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What's The Difference? GRAMMY For Album vs. Record Of The Year Explained

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What's The Difference? GRAMMY For Album vs. Record Of The Year Explained

If you don't know, now you know—here's the lowdown on two of music's most well-known yet often-confused terms, especially as they pertain to the GRAMMY Awards

GRAMMYs/Dec 9, 2018 - 10:01 pm

How many albums are in your record collection? You see, confusion between the terms "album" and "record" are nothing new, as vinyl albums and vinyl records are often called “records”—but this terminology has roots in the history of both.

In the early days of vinyl, a 45-rpm (meaning "revolutions per minute") disc would hold one recording on each side, with an "A-side” —usually the hit single—and a "B-side," meaning a second single, outtake or sleeper hit.

Later, when long-playing records came around at 33 1/3-rpm, more music could be stored on each side because the rotation speed was slower, and "tracks" were born. A series of recorded songs, or tracks, could now fit on a single vinyl and make it an album.

Makes sense? Good! Now let's see how this applies to two GRAMMY Award categories in the General Field: Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year…

Album Of The Year, Explained

Fast-forward to today, when music is enjoyed in a multitude of formats: So, what makes an album eligible for the Album Of The Year category of the GRAMMY Awards? According the Recording Academy official Awards Department guidelines, recordings must contain at least five different tracks and a total playing time of 15 minutes or a total playing time of at least 30 minutes with no minimum track requirement.

Voters in this category are expected to consider the quality and artistry of the collection of tracks as a whole, and this GRAMMY is awarded to any artist, featured artist, songwriter of new material, producer, recording engineer, mixer, and mastering engineer with at least 33 percent playing time of the album. For example, last year at the 60th GRAMMY Awards, Bruno Mars' 24K Magic won Album Of The Year.

Record Of The Year, Explained

On the other hand, the Record Of The Year category awards a single track and recognizes the artist’s performance as well as the overall contributions of the producer(s), recording engineer(s), and/or mixer(s), and mastering engineer(s). Bonus points if you read up on how this category is distinguished from Song Of The Year (hint: Song Of The Year is a Songwriter(s) Award…).

For example, at the 59th GRAMMY Awards, Adele's mega-hit "Hello" won Record Of The Year. Her album 25 also won Album Of The Year, but "Hello," being an individual track on that album, was eligible and victorious for Record Of The Year.

In both cases, with Album Of The Year and Record Of The Year, recordings must be released in the proper eligibility period and available to the public as stand-alone purchases or audio-only streams, although exceptions are made for opera and music video/film.

For further information on the contrast between these formats, the GRAMMY Hall Of Fame is filled with both, clearly labeled. For more helpful information on the GRAMMY Awards process, including key dates, a process overview and FAQs, head over to GRAMMY101.com.

See The Full List Of Nominees For The 61st GRAMMY Awards

Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

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Allen Hughes' "The Defiant Ones" Wins Best Music Film | 2018 GRAMMY

Director Allen Hughes' four-part documentary takes home Best Music Film honors for its portrayal of the unlikely partnership that changed the music business

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 02:09 am

The team behind The Defiant Ones celebrated a big win for Best Music Film at the 60th GRAMMY Awards. The crew awarded include director Allen Hughes and producers Sarah Anthony, Fritzi Horstman, Broderick Johnson, Gene Kirkwood, Andrew Kosove, Laura Lancaster, Michael Lombardo, Jerry Longarzo, Doug Pray & Steven Williams.

In a year rife with quality music documentaries and series, the bar has been set high for this dynamic category. The Defiant Ones is a four-part HBO documentary telling the story of an unlikely duo taking the music business by storm seems better suited for fantastical pages of a comic book, but for engineer-turned-mogul Jimmy Iovine and super-producer Dr. Dre, it's all truth.The Defiant Ones recounts their histories, their tribulations and their wild success. These include first-hand accounts from those who were there in Iovine's early days, such as Bruce Springsteen and U2's Bono, as well as those on board when Dre and Iovine joined forces, such as Snoop Dogg and Eminem.

The competition was stiff as the category was filled with compelling films such as One More Time With Feeling, Two Trains Runnin', Soundbreaking, and Long Strange Trip. 

Attention Music Fans: Take The GRAMMY Challenge NOW On KIK And Facebook Messenger

Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam

Photo: Kevin Mazur/WireImage.com

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Pearl Jam Named Record Store Day 2019 Ambassadors

Pearl Jam's Mike McCready says "if you love music," record stores are the place to find it

GRAMMYs/Feb 13, 2019 - 04:05 am

Record Store Day 2019 will arrive on April 13 and this year's RSD Ambassadors are Pearl Jam. Past ambassadors include Dave Grohl, Metallica, Run The Jewels (Killer Mike and El-P), and 61st GRAMMY Awards winner for Best Rock Song St. Vincent.

McCready was also the 2018 recipient of MusiCares' Stevie Ray Vaughan Award

The band was formed in 1990 by McCready, Jeff Ament, Stone Gossard, and Eddie Vedder, and they have played with drummer Matt Cameron since 2002. They have had five albums reach No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and four albums reach No. 2.

"Pearl Jam is honored to be Record Store Day's Ambassador for 2019. Independent record stores are hugely important to me," Pearl Jam's Mike McCready said in a statement publicizing the peak-vinyl event. "Support every independent record store that you can. They're really a good part of society. Know if you love music, this is the place to find it."

With a dozen GRAMMY nominations to date, Pearl Jam's sole win so far was at the 38th GRAMMY Awards for "Spin The Black Circle" for Best Hard Rock Performance.

Pearl Jam will be performing on March 3 in Tempe, Ariz. at the Innings festival, on June 15 in Florence, Italy at the Firenze Rocks Festival and at another festival in Barolo, Italy on June 17. On July 6 Pearl Jam will headline London's Wembley Stadium.

Seattle's Museum Of Pop Culture To Host Pearl Jam Exhibit

Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Photos: WireImage.com

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Portugal. The Man To Aida Cuevas: Backstage At The 2018 GRAMMYs

Also see James Fauntleroy, Reba McIntire, Latroit, and more after they stepped off the GRAMMY stage

GRAMMYs/Jan 29, 2018 - 05:39 am

What do artists do the moment they walk off the GRAMMY stage from presenting, accepting an award or performing? Now, you can find out.

Take a peak at Album Of The Year GRAMMY winner Bruno Mars, 60th GRAMMY Awards Host James Cordon, Cardi B minutes before her electrifying performance of "Finesse," and more!

Also see Best Pop Duo/Group Performance GRAMMY winners Portugal. The Man posing with their first career GRAMMY Award, Best Roots Gospel Album GRAMMY winner Reba McIntire right after she walked offstage, Best R&B Song GRAMMY winner James Fauntleroy, Best Remixed Recording GRAMMY winner Latroit, and many more, with these photos from backstage during the 60th GRAMMY Awards.

Getting The Latest Music News Just Got Easier. Introducing: GRAMMY Bot. Find it On KIK and Facebook Messenger 

Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Glenn Danzig

Photo: Daniel Boczarski/Getty Images

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Original Misfits Unleash One Night Only L.A. Reunion Show

Dark punk legends to play first show with Glenn Danzig and Jerry Only since last year's Riot Fest reunion

GRAMMYs/Aug 22, 2017 - 05:28 am

There's big news today for punk-rock fans aware that the Misfits made much more than just T-shirts.

The massively influential punk band announced a special show touted as the "only 2017 performance in this world… or any world" and billed as "The Original Misfits" in Los Angeles at the Forum on Dec. 30.

This will be the first Misfits show featuring original singer Glenn Danzig and original bassist Jerry Only with long-time guitarist Doyle Wolfgang von Frankenstein since the band reunited for a pair of Riot Fest appearances in Chicago and Denver in 2016. Last year's Riot Fest gigs, which featured drummer Dave Lombardo, marked the first time in 33 years the original Misfits members played together.

"OK Los Angeles, you've waited almost 35 years for this, here's your chance to see the "Original Misfits" in this Exclusive L.A. only performance." said Glenn Danzig. "No Tour, No BS, just one night of dark metal-punk hardcore brutality that will go down in the history books. See you there."

Tickets for this "one night only" show go on sale Friday, August 25.

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