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You know, it’s a little sad, A few years ago when I put up this blog I had high hopes about actually being able to write about music composition, but I suppose it’s just going to be one of those trashy blogs where you talk about music in general.

Somebody put up an article about Best New Artist Grammy winners who didn’t deserve to win. I thought about it and I will review the nominees and the winners from every year from 1965 to 2000, which is the period of pop music I’m most familiar with.

1965 Won: The Beatles

Antonio Carlos Jobim, Astrud Gilberto, Morgana King, Petula Clark

Preferred winner: the Beatles.

Who the fuck is Morgana King? Anyway the best and the most obvious act won. You couldn’t go wrong. Astonishingly, the Beatles are not my favourite act on this list: that would be Jobim. The sight of the Beatles being second on a list is very very weird. That still wouldn’t be enough to knock them off the winner’s list, since . It’s a sign of how out of touch the Grammys are, though. Even the one time they got it right, they gave a Best New Artist award to a band that had been around since 1957.

1966 Won: Tom Jones

Glenn Yarbrough, Herman’s Hermits, Horst Jankowski, Marilyn Maye, Sonny & Cher, The Byrds,The Gods at play.

Preferred winner: the Byrds

There’s nothing wrong with Tom Jones, or the career he’s had since winning that award. But the best on this list would have been the Byrds, for their very distinctive electric folk sound, and because they have Crosby, McGuinn, Hillman and Clark.

1967 No prize

1968 Won: Bobbie Gentry

Harpers Bizarre, Jefferson Airplane, Lana Cantrell, The 5th Dimension

Preferred winner: Jefferson Airplane

I don’t know who the heck Bobbie Gentry is. Even if they didn’t plump for Jefferson Airplane they should have settled for somebody more sensible like the 5th Dimension.

1969 Won: José Feliciano

Cream, Gary Puckett & The Union Gap, Jeannie C. Riley, O. C. Smith

Preferred winner: Cream

1970 Winner: Crosby, Stills & Nash

Chicago, Led Zeppelin, Oliver, The Neon Philharmonic

This is another year they didn’t fuck up the nominations. Any of CSN, Chicago and Led Zep would have been worthy winners. Interestingly this is the second time David Crosby got nominated: first as the Byrds. Maybe this was to make up for their fuck up in not giving it to him earlier.

1971       The Carpenters

Anne Murray, Elton John, Melba Moore, The Partridge Family

Any of Carpenters or Elton John

1972       Carly Simon

Bill Withers, Chase, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Hamilton, Joe Frank & Reynolds

Any of Carly Simon or Bill Withers. I don’t like ELP but some people might.

 

1973       America

Eagles, Harry Chapin,  John Prine, Loggins and Messina

I don’t like the Eagles but I would have taken them any day. Maybe even Harry Chapin or John Prine.

1974

Bette Midler

Barry White, Eumir Deodato, Marie Osmond, Maureen McGovern

I would have taken Barry White over Bette Midler, but Bette Midler’s not too bad.

1975       Marvin Hamlisch

Bad Company, David Essex, Graham Central Station, Johnny Bristol, Phoebe Snow

Argh, what a bad year. Maybe that’s why everybody was so relieved when Bruce Springsteen came out in 1975. The early 70s, though, were an excellent time for soul and funk and you know, they’re never going to win the Grammys. I’d have gone for David Essex instead, and then Graham Central Station (but this is only because of Sly Stone) and Bad Company.

1976       Natalie Cole

Amazing Rhythm Aces, Brecker Brothers, KC and the Sunshine Band, Morris Albert

Argh, this is so awful. I would go for the Brecker Brothers and then KC and the Sunshine Band.

1977       Starland Vocal Band

Boston, Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band, The Brothers Johnson, Wild Cherry

This is one royal fuck up. Any of the rest would have been better than the Starland Vocal Band, even though afternoon delight is a great song. I would have chosen the Brothers Johnson ahead of the rest.

1978       Debby Boone

Andy Gibb, Foreigner, Shaun Cassidy, Stephen Bishop

What a horrible year. I nominate no one.

1979       A Taste of Honey

Chris Rea, Elvis Costello, The Cars, Toto

Another horrible year, just like 1977. Anybody else would have been better than a Taste of Honey. Especially Elvis Costello.

1980  Rickie Lee Jones

Dire Straits, Robin Williams, The Blues Brothers, The Knack

1981       Christopher Cross

Amy Holland, Irene Cara, Robbie Dupree, The Pretenders

It should have been the Pretenders. We all know what happened next, but it would have happened to them, with or without the grammy.

1982       Sheena Easton

Adam and the Ants, James Ingram, Luther Vandross, The Go-Go’s

I’d have gone for Luther Vandross instead.

1983       Men at Work

Asia, Jennifer Holliday, Stray Cats, The Human League

I’d have gone for the Human League

1984       Culture Club

Big Country, Eurythmics, Men Without Hats, Musical Youth

Culture Club are fine but Eurythmics would also have been fine.

1985       Cyndi Lauper

Corey Hart, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Sheila E., The Judds

Another relatively weak slate. Cyndi it is, then.

1986       Sade

a-ha, Freddie Jackson, Katrina and the Waves, Julian Lennon

1987       Bruce Hornsby and the Range

Glass Tiger, Nu Shooz, Simply Red, Timbuk3

Either them or Simply Red.

1988       Jody Watley

Breakfast Club, Cutting Crew, Terence Trent D’Arby, Swing Out Sister

This was infamous for being one of the least deserving best new artists ever. I’d have gone for TTD or Sananda Maitreya as he is now known.

1989       Tracy Chapman

Rick Astley, Take 6, Toni Childs. Vanessa L. Williams

Nothing terribly wrong with Tracy Chapman, but what a meh year.

1990       Vacated[III]

Indigo Girls, Neneh Cherry, Soul II Soul, Tone Loc, Milli Vanilli (Vacated)

I’d have gone for Milli Vanilli, because it would show the Grammy up to be the scam that it is. But it’s interesting to note that New Jack Swing had ruled the charts so completely for 1 or 2 years that you had all these guys up for awards. There’s not much to choose between all 5 of them. I like Soul II Soul, but none of these ppl had lasting careers. The most significant one for me is Neneh Cherry because she took all the money she earned from “Raw Like Sushi” and funded “Blue Lines” by Massive Attack.

1991       Mariah Carey

Lisa Stansfield, The Black Crowes, The Kentucky Headhunters, Wilson Phillips

No question about Mariah Carey, although her career is something I admire more than I like. Lisa Stansfield and the Black Crowes would have been also fine.

1992       Marc Cohn

Boyz II Men, C+C Music Factory, Color Me Badd, Seal

I’d have chosen Seal, although here’s another slate of good but not great nominees. Seal’s first two albums were quite OK, and then it was downhill.

1993       Arrested Development

Billy Ray Cyrus, Jon Secada, Kris Kross, Sophie B. Hawkins

Another slate of meh candidates, although Arrested Development’s first album was pretty damn great. I can’t love it as much now as I did back then because I’m no longer a naïve 16 year old, but at that time I thought it was the second coming of Sly Stone.

1994       Toni Braxton

Belly, Blind Melon, Digable Planets, SWV

I’d have gone for anybody to win this. Maybe Blind Melon, for the same reason as the Pretenders.

1995       Sheryl Crow

Ace of Base, Counting Crows, Crash Test Dummies, Green Day

At least this one they got right, even though Green Day is also quite deserving.

1996       Hootie & the Blowfish

Alanis Morissette, Brandy, Joan Osborne, Shania Twain

Urgh, Hootie. For one entire year, Hootie was unescapable. But if not Hootie, then who? Alanis?

1997       LeAnn Rimes

Garbage, Jewel, No Doubt, The Tony Rich Project

No Doubt, by a wide margin. And I don’t even like No Doubt!

1998       Paula Cole

Erykah Badu, Fiona Apple, Hanson, Puff Daddy

Finally, there’s one person I wouldn’t hesistate to put forward, and that’s Erykah. But Fiona Apple is quite alright too.

1999       Lauryn Hill

Andrea Bocelli, Backstreet Boys, Dixie Chicks, Natalie Imbruglia

Lauryn, definitely. But after this, she just disappeared. But in “The Score” and “Miseducation” there were two masterpieces in a row.

2000       Christina Aguilera

Britney Spears, Kid Rock, Macy Gray, Susan Tedeschi

Nothing to choose between Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears, both of them are more successful than they have talent. But both of them are by some distance the hottest ladies on this entire list.

 

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