Last night I decided to tune in to the televised edit of the 56th annual Grammy awards. An award which at one time was THE most prestigious award for any artist to have on their mantelpiece. An award ceremony which had some of the most ground-breaking performances in the history of music; 1988 – Michael Jackson – Man In The Mirror, 1993 – Eric Clapton – Tears In Heaven, 1994 – Whitney Houston – I will always Love you. Even as recently as Elton John & Eminem in 2001, Amy Whinehouse in 2008 and Adele in 2012 . But whilst watching Robin Thicke strut his pervy uncle-esque stuff to BluRRed Lines it got me thinking about the state of POP music today and how this gathering of music royalty has changed over the years.
The first annual Grammy awards was held in 1958 and consisted of 28 awards. By comparison the 2014 category list comes in at an eye watering 83! Yes music has evolved since the days people used a gramophone as more than just a vintage hipster showpiece. But dishing out these gongs in so many watered down categories takes everything away from how special it is to get one in the first place.
And the winners are/were……
Record Of The Year
2014 – Get Lucky (Daft Punk & Pharrell) 1983 – Beat It (Michael Jackson)
Album Of The Year
2014 – Random Access Memory (Daft Punk) 1977 – Rumours (Fleetwood Mac)
Song Of The Year
2014 – Royals (Lorde) 1984 – Every Breath You Take (The Police)
Best New Artist
2014 – Macklemore & Ryan Lewis 1965 – The Beatles
The brackets really weren’t required for the past winners (if for you they were then stop reading now, you’re totally going to miss my point). Could the same be said for 2014’s collection of golden gramophone holders in 10/20/30 years time?? The way we have access to music in the modern age in one way is brilliant, just a click of the mouse, a swipe of the iPad or flick of the TV channel and it’s all right there in your ears in an instant. But is this having a negative affect on our attention span or the staying power of artist?
An award of any description for your talent should be a shining beacon of success in career. Unfortunately I think the sheen of a Grammy has dimmed slightly over the years but perhaps that’s of our own (or technologies) doing.