Monday, February 1, 2010
Grammy's Star Has Faded
The HOF's big night is strictly for the nominees and attendees of the ceremony. When we eventually view it on television, we're only getting a peek of what it would be like to be there. The show is not made specifically for general public consumption; it's an exclusive event with a very narrow focus.
The Grammy's, on the other hand, have grown to become a spectacle - one where the event is far greater than what's supposed to be it's primary focus, which is the achievement of the people behind some hopefully great music. The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (NARAS) is supposed to issue a Grammy award for excellence in the production of music, but that's not what it's turned into. The Grammy's have become synonymous with the event itself and NARAS as an organization instead of the award, and the people behind the music have been forgotten.
Think of that for a second - Recording Arts and Sciences. Did you see much of that last night?
Awful performances, singers so far out of tune as to make you cringe, weak industry-made superstars, a terrible audio mix, audio drop-outs (apparently for language), forced artist combinations and scratch-your-head song selections and arrangements - for what?
I'll tell you why - the Grammy awards show is what keeps NARAS in business and it's execs well-fed. It makes about $28 million a year, while membership brings in only $1.5 mil (and membership is declining). So if NARAS wants to keep the dough coming in, it has to pander to the lowest common denominator broadcast-wise. But is this what the organization is really about? Unfortunately it seems to a case of "let's keep the income stream going" instead of truly being a service to its membership.
It's time for the Grammy's to come back to earth. Scale the sucker back so it's primary focus is on it's members and their merits. Let's get rid of the grand spectacle - it doesn't add anything to the music - but give the public an exclusive look if they still want. Give the award for the right reasons, because now, it's an abomination that gets worse and worse every year.