“It’s wonderful he is getting the accolades and the credit,” KROQ APD/MD Lisa Worden tells Billboard. “Morning Phase is beautiful, and at this point for radio listeners, it isn’t top-of-mind so the fact that he did win two huge awards means people will go back, listen to the album and buy it.”
Mike Marrone, founder and program director of The Loft on Sirius XM Radio, says the music on Morning Phase resonated with listeners and that most likely affected voting.
“I thought it was a really good album,” says Marrone. “It showed Beck maturing. I think there are some really great songs on there. I love Beck, and if somebody had to win album of the year — good for him. I love the way he has gotten older and matured his sound. There are some amazing melodies on this record.”
Worden adds that KROQ has recommitted to playing “Blue Moon” and is hopeful that radio will “capitalize on the moment.”
Says Worden: “It is something that should be acknowledged, and we certainly are.”
WXRT Chicago program director Norm Winer echoed the thought that radio has been sleeping on Beck for the most part. “Beck is an icon and I was delighted to see him win, though he is not getting the amount of airplay he deserves on U.S. radio.” Winer notes that on XRT’s annual music poll, Beck was voted the No. 4 album of the year.
As for the controversy, Winer demures that Grammy voting is essentially an election that “doesn’t necessarily have to be fair.” Certain wins, he said, make up for injustices at radio.
Bruce Warren, program director of Philadelphia’s WXPN, believes Beck shook things up. “I think it shocked a lot of people,” he says. “The bottom line is: the guy is amazing and has been making great music for years. … If there is symbolic way to award an artist for their artistry, and the Album of the Year is it, then so be it — let’s move on.”
As for the controversy involving West and his mock-hijacking of Beck’s award (a joke that, later in the night, turned into a rant), Worden laughs it off. “That’s just Kanye being Kanye,” she says. “Even Beck took it in stride.”
It’s a view Terrie Carr, music director of WDHA in Dover, New Jersey, shares, telling Billboard, “The Grammys has never, ever gotten categories out of top 40 correct anyway, so let’s just celebrate his brilliant ‘artistry’ despite what Kimye may have to say.”