The Recording Academy has inducted 25 more recordings into its Grammy Hall of Fame. The roster includes recordings that were celebrated in the annual Grammy Awards as well as recordings that either pre-date the 1958 launch of the Grammy Awards or were passed over in the Grammy process at the time.
Recordings in the latter category include Public Enemy‘s incendiary 1988 album It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back, which failed to receive a single Grammy nomination, but is now widely viewed as a classic, and Neil Diamond‘s 1969 smash “Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good),” which likewise was (inexplicably) passed over in the nominations, but has long been a singalong favorite.
Recordings that were celebrated in their time that were honored include Peter Frampton‘s blockbuster 1976 live album Frampton Comes Alive!, a nominee that year for album of the year, and Eurythmics‘ 1983 synth-pop smash “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This),” which clinched the duo a best new artist nomination that year.
Several of this year’s inducted recordings were boosted by being spotlighted in feature films. Dick Dale and the Del-Tones’ 1962 hit “Miserlou” was featured in Quentin Tarantino’s 1994 classic Pulp Fiction. The Stanley Brothers & the Clinch Mountain Boys’ “I’m a Man of Constant Sorrow” was revived in the 2000 Coen Brothers film O Brother, Where Art Thou? (which won the 2001 Grammy for album of the year). Elton John‘s 1972 hit “Tiny Dancer” was memorably spotlighted in Cameron Crowe’s 2000 film Almost Famous.
Nancy Sinatra‘s 1966 smash “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” — one of the first songs with a strong feminist edge to become a mainstream pop hit — was also inducted. It’s the first induction for Sinatra, whose father, Frank Sinatra, has 14 recordings in the Hall.
Several artists who are favorites of Hall of Fame voters added to their tallies of inducted recordings. Nat “King” Cole landed his eighth induction (this time as part of the King Cole Trio). Willie Nelson got his sixth, followed by Elton John (his fourth); Patsy Cline, Bo Diddley, Merle Haggard and Joni Mitchell (their third); and the Allman Brothers Band and Public Enemy (their second).
James P. Johnson’s “Carolina Shout” (1921) is the oldest recording that was inducted this year. The Public Enemy album is the newest.
Recordings are voted on each year by a special member committee, with final approval by the academy’s national board of trustees. Counting these 25 titles, the Hall, now in its 47th year, encompasses 1,113 recordings. Recordings become eligible 25 years after their release.
Here’s the complete list of 2020 Grammy Hall of Fame inductees:
“Afro-Cuban Jazz Suite”
Capitol Presents the King Cole Trio
The King Cole Trio
James P. Johnson
“Devil Got My Woman”
Eat a Peach
The Allman Brothers Band
Frampton Comes Alive!
“How Can a Poor Man Stand Such Times and Live”
Blind Alfred Reed
“I’ll Fly Away”
The Chuck Wagon Gang
“I’m a Man”
“I’m a Man of Constant Sorrow”
The Stanley Brothers & The Clinch Mountain Boys
It Takes A Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back
Def Jam (1988)
Dick Dale And The Del-Tones
“Oh Mary Don’t You Weep”
“Pancho and Lefty”
Willie Nelson And Merle Haggard
Piano Rags by Scott Joplin
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
Warner Bros. (1978)
“Sweet Caroline (Good Times Never Seemed So Good)”
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)”
“These Boots Are Made for Walkin'”
“Walkin’ After Midnight”
Mary Lou Williams
Editor’s Note: The Recording Academy announced on Jan. 14 that the Police’s 1983 classic “Every Breath You Take” was among this year’s inductions into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Later that day, the academy announced that the track was not eligible because it had previously been inducted as part of the trio’s Synchronicity album.