Foo Fighters is very likely to leave Staples Center on Sunday with the Grammy for Best Rock Album. This would mark the fourth time they've won that award, which would extend their lead as the act with the most wins in the category's 18-year history. The band is nominated for Wasting Light, which in April became its first #1 album. The album is also a finalist in the overall Album of the Year category.
The band's only album since 2000 not to be crowned Best Rock Album was 2005's In Your Honor (which lost to U2's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb.)
Why have the Foos so convincingly dominated the Rock Album category? There are a lot of reasons. Front man Dave Grohl is one of rock's good guys. He comes from a legendary band. And he earned respect for the way he kept going after Nirvana came to an abrupt end. The first Foo Fighters album came out just 15 months after Kurt Cobain's 1994 suicide.
Also, Foo Fighters' music has broad appeal to pop, rock and hard rock fans. They've won two Grammys for Best Hard Rock Performance and are nominated in the combined Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance category this year for "White Limo." Their videos are consistently entertaining. They won a Grammy for Best Short Form Music Video for 2000's "Learn To Fly" and are nominated for Best Long Form Music Video this year for Foo Fighters: Back And Forth.
Radiohead could also be headed for a fourth Grammy in the category of Best Alternative Music Album, which would also set a record. Currently, the band is tied with the White Stripes for the most wins in that category. Radiohead is nominated for The King Of Limbs. The band's chief competitors are Bon Iver's Bon Iver and Foster The People's Torches.
Three bands, Coldplay, U2 and Green Day, have taken Best Album honors in both the rock and alternative fields over the years. All three bands won first in alternative, but now are classified as rock. That's a natural evolution as a band becomes more established. (It's more striking that Radiohead and the White Stripes have kept their "alternative cred" intact for all these years and are continually placed in the alternative field.)
Here are the six bands that have won three times in the categories of Best Rock Album and/or Best Alternative Music Album. (No solo artists have done this.) They're listed in alphabetical order.
Coldplay. The English band won back-to-back awards for Best Alternative Music Album for 2001's Parachutes and 2002's A Rush Of Blood To The Head. Its 2008 album Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends won for Best Rock Album. The band has won two of the "Big Three" awards: Record of the Year for "Clocks" and Song of the Year for "Viva La Vida." In addition, "In My Place" (from A Rush Of Blood…) took Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. "Viva La Vida" took Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal. The band is nominated in both of those categories this year with "Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall" and "Paradise," respectively. (The band's Mylo Xyloto album was released after the Sept. 30 cut-off for eligibility this year.)
Foo Fighters. The band has won three times for Best Rock Album, for 2000's There Is Nothing Left To Lose, 2003's One By One and 2007's Echoes, Silence, Patience & Grace. In addition, the Foos won for Best Hard Rock Performance for 2002's "All My Life" (from One By One) and 2007's "The Pretender" (from Echoes…) And they won Best Short Form Music Video for 2000's "Learn To Fly."
Green Day. The band's 1994 breakthrough Dookie won for Best Alternative Music Performance. (The band was also nominated for Best New Artist that year, but lost to Sheryl Crow.) 2004's American Idiot and 2009's 21st Century Breakdown won for Best Rock Album. The band's biggest Grammy victory came in 2006 when "Boulevard Of Broken Dreams" (from American Idiot) was voted Record of the Year.
Radiohead. The English band has won three times for Best Alternative Music Album: for 1997's OK Computer, 2000's Kid A and 2008's In Rainbows. In addition, the band was nominated in that category for 2001's Amnesiac and 2003's Hail To The Thief.
U2. The Irish band's 1993 album Zooropa won for Best Alternative Music Album. 2001's All That You Can't Leave Behind and 2005's How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb both won for Best Rock Album. The band has amassed 22 Grammys, more than any other group, and more than any other rock act, in Grammy history. It won back-to-back Record of the Year awards for "Beautiful Day" and "Walk On." It has also won Album of the Year twice (for The Joshua Tree and How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb) and Song of the Year twice (for "Beautiful Day" and "Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own.")
The White Stripes. The duo won Best Alternative Music Album with three consecutive releases: 2003's Elephant, 2005's Get Behind Me Satan and 2007's Icky Thump. The title track from the latter album also won as Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal. The duo's mastermind, Jack White, has won five additional Grammys for a wide range of pursuits. He won Best Rock Song for writing "Seven Nation Army" (from Elephant), two Grammys in the country field for his work on Loretta Lynn's Van Lear Rose, an engineering award for his work on the Raconteurs' Consolers Of The Lonely and an art directors' award for his work on the deluxe edition of the White Stripes' Under Great White Northern Lights.