‘Civilization IV’ Gets Its Due at the Grammys – Five Years Late

Did you watch the Grammy Awards last weekend? If not, you missed out. Eminem sang with Dre, Mumford and Sons got some much deserved exposure, and Cee Lo Green proved that he’s not just crazy talented but a little crazy to boot. Oh, and “Baba Yetu,” the absolutely fantastic theme to ‘Civilization IV’, won a Grammy five years after the game’s release. Seriously.

If you read my review of ‘Video Games Live: Level 2’, then you’re familiar with my love of composer Christopher Tin and his brilliant song “Baba Yetu.” It’s easily one of the best compositions ever to grace a videogame soundtrack. As a big fan of game music, that’s not something I say lightly.

It turns out that I’m not the only one in love with Tin’s work. The track was released on Tin’s album ‘Calling All Dawns’, along with several other amazing songs, and has earned the composer a Grammy Award for “Best Instrumental Arrangement Accompanying Vocalists.”

It’s not the Grammy that’s surprising. It’s the fact that the Grammy came this year. The game was released in 2005 and Tin’s album came out in 2009. At best, this award is a year late, and at worst it’s six.

That oddness aside, gamers across the world have reason to celebrate this award. This is the first time ever that a song made for a videogame has won a Grammy. Hopefully, it won’t be the last.

Now, if Nobuo Uematsu, Yoko Shimomura, Hiroki Kikuta or even Koji Kondo would release some of their game music on non-game soundtrack albums, we might have a chance for a repeat!

1 comment

  1. I’ve never understood the way that Grammy eligibility works. It seems like every year, they hand out awards to songs and albums that are 2-3 years old. This year, “Empire State of Mind” was nominated for Record of the Year. That song was released in September of 2009.

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