Grammy Awards

February 14, 2005 at 06:44 AM · I just saw the worst performance I've ever seen in my life on tonight's grammy awards. A whole bunch of musicians performed "Across the Universe" by the Beatles. It was absolutely embarrassing to watch. None of the singers were in tune and when they sung together it sounded terrible.

Why aren't today's pop "artists" held to the same high standards of classical artists?

Replies (22)

February 14, 2005 at 01:41 PM · It is my opinion that the people who should win arent even nomintaed so I never watch

February 14, 2005 at 05:11 PM · that performance was crazy bad. the grammy's get worse and worse every year. and they dont even acknowledge classical music at all except for like right at the bottom of the screen right before a commerical. its just terrible.

February 14, 2005 at 05:39 PM · I'm glad I didn't catch it.

There are 3 or 4 versions by the Beatles of that song. Lennon was never happy with any of them, but I think they're all good except for the Phil Spector-produced version on the Let it Be album.

February 14, 2005 at 06:02 PM · "Why aren't today's pop "artists" held to the same high standards of classical artists?"

Because of the beatles (not really, but the generation). People started forgetting that music takes hard work and began playing guitar with tablature (instead of sheet music, now we have numbers indicating frets). Then the instruments took a backseat and then singing was the most revered.

People started enjoying singing more because they could relate to it easier (regardless of talent, those with vocal cords always carry them with them). Sad thing it is, it was probably inevitable.

Im not even going go on with the makes me angry.

February 14, 2005 at 06:11 PM · That's my favorite beatles song

February 14, 2005 at 07:01 PM · i enjoyed the duet with Alicia Keyes and Jamie Foxx cover of Sweet Georgia Brown(great song too!). Jamie Foxx, who thought he'd go from booty call to where he's at now....what a talent. As for Jennifer Lopez I got two words...hefty bag

February 14, 2005 at 08:07 PM · I am happy too because had no time to watch it. Actually I noticed this degradation starting couple years ago. Sometimes songs are done really cheap with no good instrumental parts even when soloists are not too bad. Completely agree with Ed.

February 14, 2005 at 09:03 PM · Well, Across the Universe has never been my favorite Beatles song, and it's rough to sing in tune (especially that tritone that makes the song!) It was a horrible performance, though. Pop music for me, though, is hit or miss. I thought Green Day, Alicia Keys, Jaime Foxx (who knew he was so good?!), Queen Latifah, and Kanye West were just incredible. I mean, the artists who are really good musicians are who stay around a long time and who aren't just the "flavor of the week" bands. I for one really like GOOD pop/rock/etc music.

February 14, 2005 at 09:12 PM · I want to blow rosin dust on j lo


February 15, 2005 at 12:32 AM · ...Yes, and then get sued for assault.

February 15, 2005 at 05:25 AM · I didn't watch the Grammy Awards on TV because I almost never watch TV. However, I read about them. I've got the Ray Charles CD that won an award, and it's really good. Does anyone know who won awards in classical music? There must be a list of all the winners somewhere on the Internet. Does anyone know where?

February 15, 2005 at 08:44 AM · I don't think pop artists were ever "held to the same standards" as classical artists, not even when pop music was jazz.

I don't think you can blame anything on the Beatles or their generation either. A lot of that music is just as interesting as a lot of jazz if you listen closely, and probably exceeds any jazz production-wise. In the 70s disco eliminated most of a generation of pop musicians because there was no need for guitarists or bands. In the same time frame, the concept of original punk was to play badly but interestingly. A move toward democracy or anarchy (in the U.K.)...

The biggest problem in the last ten years has been the retiring of all the talented record executives and producers. Their positions have been consolidated and filled by people who are simply businessmen, who could be working anywhere, and on the creative side, by people without special abilities who're in the job just because it's ultra-hip.

Also, the gangsterism that's become central just turns it into a joke musically. It might as well be gangsters doing science or medicine :)

February 15, 2005 at 11:47 AM · Well, to add to all this non-appreciation of musicians, one of this year's Oscar nominee for best song is Al Otro Lado Del Río from “The Motorcycle Diaries” by Jorge Drexler: independently of whether you like it or not, he said in a recent interview here in Spain that while he was all excited about performing in LA, he has been told that he does not have a "high enough profile" and they would rather have Enrique Iglesias!!! or soemone similar sing it during the ceremony.

That should really cheer up any musician...

February 15, 2005 at 01:19 PM · pauline and others....


February 15, 2005 at 05:08 PM · Thanks for the link, Pratik.

I don't have cable (thank goodness) so I didn't watch the grammys (thank goodness again). But are youze guys telling me there was no air space given to the classical awards???!!!!

We need our own Classical Grammy/Emmy/Oscar/Golden Globe awards where everybody can dress weird and get their pix taken on the red carpet.

Seems like what we need is a major movement to get music back in the schools. When they cut science in the NY city schools and my Dad was getting his Ph.D. at Rockefeller, he used to go volunteer to teach science for free once a week. What if we all did that? Hmmm. THen I guess we couldn't even afford to rent tuxedos....

February 15, 2005 at 10:44 PM · I'm not sure that I think that the Grammy's (or any similar award body) is the appropriate place for classical music. One fundamental difference between 'popular' music and 'classical' music is that 'popular' music is valued because it is just that: popular. A pop song will usually only be considered good if it is popular; its function and usage determine its value. Classical music, by contrast, is not written in the same way 'popular' music is (it is not written deliberately to pander to popular taste/fashion, rather the value is held to be contained in the quality of the construction of the music; that is at least how I understand it). Classical music - and presumably classical recordings - do not fit into the general scene of award giving occasions and competitions. Such awards don't really tell you if the music/recording is actually the best, and at any rate, most of the recordings (with the exception of the new music categories) are of works recorded several times before, and thus any award conferred on the present recording does not tell you if it is necessarily the best recording of that work.

Furthermore, such awards are awkwardly redundant as far as classical music goes. The recordings that are genuinely the best will be appreciated by those who know how to appreciate them, and the best music and recordings will always stand the test of time on their own merits; no award need help their longevity.

Forgive my ranting,


February 15, 2005 at 10:42 PM · "We need our own Classical Grammy/Emmy/Oscar/Golden Globe awards where everybody can dress weird and get their pix taken on the red carpet."

It seems that the grammys do have classical awards. Thus, those awards apparantly are not marketable TV minutes. (This is actually true as the classicaly-minded[which are very much substantial in number] will not be watching the grammys due to it's proliferation of "ghetto" appeal).

Another thing, many grammy award winners buy their songs off other more talented people who do not get mentioned. Sad thing.

And about music programs in schools, it is true. My school has no such thing. And if they do, it is only brass band and never strings...

February 16, 2005 at 02:34 AM · Pratik, thanks for the link.

Jim, everything you said is so sad and so true.

Laurie often writes about her ventures into schools to teach kids about classical music. Anybody who can do that should, IMO.

February 17, 2005 at 10:07 AM · I remember Venegrovs'Shastokovitch performance in 1998 fondly. Things have gotten worse these days...the Corporate caterpillar is eating ever deeper into the Arts and free speech in America.

February 17, 2005 at 07:02 PM · Everyone once in a while the Grammy producers throw the classical crowd a bone. Stay tuned...

February 18, 2005 at 04:42 AM · I agree with everyone that this was the worst grammy awards EVER. There was some stupid song Jennifer Lopez sang which I don't even consider 'music' in the first place. It's the worst thing I ever heard. From today's popular music I only like some rock bands and one female singer from all female artists. Amy Lee from the group 'Evanescence' is the only female artist with an amazing voice. I dont think she was in the awards and she deserves to win. And yes, if there's going to be some classical music it must be performed in a good manner...not strip the music of its dignity like they did to the Beatles song.

February 18, 2005 at 07:19 AM · I followed the link supplied by Pratik and read about the Grammys given for classical music this year. The only one that really interested me was a collection of Schubert Lieder sung by Thomas Quasthoff. That should be very good. I looked for it in two different stores that sell CDs (Borders and Barnes & Noble), but neither one had it. I suppose that BMG will offer it as a featured selection soon. That's how I first listened to Cecilia Bartoli a few years ago. One of her CDs won a Grammy and BMG featured it prominently.

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