The Grammys have sort of sucked since at least 1967, when Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band was beat out for the Best Performance By a Vocal Group award by that timeless Fifth Dimension masterpiece, Up Up and Away.
The awards' suckiness was reconfirmed the year that Lionel Richie won 394 awards and kept saying "Outrageous!" every trip up to the podium, and more recently when Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot wasn't even nominated.
But this? This is the last straw.*
A quick side note:** As I was researching tonight's post, I came across the roster of Best New Artist winners and nominees. And I guess the Academy sometimes gets those awards right. For instance, I don't really care about Marc Cohn's music that much, but the mere fact that he beat out Boyz II Men, C+C Music Factory and Color Me Badd is somewhat redeeming. (On the other hand, if you're Marc Cohn, do you keep that Grammy hidden so you can avoid having to answer the question, "So, who else was nominated that year?")
Perhaps the strangest two-year stretch in Best New Artist history was 1970 and 1971.
1970 Winner: Crosby, Stills & Nash ... Nominees: Chicago, Led Zeppelin, Oliver, The Neon Philharmonic
1971 Winner: The Carpenters ... Nominees: Elton John, Melba Moore, Anne Murray, The Partridge Family
Has ever the musical tide turned so dramatically for the worse? I'm a big fan of early '70s Elton John, so his nomination in '71 seems warranted, but otherwise that 1971 list is astonishing - particularly coming on the heels of a year in which CS&N, Chicago and Zeppelin were contenders - isn't it? Plus, wouldn't you have guessed that Elton would have won if for no other reason than The Carpenters, Murray and the Partridges would have split the ballots coming from the fluff-pop voting bloc?
* In case you missed it, I really hate Kings of Leon.
** It turns out the quick side note is longer than the main subject of today's post. These things happen.