216 N Marshall Ave

Litchfield MN 55355


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Friday, February 13, 2015

Have some Mandatory Fun and Let It Go: Grammy winners at the library

by Beth Cronk, Litchfield head librarian

Another Grammy Awards program has come and gone, with as much craziness as ever.  I’m not here to talk about Kanye’s rudeness or Annie Lennox’s powerful performance, although those were among the few moments I actually watched.  I’d like to tell you about the Grammy-winning music you can check out at the library.

At Litchfield we have just two of the Grammy-winning albums, plus a movie.  Did you know they award a Grammy for best music film?  This year it went to 20 Feet from Stardom, a movie about backup singers.  It won the Oscar for best documentary last year.

One of the Grammy-winning albums at Litchfield is Mandatory Fun by Weird Al Yankovic, which won Best Comedy Album.  Weird Al was in top form again this year, with parodies of “Royals,” “Fancy,” and other big hits that were so much better when he mocked them.  In fact, even if you despise the song “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke, the parody “Word Crimes” by Weird Al is a highly entertaining grammar lesson, especially if you’re frustrated by the spelling and grammar you see online. 

The other Grammy-winning album in the Litchfield collection is the soundtrack from the movie Frozen.  It won awards for the best compilation soundtrack for visual media and for best song written for visual media, “Let It Go.”  If you haven’t heard that song, you’ve been living in a cave for the past year. 

The deluxe version of the soundtrack that our library owns includes songs that were written for the movie and recorded as demos by the songwriters, but that were discarded when the storyline changed.  Did you know there was going to be a prophecy about a ruler with a frozen heart, and that Elsa was going to be the bad guy? 

For some reason, most of the CDs I ordered that went on to win Grammys were for the Grove City library’s collection this year.  You can visit Grove City to check out Sam Smith’s In the Lonely Hour, or you can order it and pick it up at the Litchfield library.  This album won the Grammy for best pop vocal album, Sam Smith won the award for best new artist, and the song “Stay with Me” won Record of the Year and Song of the Year.  The young British singer-songwriter has a retro sound that has gotten him compared with Adele. 

Grove City also has the Beck album Morning Phase.  This album won awards for Best Rock Album and Album of the Year.  Beck is an experimental singer-songwriter who has been around for a couple of decades without ever becoming really mainstream, although he has had a hit or two and has won Grammy awards in the past.  Reviewers have described the album as a cohesive work of atmospheric folk-rock. 

The winner of the award for best traditional pop vocal album was Cheek to Cheek, a collaboration between Tony Bennett and Lady Gaga.  Grove City has this album, as well.  The pair may seem like an odd one, but they sang “The Lady is a Tramp” together on one of Tony’s previous albums, and the result was fantastic.  She has the pipes to sing the old standards, and the two get along well.  The album includes Cole Porter and Irving Berlin standards that could appeal to any generation.

Even more Grammy-winning CDs are available to order from libraries in our system.  Remember that it is illegal to download borrowed CDs to your computer, iPod, or phone.  But if you borrow a music CD from the library, you can find out if you like it enough to buy the songs for yourself.  Look for Litchfield’s music CDs next to the audiobooks and movies and Grove City's near the audiobooks and inspirational paperbacks.