Phil Collins was the big winner in the nominations for the 33rd annual Grammy Awards, announced yesterday by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. He was nominated for eight awards, four of them major.
Collins, a five-time Grammy winner already, is nominated for Album of the Year for the multi-platinum, socially conscious "But Seriously ..."; and for Record of the Year, Song of the Year and Male Pop Vocal Performance for "Another Day in Paradise." His other nominations include Best Long- and Short-Form Video, Best Pop Instrumental Performance and Best Producer (with Hugh Padgham).
Newcomers Mariah Carey and Wilson Phillips collected a total of nine nominations. Carey, the 20-year-old who rocketed to the top of the charts with her debut single "Vision of Love," was nominated for Record of the Year and Song of the Year (both for "Vision of Love"), Album of the Year ("Mariah Carey"), Best New Artist and Best Female Pop Vocalist. It is only the third time in the history of the Grammy Awards that an artist has been nominated for Record and Album of the Year and Best New Artist. Carey'sstyle has been likened to that of Whitney Houston, who will compete with her in the female pop vocal category.
Wilson Phillips will compete with Carey for Best New Artist, Song of the Year and Album of the Year. The group, composed of the daughters of Beach Boy Brian Wilson and the daughter of John and Michelle Phillips, also received a nomination for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group.
Other nominees for Album of the Year include Collins, M.C. Hammer for "Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em" and Quincy Jones for "Back on the Block." Jones, who has 19 Grammys already, earned five more nominations (including Producer of the Year), putting him in the top spot for career nominations with 74. "Back on the Block," his celebration of many years in show biz, is the follow-up to 1982's five-Grammy winner, "The Dude."
The late Leonard Bernstein, winner of 10 Grammy Awards, also received five nominations. One of the categories is Best Music Video, in which a recording of one of his concerts will compete with videos made by Collins, Hammer and the Who's "Tommy."
Besides Carey and Wilson Phillips, nominees for Best New Artist -- the award stripped from lip-syncers Milli Vanilli -- are the Black Crowes, Lisa Stansfield and the Kentucky Headhunters (already named Best New Artist by the Country Music Association).
In addition to Collins and Carey, Record of the Year nominees include last year's winner, Bette Midler, for "From a Distance," Hammer for "U Can't Touch This" and Sinead O'Connor for "Nothing Compares 2 U." Prince was nominated in the Song of the Year category for "Nothing Compares 2 U," the hit he penned for O'Connor, whose "I Do Not Want What I Haven't Got" album was nominated for Best Alternative Music Performance along with the Replacements, World Party, Kate Bush and Laurie Anderson. O'Connor also picked up nominations in the Best Female Pop Vocal and Best Short-Form Video categories, but the absence of her critically acclaimed "I Do Not Want" from the Album of the Year category suggests a possible backlash from the notoriously conservative academy membership. Last year, O'Connor refused to allow the national anthem to be played before one of her New Jersey concerts.
Among other major stars absent: Paul Simon, who earned no nominations for "The Rhythm of the Saints," his long-awaited follow-up to "Graceland," the 1986 Album of the Year; George Michael, whose low profile for "Listen Without Prejudice, Vol. 1" seems to have worked too well; and Prince, whose only nomination came courtesy of O'Connor (maybe the nominees saw the "Graffiti Bridge" fiasco film). Despite her high media profile, Madonna's only nominations were indirect, by way of two Stephen Sondheim songs for "Dick Tracy" and director David Fincher's video for "Oh Father." Best-selling newcomers who were totally overlooked include Bell Biv Devoe, En Vogue and Nelson.
Janet Jackson copped two nominations: Best Female Rock Vocalist for "Black Cat" and Best Female Rhythm and Blues Vocalist for "Allright." Joining Jackson in the rock vocalist category are Melissa Etheridge, Alannah Myles, Stevie Nicks and Tina Turner. Joining her in the R&B category are Anita Baker, Pebbles, Patti LaBelle and Regina Belle. "Allright," written with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, was nominated for Best R&B song, as was "U Can't Touch This," credited to Hammer and Rick James (whose '70s "Superfreak" riff drives the song). "U Can't Touch This" was also nominated for Best Rap Solo Performance and it will compete with Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby." One of the two acts has held the top spot in the charts for 32 weeks straight. Hammer, Wilson Phillips and songwriter Alan Menken, all first-time nominees, earned four nods each.
Veteran rockers Eric Clapton and Neil Young (who has never won a Grammy) joined Jon Bon Jovi, Billy Idol and Joe Cocker as nominees in a ridiculously tepid Male Rock Vocalist field. Bon Jovi's "Blaze of Glory" (from "Young Guns II") will compete for the Best Song Written for Film or Television against one pair of songs from Sondheim and another from Howard Ashmen and Alan Menken for "The Little Mermaid."
The always hotly contested polka award is a battle among Eddie Blazonczyk's Versatones, the Polka Family Band, Toledo Polkamotion, Jimmy Weber and the Sounds, and Jimmy Sturr & His Orchestra.
Washingtonians earning nominations include Johnny Gill (Best Male R&B Vocal for his eponymous album); Mary Chapin Carpenter (Best Female Country Vocal for the single "Quittin' Time"); the Richard Smallwood Singers (Best Contemporary Soul Album for "Portrait"); and Mstislav Rostropovich and the National Symphony Orchestra (Best Opera Recording for Mussorgsky's "Boris Godunov"). Lee Atwater, the ailing outgoing chairman of the Republican National Committee, shared a contemporary blues nomination with B.B. King for the title track from Atwater's "Red Hot and Blue" album.
The annual awards show will be telecast Feb. 20 on CBS from New York City's Radio City Music Hall.