What’s the Difference Between Album, Record and Song of the Year?

The international music industry is thriving, and with great music, comes great recognition and awards. Every year, there are multiple awards that are given to the best songs, records and albums that come out in any given year. One of the biggest awards that a musician can receive are the Grammy awards.

But what’s the difference between record, song, and album of the year? Although you might intuitively think you know what each award means based on their title, beware! You might actually be surprised to find out what the cut-and-dry difference is between these three awards.

Song of the Year

“Song of the Year” is actually awarded to the best songwriter. It rewards the songwriter for a song released or a song that achieved fame during the eligible year of the award. For the Grammy award, what is considered the eligible year is from October 1st of a year, to September 30th of the following year.

Record of The Year

The “Record of the Year” is probably the strangest award to describe, and is the least intuitive. The “Record of the Year” award goes to a song’s performance and production. The Record of the Year recognizes everyone involved in creating the song: the artist, the producers, and the recording engineers and mixers.

So, both the Song of the Year and the Record of the Year recognize the best individual song, they award different aspects involved in making a song. Whereas the Song of the Year focuses on song-writing, the Record of the Year focuses on the group effort involved in making a song.

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Album of the Year

This one is probably the most intuitive, based on the name of the award. The Album of the Year rewards…you guessed it, the best album. Similar to the Record of the Year award, the Album of the Year goes to the artist, album producer and recording engineer. It rewards the best group of songs, and they must all have come out on the same album, at the same time.

Did you know that the Grammy Award was originally called the Gramophone Award? The Award is presented by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences. It’s an American award, and recognizes outstanding musical achievements in mostly the English-speaking music industry.

The first Grammy Awards ceremony was held on May 4, 1959. It was held simultaneously in Beverly Hills, California, and in New York City. This first award ceremony wasn’t televised. Today, the award ceremony is always held in Los Angeles.

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So there you have it. What you might have thought was simple and intuitive, the final answer is actually a little more complicated than we might have expected. Next time the Grammy Awards are held, which is often during award season in February, you’ll actually know what these three different awards mean!