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Pink Floyd Grammy Winners Who Haven’t Made Grammy Hall of Fame – Pink Floyd
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They captured the imagination of Grammy voters in their time but haven’t been embraced so far by Hall of Fame voters.

Many of the recordings that have won in the two highest-profile Grammy categories, album and record of the year, have been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. That stands to reason. These are recordings that were picked as the year’s best at the time. Their election to the Grammy Hall of Fame suggests that they have also stood the test of time.

But more than 20 recordings that won record or album of the year between 1958, the first year of the awards, and 1989 have not yet been voted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. This year’s 25 selections for the Hall of Fame were announced on Tuesday (Jan. 14).

Recordings become eligible for the Grammy Hall of Fame when they are at least 25 years old. So anything released in 1994 or earlier is currently eligible. Some of these records may yet be honored. There are literally thousands of worthy recordings from all genres and eras competing for about 25 slots in the Hall of Fame every year.

But it’s interesting to look at these records that captured the imagination of Grammy voters in their time but now are, at minimum, not being immediately embraced by Hall of Fame voters.

Domenico Modugno, “Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare)”: 1958 record and song of the year. It’s mildly surprising that this hasn’t been inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, if only because it was the first winner for record and song of the year. The likely problem: it’s a seen today as a lounge lizard staple. Peggy Lee‘s “Fever,” which it beat for record and song, was voted into the Hall in 1998.

Frank Sinatra, Come Dance with Me!: 1959 album of the year. A Man and His Music: 1966 album of the year. Sinatra has 14 recordings in the Hall of Fame, but neither of these albums has made it. Come Dance with Me! isn’t as legendary as the two Sinatra albums that preceded it, Come Fly With Me and Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely (both of which are in the Hall). The two-disk A Man and His Music consisted of re-recordings of his career highlights. Of the other 1959 nominees, Harry Belafonte‘s Belafonte at Carnegie Hall was voted in in 1999. Of the other 1966 nominees, the BeatlesRevolver was also voted in in 1999.

Vaughn Meader, The First Family: 1962 album of the year. To be blunt, this should not have won album of the year. Even if President Kennedy hadn’t been assassinated six months after The First Family won, this was likely to have had a short shelf life. Political humor is notoriously perishable. Two of the albums it beat have been voted in the Hall—Ray CharlesModern Sounds in Country and Western Music (in 1999) and Stan Getz and Charlie Byrd‘s Jazz Samba (in 2010). Those would have been far better choices.

Glen Campbell, By the Time I Get to Phoenix: 1968 album of the year. Campbell has three singles in the Hall of Fame, including the sublime title track to this album. But none of his albums has been honored. None of the other 1968 album of the year nominees has been voted into the Hall, either.

Simon & Garfunkel, Bridge Over Troubled Water: 1970 album of the year. The classic title track to this album has been inducted, but the album has not. S&G have four entries in the Hall, but just one of those is an album, Parsley, Sage, Rosemary and Thyme (1966). Three of the albums Bridge beat have been voted into the Hall—James Taylor‘s Sweet Baby James (in 2002), Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young’s Déjà vu (in 2012) and Elton John‘s Elton John (in 2013).

George Harrison & Friends, The Concert for Bangla Desh: 1972 album of the year. This triple-disk album probably won more for what it represented — rock’s first large-scale charity project — than what it sounded like. Harrison’s previous studio album, All Things Must Pass, is in the Hall. None of the other 1972 album of the year nominees has been voted into the Hall, either.

Olivia Newton-John, “I Honestly Love You”: 1974 record of the year. Some people love this elegant ballad. Others find it maudlin and melodramatic. Of the 1974 record of the year nominees, Joni Mitchell‘s “Help Me” is in the Hall (as part of her Court and Spark album). Newton-John currently has no recordings in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Stevie Wonder, Fulfillingness’ First Finale: 1974 album of the year. Wonder’s two previous albums, Talking Book and Innervisions, have been voted in. So has his following album, Songs in the Key of Life. But this album is seen as the weakest link in that incredible chain. Two of the albums that Fulfillingness beat have been voted into the Hall.  Mitchell’s Court and Spark was inducted in 2004. Paul McCartney & Wings’ Band on the Run was inducted in 2013.

Captain & Tennille, “Love Will Keep Us Together”: 1975 record of the year. This record combined the romanticism of Carpenters and the energy of Elton John, the two hottest hit-makers of the ’70s to that point. No wonder it was such a smash. Of the 1975 record of the year nominees, only Janis Ian‘s “At Seventeen” has been voted into the Hall (in 2008).

The Doobie Brothers, “What a Fool Believes”: 1979 record and song of the year. Of the 1979 record of the year nominees, only Gloria Gaynor‘s “I Will Survive” has been voted into the Hall (in 2012). The Doobies currently have nothing in the Hall.

Billy Joel, 52nd Street: 1979 album of the year. Joel’s previous album, The Stranger, has been voted into the Hall, as have two of his singles, “Piano Man” and “Just the Way You Are.” None of the other 1979 album of the year nominees has been voted into the Hall, either.

Christopher Cross, “Sailing”: 1980 record and song of the year. Christopher Cross: 1980 album of the year. Of the 1980 record of the year nominees, the only one in the Grammy Hall of Fame is Sinatra’s “Theme from New York, New York” (in 2013). Of the album of the year nominees, the only one to have been honored is Pink Floyd‘s The Wall (in 2008).

Kim Carnes, “Bette Davis Eyes”: 1981 record and song of the year. The hard-edged synth arrangement sounded modern at the time, but today this seems dated. None of the other 1981 record of the year nominees has been voted into the Hall, either.

John Lennon & Yoko Ono, Double Fantasy: 1981 album of the year. This was largely a sentimental choice. Lennon had been murdered the year before. But none of the other 1981 album of the year nominees has been voted into the Hall, either. Lennon’s only solo recording in the Hall is “Imagine.”

Toto, “Rosanna”: 1982 record of the year. Toto IV: 1982 album of the year. Of the 1982 record of the year nominees, only Willie Nelson‘s “Always On My Mind” has been voted into the Hall (in 2008). None of the album of the year nominees has been honored. Toto currently has nothing in the Hall.

Lionel Richie, Can’t Slow Down: 1984 album of the year. This blockbuster beat two other, more critically-acclaimed blockbusters, Prince and the Revolution’s Purple Rain (which was inducted in 2011) and Bruce Springsteen‘s Born in the U.S.A. (which was inducted the following year). Richie currently has no recordings in the Hall, either solo or with Commodores.

USA for Africa, “We Are the World”: 1985 record and song of the year. This was such a mega-event, and for such a worthy cause, it’s surprising that it has been passed over. If only for its cultural impact, it deserves to be in. The only 1985 record of the year nominee that has been voted in is Springsteen’s “Born in the U.S.A.,” as part of the album of the same name.

Phil Collins, No Jacket Required: 1985 album of the year. The only 1985 album of the year nominee that has been voted in is Whitney Houston’s eponymous debut album (in 2013). Collins currently has no recordings in the Hall, either solo or with Genesis.

Steve Winwood, “Higher Love”: 1986 record of the year. It’s surprising that this isn’t in the Hall yet. The only 1986 record of the year nominee that has been voted in is Houston’s “Greatest Love of All,” as part of her smash debut album. Winwood currently has no solo recordings in the Hall, though he is represented with the Spencer Davis Group’s “Gimme Some Lovin'” and Traffic‘s Mr. Fantasy.

Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t Worry Be Happy”: 1988 record and song of the year. This good-natured tune is seen today as so lacking in social relevance that it’s practically the opposite of woke — a term that didn’t even exist back then. None of the other 1988 record of the year nominees has been voted into the Hall, either. McFerrin currently has no recordings in the Hall.

George Michael, Faith: 1988 album of the year. This album’s failure to be inducted as soon as it became eligible is surprising. Michael wrote and produced the album, which marked his emergence as a mainstream pop star after debuting in Wham!. None of the other 1988 album of the year nominees has been voted into the Hall, either. Michael currently has no recordings in the Grammy Hall of Fame.

Bette Midler, “Wind Beneath My Wings”: 1989 record of the year. This sentimental ballad was featured in the Midler-starring film Beaches. None of the other 1989 record of the year nominees has been voted into the Hall, either. Midler currently has no recordings in the Hall.

Note: I was on the panel that nominated and voted for Grammy Hall of Fame recordings from 1998-2017.






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