According to the most recent statistics from the Recording Industry Association of America, about 3,000 new albums are released every year, only five of which make it to the Grammy Awards’ album-of-the-year finals.
Clearly there’s a lot of room for disagreement about just which of the year’s records is deserving of the award, to be handed out Feb. 21.
Listen, for example, to these album-of-the-year choices from the staff at a Sound Warehouse record store in Dallas.
Desiree Samuel, 21: Like a Prayer by Madonna. ”I’m not a huge fan of hers, but I love that album. Maybe it’s the beat.”
Mike Chase, 30: The Healer by John Lee Hooker. ”It’s got boogie-woogie blues, foot-stomping blues, and crying-in-your-beer blues. I see it as a catharsis for all the artists involved in it. They’re trying to give something back to the blues.”
Gus Sturman, 35: The End of the Innocence by Don Henley. ”His songwriting is excellent, and he really makes a statement.”
David Gallagher, 31: Nick of Time by Bonnie Raitt. ”She writes most of her own stuff — that means a lot. It’s a comeback album and it’s the best she’s ever done.”
Brad Robertson, 24: Candleland by Ian McCulloch. ”I love his melodies. I’ve been listening to him for years when he was with Echo and the Bunnymen.”
Brian Gant, 25: Spike by Elvis Costello. ”He’s an underrated artist who doesn’t get much play, but he’s the best lyricist around. He’s got something for everybody: Irish folk songs, New Orleans jazz, and rock & roll.”