The 5 biggest Grammy goofs of all-time - Omaha.com
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Donald Fagen, right, and Walter Becker of Steely Dan accept their award for Album of the Year at the 43rd annual Grammy Awards on Feb. 21, 2001.(THE ASSOCIATED PRESS)


The 5 biggest Grammy goofs of all-time
By Kevin Coffey / World-Herald staff writer


There's a reason why some people consider the Grammy Awards and its voters — the members of the Recording Academy — a little out of touch.

Admittedly, they often do get it right, and deserving artists have shelves full of golden gramophones, but there are several incidents that still have us shaking our heads.

1. Christopher Cross sweeps the 1981 Grammys

Cross brought home the four major awards back in 1981 and we didn't hear much from him again. I mean, who still listens to “Sailing?” So who did Cross beat out? Oh, only a few people, songs and albums considered classics such as Pink Floyd with “The Wall,” Barbra Streisand, Frank Sinatra, Bette Middler, Kenny Rogers and Billy Joel.

2. Steely Dan beats Radiohead and Eminem

We dig Steely Dan. Honest. But in 2001, the duo beat out the best albums from two current giants: Radiohead's “Kid A” and Eminem's “The Marshall Mathers LP.”

3. Clapton beats Nirvana and Pearl Jam

Grunge was changing the music industry in 1992. And the Recording Academy didn't much care. Nirvana's “Smells Like Teen Spirit” and Pearl Jam's “Jeremy” lost out to Clapton's “Layla” for Best Rock Song. Now, we love Clapton, and “Layla” is a fine song, but it was 20 years old at the time, and the Grammys blowing off Nirvana is irritating.

4. Great bands are blown off

The fact that Led Zeppelin, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, the Beach Boys, Bob Marley, the Doors and Queen have never won a Grammy. But Britney Spears has one. Chew on that.

5. Jethro Tull wins Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance

The year that the Recording Academy finally recognized hard rock and metal with a category of its own — 1989 — prog rock group Jethro Tull was inexplicably nominated for the award. Then it proceeded to win the award over Metallica, Iggy Pop, AC/DC and Jane’s Addiction. Years later, when Metallica eventually won an award, drummer Lars Ulrich thanked Jethro Tull for not releasing an album that year.

Contact the writer: Kevin Coffey

kevin.coffey@owh.com    |   402-444-1557    |  

Kevin covers music, whether it's pop, indie or punk, through artist interviews, reviews and trend stories. He also occasionally covers other entertainment, including video games and comic books.

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