LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Eclectic rocker Neil Young, who has made no secret of his disdain for the Grammys, finally won a coveted trophy on Sunday for the first time in a career spanning almost 50 years.
Fittingly, the Canadian singer/songwriter was honored for a long-delayed boxed set collecting more than 120 tracks from his early days.
“Neil Young Archives Vol. 1 (1963-1972)” won the Grammy for best art direction on a boxed or special limited edition package. Young, 64, shared the award with fellow art directors Gary Burden and Jenice Heo.
He will also compete later in the ceremony for the best solo rock vocal Grammy, a tough field featuring Bob Dylan, John Fogerty, Bruce Springsteen and odd-man-out Prince.
“Thanks a lot, everybody,” Young said.
On Friday he was honored by the music industry at its annual MusiCares charity fundraiser in recognition of his annual concerts for the Bridge School for disabled children.
The 10-disc “Archives” boxed set has been in the works for years, with Young frequently delaying its release so that new technology could catch up with his vision. It boasts studio and live tracks, demos, outtakes and other rarities, as well as videos and the first digital release of his directing debut “Journey Through the Past.”
Fans have the choice of three configurations, CD, DVD and Blu-ray — the most expensive at more than $200.
Young, famed for such tunes as “Heart of Gold,” “Like a Hurricane” and “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black),” has confounded fans with an idiosyncratic output spanning folk, rock, grunge, soul and country.
He did not get his first Grammy nomination until 1989, for his “This Note’s For You” video, but has since nominated many times since then, including once last year for his album “Chrome Dreams II,” and three times in both 2008 (for “Looking for a Leader”) and 2007 (for “Prairie Wind”).
“I’m not Grammy material,” he said in a 1987 interview recounted in the authorized biography “Shakey.” “I hate that s—-. It has nothing to do with rock ‘n’ roll. It only has to do with Hollywood, and it’s jive — a buncha people handin’ each other awards and talkin’ about how they made the best record ... There is no best in music.”
He no longer belongs to a select group of influential musicians snubbed by the music industry’s top awards. Still awaiting their trips to the podium are such acts as AC/DC, Judas Priest, Pet Shop Boys and Depeche Mode — all of whom are up for nominations this year.
Reporting by Dean Goodman, editing by Cynthia Osterman