.

  4. Didn’t Chris Brown lip synch his Grammy performance? I don’t think you can jump around like that and keep singing without spitting out a lung. I liked Paul McCartney’s performance at the end, and the electric guitar jam session. The Beach Boys sounded really good (and they didn’t lip synch, surprisingly). And Glen Campbell really surprised me; he wasn’t drunk (unless he’s become a functional drunk), he sounded great, and he looked as good as ever. Why didn’t they invite M.I.A.?

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