The list of “Glee” achievements in 2010 got a little longer last week, when the hit musical series picked up two nominations for the 2011 Grammy Awards. The “Glee” cast will face off against Paramore, Train, Sade and Maroon 5 for best pop performance by a duo or group with vocals (for “Dont Stop Believin'”), while “Glee: The Music, Volume 1” will vie for best compilation soundtrack honors.
Adam Anders, “Glee’s” executive producer of music, tells Billboard.com that the recognition amounts to more fuel for “this out of of control monster just keeps growing. I never could have dreamt that all of this stuff would be happening.”
He adds that while he somewhat expected “Glee” to get a soundtrack nod, since the cast recently won an American Music Award for favorite soundtrack, the nomination for “Don’t Stop Believin'” came as a pleasant surprise. “It’s an incredible achievement,” he says.
Although “Glee” is known for putting twists on classic songs like Journey’s 1981 power ballad, season two has lately been showcasing more current Top 40 hits — like Cee-Lo‘s “Forget You” and Train‘s “Hey, Soul Sister” — with just as much success. The cast’s version of Katy Perry‘s “Teenage Dream,” performed by newcomer Darren Criss, debuted atop the Digital Songs chart and sold 214,000 downloads in its first week, according to Nielsen SoundScan, marking the show’s first No. 1 and best sales week yet.
“Glee” also spread the love more equally among its cast members this season, giving choice solos to performers like Naya Rivera (Santana), who took the lead on last week’s rendition of Mark Ronson and Amy Winehouse‘s “Valerie,” and Heather Morris, who starred in this season’s Britney Spears episode. Along with Criss, the show also added Chord Overstreet to the cast and has welcomed guests like Gwyneth Paltrow, Charice and Spears herself.
“It’s just a way to keep things fresh, and it’s realistic — in high school, there’s always someone new showing up.” Anders says. “The other part of it is just about staying true to what the show is. It’s not just about one particular person – it’s about a glee club.”
And for fans of “Glee’s” show tune covers, Anders acknowledges that “Glee’s” playlist has been featuring more of today’s hits, but promises that it won’t ditch classic rock tunes and Broadway standards anytime soon.
“You don’t want to get stale. You want to change things,” he says. “[Newer songs are] the trend for us right now, but we definitely will not walk away from the classics.”