Why Did Tenacious D Win a Grammy in a Metal Category?

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Photo credit: theartdesk.com

Okay, we all have our issues with certain Grammy winners. Either half of us think Eminem should have gotten “Album of the Year” for The Marshall Mathers LP,  or we think that Kendrick Lamar should have gotten “Best Rap Album” instead of Macklemore. Lapses in Judgement happen. Still, that doesn’t explain WHY a non-metal band like Tenacious D won a Grammy for a metal performance, beating out established and more deserving acts like Anthrax and Mötorhead in the process.

For those who are unfamiliar with the musical duo of Jack Black and Kyle Gass, I advise you to sample their work. They’re a fun and entertaining group. However, as much as they rock, they are NOT metal. Their genre is somewhere between hard rock and comedy, and even they know this. Their vibe is more “Weird Al” Yankovic than Iron Maiden. So, for a group like Tenacious D to dominate in a field dominated by bands like Metallica, Slayer, Pantera, and Megadeth, it shows the NARAS’ lack of understanding of a genre.

Let’s flash back to the 1989 Grammys. Metallica was the front runner for their critically acclaimed album, And Justice For All. Everyone had them pegged as a surefire win. Then the winner was announced: “And the winner is….JETHRO TULL.” Metallica, one of the most influential metal acts in the industry, lost to a band that wasn’t even classified as a metal band. This lapse in the committee’s judgment is so legendary, it was even referenced in Mike Judge’s The Beavis and Butt-head Ensucklopedia, with the duo claiming that Metallica’s Grammy snub was the reason the band “looks pissed off all the time”.

The fact that the Grammy committee is capable of making  the same lapse of judgment 26 years after the infamous Metallica snub says a lot about the committee. It says that not only are they unaware of the genres represented at the Grammys, but that they could care less about rectifying their errors. With this in mind, we should ask ourselves, “Is a Grammy really as important as the world tries to make it out to be?” There are so many musicians, vocalists, and musical artists of every type that have contributed so much to the world of music and the music industry that have never even been nominated for a Grammy. Does that make them any less influential? So let Jethro Tull and Tenacious D keep those little statues. A Grammy doesn’t make a band any more or less awesome than they are, and the fans are the ones who decide if they’re awesome, not a committee.

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