The National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences is taking the unprecedented step of launching a record label, Grammy Recordings, to feature annual Grammy nominee compilations as well as Hall of Fame and archival releases throughout the year.
NARAS President Mike Greene told The Hollywood Reporter that the yearly Grammy-nominated song compilations would serve Recording Academy members in their voting as well as labels promoting their nominated artists.
“It will showcase these acts in a sampler fashion and give the public an opportunity to hear something they might not otherwise get a chance to,” Greene said. “A Grammy nomination is a ‘Good Housekeeping’ seal of approval to the average consumer.
“We’ve tracked sales of Grammy winners and performers for years, and there is an amazing effect - in every category, not just for big winners like Eric Clapton and Bonnie Raitt.”
The first release, “1995 Grammy Nominees,” is expected to be in stores by the end of the month. Performers include record of the year nominees Sheryl Crow, Boyz II Men, Bruce Springsteen, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Raitt; male pop vocal contenders Elton John, Seal, Luther Vandross and Michael Bolton; and female pop vocal nominees Mariah Carey, Celine Dion and Barbra Streisand.
In the future, NARAS plans to release multiple nominee albums, perhaps as many as five, according to Greene, separated into genres such as rock, country, jazz, etc.
“It’s no more difficult to do 10 as it is one,” he said. “The first year, we’re just putting out one to provide a prototype for the labels, artists, managers and so on. The toughest part is clearing everything, so we need to show the music community what the series is capable of.”
Each album will feature a 12-page booklet with the artists’ album covers and other information on nominees and past winners. NARAS will split the proceeds 50-50 with the artists and labels. The Academy proceeds will go to the NARAS Foundation to support its archive and preservation programs. The Archive Collection will then release culturally significant recordings, many of which otherwise would be unavailable to the public. Also coming soon from Grammy Recordings is a NARAS Hall of Fame compilation, with tracks covering seven decades of music.
The 37th annual Grammy Awards will take place March 1 at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles and will be seen by an estimated 1.4 billion people worldwide, according to Greene.