The 10 Best Classic Rock Albums That Should’ve Won A Grammy
The Unforgivable Snubs
The Grammy Awards has been giving recognition to outstanding musical achievements for five decades now but like every other award-giving body, it has its share of questionable choices and unforgivable snubs. Every time they announce the nominees, they’re often met by rock ‘n roll fans with raised eyebrows. Case in point: Back in 2017, RnB singer Beyonce got nominated for Best Rock Performance. And as if that’s not enough, Metallica didn’t receive any nomination in the erm, metal department. Instead, they were nominated for Best Rock Song.
With that in mind, we are listing down 10 albums that should have won Album of the Year. According to Grammy Awards, this is given to “honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales, chart position, or critical reception.” This is their most prestigious award category, by the way.
10. Metallica – “Master of Puppets” (1986)
It’s the last album to feature legendary bassist Cliff Burton. And even discounting its commercial success, it was an absolute game-changer in metal. It was heavy, dark, intense, and hard-hitting. There’s no filler – just brilliant music from start to finish.
9. The Rolling Stones – “Exile on Main St.” (1972)
The drug-fueled recording sessions yielded a magnificent record that is widely regarded as the Stones’ magnum opus. A double album that’s a mix of blues, soul, and rock ‘n roll – it’s tight, solid, and extremely masterful.
8. The Beach Boys – “Pet Sounds” (1966)
Paul McCartney once claimed that it was Pet Sounds that inspired him to create The Beatles 1967 album Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Ironically, that very album by the Fab Four earned them the Album of the Year in 1968 which is also the first win from a rock ‘n roll artist/s.
7. AC/DC – “Back in Black” (1980)
It’s one of the most important and influential heavy metal albums. It became the standard by which all others were measured. At the very least, it should’ve gotten a nomination.
6. Queen – “A Night at the Opera” (1975)
One of Queen’s finest works, it was a seminal album that raised the bar in rock ‘n roll. It was ridiculously ambitious. “Bohemian Rhapsody” alone tried to blur the lines between genres. Perhaps its appeal lies in how grand and luxurious it was – exactly like Freddie Mercury’s onstage persona. How it was overlooked by the Grammys is beyond us.
5. Eagles – “Hotel California” (1976)
They were actually nominated for Album of the Year in 1978. Unfortunately, they lost to Fleetwood Mac.
4. The Who – “Who’s Next” (1971)
Their straightforward, no-nonsense approach to rock ‘n roll earned them a plethora of ardent fans. But even their brilliant work on “Who’s Next” wasn’t enough to catch the attention of the Grammys. We guess we’ll never understand the criteria.
3. The Beatles – “The White Album” (1968)
The Beatles have been nominated three times – for “Help!”, “Revolver”, and “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”. The last, as we mentioned earlier, bagged the award. Unfortunately, one of their most important albums didn’t get the recognition it deserved. If there’s such thing as musical perfection then this was it.
2. Pink Floyd – “The Dark Side of the Moon” (1973)
Pink Floyd received a nomination in 1981 for “The Wall”. Other than that, their works were largely ignored by the Grammys. Even sans the sales and reviews, it’s an exceptional album through and through. It’s basically one of the reasons why the band is widely regarded as rock legends.
1. Led Zeppelin – “Led Zeppelin IV” (1971)
Led Zeppelin received the Grammy Hall of Fame Award in 1999 for this but they never got any nomination for Album of the Year. Yet the fact that Taylor Swift won that award twice says a lot. Maybe Led Zeppelin didn’t need it after all.