In the late 1950s, the Oscars (1929), the Golden Globes (1944), the Tony Awards (1947), and the Emmys (1949) have already appeared. But in the world of music, there was still no such prestigious award that recognizes the achievements of musicians and has some influence. They filled the lack of such in 1959 with the first Grammy Awards.
Since then, owning a gilded gramophone has been tantamount to great talent, innovation and success. It is an honor and recognition even just to be nominated, and the popularity of the stars awarded with the statuette is growing.
However, the Grammy Awards have been the subject of much criticism, especially in recent years. Many fans and critics claim that the Recording Academy’s awards are no longer what they used to be, that there is a lack of impartiality and openness, and that they are enslaved to understandings humanity should have outgrown.
By 2009, 7,578 statuettes had been awarded. Nonetheless, music icons like Queen and Led Zeppelin never get one. And for his entire career, David Bowie received only one. That is why we have collected the ten albums that deserved to win but were not awarded a Grammy.
Abbey Road – The Beatles
The legendary English band’s eleventh studio album, combining blues, pop, and rock, was an instant success and topped the United Kingdom and the United States charts. The album cover became one of the most famous (a photo of the band crossing a footpath), and behind it were hits such as “Come Together”, “Something” and “Here Comes the Sun”. Despite being nominated for Album of the Year, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr left the prestigious ceremony empty-handed, to fans’ surprise. Almost 30 years later, Abbey Road was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
The Dark Side of the Moon – Pink Floyd
The album is one of the most critically acclaimed releases and achieved record sales in the 1970s, making it one of the greatest of all time. But they did not even recognize its record-breaking success with a gold gramophone nomination. Like Abbey Road, The Dark Side of the Moon was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame decades after its release.
Reasonable Doubt – Jay-Z
The rapper‘s debut album, which includes the singles “Ain’t No Ni**a” and “Can’t Knock the Hustle”, is considered one of the best rap projects, respectively the best work of Jay-Z. However, the Academy was obviously not of the same opinion, as Reasonable Doubt failed to fight for the statuette.
Kind of Blue – Miles Davis
It is considered one of the best albums of all time and by critics as one of the most influential in the world of music, affecting jazz performers and those in the field of rock and classical genres. The Rolling Stone magazine included it in the list of the 500 greatest albums, and in 1992, after not receiving a gold gramophone for “Album of the Year”, they added it to the Grammy Hall of Fame.
Highway 61 Revisited – Bob Dylan
The sixth studio album of the American singer reached third place in the Billboard 200 and was ranked 18th in the list of Rolling Stone. The single Like a Rolling Stone was ranked first in the list of the 500 best songs of all time. Nevertheless, Highway 61 Revisited was not nominated for a Grammy. To this day, it is not even a part of the Hall of Fame.
Like a Virgin – Madonna
The American singer’s second album was a great success, topped the Billboard 200 chart, and became the first album released by a woman that sold over five million in the United States. This is an achievement that remains unrecognized by the Academy to this day.
Pet Sounds – The Beach Boys
This is the eleventh album realized by the rock band The Beach Boys. Pet sounds mix elements of pop, jazz, classical music, and avant-garde, combining them with unfamiliar and unused sounds in rock music. Although it was successful and ranked second on Rolling Stone, the groundbreaking album failed to win a Grammy. Years after its release, it was inducted into the Hall of Fame.
Nevermind – Nirvana
The album was a massive success with both critics and the market. In addition to leading the Billboard 200, it is known for its musical diversity, including acoustic ballads and punk-inspired hard rock. The album cover, showing a naked baby swimming to a fishing hook banknote, is one of American music’s most famous album covers. However, this was not enough to nominate Nirvana for Album of the Year, although Nevermind joined the Hall of Fame three years ago.
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
At first glance, containing only pop songs, Teenage Dream skillfully combines elements of disco, rock, house, hip-hop, and electronic music. This is only the second album in history, which can boast five singles, reaching number one in the charts. Katy Perry received seven Grammy nominations but did not win any.
Born in the U.S.A. – Bruce Springsteen
This is the rock singer’s seventh studio album and the most commercially successful, and according to critics, it is one of the best of all time. Although nominated for Album of the Year, Bruce Springsteen left the ceremony empty-handed. His work was not recognized until 2012 when Born in the U.S.A. becomes part of the Hall of Fame.
In recent years, the Grammy Awards have been increasingly criticized. These are just some of the underestimated musical works by the Academy. The last decade is no exception. We all remember the lack of a nomination for Kanye West’s album – West’s My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy in 2011. According to critics, it is the most successful of the year and is decisive for West’s career.
At the 59th ceremony, contrary to critics’ expectations, Adele won in the category Album of the Year (25) instead of Beyonce (Lemonade). They believe that 25 won only because of its record sales, while Lemonade has cultural significance and significant influence. Adele herself said at the acceptance of the award that Beyonce should have won.
It seems the Academy often neglects performers or underestimates their work and talent. It is striking that years or even decades after they harmed an artist, their album was hailed in the Hall of Fame. The question is whether as an incentive prize or as a means of buying wine?
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