DoubleD bets $5 that the Eagles' 'Long Road Out of Eden' will beat Coldplay's 'Viva La Vida' for best album at the Grammys
Even though Darrin "DoubleD" Dortch and I have been pals for seven years here at Gold Derby where he's one of our esteemed forum moderators and Grammy pundits, I didn't meet him in person until this past weekend. Well, some things are worth waiting for — he's a great guy — and I finally had the treat to catch up with him after he recently scooted from St. Louis to the City of Angels to pursue his dream to work in The Biz.
No surprise, I guess: Turns out Darrin's just as gutsy in person as he's been online. Even though there are three more months left in the Grammy eligibility period, he's already convinced that the Eagles will win best album for "Long Road Out of Eden." In fact, he believes it's the automatic winner considering how veterans have swept the category 7 of the past 10 years. And even though the Eagles face such tough competish from Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Sheryl Crow, Madonna and other contemp hotties.
I might agree with him later this year, but on Sunday I had to remind Darrin how poorly groups usually do when facing off against solo artists like Sheryl Crow (who, surprisingly, beat Boys II Men for best record in 1995) or groups that are heavily identified with one person like Coldplay (Chris Martin), Santana (Carlos) or, in the best new artist category, Maroon 5 (Adam Levine). Bottom line: Grammys are all about hugs — industry insiders embracing one of their own — and it's always easier to wrap your arms around just one person than many. It's one of the quirks of voting on showbiz awards. Look how solo TV hosts like Ellen DeGeneres always beat multiple hosts like "The View" gals at the Daytime Emmys. Just happened again last Friday night.
Before he and I hooked up he e-mailed me his analysis of the top Grammy race. Words below are Darrin's:
The Grammy eligibility period is quickly winding down. Commercially, it's been a disappointing year for mainstream releases, but we still have some strong contenders for album of the year. I suspect the Eagles (Long Road Out of Eden), Sheryl Crow ("Detours"), Alicia Keys ("As I Am"), Madonna ("Hard Candy"), Mariah Carey (E=MC2), R.E.M. ("Accelerate"), and the Robert Plant/Allison Krauss duet album ("Raising Sand") are probably the strongest contenders for the nomination at this point. We still have a few months left in the eligibility period, but, strangely, there aren't many more blockbuster releases between now and September. (Clive Davis and Co. are sneaking Jennifer Hudson's debut album in on the last day of eligibility.)
Anyway, the new Coldplay album ("Viva La Vida Or Death and All His Friends") is getting terrific reviews and the fans are loving it. And it only helps that the single is already in the Top 5 on the pop charts (a first for a Coldplay single) and early sales are huge. It really looks like Coldplay may have Grammy's Album of the Year winner. However, this decade Grammy voters have been notorious for shunning "the best" albums when it comes to picking a winner. No matter what Grammy voters almost always opt for a veteran act when it comes to selecting the Album of the Year winner. It's a disgrace that Herbie Hancock won Album of the Year earlier this year. That's going to go down as one of Grammy's most shameful wins. How could Grammy voters give Amy Winehouse five Grammys (all in notable categories) yet shun her in Album? And Kanye West won four Grammys that night so it would've made more sense if he were the alternative to coked out Amy Winehouse.
In the past decade, seven veteran acts have won album of the year (Bob Dylan, Santana, Steely Dan, the "O Brother" soundtrack produced by vet T Bone Burnett, Ray Charles, U2, Herbie Hancock). That's not a coincidence. Grammy voters have proven that have a bias for veterans in the album of the year category and it doesn't matter if the disc is underwhelming.
So I guess my question is this: Is the Grammy race for album of the year already over? The Eagles came out with their first album in almost 30 years last November. The disc got decent reviews, but it has sold very well. It's very rare for veteran acts these days to see an album go multiplatinum. Before this year's Grammy ceremony (where the Eagles won the Grammy for country duo/group), the Eagles only had three Grammys to their name, despite a very prestigious career. Does it even matter if artists like Coldplay and Alicia Keys are nominated for album of the year? Despite the critical hosannahs and strong sales, artists like Coldplay and Alicia Keys probably won't win album of the year because the Eagles have never won the category and this is their comeback album.
Maybe I'm over-thinking this. What do you think?
(Eagles Recording Co.)