The Rock field at the GRAMMYs is always difficult to predict. Last year, veterans dominated the field. But this year, we don’t seem to have that many. Consequently, ‘alternative’ rock acts are regarded as the main competitors. Yet, Academy voters usually have mixed feelings toward alternative artists.
I could have everything wrong here. Anyway, here are the predictions:
Best Rock Performance
- Jack White — Lazaretto
- The Black Keys — Fever
- Arctic Monkeys — Do I Wanna Know?
- Imagine Dragons ft. Kendrick Lamar — Radioactive (Live)
- Bruce Springsteen — High Hopes
The front-runner here is definitely Jack White for his Americana-influenced tune “Lazaretto”. It is hard to imagine White could be snubbed. However, the fact that his album was moved to the Alternative field says that the Academy doesn’t consider him rock enough. The other strong contenders are GRAMMY-darlings and 6-time winners, The Black Keys for their psych-esque song “Fever”. The other two spots could be filled by ‘alternative’ bands: Arctic Monkeys for “Do I Wanna Know?” (who failed to score a nod for their album AM last year), and last year’s winners Imagine Dragons for their live rendition of “Radioactive” (from the 56th GRAMMYs telecast) with rapper Kendrick Lamar. And, since there should be at least one veteran on the run: 20-time GRAMMY winner Bruce Springsteen for “High Hopes”.
Other notable submissions include: U2 for “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)”; Pearl Jam for “Lightning Bolt”; Eric Claptor for “Got to Get Better for a Little While”; Tom Petty and the Heatseekers “Forgotten Man”; Beck for “Blue Moon”.
Best Metal Performance
- Judas Priest — March of the Damned
- Mastodon — High River
- Korn — Spike in My Veins
- Slayer — Implode
- Sabaton — To Hell and Back
The Academy is even pickier in the Metal Performance category than it is for any other category in the rock field. Therefore, we can only predict veteran bands performing good ol’ melodic metal. In that case, the front-runners are English heavy metal band Judas Priest, for their most recent single “March of the Damned”. Swedish band, Sabaton and 2-time winners, Korn are also in the running but they might be considered too new or not-so-metal and could miss the cut. There are two other veterans competing: Former nominees, Mastodon for “High River” and 2-time winners, Slayer for “Implode”.
Best Rock Song
- Lazaretto by Jack White
- Blue Moon by Beck
- Afterlife by Arcade Fire
- The Miracle (of Joey Ramone) by Bono and the Edge (U2)
- Fever by Dan Auerbach, Patrick Carney and Brian Burton (The Black Keys)
For those who can’t tell the difference between the Best Rock Performance and Song categories; the former goes to the performing artists of a song and the latter to the songwriters.
Usually both categories go hand-in-hand, but some of the submissions among the categories are different. However, Jack White (who has won this award once and was nominated twice) is the strongest bet with his Americana meets Hip-Hop song, “Lazaretto”. Following up to White is Beck with his melancholic folk/rock tune “Blue Moon”. Canadian indie rock stars, Arcade Fire, are looking to make the cut for their song about the “Afterlife” with deep lyricism and elaborate instrumentals. NARAS’ favourites and 22-time winners U2 are chasing their nod for their tribute to punk legend, Joey Ramone in “The Miracle (of Joey Ramone)”. The other favourites are The Black Keys for “Fever”.
Other notable submissions include: “Queenie Eye” by Paul McCartney; “Hunter of Invisible Game” by Bruce Springsteen; “Lightning Bolt” by Pearl Jam; “Do I Wanna Know?” by Arctic Monkeys; “Wait for Me” by Kings of Leon.
Best Rock Album
- The Black Keys — Turn Blue
- Beck — Morning Phase
- U2 — Songs of Innocence
- Pearl Jam — Lightning Bolt
- Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers — Hypnotic Eye
The Rock Album category is highly competitive this year. There were many critically acclaimed rock albums during the eligibility period including 2013 Best Rock Album winners, The Black Keys for Turn Blue. The other contenders are comeback releases by Beck for Morning Phase, U2 for Songs of Innocence, Lightning Bolt by Pearl Jam and Hypnotic Eye by the legendary Florida band, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers.
Other notable submissions include: High Hopes by Bruce Springsteen; New by Paul McCartney; World Peace is None of Your Business by Morrissey; Lullaby and… The Ceasless Roar by Robert Plant; and Shangri-La by Jake Bugg.