The 66th annual Grammy Awards will be held on February 4 and will be broadcast on CBS. Many of your favorite pop stars are likely nominated. The list includes Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, SZA, and Olivia Rodrigo, among others.
All of those artists produce good music. But not each one is deserving on winning a major award. Just because they sell millions of records does not make their work truly great.
The Grammys should be about awarding excellence and not just popularity. They also should not be limited in scope. But as you can see from the following three examples, that doesn't always happen.
Overrated Record of the Year Grammy Award win No. 1
Carole King - "It's Too Late" (1972)
Should have won: Led Zeppelin - "Stairway to Heaven"
Led Zeppelin's song was not even nominated, of course. The world and the stodgy Grammys were not ready for such a rock band. The voters did not likely understand what they were hearing and how excellent it really was. Carole King was the far safer bet. The Grammys in 1972 were still trying to shed their true pop skin and move on from giving wins to artists such as Frank Sinatra and Henry Mancini.
I mean no offense to Mancini or Sinatra. Both artists were great in their own right. But the Grammy Awards seemed to be more for show and hoping to gather TV audiences and having a band such as Led Zeppelin in front of the poor kids at home would have been too much for the good folks in middle America. At least, that is my assumption about what the Grammys were thinking.
Carole King is a fine artist as well. The early 1970s featured some of the best of the folky singer-songwriters such as King and Jim Croce. But "It's Too Late" is overproduced and saccharine. Artistically, there is no way the song stands up to the opus that is "Stairway to Heaven" and 50 years later the Led Zeppelin track still holds up.