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Grammys Slash Categories, Rock and Metal Get Screwed

Officials behind the Grammy awards are cutting more than 30 award categories. This means there will now be 78 little gold statues awarded to musicians instead of 109.

I must either be 1) really jaded or 2) really smart because I knew as soon as I started reading about the Grammy cuts, I knew rock, metal and hard rock was screwed. I was right.

From MTV:

"In the rock field, the Best Rock Instrumental Performance and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals will go away, while the Best Hard Rock and Best Metal Performance awards will be consolidated into one trophy."

So, shock of shocks, right?

So now, everyone from Incubus and Aerosmith to Green Day and Exhorder will be head to head. Same situation with Sting against someone like...I dunno... Nickelback or Mayhem. Yeah, that makes sense. Might as well shove death metal up against more mainstream rock acts. Or legacy acts. That seems fair. 

I can't disagree that there were way too many Grammy categories. I think the idea to streamline the pop categories as gender neutral (no separate award for male/female) is good. I don't think it's great to just start smashing a bunch of stuff together that deserves awards. I feel like rock is important enough to deserve a stand alone Grammy. Same for metal. I don't like gospel music but I think that genre is important enough to deserve its own award too...and this new slice n' dice plan changes that genre as well.

Back to MTV:

"Similar changes were made in the country, jazz, gospel, Latin, American roots, world and classical genres, while Best Native American, Zydeco or Cajun and Hawaiian will compete in a larger field under Best Regional Roots Music Album."

These changes will go into effect during next year's Grammy awards telecast.

So, what do you think of these changes? Do you agree with me that rock and metal are getting the shaft?

Reader Comments (13)

Live From Greece!!!

Well, I really think that rock and metal got screwed but its the Grammy's so yeah, saw that one coming from half the world away. (no really!!)

However I will add, that don't a lot of people disregard the Grammy's as a pointless popularity contest anyway? It would be funny to see Judas Priest, John Mayer,Korn, and Behemoth on the same stage
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterShadow
The day Jethro Tull beat Metallica was the day the Grammys lost all credibility. They can eliminate the whole thing as far as I care.
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
I don't know any serious rock fan who gives the Grammys any credence whatsoever. It's fun to watch your favorite band win, but 10 minutes after they do it doesn't matter.
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBryon
So how will the loss of Best Instrumental affect musicians like Steve Vai, Paul Gilbert, and Joe Satriani? Musicians like this are true virtuosos with their instruments-no different from YoYo Ma or the like, except they are plugged in and amped up of course... Just goes to show how much of a farce the music industry is these days-no appreciation for talent-only slick packaged mass market moneymakers ala American Idol kareoke...
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBluejayart
The Jethro tull-Metallica debacle was not the only blow to the Grammies' credibility. How about Milli Vanilli winning the Best new Artist award in 1990? Or, how about the year when Linda Ronstadt won the Grammy for the best spanish album, beating a host of nominees who spent their whole lives recording this kind of music, whereas she recorded one solitary album of it?

Honestly, I don't care what the Grammies do anymore.
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterBob
Take the Grammy Awards, the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, and American Idol and put them all in a barrel and push them off the side of Niagara Falls. Music as a whole would be better off without any of them.
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChuck
Um...did anyone have a gander at the nominees, and eventual winner, in the rock and metal categories this year?

Forget Jethro Tull 20-odd years ago. That was a howler, but the true irrelevance of the Grammies is shown in somewhat more subtle ways every single year. In the current shakedown, they're presented (hypothetically) with 2 options: a streamlined, limited set of awards that bashes a lot of potentially different genres together into the same pools, or a proliferation of ever more atomized sub-sub-genres that mean less than nothing to the small number of aficionados each one has. That's a dog's breakfast, but at least they chose.

Now I can go on and continue to ignore them completely, like I always did before. I mean really, does anyone get a frisson of expectation when an artist they've never heard before is described as "Grammy-winning"?
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM.
Considering the songs/bands that generally get nominated in these categories it's pretty evident nobody voting listens to a very wide variety of what is out there for hard rock and metal, so they are pretty meaningless to begin with.
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterJack
Bluejayart gets it right.

Jeff Beck won best Rock Instrumental this year for "Hammerhead" from his latest album, "Emotion & Commotion". A guitar legend such as he should be honored for such an incredible performance.

The Grammys losing this category is preposterous!

OTSK! Shadow, live from Greece, no less, makes a clever observation regarding the unintended comical consequences of combining categories. Think of Metallica competing against John Mayer.

Unfortunately, Grammy voting members will award a Grammy to lightweights like John Mayer before they give one to Metallica.

That really is a death nell for Heavy Metal as it will not be properly recognized in upcoming Grammy presentations as Heavy Metal artists will always be overlooked in favor of John Mayer types.

I think the category will be restored once they realize how they've slighted the genre.

It could happen sooner than we think, with the category coming back in 2013. But it could also be delayed until enuff voting members have kicked off to finally realign voting to be more in tune, pun intended, with all that should be considered once again as valid, important and relevant in popular music.

I sure hope the category is added back in. I think they got rid of it for the TV cameras, worried that people tune out during the Metal performance.

One can only pray Heavy Metal will get it's due. But for now, you really have to wonder if they are intentionally burying the genre alive, which is crazy, considering there are certainly more people buying Metal than some of the other category winners at this year's Grammys.

Until they lumped 'em all into this new category, bands like Them Crooked Vultures were mistaken for Heavy Metal and won that category.

This is proof of how clueless the voting body of The Grammys really is. They have absolutely no understanding or appreciation for what Heavy Metal is. They are unjustly burying it alive.

No offense to bandmembers John Paul Jones, Dave Grohl, etc., regardless of your pedigrees, you ain't Metal!
April 7, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!
One note, though: sure, if there was a metal category, the Grammys might eventually be persuaded to hand one to Metallica. But is there anyone out there who honestly believes that the modern-day Metallica deserves one? They deserved a host of metal "Grammies" back in the 80's for everything from Kill 'em All through the black album, but since then they've been overtaken and outdone by literally hundreds of other metal acts. None of those other metal acts will get a Grammy of their own...until and unless they've reached the point where they've stuck together long enough to become a brand name, and still have some mediocre product out there for a future voter to recognize in some fashion.

I don't look to the Grammies to provide recognition for any of the acts I like in any genre. You're better off cruising the Top 10 lists of music bloggers in December and January for that.
April 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterM.
I agree with the overall irrelevance of the Grammys as mentioned several times above, and I still believe that the Jethro Tull over Metallica in the first Heavy Metal grammy (where Metallica actually performed "One" live and brought the house down no less!) was the biggest farce in the history of the Grammys - and there have been MANY farces...

But I did want to point out that despite the embarrassment of that first metal Grammy in the late 80's, Metallica did, in fact, win several of the next metal Grammies in the following years. Perhaps making up for the initial Tull debacle??
April 8, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGator

I don't even like Metallica, except for some of "Master Of Puppets" and "Ride The Lightening". And the last person I want to see getting any kind of recognition is Lars Ulrich, who is the biggest weenis I've ever seen, having witnessed him being one personally on the streets of NYC one night).

And I like Jethro Tull more than Metallica. "Aqualung" is better than anything Metallica has ever done.

However, you guys are right here. It was robbery when they gave The Grammy to Tull way back when because, at that time, Metallica's work that was nominated that year was better and much more relevant than the stuff Tull was nominated for.

One thing I learned a long time ago, in a kind of epiphany that I've spoken about here before...


Though Metallica is generally not my cup of tea, and I absolutely cannot stand Ulrich, there's no denying their work is good, even great, and they did't deserve it when they got screwed and they deserved it when they finally won.

Now, M is right... Right now, the current Metallica duz not deserve a Grammy if they brought the Metal Category back, but I wouldn't count 'em out completely. Who knows, by the time The Grammys bring back the Metal Category, if they ever do, Metallica just might have a comeback. They certainly have the chops, the talent, the potential inspiration and the dedication to create quality albums.

Metallica may miss the boat sometimes, especially recently, but no one can accuse 'em of mailing anything in. They seem like they always put their all into making a record, even if they have fallen short. No matter what, when push comes to shove, Metallica still seem to knock themselves out.

As for The Grammys, I like watching it from start to finish. Yeah, it's commercial. Yeah, they often pick the wrong stuff to win. But I love all kinds of music and it's amazing to watch all these fantastic performers do their thing and the production that goes into it.

And what about the end of the last one? Though the band that won the big one is certainly not my cup of tea, you cannot say that crap is commercial.

I'm still just trying to figure out how they won, since I personally wouldn't call their stuff music.

I'm not even bothering to Google to find out their name. I already forgot who they are, nor do I care to find that out.

I am curious, however, to see how it all plays out next year.
April 9, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMetalboy!

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