Record of the Year vs Album of the Year. What's the difference?

Last night, on the Grammys, U2 won for record of the year with “It’s a beautiful day” while Steely Dan took the award for album of the year with “Two against nature”.

What the hell is the difference between record and album?

…and while I’m at it, why the hell are the Grammys so lame? (I only watched the awards during commercials of West Wing). Finally, why doesn’t somebody bitch slap eminem to death? That guy has negative tallent.

U2 won the award for a single, not an album.

Then, the not-so-important-yet-annoying question is this: what’s the difference between “record of the year” and “song of the year”?

Not according to this on yahoo …and I quote:

So good question Palmyra, what is the diff and since when is a single called a record?

More importantly, why do I even give a shit? It’s the music awards, not the Nobel Peace prize awards.

“Record of the Year” is an award given to the artist and the producers/engineers.

“Song of the Year” is an award given to the songwriters.

In this case, the songwriters happened to be the band, but it isn’t always so. Last year, the Song of the Year was “My Heart Will Go On.” The award went to James Horner and Will Jennings, not to Celine Dion. “My Heart Will Go On” was also Record of the Year, and the award went to Celine Dion, Humberto Gatica, James Horner, David Gleeson, Walter Afanasieff and Simon Franglen.

Thanks for clearing up the differences for me, everyone! Now see if you can answer this one…who knew Steely Dan even released a CD this year, much less knew it was up for a Grammy!!!

Confused in Cleveland,

I knew.

OK, so why do the Grammies call it “Record” rather than “Single” of the year, so as to avoid confusion?


Originaly, records were only long enough to have a single song on them. (Remember 45’s) Then RCA (I think) came out with the 33 rpm recording that could have more than one song on them. These were called long playing albums. So, a record had one song on each side, and an album could have many.