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Elvis 2020 Grammy Recalls The One He Lost Forty Years Ago

Updated on January 28, 2020

Elvis Costello Once Lost Grammy Award To Disco Group


Elvis still has a way to go to surpass the popularity of The King with the same name, even though Costello did earn the 2020 Grammy for Best Traditional Album. His record Look Now, which was recorded with his backing group the Imposters, was their first as a band.

Look Now certainly is a fine album, offering an appealing blend of songs ranging from pop to easy listening to rock to soul. Along with the catchy melodies are the lyrics, which have always been Costello's biggest asset.

His reaction to winning the award came as no surprise to anyone who has followed his career, which began over forty years ago. In fact, Costello even alluded to that time period in his response.

"I was the Billie Eilish of 1979," Costello said in referring to the 2 020 winner. "I was a new artist then."

He was, to an extent, like Eilish, in the regard that Costello was nominated for Best New Artist. Unlike her, however, Costello did not win that award in 1979.

In hindsight, which is quite appropriate to use in 2020, Elvis should have taken home that particular Grammy hands down. His varied career in the four decades since then have clearly trumped that of the other 1979 New Artist nominees, especially the act that won.

A disco group called A Taste Of Honey was selected as Best New Artist, primarily because of their hit "Boogie Oogie Oogie." All fans of Costello have to cringe now, knowing the travesty of such an intelligent songwriter as Costello losing out because of an inane title.

Any of the other nominees would have been better choices than A Taste Of Honey, even though one was destined to become a one-hit wonder in the United States. Chris Rea, who like Elvis lost out to the disco group, earned his nomination on the strength of the single, "Fool If You Think It's Over."

Two other bands who lost out on the New Artist Grammy fared better in America, forging long successful careers with numerous hits. Toto was a sort of super group featuring an assortment of vocalists and veteran musicians, such as guitarist Steve Lukather and Box Scaggs keyboardist David Paich.

Hits from their self-titled debut, "Hold the Line" and "Georgy Porgy", put them in competition with the Cars. Led by Ric Ocasek, the Cars went on to enjoy success with tunes like "You Might Think I'm Crazy " and "Just What I Needed" over the next two decades after losing out on the Best New Artist Grammy.

Long after his four fellow nominees have ceased to be relevant, Costello remains an influential force in the world of music. Best New Artist Eilish, who is not yet twenty years old, should aspire to enjoy a similar career.


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