UPDATED: Tonight Neil Young Is Up For 3 Grammy Nominations for Le Noise
Rock Song: "Angry World," Neil Young
"This is my first Grammy for music, and it's appreciated greatly. I'm not Mavis [Staples], but I'm close."
UPDATED: Grammy Poll below
Neil Portnow, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and Neil Young
Neil Young Wins First-Ever Grammy Award for Archives Box packaging
Tonight, Neil Young will be up for 3 Grammy Award nominations: one for Best Rock Album (Le Noise) and two for “Angry World,” for Best Rock Song and Best Solo Rock Vocal Performance.
Last year, Neil Young won his first-ever Grammy Award for the Archives Box. After approximately a dozen or more nominations (he did not receive his first Grammy nomination until 1989, for the video for “This Note’s For You”), this year may finally be Neil's first Grammy for his actual music.
Now we have to admit that we've been a bit cynical about Grammy Awards in the past. Year after year after year, we've have blogged on the injustices and travesties of the Grammy Awards handed out by industry elites, so none of any of this should come as a surprise to anyone.
But this might just be Neil's Year of The Grammy.
Our crystal ball has been doing pretty well so far this year regarding the Buffalo Springfield reunion tour, Neil Young inducting Tom Waits into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and drum roll ... Freedom in a New Year. (OK, that last prediction really did go far beyond our wildest dreams, but still... you gotta IMAGINE, right?)
Anyways, we're betting on a win and the end of Neil's Grammy drought.
"Angry World" by Neil Young
As we noted, Young has already been awarded for achievement that far more exceeds the prestige of a Grammy.
MusiCares Person Of The Year - 2010
January 29, 2010 - Los Angeles, California
Photos by Kevin Winter/Getty Images North America on Zimbio
Over the year's we've blogged relentlessly about how Neil Young's career remains an enigma for so many. Even today on Salon.com's post "Ten Grammy Nominees that Don't Suck" by Mary Elizabeth Williams, she manages to omit not only Neil Young but Jeff Beck, Tom Petty, The Roots, Del McCoury, and even Willie Nelson while reciting a somewhat lame list?!
At last year's MusiCares Person Of The Year ceremony, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy said:
"He's right up there in terms of a constant in my musical life as an influence and as a mentor.
He's kind of just a force of nature.
And I take him for granted sometimes like I take the sun for granted ... I'm really happy the sun comes up every day and I'm happy Neil Young keeps making records."
"Thanks a lot, everybody."
Jenice Heo, Neil Young, and Gary Burden
Photo by Matt Sayles/Associated Press
Nonetheless, Neil fans have not been too happy about the dismissal of Neil's work by The Academy.
From some of the milder comments on Neil Young Wins First-Ever Grammy Award for Archives Box by Dan:
All I can say that if the Grammy's, after 50 years of Neil rockin the rock n' roll industry, can only manage to give him a grammy for the artwork on his box set, it shows that the whole thing is a ridiculous farce ...
I actually agree that giving him a grammy now for the art on the box set is insulting to him as an artist and at the same time it demeans the whole Grammys institution ... I mean, how can people like Taylor Swift (no disrespect meant to her or her work) or Beyonce walk away with an armload of awards, and this kind of thing has been happening for literally years and decades, and a true authentic artist like Neil has created tens of albums and hundreds of songs of all flavors, and genre's and they can't come up with one measly award for his MUSIC??
Sorry, its a joke, its ridiculous, you'll rarely see me ranting like this, but its preposterous, and it proves the whole Grammys thing is bankrupt, its bogus, its fake, its pretentious, its political ... otherwise its totally unexplainable ...
Neil is a class act to show up and receive the art award ... he's a gracious person who doesn't need their false, pretentious accolades, but the whole thing when you think of it is so ridiculous ya can't do much more than call it out ...
ten years from now these grammy winners and their carefully manicured songs will be long forgotten and Neil and his substantive music will live on, aging gracefully as always...
Neil, Long May You Run!! You truly set the real standard.
Another comment by Matthew Lintzenich:
Oh come on, people, they deserve the award for such great art direction. The artistry is awesome. I agree that Neil deserves a Grammy for his music, and doesn't get half the overall recognition he deserves, but that shouldn't take anything away from the artists who did such a fine job creating the packaging for the Archives.
What y'all need to understand is that mainstream people in our society and the music industry aren't looking for creativity or the quality of personal expression, or your ability to channel the universe in music.
They are much more shallow than that. The people want what's sold to them, they want to be part of the popular crowd, they aren't interested in identifying personally with a song in a profound, emotional way.
They far outnumber the people who enjoy music because it moves them or titillates their minds, because of how it effects them personally, both emotionally and intellectually.
The music industry, by-and-large, plays to this tendency. It releases shallow garbage, people buy it and pretend they like it in order to satisfy their need to be accepted. This is mainstream American pop culture we're talking about here, not the land of smart, thoughtful, multidimensional individuals.
So obviously the chances of Neil Young winning a Grammy are much, much slimmer than Taylor Swift, even though he writes better music. Neil writes better music than almost anyone. It's not about good music - it's about popularity. It's about who sold the most albums because they were aggressively marketed by the industry to the shallow mainstream cult of popularity.
I'd be happy if Neil Young did get the recognition he deserved, but Neil isn't after recognition (thank GOD, because his music wouldn't be half as good as it is), and he doesn't need it, so who really cares?
In some sense it might even be a travesty to award him a Grammy, considering that winning one basically indicates that you're simplistic and derivative enough to easily market to sheep.
Grammy weekend. Whatever your thoughts are about the "music industry", it's a time to celebrate "the music". And a well deserved celebration for Neil and his friends, as well.
Jonathan Demme, Peggy Young, Neil Young
48th Annual Grammy Awards - 8 Feb 2006
Getty Images Entertainment photo by Stephen Shugerman
So will Neil Young win a Grammy tonight? Vote!
Good luck Neil!