Saturday, January 22, 2011

14 reasons to hate the GRAMMY Awards

Best lip-syncers, 1989.

I love music, but man do I hate the GRAMMY Awards.

Maybe the reason is that the GRAMMY Awards has proven time and again to be the awards-show equivalent of the worst kind of music fan: the poseur who knows nothing about music, but is desperate to look "cool"in front of his friends.

Some of its most-notable crimes against humanity:

1. Elvis Presley takes home a Bing Crosby lifetime achievement award, 1971

A consolation award at best, since Elvis never won a GRAMMY for a single one of his pop recordings. The GRAMMYs did, however, see fit to award him three times for his gospel recordings - twice for "How Great Thou Art."

2. Jethro Tull beats Metallica for Best Hard Rock/Metal, 1989 

Hint: the word "Metallica" includes the word "metal" in its name.

3. A very liberal view of R&B, 1958

The very first year of the GRAMMY Awards, the Best R&B GRAMMY went to the Champs' instrumental, "Tequila" - the same year Chuck Berry recorded "Johnny B. Goode."

4. Celine Dion wins Album of the Year, 1997

Enough said.

5. The lamest piano ditty ever recorded wins Best Rock and Roll Recording, 1963

That would be Bent Fabric's piano instrumental, "Alley Cat." Prepare to rock out:

6. The Beatles don't get what's coming to them, 1964

The big year of the four lads who shook the world, the Beatles won for Best New Artist and Best Performance by a Vocal Group, thank God.

However, the boys lost Record of the Year to "Girl From Ipanema," Best Rock and Roll Recording to "Downtown," and - the worst insult - their great score to A Hard Day's Night lost Best Motion Picture Score to...Mary Poppins.

7. Clapton beats Nirvana, 1992

The big year that Nirvana redefined rock with "Smells Like Teen Spirit," the GRAMMY Awards instead gave the Best Rock Song Award to Eric Clapton's acoustic version of "Layla" - a song he wrote and recorded decades earlier.

Ironically, Nirvana won in 1996 for Best Alternative Music Performance for its acoustic album, proving the rule that, to win a GRAMMY, it helps to be dead and/or record acoustic versions of your hits.

8. Christopher Cross beats Pink Floyd's The Wall for Album of the Year, 1981

Christopher Cross (who?) is the only solo artist to ever win all four big categories in one night. Other nominees that night: Barbra Streisand, Billy Joel, Frank Sinatra.

9. Springfield beats Springsteen, 1982

"Jesse's Girl" beats out "The River." Bruce Springsteen: still selling out arenas around the world. Rick Springfield: playing Club Regent next month.

10. Rock "dies" in 1966

Just as rock really explodes, the GRAMMY dropped it as a category all together - a situation that wasn't remedied until...1979, when Bob Dylan took the category with "Gotta Serve Somebody," a gospel song.

11. Fresh Prince Will Smith is the greatest rapper of all time

His song, "Summertime" beats Public Enemy's entire album (how does that work?) in 1992, he beats down the late Notorious B.I.G. with "Men in Black" in 1997, and don't even get me started on "Gettin' Jiggy wit it."

12. If you can't award crappy music, then award crappy writing:

Pete Hamill won a GRAMMY in 1976 for his essay on the back cover of Blood on the Tracks - his words were considered by Dylan himself to be so self-important and overblown, they were removed after the first pressing.

"In the end, the plague touched us all. It was not confined to the Oran of Camus. No. It turned up again in America, breeding in-a-compost of greed and uselessness and murder, in those places where statesmen and generals stash the bodies of the forever young. The plague ran in the blood of men in sharkskin suits, who ran for President promising life and delivering death. The infected young men machine-gunned babies in Asian ditches; they marshalled metal death through the mighty clouds, up above God's green earth, released it in silent streams, and moved on, while the hospitals exploded and green fields were churned to mud."
13. Milli Vanilli wins Best New Artist 1989 for lip syncing

14. The Who has never won a GRAMMY and is consistently awesome

Don't watch the 53rd-annual GRAMMY Awards on Feb. 13.


  1. Great list! How about 14 reasons to hate the Academy Awards?

  2. The only Grammy I really care about are the ones for packaging. Anyone that keeps it out of the hands of Ani DiFranco (she seems to be nominated every year) is cool with me. I'm rooting for Michael Carney and Rob Jones this year:


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.