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U2, Jackson Top Grammy Nominees : Simon, Winwood Seek Reprise of '87 Wins

January 15, 1988|DENNIS HUNT | Times Staff Writer

Michael Jackson, who won a record eight Grammys in 1984, picked up four nominations Thursday for his "Bad" album in the 30th annual Grammy Awards competition.

The nominations--for best album, pop vocal, R & B vocal and record producer--tied him with the Irish rock band U2 and country singer Emmylou Harris for the most nominations by a pop performer. Soprano Kathleen Battle received five nominations in the classical field.

In picking up its first Grammy nominations, U2 was saluted for best album ("The Joshua Tree"), best single and song (both titled "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For") and best rock group vocal.

Harris, a three-time Grammy winner, shared nominations with Dolly Parton and Linda Ronstadt for best album ("Trio") and best country group vocal. She was also nominated for female country vocal and country duet (with Glen Campbell).

"I guess these Paddies did all right for themselves," said U2 drummer Larry Mullen in a statement from Dublin.

Jackson, Harris and U2 will compete against Whitney Houston's "Whitney" and Prince's "Sign 'O' the Times" in the best album category.

The other best record nominees are Los Lobos' "La Bamba," Paul Simon's "Graceland," Suzanne Vega's "Luka" and Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life Again."

Both Simon and Winwood will be trying to repeat victories. Simon won best album last year for "Graceland," while Winwood was honored for best single for "Higher Love." Though both of the new singles were part of 1986 albums, they were released during the 1987 eligibility period, which ran from Oct. 1, 1986 to Sept. 30, 1987.

The winners in these and 71 other pop and classical categories will be determined by a vote of the more than 5,000 members of the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences. The awards will be announced March 2 during a nationally televised ceremony in New York City.

Trumpeter Wynton Marsalis, who's been a winner in both jazz and classical catagories in recent years, is again nominated in both fields: jazz solo and group instrumental, and classical solo instrumental. In the jazz soloist catagory, he's once again competing with his brother Branford, who plays saxophone.

Competing against U2 for best song will be Suzanne Vega (for "Luka"), Michael Masser and Will Jennings ("Didn't We Almost Have it All") James Horner, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil ("Somewhere Out There") and the late Ritchie Valens, who adapted "La Bamba."

Best new artist nominees: Breakfast Club, Cutting Crew, Terence Trent D'arby, Swing Out Sister and Jody Watley.

In other key categories, Jackson and Bruce Springsteen will compete against Sting, Elton John and Al Jarreau for best male pop vocal, while Houston and Vega will be challenged by Carly Simon, Belinda Carlisle and Barbra Streisand for female pop vocal honors.

In rock, the vocal catagory is now co-ed because the academy ruled there weren't enough recordings eligible in the female rock category to have a separate competition (see Paul Grein story, page xx). The rock vocal finalists are Tina Turner, Springsteen, Richard Marx, Bob Seger and Joe Cocker. U2's competitors for the rock group vocal award are Heart, Yes, Los Lobos and the Georgia Satellites.

The female R&B vocal nominees are Houston, Aretha Franklin, Natalie Cole, Nancy Wilson and Jody Watley, while the contenders for the R&B male vocal award are Jackson, Wilson Pickett, Smokey Robinson, Jonathan Butler and Stevie Wonder.

There is definitely precedent for the classical nominees--just take last year's list and shuffle. In '87 in the Best Album category, Robert Shaw was named for Beethoven's Ninth Symphony, and Horowitz for "The Studio Recordings." This year, it's Sir Georg Solti for the Beethoven, and "Horowitz in Moscow."

Andras Schiff was nominated last year for Book I of "The Well-Tempered Clavier"--surprised to find his recording of Book II on the new list? Other encores include John Eliot Gardiner, conductor of the B-minor Mass cited last year and the current St. John Passion, and Itzhak Perlman and Vladimir Ashkenazy, who were nominated for Brahms' Violin Sonatas a year ago and Beethoven's Trios now, with Lynn Harrell.

In opera, Mozart garnered three of the five nominations, as did productions based around the Vienna Philharmonic. Only sopranos and mezzos were nominated for the vocal soloist award, including Marni Nixon singing Copland, backed by Keith Clark and members of the Pacific Symphony, and Arleen Auger for Villa-Lobos with the Yale Cellos.

Kathleen Battle's received nominations in the areas of best opera recording for the three Mozart works and Strauss' "Ariadne auf Naxos"U, and a fifth nomination for classical vocal soloist ("Saltzburg Recital").

The following is a partial list of the nominees for the 30th annual Grammy Awards.

Male Pop Vocal: "Bad" (album), Michael Jackson. "Brilliant Disguise," Bruce Springsteen. "Bring On the Night" (album), Sting. "Candle in the Wind," Elton John. "Moonlighting," Al Jarreau.

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