Jeff Beck, Gorillaz, Laurie Anderson Lead Instrumental Battle At The Grammys

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Carrying on with our coverage of the The Grammy Awards, today sees the award of Best Pop Instrumental Performance get the Last.fm Trends treatment.

This award, which the Grammys began recognizing in 1969 (Mason Williams won for “Classical Gas”), is a celebration of the music where vocalists step back and the instruments do the talking. Note that while it’s called a “pop” music award, recent winners have included such genre-crossing artists as The Eagles, Bela Fleck, Joni Mitchell, and George Harrison. With that in mind, Last.fm Trends looks at which of this year’s nominees has the best chance of winning on during the February 13 award ceremony.

Laurie Anderson‘s track “Flow” closes her 2010 album Homeland and is perhaps the most ambient of the nominees. The minimalistic piece has gained just 5,486 scrobbles and looks to be an outsider to win the award.

Jeff Beck‘s cover of the opera classic “Nessun Dorma” is also nominated and can count 14,182 scrobbles to its name. The track is released as part of his recent Emotion & Commotion album which features many other covers and non-instrumental tracks such as “I Put A Spell On You,” which features vocalist Joss Stone.

Gorillaz is the most contemporary offering in the list. Damon Albarn’s group are nominated for their intro piece “Orchestral Intro” which currently has 322,537 scrobbles and belongs to Plastic Beach, the album that took Gorillaz to the #4 spot in the Last.fm Best of 2010.

The list is completed by Stanley Clarke‘s jazz number “No Mystery” and “Sleepwalk” by The Brian Setzer Orchestra, a group that’s actually won twice before in this category.

Last.fm Trends predicts that Jeff Beck’s take on “Nessun Dorma” will take the award, with Beck’s guitar playing shedding new light on the timeless piece. Do you agree or disagree? Let us know your own predictions.

We’ll continue to count down the Grammy Awards here at Last.fm Trends, all the way up until the big night of the award ceremony on Sunday, February 13, 2011.

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