Grammys - What's the difference between Record of the Year & Album of the Year?

Watching the Grammys; asked Mrs Piper the difference betweenthe two awards; she said “I don’t know; why don’t you ask your egghead friends?”

So - the answer is ??

Record of the Year is a single song (usually a single); Album of the Year is…an album!

The better question is, what’s the diff between the Song of the Year and the Record of the Year?

Record of the Year is for the whole record, production, lyrics, vocals, delivery, everything.

Song of the Year is just for the songwriters.

This is it. The “Record” award is for the recording. The “Song” award is for the written song. They are two different things. Think of it as the difference between a screenplay and a movie.

Another question is what is a “record” defined at these days? In the past winners of Record of the Year were always singles. Since singles are nearly nonexistent today, is any song released qualify as a possible Record of the Year?

It can be any song, and as far as I know it’s always been that way. I guess singles are usually nominated because they’re better known. Album tracks have won before, off the top of my head I remember a Ray Charles song won in 2005 and it wasn’t a single.

Edit: looking through past winners I think it might actually be the only time that has happened. Either way there’s no rule that says a song has to be a single, but the nature of the award means that most winners and nominees are.

I don’t remember where I read it, but there’s like 3 that are nearly identical, but the prestige associated with them are different. One of them is like winning first place, another is like winning 2nd place, another is like winning 3rd place, etc. So, you are supposedly not supposed to get someone or one album who sweeps all the major awards.

That’s why the Grammy’s aren’t considered serious awards, they’re more like popularity contests.

You’re gonna need to back this up with something because there have been quite a few occasions where artists have “swept” many of the major awards, and I can’t think of any awards that could be considered “nearly identical”. Even Record and Song of the year are quite different from one another once the differences between them are explained.

I have no real opinion on how serious the awards are - I mostly see them as a bit of fun and a trivia goldmine - but nothing in your post rings true to me.

Which brings up another interesting question - How does Billboard track the top 100 singles? As you mentioned, you can’t really go into a music store nowadays and buy a CD single of the latest Katy Perry or Lady Gaga song (or maybe you can, but it’s been a long while since I’ve seen such things and I can’t imagine they’d sell very well nowadays anyway). So do they just tally up all the digital downloads?

Howabout in that brief period in the early 2000s, after CD and cassette singles fell out of favor, but before (legal) digital downloads really took off. How did they tally up the list then?

This is my understanding. BTW, in the early 1990s, before the WWW existed, I was bored one day at work and wondered about this distinction as well. So I called the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences to ask. I was bounced around many times before someone actually knew the answer.

Billboard’s Top 100 currently mixes digital download sales and airplay from numerous radio formats. They still factor in single sales but they are so tiny they rarely make a difference. Before they started including digital sales in 2007, only single sales and radio airplay were factored in.
As for the people wondering about the Song of the Year/Record of the Year difference, remember that the Grammies started in 1958. Back then artists rarely wrote their own songs and it was common for several artists to release the same composition at once. It made a lot of sense to have different awards for composition (Song) and performance (Record). Now it really doesn’t, but the Grammies wouldn’t just get rid of such a prestigious category.

To the people wondering about singles, iTunes has a lot of them.