Setting the records straight: A do-over for the Grammys’ album of the year

Before we all lose our minds over who wins big at the 60th annual Grammy Awards on Sunday, it might be helpful to remember that the Grammys have always been lousy at celebrating the present and even worse at predicting the future. Just look at who's won the most-coveted Grammy, album of the year, over the past three-plus decades. Or really, look at who hasn't: Beyoncé, the Rolling Stones, Madonna, Bruce Springsteen, Mariah Carey, Kanye West, Radiohead, Jay-Z. As Grammys find right groove with hip-hop, here are our picks to win The Grammys have found its new groove — and it’s hip-hop. Finally. What if the Grammy for album of the year - a prize whose responsibility to bottle the zeitgeist is right there in its name - regularly went to recordings that balanced innovation and timeliness in a way that made them widely resonant? By that measure, I'd argue that album of the year has been handed to the most-deserving artist only three times since 1980. For the other 35 years, I've chosen which albums should have won instead, as well as which recordings should have been nominated. There's some crossover here and there. I tried to be realistic. For instance, Wu-Tang Clan's 1993 debut is considered a classic by today's rap audiences, but there's no way industry types who make up the Grammy electorate could have predicted how influential the group was destined to become. Same for certain albums that gained momentum between eligibility windows - Nirvana's "Nevermind," for example, which was released in September 1991 but didn't reach No. 1 until January 1992. (In most years, the Grammy eligibility window runs from Oct. 1 to Sept. 30 - so on Sunday night, the 2018 Grammys will go to recordings released in the final quarter of 2016 or the first three quarters of 2017.) This is a list of who should have won. It's also a list of who could have won. 10 best-sellers that didn't win a Grammy for album of the year Having a popular album doesn't Continue Reading