Saturday, March 17, 2012

This Date in Rock Music History: March 18

1955:  For the seventh week, "Pledging My Love" by Johnny Ace set the pace on the R&B chart.  
1958:  Jerry Lee Lewis performed on American Bandstand on ABC-TV.
1959:  EMI Records announced that it had halted all production of 78 rpm records.
1960:  The Everly Brothers recorded "Cathy's Clown" at RCA Studios in Nashville, Tennessee. 
1960:  Dean Martin and Ricky Nelson joined John Wayne and Walter Brennan in the movie Rio Bravo, which opened in theaters. 
1962: Gary U.S. Bonds performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.
1965:  The Standells ("Dirty Water") were guests on an episode of The Munsters on NBC-TV.  (Note:  some websites claim the show aired on March 17.  According to the book 'Big Bang, Baby:  Rock Trivia' by Richard Crouse, the episode which starred the Standells aired March 18, 1965.)

1967:  Pink Floyd signed a recording contract with EMI Records.
1967:  Steve Winwood, former member of the Spencer Davis Group, announced that he was forming a new group with Jim Capaldi, Chris Wood and Dave Mason that would be known as Traffic.

                                                    "Mary, Mary" from the Monkees...

1967:  The second Monkees album, More of the Monkees, appeared to be dominating the same way their debut did as for the sixth week it topped the Album chart.  The Rolling Stones couldn't compete and were stuck at 2 with Between the Buttons.  In fact, the self-titled Monkees debut was third.  The popular Soundtrack to "Doctor Zhivago" was fourth while S.R.O., the new album from Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass, was #5.  The rest of the Top 10:  The Supremes Sing Holland-Dozier-Holland, the monumental Soundtrack to "The Sound of Music" headed back up after more than two years of release (105 weeks), The Temptations' Greatest Hits at #8, That's Life from Frank Sinatra was ninth and Boise, Idaho's Paul Revere & the Raiders were at #10 with The Spirit of '67.
1967:  The Four Tops meant business!  "Bernadette" moved from #65 to #23 on this date.

                                          The Hermits were on the move again...

1967:  The Beatles rose to #1 with "Penny Lane".  The Turtles belied their name and quickly moved from 8 to 2 with "Happy Together".  Johnny Rivers' great song "Baby I Need Your Lovin'" was third, followed by the former #1's from the Supremes ("Love Is Here and Now You're Gone") and the Rolling Stones ("Ruby Tuesday").  The rest of the Top 10:  "Dedicated To The One I Love" from the Mamas and the Papas, Mitch Ryder & the Detroit Wheels were at 7 with "Sock It To Me--Baby!", Herman's Hermits amazingly achieved their 11th Top 10 song out of 14 releases with "There's A Kind Of Hush", Ed Ames and "My Cup Runneth Over" while the Casinos dropped with "Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye".

1968:  The Beatles released the single "Lady Madonna".

1968:  Bobby Goldsboro released the single "Honey".
1972:  Ringo Starr was the director as shooting began for the movie Born to Boogie at a T. Rex concert at the Empire Pool in Wembley, England.
1972:  A new artist first appeared on the chart--Jackson Browne debuted with his first single "Doctor My Eyes".
1972:  The self-titled Paul Simon rose to the top of the U.K. Album chart.
1972:  "I Gotcha'" by Joe Tex moved into the #1 slot on the R&B chart.  

1972:  Nilsson continued to possess the #1 Adult song for the fifth consecutive week with "Without You".

1972:  Neil Young had his only #1 song of his career--"Heart Of Gold".  New group America rose from 7 to 2 with their first release--"A Horse With No Name" while Robert John's remake of the Tokens' classic "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" was #3.  Paul Simon had the top new song in the Top 10 with "Mother and Child Reunion".
1973:  Paul McCartney & Wings played a benefit concert for the drug charity Release at the Hard Rock Cafe in England.

1974:  The Stylistics released the single "You Make Me Feel Brand New".
1974:  Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band played at Gertie's in Dallas, Texas.

1975: The crazy movie version of Tommy premieres in New York City.
1976:  The movie The Man Who Fell To Earth, starring David Bowie, premiered in London.

1978: California Jam II took place at the Ontario Motor Speedway in Ontario, California, with over 250,000 in attendance.  Santana, Heart, Aerosmith and Dave Mason were among the performers.  
1978:  Parliament controlled the R&B chart for a third week with "Flash Light".

"Scenes From An Italian Restaurant"--One of the best songs by Billy Joel you may not know...

1978:  The Soundtrack to "Saturday Night Fever" was becoming a phenomenon, now totaling nine weeks at #1 on the Album chart.  The Stranger by Billy Joel was a solid #2, but still not close to the top.  Eric Clapton was a distant third with Slowhand, changing places with Jackson Browne's Running On Empty. The great Steely Dan album Aja took fifth, just ahead of News of the World by Queen.  The rest of the Top 10:  George Benson's Weekend In L.A., Even Now by Barry Manilow moved from 11-8 in its fourth week, Styx with The Grand Illusion and Earth, Wind & Fire closed the list with All 'N All.

1978:  The Bee Gees were responsible for each of the Top 3 songs and 4 of the Top 5.  The only other time an artist has been that dominant in the Rock Era was in March of 1964 when the Beatles had each of the Top 5 songs.  "Night Fever" led the way, followed by "Stayin' Alive", which was moving back up, and Emotion", which the group wrote and sang backing vocals for Samantha Sang.  Eric Clapton's "Lay Down Sally" broke through to #4 while Andy Gibb's former #1 "(Love Is) Thicker Than Water" fell to fifth.

1979:  Sister Sledge released the single "We Are Family".

1980:  Lipps, Inc. released the single "Funkytown".
1982: Teddy Pendergrass was in a car accident in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, paralyzing him from the waist down.

1986:  Whitney Houston released the single "Greatest Love Of All".

1985:  Billy Ocean released his single "Suddenly".  (Note:  some websites naively say the single was released on May 10.  "Suddenly" debut on the Singles chart on March 23.  It is physically impossible for a song to be included on the Singles chart if it has not yet been released as a single.)
1989:  Phil Collins and wife Jill celebrated the birth of daughter Lily Jane.
1989:  Bon Jovi had one of the hottest songs as "I'll Be There For You" moved from 51 to 34.

                                          The Bangles had a big hit moving up...

1989:  Debbie Gibson held on to #1 for the third week with "Lost In Your Eyes".  Mike + the Mechanics were still at 2 witih "The Living Years" while Bobby Brown's "Roni" and "Girl You Know It's True" by Millli Vanilli were next.  The rest of the Top 10:  "Paradise City" from Guns N' Roses, the Bangles jumped from 11-6 with "Eternal Flame", Rod Stewart had his 38th career hit with "My Heart Can't Tell You No", Roxette bounced from 13 to 8 with "The Look", New Kids on the Block were 9th with "You Got It (The Right Stuff)" and Breathe entered the group with "Don't Tell Me Lies".
1989:  On the Adult Contemporary chart, which had eclipsed the Top 40 chart in popularity, Mike + the Mechanics remained at #1 for a fourth week with "The Living Years".

1992: Donna Summer earned a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
1994: Kenner, Louisiana named a street after Lloyd Price.
1994: Darryl Jones replaced longtime bassist Bill Wyman on tour for the Rolling Stones.
1994: Police in Seattle, Washington confiscated four guns and 25 boxes of ammunition from Kurt Cobain of Nirvana after his wife, Courtney Love, called police fearing he would commit suicide. He did just that about three weeks later.

                                                                 "I Alone" from Live...

1995:  After 20 years, Bruce Springsteen had enough material for a Greatest Hits album and it debuted at #2, sending II by Boyz II Men down to 2.  The Hits by Garth Brooks, itself a #1 album, was now at 3 while Sheryl Crow was still on the upswing after 53 weeks with Tuesday Night Music Club.  Another longevity champ, Dookie by Green Day, was #5 after 56 weeks.  The rest of the Top 10:  Cracked Rear View from Hootie & the Blowfish, CrazySexyCool from TLC, the Eagles took position #8 with Hell Freezes Over, the outstanding album Throwing Copper by Live and Balance by Van Halen was #10.
1995:  Madonna ruled for a fourth week with "Take A Bow".  Soul for Real held down #2 with "Candy Rain" with the former #1 smash "Creep" by TLC third.  "Baby" from Brandy followed that trio with another TLC smash--"Red Light Special" leaping from 18 to 5.  

1997: Yanni became the first artist from the West to play at the Taj Mahal in India.
1997: Taylor Hawkins replaced William Goldsmith as the drummer for the Foo Fighters.
1997: Joni Mitchell announced that she had reunited with a daughter she had given up for adoption many years previous.

2001:  An in-store appearance by A1 in Jakarta, Indonesia ended in tragedy as four girls were killed and two others seriously injured in a stampede to get to the group.
2001:  John Phillips, songwriter, singer and guitarist of the Mamas and the  Papas, died in Los Angeles of heart failure at age 65.

2001:  Crazy Town had the #1 song with "Butterfly".

2002:  U2 are awarded the Freedom of the City of Dublin in a ceremony.
2002: 1,500 music lovers in Concord, California swarmed a music store in Sun Valley Mall to get autographs from B2K. The mall had to temporarily shut down due to the large crowd.
2003:  Jason Newsted, formerly with Metallica, joined Ozzy Osbourne's band.
2004:  Buckethead left the group Guns N' Roses.
2006:  Ne-Yo owned the top album with In My Own Words.
2010:  Rihanna reached #1 with "Rude Boy".  It was the sixth #1 of her career, tying her for fifth all-time among female artists.
2014:  Joe Lala, drummer and singer with Blues Image, who also worked with the Bee Gees, the Eagles, Whitney Houston, Barbra Streisand, Neil Diamond, Kenny Rogers, Rod Stewart, John Mellencamp, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Ringo Starr, the Byrds, Eric Clapton, Poco and the Allman Brothers, died of lung cancer in Tampa, Florida, at the age of 66.

Born This Day:

1941: Wilson Pickett was born in Prattville, Alabama; died of a heart attack in Reston, Virginia on January 19, 2006.
1947:  Barry J. Wilson, drummer of Procol Harum ("Whiter Shade Of Pale" from 1967), was born in Southend, Essex, England; died at age 43 after spending several months in a coma following a car accident on October 8, 1990.
1950: John Hartman, co-founder and drummer of the Doobie Brothers, was born in Falls Church, Virginia.

1959: Irene Cara (real name born Irene Cara Escalera) was born in the Bronx, New York.  (Note:  some websites say Cara was born in New York City, but according to the book 'Encyclopedia of African American Actresses in Film and Television' by Bob McCann, she was born in the Bronx.)1963: Vanessa Williams was born in Millwood, New York.  (Note:  some websites claim Williams was born in the Bronx, others in Tarrytown, New York.  According to 'Billboard', the newspaper 'The Los Angeles Times', 'Us' magazine, as well as Vanessa's official website, she was born in Millwood.)
1963: Jeff LaBar, guitarist of Cinderella, was born in Darby, Pennsylvania.
1966: Jerry Cantrell, singer, songwriter and elite guitarist of Alice In Chains, was born in Tacoma, Washington.


1970: Queen Latifah was born in Newark, New Jersey.
1977: Devin Lima (real name Harold Lima) of LFO, was born in Boston, Massachusetts.
1979: Adam Levine, singer, songwriter and guitarist of Maroon 5, was born in Los Angeles.

The #55 Guitarist of the Rock Era: Michael Angelo Batio

Watch closely for #55 or you might miss everything he does:
#55:  Michael Angelo Batio, Holland, the Michael Angelo Band, Nitro, solo
29 years as an active guitarist

Michael Angelo Batio is perhaps the best of the "shredders", so named because of their relentless, high-paced attacks on the guitar, playing notes as fast as they possibly can play them.  Batio has done most of his work in metal music and its subgenres and has spent a good deal of his career as a solo artist.

That in and of itself isn't going to get you a high ranking; it's not even necessarily going to earn you a spot in The Top 100 Guitarists*.  But if you've given some thought into how the notes are going to sound to your audience and your listeners before you play them, and can play at a rapid pace with a melodic sense, absolutely that's going to get you recognition.  Batio was voted the #1 Shredder of All-Time by Guitar One Magazine in 2003.  Guitar World listed him as one of The Top 100 Greatest Metal Guitarists of All-Time, and  Batio won the 2009 Guitar World Reader's Choice award as the Best Shredder.  In a 2011 vote of over 440,000 guitarists who subscribe to Guitar World, Batio was voted as the Fastest Guitar Player of All-Time.

Yet piano was the instrument in which Michael first started playing, composing music at the age of five.  He took up guitar at age ten, and at age 16, won the Chicago-based "All-State Jazz Solo Award".  Batio went to Northeastern Illinois University and received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Theory and Composition.  You can be a much better guitar player if you have a solid background in music theory and composition.

After graduation, Batio applied for a job at a Chicago recording studio as a session guitarist.  Michael was given a piece of music and asked to play it.  He proceeded to do that, adding his own improvisations and fills, and thus became the studio's primary guitarist.  Batio recorded music for such companies as McDonalds, United Airlines, KFC, United Way, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Burger King and Beatrice.

Batio joined the heavy metal band Holland in 1984, a group started by Tommy Holland, the ex-Steppenwolf singer.  The group was signed by Atlantic Record and released the 1985 album Little Monsters.  Little Monsters enjoyed moderate success but the band split up shortly after.

Batio then struck out on his own, starting his own eponymous band with lead singer Michael Cordet, bassist Allen Hearn and drummer Cammarata. The group did not release any albums, and in 1987, Batio founded Nitro with bassist T.J. Racer and drummer Bobby Rock. Nitro released the album O.F.R. in 1989. The music video for one of the tracks, "Freight Train", received considerable airplay on MTV, which used to stand for Music Television. The video was famous for featuring Batio playing his now famous "Quad Guitar".

Batio also released his first instructional video as part of the "Masters Series", which was the first "shred" instructional program featuring many modern guitar techniques for the first time.

In 1992, Nitro recorded their second album Nitro II: H.W.D.W.S., including a cover of Ted Nugent's "Cat Scratch Fever". However, the group split up shortly afterwards.
Batio then founded his own record label, M.A.C.E. Music, and released his first solo album, No Boundaries, in 1995. Michael followed that album up with Planet Gemini, in which he showed his progressive side. In 1999, Batio released another instructional video, Jam With Angelo, which was included with his third solo release Tradition. The next year, Batio released Lucid Intervals and Moments of Clarity.

In 2003, Batio released his first DVD, Speed Kills, followed quickly by the DVD Speed Lives.

Batio released one more solo album, Hands Without Shadows, featuring cover songs, and four more DVD's: Speed Kills 2, Speed Kills 3, 25 Jazz Progressions and MAB Jam Session.
In 2011, Michael debuted the multi-media show Hands Without Shadows - A Tribute to Rock Guitar in Las Vegas, Nevada. Batio is now touring the world with this show, a chronological tribute to the history of the rock guitar.
Batio taught himself to be ambidextrous, a skill which enables him incredibly to play two guitars at the same time, either synchronized or playing separate harmonies. He can thus play different parts at once, as he exhibits when playing his Double-Guitar. 

Batio invented and often plays the "Over-Under" technique, which involves flipping his fretting hand over and under the neck rapidly, playing the guitar normally and as if it were a piano. Batio is known for his extremely fast and alternate picking--Batio will anchor his fingers while picking on the body of the guitar to restrict motion. Batio's training in music theory has given him a great understanding of complex scale combinations and time signatures whereas many guitarists lack this knowledge.

For those who admire the guitar work of Tom Morello, who was featured at #82 of our special, it was Batio that taught Morello. Batio also gave lessons to Mark Tremonti, guitarist of Creed. 
Michael has an extensive collection of guitars, including a Dave Bunker "Touch" guitar, which has a double neck with both bass and guitar, a 1968 Fender Mustang, a 1986 Fender Stratocaster and several other vintage and custom guitars.  Among his custom models is a 29-fret guitar made of military grade aluminum.  In live performances, Batio uses Dean Guitars exclusively.  In 2007, he designed and developed a signature guitar with Dean, called the MAB1 Armorflame.  Michael also developed the MAB Hands Without Shadows pickup, specially designed for shred guitar playing.

Batio invented the Double-Guitar, a V-shaped, twin-neck model which can be played both right- and left-handed.  The guitar features a flight case latch attacked to the back of each guitar.  Batio's most famous double-guitar is his USA Dean Mach 7 Jet.  The guitar has since been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Museum and was put on permanent display in February, 2012.  

When Batio first played the Double-Guitar in concert, the guitars created a lot of feedback when played together.  Hence, he invented the "MAB String Dampener", which prevents this from occurring.

Michael Angelo also invented and designed the Quad Guitar. The guitar was originally built by Wayne Charvel in conjunction with Gibson. The top two guitars have seven strings and the bottom two six.  The first Quad was used in the video for Nitro's "Freight Train" video.  

Batio prefers Marshall JCM 2000 amps on tour.  In the studio, he uses a Marshall JMP-1 preamp and Rocktron Chameleon and Voodoo Valve preamps.  While with Nitro, Batio used Randall amps and has used Marshall JCM800 and JCM 900. He uses 4 x 12 Marshall cabinets loaded with Celeston vintage 30's and Greenbacks in mono and stereo.

Batio uses effects pedals exclusively made by T-Rex and developed his signature model MAB Overdrive.  In the past, Batio used Boss overdrive (DS-1, SD-1) pedals.  In the studio, Michael uses a Vintage Digitech Whammy, a Dunlop Cry Baby, a Vintage Digitech 256 multifx and an Eventide Eclipse.

Michael Angelo can do things with the guitar that few behind him can do.  What makes him special, though, is that he understands melody and technique and his never-ending desire to stretch the boundaries of his craft.  Michael Angelo Batio--#55 for the Rock Era*.

Winners for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards

Keep in mind that the Grammys are given in the Spring of each year, generally the year after the album was released.  Here is the complete list of winners of Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards:

1959:  The Music from "Peter Gunn" by Henry Mancini
              Also nominated:  Come Fly with Me by Frank Sinatra
                                        Ella Fitzgerald Sings the Irving Berlin Songbook by Ella Fitzgerald
                                        Frank Sinatra Sings for Only the Lonely by Frank Sinatra
                                        Tchaikovsky:  Concerto No. 1 in B Flat Minor, op. 23 by Van Cliburn

1960:  Come Fly with Me by Frank Sinatra
               Also nominated:  Belafonte at Carnegie Hall by Harry Belafonte
                                         More Music from "Peter Gunn" by Henry Mancini
                                         Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3 by Van Cliburn
                                         Victory at Sea, Vol. 1 by Robert Russell Bennett

1961:  The Button-Down Mind of Bob Newhart by Bob Newhart
               Also nominated:  Belafonte Returns to Carnegie Hall by Harry Belafonte
                                         Brahms:  Concert No. 2 in B-Flat by Sviatoslav Richter
                                         Nice 'n' Easy by Frank Sinatra
                                         Pucciini:  Turandot by Erich Leinsdorf
                                         Wild Is Love by Nat King Cole

1962:  Judy At Carnegie Hall by Judy Garland
               Also nominated:  "Breakfast at Tiffany's" Soundtrack by Henry Mancini
                                         Genius+Soul=Jazz by Ray Charles
                                         Great Band with Great Voices by Si Zentner & the Johnny Mann Singers
                                         The Nat King Cole Story by Nat King Cole
                                         "West Side Story" Soundtrack by various artists

1963:  The First Family by Vaughan Meader
               Also nominated:  I Left My Heart in San Francisco by Tony Bennett
                                         Jazz Samba by Stan Getz & Charlie Byrd
                                         Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music by Ray Charles
                                         My Son, the Folk Singer by Allan Sherman

1964:  The Barbra Streisand Album by Barbra Streisand
               Also nominated:  Bach's Greatest Hits by the Swingle Singers
                                             Days of Wine and Roses and Other TV Requests by Andy Williams
                                             Honey in the Horn by Al Hirt
                                             The Singing Nun by the Singing Nun

1965:  Getz/Gilberto by João Gilberto & Stan Getz
               Also nominated:  Cotton Candy by Al Hirt
                                              "Funny Girl" Soundtrack by Various Artists
                                              People by Barbra Streisand
                                              The Pink Panther by Henry Mancini

1966:  September of My Years by Frank Sinatra
                Also nominated:  "Help!" Soundtrack by the Beatles
                                               My Name Is Barbra by Barbra Streisand
                                               My World by Eddy Arnold
                                               "The Sound of Music" Soundtrack by Various Artists

1967:  Sinatra:  A Man and His Music by Frank Sinatra
                 Also nominated:  Color Me Barbra by Barbra Streisand
                                                "Dr. Zhivago" Soundtrack by Maurice Jarre
                                                Revolver by the Beatles
                                                What Now My Love by Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass

1968:  Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the Beatles
                 Also nominated:  Francis Albert Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim by Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim
                                                It Must Be Him by Vikki Carr
                                                The Cup Runneth Over by Ed Ames
                                                Ode to Billie Joe by Bobbie Gentry

1969:  By the Time I Get to Phoenix by Glen Campbell
                  Also nominated:  Bookends by Simon and Garfunkel
                                                 Feliciano!  by Jose Feliciano
                                                 "Magical Mystery Tour" Soundtrack by the Beatles
                                                 A Tramp Shining by Richard Harris

1970:  Blood, Sweat and Tears by Blood, Sweat and Tears
                   Also nominated:  Abbey Road by the Beatles
                                                 The Age of Aquarius by the 5th Dimension
                                                 Crosby, Stills & Nash by Crosby, Stills & Nash
                                                 At San Quentin by Johnny Cash

1971:  Bridge Over Troubled Water by Simon and Garfunkel
                   Also nominated:  Chicago by Chicago
                                                  Close to You by the Carpenters
                                                  Deja Vu by Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
                                                  Elton John by Elton John
                                                  Sweet Baby James by James Taylor

1972:  Tapestry by Carole King
                    Also nominated:  All Things Must Pass by George Harrison
                                                   The Carpenters by the Carpenters
                                                   "Jesus Christ Superstar"  London Production by Various Artists
                                                   Shaft by Isaac Hayes

1973:  The Concert for Bangla Desh by George Harrison
                     Also nominated:  American Pie by Don McLean
                                                    "Jesus Christ Superstar" Broadway Cast by Various Artists
                                                    Moods by Neil Diamond
                                                    Nilsson Schmilsson by Nilsson

1974:  Innervisions by Stevie Wonder
                      Also nominated:  Behind Closed Doors by Charlie Rich
                                                     The Divine Miss M by Bette Midler
                                                     Killing Me Softly by Roberta Flack
                                                     There Goes Rhymin' Simon by Paul Simon

1975:  Fulfillingness' First Finale by Stevie Wonder
                       Also nominated:  Back Home Again by John Denver
                                                      Band on the Run by Paul McCartney & Wings
                                                      Caribou by Elton John
                                                      Court and Spark by Joni Mitchell

1976:  Still Crazy After All These Years by Paul Simon
                        Also nominated:  Between the Lines by Janis Ian
                                                      Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy by Elton John
                                                      Heart Like a Wheel by Linda Ronstadt
                                                      One of These Nights by the Eagles

1977:  Songs in the Key of Life by Stevie Wonder
                         Also nominated:  Breezin' by George Benson
                                                       Chicago X by Chicago
                                                       Frampton Comes Alive by Peter Frampton
                                                       Silk Degrees by Boz Scaggs

1978:  Rumours by Fleetwood Mac
                          Also nominated:  Aja by Steely Dan
                                                         Hotel California by the Eagles
                                                         J.T. by James Taylor
                                                         "Star Wars" Soundtrack by John Williams &the London Symphony Orchestra

1979:  "Saturday Night Fever" Soundtrack by Various Artists
                            Also nominated:  Even Now by Barry Manilow
                                                          "Grease" Soundtrack by Various Artists
                                                          Running on Empty by Jackson Browne
                                                          Some Girls by the Rolling Stones

1980:  52nd Street by Billy Joel
                             Also nominated:  Minute by Minute by the Doobie Brothers
                                                            The Gambler by Kenny Rogers
                                                            Bad Girls by Donna Summer
                                                            Breakfast in America by Supertramp
Christopher Cross Christopher Cross Album Cover
1981:  Christopher Cross by Christopher Cross
                              Also nominated:  Glass Houses by Billy Joel
                                                             The Wall by Pink Floyd
                                                             Trilogy:  Past Present Future by Frank Sinatra
                                                             Guilty by Barbra Streisand

1982:  Double Fantasy by John Lennon
                               Also nominated:  Mistaken Identity by Kim Carnes
                                                              Breakin' Away by Al Jarreau
                                                              The Dude by Quincy Jones
                                                              Gaucho by Steely Dan

1983:  Toto IV by Toto
                               Also nominated:  American Fool by John Mellencamp
                                                              The Nightfly by Donald Fagen
                                                              The Nylon Curtain by Billy Joel
                                                              Tug of War by Paul McCartney

1984:  Thriller by Michael Jackson
                               Also nominated:  Let's Dance by David Bowie
                                                              An Innocent Man by Billy Joel
                                                              Synchronicity by the Police
                                                              "Flashdance" Soundtrack by Various Artists

1985:  Can't Slow Down by Lionel Richie
                                Also nominated:  She's So Unusual by Cyndi Lauper
                                                               "Purple Rain" Soundtrack by Prince & the Revolution
                                                               Born in the U.S.A. by Bruce Springsteen
                                                               Private Dancer by Tina Turner

1986:  No Jacket Required by Phil Collins
                                Also nominated:  Brothers in Arms by Dire Straits
                                                               Whitney Houston by Whitney Houston
                                                               The Dream of the Blue Turtles by Sting
                                                               We Are the World by U.S.A. for Africa
Paul Simon Graceland Album Cover
1987:  Graceland by Paul Simon
                                 Also nominated:  So by Peter Gabriel
                                                                Control by Janet Jackson
                                                                The Broadway Album by Barbra Streisand
                                                                Back in the High Life by Steve Winwood

1988:  The Joshua Tree by U2
                                  Also nominated:  Whitney by Whitney Houston
                                                                 Bad by Michael Jackson
                                                                 Trio by Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton & Emmylou Harris
                                                                 Sign o' the Times by Prince

1989:  Faith by George Michael
                                  Also nominated:  Tracy Chapman by Tracy Chapman
                                                                 Simple Pleasures by Bobby McFerrin
                                                                 ...Nothing Like the Sun by Sting
                                                                 Roll with It by Steve Winwood

1990:  Nick of Time by Bonnie Raitt
                                  Also nominated:  The End of the Innocence by Don Henley
                                                                 The Raw and the Cooked by the Fine Young Cannibals
                                                                 Full Moon Fever by Tom Petty
                                                                 Traveling Wilburys Vol. 1 by the Traveling Wilburys

1991:  Back on the Block by Quincy Jones
                                   Also nominated:  Mariah Carey by Mariah Carey
                                                                  ...But Seriously by Phil Collins
                                                                  Please Hammer Don't Hurt 'Em by MC Hammer
                                                                  Wilson Phillips by Wilson Phillips

1992:  Unforgettable by Natalie Cole with Nat King Cole
                                    Also nominated:  Heart in Motion by Amy Grant
                                                                   Luck of the Draw by Bonnie Raitt
                                                                   Out of Time by R.E.M.
                                                                   The Rhythm of the Saints by Paul Simon

1993:  Unplugged by Eric Clapton
                                    Also nominated:   Ingenue by k.d. lang
                                                               Diva by Annie Lennox
                                                               Achtung Baby by U2
                                                               Soundtrack for "Beauty and the Beast" by Various Artists

1994:  "The Bodyguard" Soundtrack by Whitney Houston

                                    Also nominated:   Kamakiriad by Donald Fagen
                                                               River of Dreams by Billy Joel
                                                               Automatic for the People by R.E.M.
                                                               Ten Summoner's Tales by Sting

1995:  MTV Unplugged by Tony Bennett
                                    Also nominated:   The Three Tenors in Concert 1994 by Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo & Luciano Pavarotti
                                                               From the Cradle by Eric Clapton
                                                               Longing in Their Hearts by Bonnie Raitt
                                                               Seal by Seal

1996:  Jagged Little Pill by Alanis Morissette
                                    Also nominated:   Daydream by Mariah Carey
                                                               HIStory:  Past, Present and Future by Michael Jackson
                                                               Relish by Joan Osborne
                                                               Vitalogy by Pearl Jam

1997:  Falling Into You by Celine Dion
                                    Also nominated:   Odelay by Beck
                                                                The Score by the Fugees
                                                                Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness by the Smashing Pumpkins
                                                                "Waiting to Exhale" Soundtrack by Various Artists

1998:  Time Out of Mind by Bob Dylan
                                    Also nominated:   The Day by Babyface
                                                               This Fire by Paula Cole
                                                               Flaming Pie by Paul McCartney
                                                               OK Computer by Radiohead

1999:  The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill by Lauryn Hill
                                    Also nominated:   Ray of Light by Madonna
                                                               The Globe Sessions by Sheryl Crow
                                                               Version 2.0 by Garbage
                                                               Come On Over by Shania Twain

2000:  Supernatural by Santana
                                    Also nominated:   Millennium by the Backstreet Boys
                                                                Fly by the Dixie Chicks
                                                               When I Look in Your Eyes by Diana Krall
                                                                FanMail by TLC

2001:  Two Against Nature by Steely Dan
                                    Also nominated:   Midnite Vultures by Beck
                                                               The Marshall Mathers LP by Eminem
                                                               Kid A by Radiohead
                                                               You're the One by Paul Simon

2002:  "O Brother, Where Art Thou?" Soundtrack by Various Artists
                                    Also nominated:  Acoustic Soul by India.Arie
                                                                Love and Theft by Bob Dylan
                                                                Stankonia by OutKast
                                                                All That You Can't Leave Behind by U2

2003:  Come Away With Me by Norah Jones
                                    Also nominated:   Home by the Dixie Chicks
                                                               The Eminem Show by Eminem
                                                               Nellyville by Nelly
                                                               The Rising by Bruce Springsteen

2004:  Speakerboxxx/The Love Below by OutKast
                                    Also nominated:   Under Construction by Missy Elliott
                                                               Fallen by Evanescence
                                                               Justified by Justin Timberlake
                                                               Elephant by the White Stripes

2005:  Genius Loves Company by Ray Charles
                                    Also nominated:   American Idiot by Green Day
                                                               The Diary of Alicia Keys by Alica Keys
                                                               Confessions by Usher
                                                               The College Dropout by Kanye West

2006:  How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2
                                    Also nominated:   The Emancipation of Mimi by Mariah Carey
                                                               Chaos and Creation in the Backyard by Paul McCartney
                                                               Love.  Angel.  Music.  Baby. by Gwen Stefani
                                                               Late Registration by Kanye West
Dixie Chicks Taking The Long Way Album Cover
2007:  Taking the Long Way by the Dixie Chicks
                                     Also nominated:  St. Elsewhere by Gnarls Barkley
                                                               Continuum by John Mayer
                                                               Stadium Arcadium by the Red Hot Chili Peppers
                                                               FutureSex/LoveSounds by Justin Timberlake

2008:  River:  The Joni Letters by Herbie Hancock
                                     Also nominated:  Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace by the Foo Fighters
                                                               These Days by Vince Gill
                                                               Graduation by Kanye West
                                                               Back to Black by Amy Winehouse

2009:  Raising Sand by Robert Plant & Alison Krauss
                                     Also nominated:  Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends by Coldplay
                                                               Year of the Gentleman by Ne-Yo
                                                                In Rainbows by Radiohead
                                                                Tha Carter III by Lil Wayne

2010:  Fearless by Taylor Swift
                                     Also nominated:  I Am...Sasha Fierce by Beyonce
                                                               The E.N.D. by the Black Eyed Peas
                                                               The Fame by Lady Gaga
                                                               Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King by the Dave Matthews Band

2011:  The Suburbs by Arcade Fire
                                     Also nominated:  Recovery by Eminem
                                                               Need You Now by Lady Antebellum
                                                               The Fame Monster by Lady Gaga
                                                               Teenage Dream by Katy Perry

2012:  21 by Adele
                                    Also nominated:  Wasting Light by the Foo Fighters
                                                               Born This Way by Lady Gaga
                                                               Doo Wops and Hooligans by Bruno Mars
                                                               Loud by Rihanna