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THE ENVELOPE

Must We Be So, Um, Blunt?

Grammy voters love silly love songs. What's wrong with that? Plenty.

February 07, 2007|Geoff Boucher

EVERY year, some overwrought song comes along that half the world absolutely adores (at least for a while) while the rest of us pull our hair out every time it plays on the radio.

These songs wouldn't seem to deserve trophies, but history shows that when a sappy hit sells like hotcakes, Grammy voters are the first to reach for the syrup. Here's a look at some of them:

2006 nominee, song and record of the year "You're Beautiful"

This wimpy, helium-filled hit by James Blunt is one of the top weddings songs of the year, which is lovely -- until you consider that closing line:

"But it's time to face the truth, I will never be with you."

1993 song of the year: "A Whole New World (Aladdin's Theme)"

Three wishes: (1) Stop Disney from making goopy soundtracks. (2) Explain the name "Peabo" to us. (3) Go back and give this Grammy to "Harvest Moon" by Neil Young.

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Monday February 12, 2007 Home Edition Main News Part A Page 2 National Desk 1 inches; 41 words Type of Material: Correction
Grammy winners: A story about past Grammy winners in Wednesday's edition of The Envelope said Christopher Cross won record and song of the year in 1980 for his "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)." He won those awards for "Sailing."
For The Record
Los Angeles Times Wednesday February 21, 2007 Home Edition Special Section Part S Page 3 Calendar Desk 1 inches; 43 words Type of Material: Correction
Grammy winners: An article about past Grammy winners in the Feb. 7 edition of The Envelope said Christopher Cross won record and song of the year in 1980 for his "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)." He won those awards for "Sailing."

1989 record of the year: "The Wind Beneath My Wings"

This Bette Midler hit is a weirdly arrogant apology ("It must have been cold there in my shadow / to never have sunlight on your face / You were content to let me shine, that's your way"), and it's disturbingly popular at funeral services.

Lee Greenwood does a nice version of it that your grandmother probably loves. We're just going to move on now....

1980 record and song of the year: "Arthur's Theme (Best That You Can Do)"

This is apparently the greatest recording in history because with it soulless singer Christopher Cross also won the Grammy for best new artist and an Oscar. Maybe the voters were on a bender just like Arthur, that "cute" dipsomaniac from the movie.

1976 song of the year: "I Write the Songs"

The young girls aren't the only ones crying. Barry Manilow belted out this hit, but he's just a big liar because he didn't write it at all, Bruce Johnston of the Beach Boys did. It's supposedly a tribute to Brian Wilson. That's a shame. We like Brian.

1974 record of the year: "I Honestly Love You"

Dusted with saccharine, this Olivia Newton-John hit is another favorite at bridal receptions but don't listen to the lyrics too closely as you watch the bride twirl. The last line: "But there you are with yours / And here I am with mine / So I guess we'll just be leaving it at this." Ah, romance.

-- Geoff Boucher

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