By Brian Ives
The GRAMMYS have just changed the game, at least in relation to what songs can be nominated for awards.
Before now, a song that featured a sample or an interpolation of another song would not be eligible for a songwriters award, except for in the best rap song category.
Now, samples are OK in all songwriting categories, regardless of genre.
On Grammy.org, the ruling is explained: “Samples or interpolations of previously written songs are now allowed in all songwriting categories: Song Of The Year, Best Rock Song, Best R&B Song, Best Country Song, Best Gospel Song, Best Contemporary Christian Music Song, Best American Roots Song, and Best Song Written For Visual Media.
“Previously, samples or interpolations were allowed in only one songwriting category: Best Rap Song, in recognition of the unique craft of writing rap songs.”
For instance: Jay Z‘s “99 Problems,” which uses an interpolation of Ice-T‘s song of the same name and which sampled Billy Squier’s “The Big Beat,” Mountain’s “Long Red” and Wilson Pickett’s “Get Me Back on Time,” or Kanye West‘s “Gold Digger,” which uses Ray Charles’ “I Got a Woman,” would not have been eligible for song of the year in previous years; now, both songs would be eligible in that category.
That was but one of the changes to made by the Recording Academy’s Board of Trustees at its annual spring meeting.
Others include creating a new category for best American roots performance, changing the dance/electronica categories to dance/electronic music, renaming best pop instrumental album to best contemporary instrumental album, moving best traditional pop album into the pop field and more.
The Recording Academy also noted it would establish a “more official guideline” for the alternative music category.
The 57th annual GRAMMY Awards will take place on Feb. 8, 2015, with a total of 83 categories.