Despite myriad concessions to modishness and a Twitter feed, it was a Steely Dan sort of year at the Grammys as Robert Plant and Alison Krause’s Raising Sand won five awards including Album Of The Year, Record Of The Year (“Please Read the Letter”), and awards in the Country and Contemporary Folk/Americana categories.
Lil Wayne (“Tha Carter III”) won four rap awards, Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida” was named Best Song, Adele (“Chasing Pavements”) won Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Performance, and John Mayer won Best Solo Rock Performance (“Gravity”) and snatched Best Male Pop Performance (“Say”) from competitors Paul McCartney and James Taylor. Daft Punk won a couple of Dance/Electronica awards.
Bruce Springsteen won Best Rock Song for “Girls In Their Summer Clothes,” beating among others Radiohead, which was honored for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Boxed Or Special Limited Edition Package. Rick Rubin was named Best Producer (Metallica, Neil Diamond), Jimmy Sturr and His Orchestra won Best Polka Album (“Let The Whole World Sing”), Metallica won its fifth Best Metal Performance award, and the video awards went to Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers and Weezer.
Best Classical Recording went to the L.A. Opera’s Rise And Fall Of The City Of Mahagonny, in which one of our editors had a rooting interest. Best Contemporary Classical Composition was Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems Of Bob Dylan by John Corigliano.
The televised show included a very pregnant M.I.A. (“Paper Planes”), Radiohead performing “15 Step” with the USC Marching Band and introduced by Gwyneth Paltrow, a bunch of guys playing “Bo Diddley” with B.B. King, and Jamie Foxx, Smokey Robinson and Ne-Yo singing with the last surviving Four Top. Chris Brown and Rihanna were no-shows after, police allege, Brown beat Rihanna up.