The past twelve years have provided some entertaining moments at the Grammys but also some pretty frustrating ones as well. Here are five of the latter.
2004: Kanye West Loses Best New Artist to Maroon 5. And here we get to the event that may have set Kanye West down the road of being one of the most intolerable personalities in all of music. West’s The College Dropout is still regarded as a classic while Maroon 5’s Songs About Jane was simply just a very popular album. Factor in that The College Dropout was actually released in 2004 while Songs About Jane came out in 2002 with many of the singles peaking airplay in 2003 and things start to look a bit shady.
2007: The Dixie Chicks win Best Album over Red Hot Chili Peppers, Gnarls Barkley, and Justin Timberlake. This was during that “insult George W. Bush and you get an award” phase the country was going through at the time. Taking the Long Way was a very solid album and was worthy of a nomination. It’s lead single “Not Ready to Make Nice” was strong enough to take home Record of the Year. But the entire album beating out Gnarls Barkley’s debut, Justin Timberlake’s revolution and The Red Hot Chili Peppers’s return to form? Not quite.
2008: Brice Springsteen loses Best Rock Album to Foo Fighters. Most Foo Fighters fans would stop very short of calling their late 2007 release Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace their best work. Magic, on the other hand, marked the first time in a while Springsteen had a solid album spearheaded by a hit song (Radio Nowhere). This isn’t so much the fault of the Grammy’s as much as the stations who failed to give Springsteen radio play despite incredible record sales. The biggest consolation of this snub is that Springsteen is the last person in the world to who needs his success vindicated by a Grammy.
2008: Herbie Hancock beats Amy Winehouse for Best Album. Amy Winehouse’s Back to Black was armed with five incredible singles that established her as a serious presence in 2006. Herbie Hancock’s River: The Joni Mitchell Letters was a heartfelt but ultimately forgettable collection of covers that most music fans only passingly noticed after the album won the Grammy. It was the shock of the night and one that robbed Winehouse of the only Best Album Grammy she would have the chance to receive.
2009: Robert Plant and Alison Krauss beat M.I.A. for Best Record. M.I.A.’s global hit “Paper Planes” was a unique blend of several genres that resulted in one of the biggest crossover hits ever. The track “Please Read The Letter” been previously released by Plant for 1998’s Walking into Clarksdale. Of all the one’s on the list, this one may be the biggest.