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Not With The Band: The Grammys: Who Needs Them?

This week was Grammys week and every time some award show is happening, I am wondering,… why do we need them? why do we need to judge which artist, album, music is the best? Of course, nobody should respect the Grammys, this is an institution which never awarded Chuck Berry, The Beach Boys, The Byrds, Diana Ross, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, The Who, The Doors, The Kinks, Bob Marley, Sly & The Family Stone, Cutis Mayfield, Parliment &/or Funkadelic, The Stooges, Talking Heads, The Ramones, The Sex Pistols,… but which picked Lionel Richie's ‘Can't Slow Down’ over Prince's ‘Purple Rain’, Bruce Springsteen's ‘Born in the USA’, and Tina Turner's ‘Private Dancer’ in 1985, gave an award to Milli Vanilli for Best New Artist in 1990, chose Celine Dion’s ‘Falling Into You, over Beck's ‘Odelay’, and the Smashing Pumpkins' ‘Mellon Collie And The Infinite Sadness’ in 1997, and awarded U2 twenty-two times! The Grammys have simply no imagination and no taste! And when you see that Taylor Swift’s ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’ is nominated for Record of the Year (the Gammy actually went to Gotye, but it’s not much better), you have everything you need to know about the Grammys.

But my point is beyond the mediocre taste of the ceremony, which can be entertaining nevertheless. How can you rank art honestly? Considering that music nominated for the Grammys is art,…. Honestly, how can you compare The Black Keys’ ‘Lonely Boy’, to Kelly Clarkson’s ‘Stronger (What Doesn’t Kill You)’, to Fun.’s ‘We Are Young’, to Gotye’s ‘Somebody That I Used to Know’, to Frank Ocean’s ‘Thinkin Bout You’, to Taylor Swift’s ‘We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together’…. already my head is aching. People who like the Black Keys probably hate Gotye or Swift but it doesn’t mean anything at all. Almost all these songs suck and I still don’t understand why we need to decide which one is the best. On the other hand, the Grammys can’t never win: if they give the award to the song which has sold the most, they are just conformist ass kissers, but if they pick the odd one, they are the snobs.

 

We live in a society where competition is everyone's center of attention, and we always have to determine a winner and a looser for reasons that escape me. This award mania doesn’t make any sense especially in music, and releasing an album should not be regarded as winning or losing the super bowl of music. Why do we need winners? Why is the American culture so focused on competition? I am so tired of these pompous people sweating their ass off just to pile up another award in their trophy room.

 

And what is the point of winning? I suppose it makes them happy for 5 minutes and then they think about the next award they could win, and they are stuck in this never ending pursuit of the win game… if people think winning equals happiness, it actually must be just the opposite. Look at this Bieber kid, he is so disappointed to have been snubbed by the recording academy this year despite his new album being at No.1 on Billboard’s Hot 200. ‘My whole life I've dreamed of winning a Grammy’ he said! The teen idol literally lives for this, he has been trained for this, and the poor guy has probably lost touch with the purpose of his life right now.

 

It may have become a cliché too, but I have always been for the losers and the underdogs, and contrarily to what American culture preaches, success do not always come from winning a Grammy or two… look at this list of Grammy-free musicians above, they are all legends! But who will remember about Gotye and Fun.’s overplayed refrains in a few years?

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