R.E.M. outshines mainstream pop, nabbing 7 Grammy nominations

January 09, 1992|By Dennis Hunt and Richard Cromelin | Dennis Hunt and Richard Cromelin,Los Angeles Times

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. -- R.E.M., the Georgia-based alternative rock band, received seven Grammy nominations yesterday in a field otherwise dominated in key categories by mainstream pop.

R.E.M., whose nominations included best single record and best song, was followed in the number of nominations by Canadian pop-rock singer Bryan Adams, who was named in six categories, and Bonnie Raitt, who was nominated in five.

The nominations were announced by the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. The voting members of the 7,000-member organization determine the nominees in 78 categories in 28 areas, based on recordings released between Oct. 1, 1990, and Sept. 30, 1991. Winners will be announced Feb. 25 at a nationally televised ceremony from New York's Radio City Music Hall.

In the race for best album of the year, R.E.M.'s "Out of Time" is pitted against Natalie Cole's "Unforgettable," Amy Grant's "Heart in Motion," Bonnie Raitt's "Luck of the Draw" and Paul Simon's "The Rhythm of the Saints." A victory for R.E.M. in the 34th annual awards would be the first pure rock victory in the prestigious category since U2's "The Joshua Tree" in 1987.

Similarly, competition for R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" in the record of the year category are Grant's "Baby Baby," Adams' "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)," Raitt's "Something to Talk About" and Cole's "Unforgettable."

Surprising by their absence in the album race are two of last year's biggest-selling records: Michael Bolton's "Time, Love and Tenderness" and country star Garth Brooks' "Ropin' the Wind."

Song of the year nominees are "Baby Baby" (written by Grant and Keith Thomas), "Everything I Do (I Do It for You)" (Adams, Robert John "Mutt" Lange and Michael Kamen), "Losing My Religion" (Bill Berry, Peter Buck, Mike Mills and Michael Stipe), "Unforgettable" (Irving Gordon) and "Walking in Memphis" (Marc Cohn).

The contenders for best new artist are Boyz II Men, C+C Music Factory, Marc Cohn, Color Me Badd and Seal.

R.E.M., whose "Out of Time" album regained the band some of the critical respect it had lost with its previous record, "Green," was also nominated for best pop performance by a duo or group, best rock performance by a duo or group, best alternative album and best short-form video.

Michael Kamen received five nominations, all tied to songwriting and arranging for the soundtrack of "Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves." Cole, whose album of songs recorded by her father, Nat King Cole, was one of the surprise success stories of the year, received four nominations, as did Grant and jazz musician Dave Grusin.

Brooks, who spearheaded country music's commercial resurgence during 1991, was named in only two categories: male country vocal performance for his "Ropin' the Wind" album, and short-form video for "The Thunder Rolls," a video that became embroiled in controversy for its depiction of domestic violence.

Michael Jackson and U2, two previous Grammy winners, are not eligible for this year's awards with their current albums "Dangerous" and "Achtung Baby," respectively, because they were released after the Sept. 30 deadline.

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