While learning the ins and outs of the Music Business back in the 80s, I learned that the Grammys had then little to do with how good music was but how important for sale was to have one of the little statutes attached to the name of an album. When I was done with my first recordings and understood what was behind working an album, I was kinda pissed off that the NARAS (National Academy for the Recording Arts and Sciences) only gave 2 Grammys for recording/mixing: Best Classical and Best Non Classical. That was it. You do not record and mix Rock the same way you do Jazz or Salsa or Gospel and so on. Each has its very particular way to be treated and it takes years to perfect, so I (and many others) felt that it was an insult to engineers that no more specific Grammys were issued to the craft in the business while the academy kowtowed to the artistic side. The clinch was one of my professors, somebody who had his own double copies of the little golden gramophone in his shelf tell us straight that with the exception of two categories, he’d let his secretary fill the ballot and that the practice was not uncommon among the established members of NARAS as the secretaries either voted for their favorite artists or followed whatever the business interest the company may have. Oh yes, record companies make it a big drive to have their Academy members vote for their product, quality be dammed. We need to sell!
Even though I was sent the forms, I never joined NARAS.
NARAS then became a bit more truthful and is now known as The Recording Academy: no Arts and no Science. After this year’s nominees, I have to agree the name change fits.