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Sunday, January 26, 2020

The Story Behind Why Neil Young Has Never Won a Major GRAMMY Award

grammy-gary-burden-heo-neil-young.jpg
"Best Art Direction on a Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package"
Jenice Heo, Neil Young, and Gary Burden

Grammy Award Pre-telecast Ceremony, Los Angeles, Jan 31, 2010
Photo by Matt Sayles/Associated Press

During Neil Young's 50+ years recording career, he has been awarded only a single Grammy Award in a musical category.

Zero Grammys for Buffalo Springfield or Crosby Stills Nash and Young or Crazy Horse. Neil Young's first Grammy nomination did not come until 1989, for the video for “This Note’s For You”. we started exploring this question back in 2006 on Neil Young and Emmylou Harris: Guess who has 11 Grammy Awards and which one has zero?. Neil Young's 1st Grammy win (in a non-musical category) finally came 4 years later in 2010 when he won his very first Grammy Award in a pre-telecast ceremony in Los Angeles. The award, for best art direction on a boxed or special limited edition package, was shared among Mr. Young and his art directors Gary Burden and Jenice Heo for the boxed set “Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 (1963-1972).”

grammy-burden-heo-neil-young.jpg
"Best Art Direction on a Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package"
Jenice Heo, Gary Burden & Neil Young, and

Grammy Award Pre-telecast Ceremony, Los Angeles, Jan 31, 2010

Note, the Grammy was for a boxset design -- not the music inside the box. Or the breakthrough technology. Or just the release itself. Year after year after year, we've have blogged on the injustice of the Grammy Awards handed out by industry elites, so none of any of this should come as a surprise to anyone.

But, as G.B. observed:
"A friend of mine noted that Neil Young winning for packaging is like Martin Scorsese winning an Oscar for costume design."
.
Also, in 2010 Neil Young was honored as MusiCares Person Of The Year for his incredible commitment to charitable work and worthy causes.

musicares-neil-portnow-neil-young-2010.jpg
Neil Portnow, President of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences & Neil Young
Neil Young: MusiCares Person Of The Year - 2010
January 29, 2010 - Los Angeles, California

Neil Young's 1st Grammy win in a musical category finally came the next year in 2011 for Rock Song "Angry World".

1st Grammy Win!
2011 Rock Song: "Angry World," Neil Young

So just remember that tonight while watching the Grammy Awards. And what is the story behind why Neil Young has never won a major GRAMMY Award?

Could it be the awards are rigged? Is there corruption on the highest floors of the GRAMMYs? Shocking, we know. Again, secrecy, a lack of transparency, and a complete disregard for the TRUTH are the root cause for the dismal state of affairs in the music industry.

Former Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan has now made claims against the Recording Academy (which confirm these observations above) after she was put on administrative leave just days ago.


Former Grammys CEO Deborah Dugan

From The Grammys Are Rigged According to Ousted CEO by Tiffany Fitzhenry:
“Conflicts of interest and self dealing are rampant” [at the Recording Academy] according to ousted CEO Deborah Dugan.

Dugan filed an incendiary complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission against the institution that presides over the Grammys and wields arguably more power over the whole of the music industry than any other entity on the planet.

Some of the more shocking claims lodged by Dugan in the complaint:

• The Grammy voting process is allegedly “ripe with corruption” and allows nomination committee members to “push forward artists with whom they have relationships.” The complaint states, “It is not unusual for artists who have relationships with Board members and who ranked at the bottom of the initial 20-artist list to end up receiving nominations.”

• The Recording Academy also allegedly “manipulates the nominations process to ensure that certain songs or albums are nominated when the producer of the Grammys [Ken Ehrlich] wants a particular song performed during the show.”
As the gap between what we suspected and corroborating info hastens "The Big Shift", truth (and wheat) is coming. Truth that will transform us all.

Dave Matthews, Neil Young and Pegi Young
The Recording Academy Producers & Engineers Wing GRAMMY Event
Village Recording Studios, Los Angeles, California - January 21st, 2014
Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Image
(Click photo to enlarge)

In 2014, Neil Young accepted the President's Merit Award from the Producers & Engineers Wing of The Recording Academy/GRAMMYs.

In Young's acceptance speech, he covered a lot of ground discussing the recording process relative to producers and artists.

Here is what Matthew L. said in reaction to the injustice and outrage (one of the milder responses.):
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.

It's beautiful.

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.
More on Gary Burden Receives Grammy Nomination for NYA Design.

Also, Gary Burden’s blog has fascinating entries about this project with respect to design, sustainability and collaboration.

Also, see Neil Young Honored As MusiCares Person Of The Year.

musicares-neil-portnow-neil-young-2010.jpg
Neil Portnow, President of National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences & Neil Young
Neil Young: MusiCares Person Of The Year - 2010
January 29, 2010 - Los Angeles, California





Labels: ,


11 Comments:

At 1/26/2020 10:39:00 AM, Blogger Chris said...

The simple fact that Neil doesn’t have a Lifetime Achievement Grammy yet totally discredit them. Case closed.

 
At 1/26/2020 11:12:00 AM, Blogger Timmo said...

Chris nailed it. Exactly.

 
At 1/26/2020 02:59:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

The simple fact is that the Grammys are a meaningless prop for people in the music industry to glamorize the industry. It has no bearing on music as ART or music that pushes the boundaries. Much like the Oscars, it’s just egotistical pandering and a excuse to have a party and dress up in bizarre clothing.

A great example of how pathetic it all is.... many years ago Jethro Tull won a Grammy for best heavy metal album for Crest of the Nave. They beat out Metallica. Need I say more???

Peace.

P. S. .....and I love Jethro Tull & Metallica.

 
At 1/26/2020 03:59:00 PM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ Chris - what Timmo said.

@ Dan - well, we think that is exactly the entire point, as you say so concisely.

This isn't about honoring artistic excellence but an excuse for a party.

Hopefully that was self evident to the post. Maybe we should have said boycott the GRAMMys?

It seems everyone has an example of some outrage like Jethro Tull.

Or could forget the year when someone named Chris Cross, swept nearly every major category? Never to be heard from again...

 
At 1/26/2020 04:23:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

The Who and Janis Joplin have never even been nominated. A short list of artists that have never won a Grammy are.... Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Bob Marley, The Ramones, Patti Smith, Beach Boys, Doors, Journey, ABBA, Diana Ross, Iggy Pop, and Buddy Holly. Just to name a few.

Peace

 
At 1/26/2020 04:55:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

Frank Zappa won a Grammy award for best rock instrumental album for Jazz from Hell. Ironically, the same album was required to carry the PMRC label for explicit lyrical content at Walmart. Go figure..... for an instrumental album.

Peace.

 
At 1/26/2020 06:36:00 PM, Blogger Joel_Grant said...

I am curious to know if there are any forums that recognize the artistic achievements of musical artists? Songwriter awards that are not based on record sales?

If so, how does Neil Young are in that environment? I assume, much better.

 
At 1/26/2020 07:34:00 PM, Blogger Dan Swan said...

The most reliable source of the recognition of an artists achievements is the passing of time. Everything else is just opinions, but if people are still listening and loving their music even fifty years from now then I would say they have achieved greatness.

Time will tell.

Peace.

 
At 1/27/2020 04:52:00 AM, Blogger Rasselas53 said...

If what Dan Swan said is true, then Neil should hope he doesn't win a grammy. He'd be in better company: "The Who... Janis Joplin...Grateful Dead, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, Bob Marley, The Ramones, Patti Smith, Beach Boys, Doors, Journey, ABBA, Diana Ross, Iggy Pop, and Buddy Holly." I also think that these days he'd prefer not to win won, except perhaps for NYA.

 
At 1/29/2020 04:44:00 AM, Blogger John said...

Who cares? The Grammy awards ignore most of the music produced in the world anyway, they are a major label publicity party that rewards mediocrity and dollar signs. Is that what you associate with Neil Young?

 
At 1/31/2020 11:41:00 AM, Blogger thrasher said...

@ John - exactly the point.

 

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