Monday 3 February 2014

AAA Grammy Nominees (Top Twelve, News Views and Music 231)

I'm still in shock! The Gramophone Awards - better known as the Grammies, awarded for the 'song of the year' - are due to be announced for '2014' any minute now (for some strange reason an award is always given for the year after a song was released). The awards are given to 'honour artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position." Which still doesn't explain how the likes of 'Rehab' and 'Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)' were proclaimed two of the best songs of the past ten years (even by modern standards, both songs are truly truly awful). As we head into the award's 56th year I thought I'd have a look at how many AAA stars have won the coveted title - and the answer is two. Two!!! The Beatles only won one throughout their career (and probably not the one you're expecting...), Neil Young only got a single nomination their whole careers and bands like the Pink Floyd and Oasis didn't even get that. Frankly most big music fans consider the award a joke now: it's about the most cover versions and radio airplay a song gets rather than any real artistic worth, but the awards aren't completely wasted (The Spice Girls didn't get a single nomination either, thank goodness). So here, in chronological order, are the AAA 'nominations' year by year including the two (TWO????!!!) entries that actually won something...

1965: The Beatles "A Hard Day's Night" (Nomination)

Proof of the age of the panels used to vote on the songs comes from the shock that the record-breaking run of singles The Beatles released before this ('Please Please Me' 'She Loves You' 'I want To Hold Your Hand' 'I Feel Fine' and 'Can't Buy Me Love') didn't even get a nomination. 'AHDN' presumably won because of all the fuss around it - it was the title song from a successful film (which automatically made the single more respectable to 1964 ears) and wasn't necessarily about teenage romance for the first time. The song lost out to Louis Armstrong's cover of 'Hello Dolly!'

1966: The Beatles "Yesterday" (Nomination)

Yes I'm surprised too - The Beatles may not have released 'Yesterday' as a single (well not in Europe at least) but surely it's obvious from the sheer volume of instant cover versions of this song that it was a 'classic' and appealed to a whole new audience who'd never got into the Beatles before? Apparently not - the song lost out to Tony Bennett's song 'Shadows OF Your Mind'.

1967: The Beatles "Michelle" (Winner)

This one's really confused me - perhaps realising their mistake in passing over 'Yesterday' the Grammies tried to make amends by rewarding another Lennon-McCartney song. However they clearly didn't like anything on the 1966 fab four album 'Revolver' and went back two years to 'Michelle' (off 'Rubber Soul'). Cute as 'Michelle' is, even McCartney doesn't rate it too highly, acknowledging that the song actually started life as a 'joke' song with cod french he came up with to impress 'arty types' at parties. Remember they could have given the award to 'Here There and Everywhere' 'Tomorrow Never Knows' 'We Can Work It Out' 'Day Tripper' or 'Eleanor Rigby' (and that's just the Beatle songs that deserved to win from 1966...)

1969: The Beatles "Hey Jude" (Nomination)

Even the people behind the Grammies couldn't ignore 'Hey Jude' - the biggest selling single up to that point in record history, the longest number one single by some margin and the first release on a new record label (The Beatles' own Apple) that set trends from the first (Apple had a 50% number one rate for their first year, a feat never even close to being replicated before or since). And yet they gave the record to, err, O C Smith's 'Little Green Apples' (no I don't know it either - perhaps they saw the 'Apple' logo and got confused?!)

1969: Simon and Garfunkel "Mrs Robinson" (Nomination)

Another successful single from a successful film, 'Mrs Robinson' might not be S+G at their very best but it did the job it needed to of selling 'The Graduate' and being more commercial than anything else the pair did. Did it deserve to win? Probably not against 'Hey Jude', but certainly it possesses more longevity than 'Little Green Apples'...

1971: The Beatles "Let It Be" (Nomination)

Fair enough I suppose - the Beatles end their career by getting a nomination with their last single (which it might shock you to learn never made #1 in the UK but #3), but lose out to an even better known and selling song. As it happens there's a link - both songs have a gospel theme and Lennon was actually quite dismissive of 'Let It Be' when he first heard it, reckoning Macca pinched it directly from 'Bridge' (actually the song was first demoed a few months before the Simon and Garfunkel classic)...

1971: Simon and Garfunkel "Bridge Over Troubled Water" (Winner)

....Which means the second and final AAA winner on the list is the all-conquering 'Bridge Over Troubled Water'. The song was a natural choice, being everywhere in 1970 and staying at the UK number one for a mammoth seven weeks (they always say these awards are given out irrelevant of charts and record sales but that sounds ridiculous: we'd have a whole list of obscure songs nobody knew if that was truly the case). This is, of course, S+G's 'farewell' song too...

1972: Janis Joplin "Me and Bobby McGee" (Nomination)

Is it just me or is 'Bobby McGee' actually about the least successful record Janis Joplin ever made? A strange choice for release as a posthumous single, it remains her biggest hit wihich is nothing short of a travesty when compared to the brilliance of 'Piece Of My Heart' and 'Ball and Chain'. Just as the single became popular because Janis sadly died in 1970, so surely this nomination came about for the same reasons. It lost out to Carole King and James Taylor's 'You've Got A Friend', which would make sense had the two songs actually been release the same year (Janis' came out in 1970 almost a full year before 'Friend'...)

1973: Gilbert O'Sullivan "Alone Again (Naturally)" (Nomination)

Gilbert must have thought he'd made it, scoring not only a number one hit with his first single but his one and only Grammy nomination too. The song lost out to Roberta Flack's cover of Ewan Maccoll's 'First Time I Ever Saw Your Face', which is fair enough I suppose although it's actually about the worst version of this gorgeous song around...

1983: Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder "Ebony and Ivory" (Nomination)

Now we know they're playing games with us - seriously, the only song from Paul McCartney's solo career to get nominated was the now universally reviled 'Ebony and Ivory'? (well somebody must have liked it I suppose: it did make #2 in the UK charts after all, but seriously, it deserved a nomination when 'Another Day' 'Live and Let Die' 'My Love' 'Band On The Run' 'Jet' 'Silly Love Songs' 'Mull of Kintyre' and 'Coming Up' didn't?!) Presumably the Grammy board thought they could help two artists with one nomination, as it were, with Stevie Wonder getting his only ever nomination too (and again, almost all of his work is preferable to this song). Shockingly though the award for 1983 went to an even worse song: Willie Nelson's 'Always On My Mind'.

1986: Dire Straits "Money For Nothing" (Nomination)

Surely 'Sultans Of Swing' should have won in 1978 right? Wrong apparently. Nor did 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Private Investigations' (two of the biggest selling songs of the decade) receive one either. Dire Straits in fact only got one nomination for this song - and presumably that, too, was because they shared a co-credit with Sting (who didn't actually have much to do with the song at all, thank goodness). The song predictably lost out to the 'USA for Africa' super-group's 'Heal The World', even though it was a pale substitute for Band Aid's 'Don't They Know It's Christmas?', technically giving Paul Simon his second grammy win for his one-line performance on the record.

1987: Paul Simon "Graceland" (Nomination)

Paul Simon's back again with the title track of 1986's most famous album. Again, you have to question any panel of judges that pass over such gems as 'Something So Right' 'Mother and Child Reunion' 'Still Crazy After All These Years' 'Slip Sliding Away' and 'Hearts and Bones' for what it really a lesser song, but okay (Paul's other single of 1986, 'The Boy In The Bubble', really deserved the win that year). Paul ended up losing out to Dianne Warwick and 'Friends' take on 'What Are Friends For' instead (again the victory has gone to a song that isn't even remembered these days...)

1994: Neil Young "Harvest Moon" (Nomination)

Finally, it's another surprise: Neil Young didn't get nominated for 'After The Goldrush' 'Heart Of Gold' or even 'Like A Hurricane' but instead got the nomination for a song that wasn't even released as a single. 'Harvest Moon' was certainly a return to form of sorts, but did it really deserve the nod over those over classics down the years? Well, maybe - 1992 was hardly a vintage year after all - but why oh why was this song held over to represent 1993 9and thus get the award in 1994?) It lost out to another '?!?' entry in Peabo Bryson and Patti Belle's forgotten single 'A Whole New World'.

And that's that for another issue. Whether we're covering award winners or forgotten gems by our AAA stars you can be sure that we'll be bringing it to you all throughout 2014 and beyond. Ciao for now!

A NOW COMPLETE List Of Top Five/Top Ten/TOP TWENTY  Entries 2008-2019
1) Chronic Fatigue songs

2) Songs For The Face Of Bo

3) Credit Crunch Songs

4) Songs For The Autumn

5) National Wombat Week

6) AAA Box Sets

7) Virus Songs

8) Worst AAA-Related DVDs

9) Self-Punctuating Superstar Classics

10) Ways To Know You Have Turned Into A Collector

11) Political Songs

12) Totally Bonkers Concept Albums

13) Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

14) Still Celebrating 40 Years Of The Beatles' White Album

15) AAA Existential Questions

16) Releases Of The Year 2008

17) Top AAA Xmas Songs

18) Notable AAA Gigs

19) All things '20' related for our 20th issue

20) Romantic odes for Valentine's Day

21) Hollies B sides

22) 'Other' BBC Session Albums

23) Beach Boys Rarities Still Not Available On CD

24) Songs John, Paul and George wrote for Ringo's solo albums

25) 5 of the Best Rock 'n' Roll Tracks From The Pre-Beatles Era

26) AAA Autobiographies

27) Rolling Stones B-sides

28) Beatles B-Sides

29) The lllloooonnngggeesssttt AAA songs of all time

30) Kinks B-Sides

31) Abandoned CSNY projects 'wasted on the way'

32) Best AAA Rarities and Outtakes Sets

33) News We've Missed While We've Been Away

34) Birthday Songs for our 1st Anniversary

35) Brightest Album Covers

36) Biggest Recorded Arguments

37) Songs About Superheroes

38) AAA TV Networks That Should Exist

39) AAA Woodtsock Moments

40) Top Moments Of The Past Year As Voted For By Readers

41) Music Segues

42) AAA Foreign Language Songs

43) 'Other' Groups In Need Of Re-Mastering

44) The Kinks Preservation Rock Opera - Was It Really About The Forthcoming UK General Election?

45) Mono and Stereo Mixes - Biggest Differences

46) Weirdest Things To Do When A Band Member Leaves

47) Video Clips Exclusive To Youtube (#1)

48) Top AAA Releases Of 2009

49) Songs About Trains

50) Songs about Winter

51) Songs about astrology plus horoscopes for selected AAA members

52) The Worst Five Groups Ever!

53) The Most Over-Rated AAA Albums

54) Top AAA Rarities Exclusive To EPs

55) Random Recent Purchases (#1)

56) AAA Party Political Slogans

57) Songs To Celebrate 'Rock Sunday'

58) Strange But True (?) AAA Ghost Stories

59) AAA Artists In Song

60) Songs About Dogs

61) Sunshiney Songs

62) The AAA Staff Play Their Own Version Of Monoploy/Mornington Crescent!

63) What 'Other' British Invasion DVDs We'd Like To See

64) What We Want To Place In Our AAA Time Capsule

65) AAA Conspiracy Theroies

66) Weirdest Things To Do Before - And After - Becoming A Star

67) Songs To Tweet To

68) Greatest Ever AAA Solos

69) John Lennon Musical Tributes

70) Songs For Halloween

71) Earliest Examples Of Psychedelia

72) Purely Instrumental Albums

73) AAA Utopias

74) AAA Imaginary Bands

75) Unexpected AAA Cover Versions

76) Top Releases of 2010

77) Songs About Snow

78) Predictions For 2011

79) AAA Fugitives

80) AAA Home Towns

81) The Biggest Non-Musical Influences On The 1960s

82) AAA Groups Covering Other AAA Groups

83) Strange Censorship Decisions

84) AAA Albums Still Unreleased on CD

85) Random Recent Purchases (#2)

86) Top AAA Music Videos

87) 30 Day Facebook Music Challenge

88) AAA Documentaries

89) Unfinished and 'Lost' AAA Albums

90) Strangest AAA Album Covers

91) AAA Performers Live From Mars (!)

92) Songs Including The Number '100' for our 100th Issue

93) Most Songs Recorded In A Single Day

94) Most Revealing AAA Interviews

95) Top 10 Pre-Fame Recordings

96) The Shortest And Longest AAA Albums

97) The AAA Allstars Ultimate Band Line-Up

98) Top Songs About Sports

99) AAA Conversations With God

100) AAA Managers: The Good, The Bad and the Financially Ugly

101) Unexpected AAA Cameos

102) AAA Words You can Type Into A Caluclator

103) AAA Court Cases

104) Postmodern Songs About Songwriting

105) Biggest Stylistic Leaps Between Albums

106) 20 Reasons Why Cameron Should Go!

107) The AAA Pun-Filled Cookbook

108) Classic Debut Releases

109) Five Uses Of Bird Sound Effects

110) AAA Classic Youtube Clips Part #1

111) Part #2

112) Part #3

113) AAA Facts You Might Not Know

114) The 20 Rarest AAA Records

115) AAA Instrumental Songs

116) Musical Tarot

117) Christmas Carols

118) Top AAA Releases Of 2011

119) AAA Bands In The Beano/The Dandy

120) Top 20 Guitarists #1

121) #2

122) 'Shorty' Nomination Award Questionairre

123) Top Best-Selling AAA Albums

124) AAA Songs Featuring Bagpipes

125) A (Hopefully) Complete List Of AAA Musicians On Twitter

126) Beatles Albums That Might Have Been 1970-74 and 1980

127) DVD/Computer Games We've Just Invented

128) The AAA Albums With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

129) The AAA Singles With The Most Weeks At #1 in the UK

130) Lyric Competition (Questions)

131) Top Crooning Classics

132) Funeral Songs

133) AAA Songs For When Your Phone Is On Hold

134) Random Recent Purchases (#3)

135) Lyric Competition (Answers)

136) Bee Gees Songs/AAA Goes Disco!

137) The Best AAA Sleevenotes (And Worst)

138) A Short Precise Of The Years 1962-70

139) More Wacky AAA-Related Films And Their Soundtracks

140) AAA Appearances On Desert Island Discs

141) Songs Exclusive To Live Albums

142) More AAA Songs About Armageddon

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159) A (Not That) Short Guide To The 15 Best Non-AAA Bands

160) The Greatest AAA Drum Solos (Or Near Solos!)

161) AAA Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame Acceptance Speeches

162) AAA Re-Recordings Of Past Songs

163) A Coalition Christmas (A Fairy Tale)

164) AAA Songs About Islands

165) The AAA Review Of The Year 2012

166) The Best AAA Concerts I Attended

167) Tributes To The 10 AAA Stars Who Died The Youngest

168) The First 10 AAA Songs Listed Alphabetically

171) The 10 Best Songs From The Psychedelia Box-Sets ‘Nuggets’ and ‘Nuggets Two’

172) The 20 Most Common Girl’s Names In AAA Song Titles (With Definitions) 

180) First Recordings By Future AAA Stars

185) A Tribute To Storm Thorgerson Via The Five AAA Bands He Worked With

188) Surprise! Celebrating 300 Album Reviews With The Biggest 'Surprises' Of The Past Five Years Of Alan's Album Archives!

190) Comparatively Obscure First Compositions By AAA Stars

193) Evolution Of A Band: Comparing First Lyric With Last Lyric:

200) The Monkees In Relation To Postmodernism (University Dissertation)

202) Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain': Was It About One Of The AAA Crew?

217) AAA 'Christmas Presents' we'd most like to have next year

221) Dr Who and the AAA (Five Musical Links)

222) Five Random Recent Purchases

223) AAA Grammy Nominees

224) Ten AAA songs that are better heard unedited and in full

225) The shortest gaps between AAA albums

226) The longest gaps between AAA albums

227) Top ten AAA drummers

228) Top Ten AAA Singles (In Terms of 'A' and 'B' Sides)

229) The Stories Behind Six AAA Logos

230) AAAAAHHHHHH!!!!!!! The Best Ten AAA Screams

231) An AAA Pack Of Horses

232) AAA Granamas - Sorry, Anagrams!

233) AAA Surnames and Their Meanings

234) 20 Erroneous AAA Album Titles

235) The Best AAA Orchestral Arrangements

236) Top 30 Hilariously Misheard Album Titles/Lyrics

237) Ten controversial AAA sackings - and whether they were right

238) A Critique On Critiquing - In Response To Brian Wilson

239) The Ten MusicianS Who've Played On The Most AAA Albums

240) Thoughts on #CameronMustGo

241) Random Recent Purchases (Kinks/Grateful Dead/Nils Lofgren/Rolling Stones/Hollies) 

242) AAA Christmas Number Ones 

243) AAA Review Of The Year 2014 (Top Releases/Re-issues/Documentaries/DVDs/Books/Songs/ Articles  plus worst releases of the year)

244) Me/CFS Awareness Week 2015

245) Why The Tory 2015 Victory Seems A Little...Suspicious

246) A Plea For Peace and Tolerance After The Attacks on Paris - and Syria

247) AAA Review Of The Year 2015

248) The Fifty Most Read AAA Articles (as of December 31st 2015)

249) The Revised AAA Crossword!

251) Half-A-Dozen Berries Plus One (An AAA Tribute To Chuck Berry)

252) Guest Post: ‘The Skids – Joy’ (1981) by Kenny Brown

254) Guest Post: ‘Supertramp – Some Things Never Change’ by Kenny Brown

255) AAA Review Of The Year 2018

256) AAA Review Of The Year 2019 plus Review Of The Decade 2010-2019

257) Tiermaker

258) #Coronastock

259) #Coronadocstock

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