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RANT: "The Biggest Myth In Metal "Jethro Tull Did Not Deserve A Grammy In 1989"

On Feb 22, 1989 Jethro Tull won a Grammy in the category of 'Best Hard Rock/Metal' Performance Vocal or Instrumental'

Ranter Jimmy Kay

Let me say that again 'Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance'

Not just best metal album.. Not just best metal performance.. Not just metal anything..

'Best Hard Rock/Metal'

Yet for 30 something years later no one is really understanding the true context of this win.

Let's examine this closer.

The other nominees were...

-AC/DC 'Blow Up Your Video', who are considered hard rock

-Iggy Pop 'Instinct' basically a rock album and rock artist

-Jane's Addiction 'Nothing's Shocking' Alternative rock

-Jethro Tull 'Crest of a Knave' rockish album

-Metallica 'And Justice for All' which at the time was considered THRASH not traditional metal (no bass)

So basically none of the nominees were traditional metal acts. Metallica being the closest to Metal, however the others were close to Hard Rock/Alternative. So all in all, all albums were sub genres of Rock once removed.

So what's the big deal? Why is everyone so mad? This was a Hard Rock/ Metal category.

Again a .....Hard Rock.......metal ...category....

Highlight HARD ROCK

Many folks would argue Jethro Tull's sound over the years especially in the 70's was considered Hard/ Prog Rock, no different than Judas Priest's first album sound? Heck, the songs 'Cross Eyes Mary' and 'Aqualung' were released in 1971 and they were HEAVY for their time. Just play Sabbath's first album then play those songs back to back.

Lastly, one cannot discount the influence Jethro Tuff has had on a multitude of Hard rock and metal bands over the years.... like Iron Maiden...right?

So what do you think?


Metallica did win a few Grammy's over the years

1991-"Stone Cold Crazy" (cover) Best Metal Performance- Figure that one out

1992-Metallica (The Black Album) Best Metal Performance

2000-"Whiskey in the Jar" (cover) Best Hard Rock Performance

2001-"The Call of Ktulu" Best Rock Instrumental Performance

2004 -ST-Anger- Best Metal Performance

2009-Death Magnetic-Best Recording Package

Grammy's 101

"To be eligible for GRAMMY Award consideration, an album must contain greater than 75 percent playing time of newly recorded (within five years of the release date), previously unreleased recordings*. The current eligibility rule is 50 percent."

-To submit an entry, a professional or voting member of the Recording Academy must enter the submission. Many record labels become members of the Recording Academy so that they can make submissions to the Academy through their online portal

-Who decides who gets nominated for a GRAMMY? First, industry experts nominate candidates, and a shortlist is compiled, from which the final round of voting takes place. The eligibility period for the 65th Grammy Awards ran from 1 October 2021 to 30 September 2022, meaning that artists who released music over this period could be nominated

-It's not only top artists and producers who have the honor of voting. But it's also not every person who works in the industry either. You must apply to be a Voting Member, and in order to be eligible you must have released a commercial recording in the U.S. (either in stores or “recognized” online music retailers).

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322 views2 comments


Steve Smith
Steve Smith
Apr 05

Jimmy Kay: Right on! I agree! TULL's "Crest of Knave" is a GREAT hard rock LP!


Jacob C.
Jacob C.
Feb 24, 2023

I have absolutely nothing against Tull. I think the dumbest thing about the backlash is that it lead to the Grammys over compensating for the next two decades. Look at their track record and it is almost exclusively rewarding repurposed back catalogue or just Metallica for the first twenty years:

1990 - Metallica

1991 - A Queen Cover By Metallica

1992 - Metallica

1994 - A Live Record of a 3 Year Old Ozzy Tune

1996 - A Live Record of a 4 Year Old Nine Inch Nails Tune

1999 - Metallica

2000 - A Live Record of a 30 Year Old Sabbath Tune

2004 - Metallica

2005 - A Motorhead Cover of a 20 Year Old Metallica Tune


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