Why Did the Grammys Nominate Sam Smith's "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)" vs. the Original Song?
Amidst all of the excitement over the 2015 Grammy nominations being announced and everyone going absolutely insane over Beyoncé's record-breaking 52 nods, there is another interesting element to come out of all this awards-related news. Along with Meghan Trainor's "All About that Bass," Sia's "Chandelier," Iggy Azalea's "Fancy," and Taylor Swift's "Shake it Off, " Sam Smith's "Stay With Me" is up for Record of the Year. This song's been heard practically everywhere, so that's not surprising — but the unique takeaway is the fact that it's actually "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)" that's nominated in the category.
Listening to the original may make you feel like the song is perfection, but, apparently, the Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins-produced remix has a lot more going for it, as it nabbed the bigger nominations at the awards show. Fans are probably less concerned about the minor technicalities and more overjoyed that Smith is up for such a huge award, but, just in case anyone wants to understand, Radio.com breaks down the differences between the two songs quite nicely.
Apparently, the original version of Stay With Me that can be heard on Smith's album, In the Lonely Hour, was originally released as the first single of the song — but, when the single was rereleased later on a worldwide level, the Darkchild remix received a significant amount of radio play, meaning it made more sense to actually nominate that version over the original.
As for what the differences actually are: "Stay With Me (Darkchild Version)" contains a few, very subtle changes from the original that can really only be heard in the background of the song after the first chorus. These include, as Radio.com points out: "Backing singers, hand claps" and an organ instead of the strings in the original. Also, the remix is two seconds longer than the original. In other words, it all boils down to the tedious nature of musical arrangements and production.
Both versions, of course, are equally great — and congratulations are in order for Smith either way, who nabbed a total of 6 nominations this year. The Grammys will air on Feb. 8, on CBS.