It took us a good bit of research to figure out what exactly "Best Historical Album" means. Is the criteria that the album be about history? Like an audio textbook? Or does it just have to be a really, really old record?
None of these things! The criteria for "Best Historical Album" is that it must be a compilation of songs from some nebulously defined era in the past, and that the award is given to the compilation producer and the mastering engineer. This all begs the question: why the fuck is this a category? This is basically a mixtape for old people. The one good thing about this category is that it's the only one where you'll find The Rolling Stones pitted against Wagner.
The nominations begin with "The New York Art Quartet 1964-1965; Call It Art." This is a compilation of material put out by a free jazz quartet in the '60s. Tracks have titles like "Asprokhaliko" and "Warm-up/Take 1 (False Start.)" This all sounds a 'lil pretentious and turtlenecky but we can handle it if we have to. The major problem is that the tracks only exist as part of a $340 box set and there are only 665 copies of it in the whole world. Which makes this not much more than esoteric wankery. You couldn't even listen to it if you wanted to! And even if you could, you wouldn't get it.
Next up is "The Complete Sussex and Columbia Albums Collection," which, as the name will give you absolutely no indication for, is a set of nine Bill Withers albums that have been remixed and mastered. Rad. Rumor has it that all available copies of this collection have been bought by Aloe Blacc as part of his continued evil quest to champion himself as "The only soulful black dude to ever get on the radio."
"Pictures of Sound: One Thousand Years of Educed Audio: 980-1980" wins the Grammy Lifetime Achievement for Least Musicky Nomination Ever. This compilation is basically a collection of phonographs from the 1800s of muffled voices mumbling under crackling audio. It gives the whole history of sonography and contains "the oldest recording of spoken english ever," which, by the way, is the phrase "How do you do?" I'd love to see this win a Grammy in between a Jay-Z performance and a Miley Cyrus outbreak.
Rounding the category out are "Charlie Is My Darling" (a collection of early tracks from The Rolling Stones) and "Wagner: Der Ring des Nibelungen," which i'm pretty sure is a reference to some sort of kinky German anal play. Considering that for the past three years the winners were The Beach Boys and The Beatles (twice), nobody here really has a chance except for The Stones.
The Verdict: Although a majority of the Grammys' voting league of extraordinarily out of touch gentlemen are as old as the phonographs featured on "Pictures of Sound," name recognition will prevail once again and this one is going to The Rolling Stones. Booyah.