57th Annual Grammy Awards Preview

Last Updated February 8, 2015

83 Grammy Awards will be presented this Sunday at the 57th Annual Grammy Awards, one more than last year. As always, only a handful will be televised. The CBS live broadcast will feature performances by Beck and Chris Martin, Paul McCartney/ Rihanna/ Kanye West (“FourFiveSeconds”), Madonna (her latest single “Living for Love”), ELO with Ed Sheeran, AC/DC, Katy Perry, Pharrell, Herbie Hancock/ Questlove/ John Mayer, Sia, Lady Gaga with Tony Bennett, and others.

Beck is positioned to win big – his four nominations include Album of the Year, Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song and Best Rock Album. Additionally “Morning Phase” is up for Best Engineered Album.

Jack White also has four nominations: Best Rock Performance, Best Rock Song, Best Alternative Music Album and Best Special Limited Edition Package (the latter for The Rise and Fall of Paramount Records, Volume One, which is also nominated for Best Album Notes, though Jack can’t claim that one).

Also up for Best Rock Performance (besides Beck and Jack) are The Black Keys, Ryan Adams and Arctic Monkeys.

Also up for Best Rock Song are The Black Keys, Ryan Adams and Paramore.

As you might have noticed, there’s a lot of overlap in the rock categories, so the Best Rock Album contenders (Ryan Adams, Beck, The Black Keys, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers and U2) come as no surprise.

Best Alternative Music Album contenders are a bit more varied:
St. Vincent – St. Vincent
Lazaretto – Jack White
This Is All Yours – alt-J
Reflektor – Arcade Fire
Melophobia – Cage the Elephant

Pharrell Williams, Beyoncé and Sam Smith lead all nominees with six each.

Other notable contenders include:
-Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross’ Gone Girl vs. Frozen for Best Score Soundtrack (also Gravity, Grand Budapest Hotel and Saving Mr. Banks)
-Karen O and Spike Jonze’s “The Moon Song” (from Her) vs. Frozen’s “Let It Go,” among others
-“We Exist” by Arcade Fire faces Sia’s “Chandelier,” Pharrell Williams’ “Happy” and others for Video of the Year
-Aphex Twin is up for Best Dance/Electronic Album against deadmau5, Little Dragon and others
-Sturgill Simpson goes against Rosanne Cash, John Hiatt, Keb’ Mo’ and Nickel Creek for Best Americana Album
-Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings is a contender for Best R&B Album.
-Pixies “Indie Cindy” is up for Best Recording Package, against Pearl Jam, FKA twigs, more
-Gregg Allman & Taj Mahal are up against Rosanne Cash, Billy Childs, Keb’ Mo’ and Nickel Creek for Best American Roots Performance (the aforementioned new category)
-Only in the Best Surround Sound Album category does Pink Floyd go head to head with Mahler and Beyonce…
-Old Crow Medicine Show face Jesse Winchester, Mike Auldridge/ Jerry Douglas/ Rob Ickes, Alice Gerrard and Eliza Gilkyson for Best Folk Album
-Fred Hersch is up against Chick Corea, Kenny Barron, Joe Lovano and Brad Mehldau for Best Improvised Jazz Solo
-Hersch is also nominated for Best Jazz Instrumental Album, facing Chick Corea Trio, Brian Blade & the Fellowship Band, Bobby Hutcherson/ David Sanborn/ Joey DeFrancesco and Jason Moran

And finally, Producer of the Year is always one of the most interesting categories, since it involves producer’s work with various artists. Greg Kurstin for instance produced seven hit-makers in the time counted for this year’s award:
“Beating Heart” (Ellie Goulding)
“Chandelier,” 1000 Forms of Fear (Sia)
“Double Rainbow” (Katy Perry)
“Gunshot” (Lykke Li)
“Money Power Glory” (Lana Del Rey)
Sheezus (Lily Allen)
Wrapped in Red (Kelly Clarkson)

Kurstin is up against:
-John Hill (Phantogram, Tune-Yards, Birdy, Christina Perri, Shakira, Kimbra, Eminem, Bleachers)
-Paul Epworth (FKA Twigs, Paul McCartney),
-Jay Joyce (Sleeper Agent, Thomas Rhett, Cage the Elephant, Matrimony, Amos Lee, Eric Church)
-Max Martin Jessie J, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry, Taylor Swift)

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