Beck in Grammys battle against U2 and Black Keys for Best Rock Album

Beck is a first-time Grammys nominee for Best Rock Album for his critically acclaimed “Morning Phase,” but he’s no newcomer. He earned six nominations and two wins in the Alternative Album field. Will the category switch pay off?

It seems likely. Of the five nominees in this category, “Morning Phase” is the only one with a corresponding Album of the Year nomination, and those usually have a decisive edge.

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This category was created in 1994. Out of the 20 previous races, there were six in which there was no Album of the Year nominee in the lineup. Of the remaining 14 years, an Album of the Year nominee won 12 times. History strongly favors a victory for Beck.

But there were two exceptions to this rule. The most recent was 2009, when Dave Matthews Band were nominated for Rock Album and Album of the Year for “Big Whiskey and the GrooGrux King.” It lost the rock category to Green Day for “21st Century Breakdown.”

Before that, in 2003, Evanescence earned bids for Rock Album and Album of the Year for “Fallen.” But the rock category was awarded to the Foo Fighters for “One by One.” Foo Fighters hold the record in the category, with four wins out of six nominations, so it’s lucky for Beck they’re not in the running this year.

Can any of Beck’s competitors defy history and pull off an upset? If anyone does, it could be U2 (“Songs of Innocence“). This is their fifth nomination, and they’ve won twice before, though both of their previous victories (“All That You Can’t Leave Behind” and “How to Dismantle and Atomic Bomb”) had corresponding Album of the Year nominations. “Songs of Innocence” doesn’t.

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The Black Keys (“Turn Blue“) could upset. They won this award the one and only other time they were nominated, in 2012 for “El Camino,” but they too had an Album of the Year bid.

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers have never won this category before despite four previous nominations. Veterans are sometimes popular in this category, including past champs the Rolling Stones, John Fogerty, and last year’s winners Led Zeppelin.

Rounding out the category is Ryan Adams, nominated for his self-titled album. His only previous nomination in this race was for “Gold” in 2001.

Do you think Beck is a shoo-in, or can he be beaten? Use our drag-and-drop menu below to make your predictions, or click here to make your picks in other top Grammy categories, with more categories soon to come.

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