The 55th annual Grammys are Sunday. I won’t watch, because, let’s face it, when it comes to recognizing good music, the Grammys have a pretty spotty record.
I the Grammys, like all showbiz awards, tend to focus on what’s popular at the moment. I don’t think we’ll really know the Album of the Year for 2012 until sometime in 2022.
For example, 20 years ago, the Grammy for Album of the Year went to Unplugged by Eric Clapton, probably because 1992 was the year Clapton came out with “Tears in Heaven,” which was about the death of his 4-year-old, and everybody loved the song.
I can’t argue with the single winning Song of the Year and Record of the Year, but I don’t think anyone considers Unplugged one of Clapton’s best albums, let alone one of the best album of 1992. Still, it beat the soundtrack to Beauty and the Best, Ingenue by k.d. lang, Diva by Annie Lennox and Achtung Baby by U2, which I think sounds a lot better now than it did then. Great albums like Automatic for the People by R.E.M., Kiko by Los Lobos and Joshua Judges Ruth by Lyle Lovett weren’t even nominated.
Also, consider this:
- The Chipmunks have won three Grammys
- That’s two more than Louis Armstrong or Hank Williams, neither of whom won for what anyone would consider their best work (Armstrong, a pioneering jazz trumpeter, won for singing “Hello, Dolly!” while Hank Williams won a Grammy for a “duet” that Hank Jr. cobbled together over 30 years after Hank Sr. died)
- The Chipmunks also have won three more Grammys than the Beach Boys, Chuck Berry, Bob Marley, The Who or Diana Ross, with or without The Supremes (they haven’t won any)