Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Album vs. Record vs. Song (A Rock N' Roll 3-Way)

If I say "Grammy" which one of these comes to mind for you:

Technically, they ALL are, but I'm talking about the Grammy Award.

The other night was the 1 millionth Grammy Awards (give or take a few 100,000 or so). And the winners went something like this:

Album of the Year: Taylor Swift, 1989
Record of the Year: Mark Ronson feat. Bruno Mars, "Uptown Funk"
Song of the Year: Ed Sheeran, "Thinking Out Loud"

Which got me thinking, what the hell is the difference between an Album, a Record, and a Song?

Aren't an Album and Record the same thing? Normally I reserve the title "record" for a vinyl recording of a band's album. Thus a "record player." You don't say an "album player" unless you're having a stroke.

However, I could see the argument for an "album" also referring to a band's newest recording (sans stroke).

In this modern music world where hit songs are starting to drop without the need for an entire album (1950s anyone), I could also see the argument for calling a "song" a record. After all, it is recorded.

So, what are the differences in the eyes of The Grammy's them self?

Song of the Year is a songwriter's award.
It rewards the songwriter for a song released (or that "first achieved prominence") during the past eligibility year.

Record of the Year rewards a song's performance and production.
It recognizes the artist, the producers, and the recording engineers and mixers.

Both Song of the Year and Record of the Year reward individual songs, but they recognize different aspects of the song making process.

Album of the Year, like Record of the Year, is both a performance and production award that goes to the artist and the album's producer and recording engineer for the entire Album.

Therefore, you could pick up this "Album" on "Record," because you like 1 "Song" on it or you could do what I did, and watch Better Call Saul instead.

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