So, this morning the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ‘Class of 2017’ were announced, with 1 individual given a Musical Excellence prize. The criteria for the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame is that it has to be 25 years since the release of the first record that the person or band made. For example, Depeche Mode would just meet the criteria as the first album, Speak & Spell, was released in 1981. Muse, however, wouldn’t be as their first LP was Showbiz, released in 1999. There was a first round of people announced, then there were 6 selected and 1 other to get special recognition.
The first of the 6 inductees is Joan Baez. Baez is an American folk singer songwriter whose songs mostly are for protests. She is 75 years old, and has spent the last 55 years in the music industry. Me being a teenager, I had never heard of her before she was mentioned in this list. However, listening to her today, while researching this post, I understand why she was nominated and recognised as a significant contributor to Rock and Roll. I hope she is shown to many more teenagers and young people.
The second listed is none other than the Electric Light Orchestra, formed by Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood and Bev Bevan in 1970 in Birmingham. Wood left in 1972 and Bevan in 1986. Lynne, in 2014, has since revived the band to be Jeff Lynne’s ELO. He played the very prestigious Sunday tea-time Heroes slot at the Glastonbury Festival this year. Hits include ‘Mr Blue Sky’, which many people know, much more exposed to young people than Joan Baez. I think that it is correct that they are involved in this Hall Of Fame as they prove timeless, I have been listening to them as a teenager, and my dad, in his 40s, still listens to them.
The next Rock and Roll pioneer to be announced was Journey. Journey are an American rock band who are just qualifying, as the first record was released in 1981, so they have been sitting on the possibility for a while. Their most famous song, covered by Glee in the 21st century, is Don’t Stop Believin’, on the 1981 record Escape. It’s infamous for only saying the most famous lines at the end of the song. I think that this band is not necessary to be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame, as they have no meaning to me, but that may be different with other people. Obviously, I know nothing.
The fourth billed on the list was the famous rock band Pearl Jam. This band does not meet the rules of the establishment, as Ten, their first album, was released in 1991. But it was still included, and that’s nothing to do with me! Pearl Jam have elements of grunge, being the same time as Nirvana. Personally, I think Nirvana was the better of the two. Alive, off Ten, is an alright track, but Jeremy and Black are better. I don’t think that this band should be in the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame as it’s just noise to me, nothing constructive, but they obviously selected it, so they have a higher level of understanding. Pardon me for having an opinion, the internet.
The penultimate inductee on the winners list is slightly different to the rest, it’s the late Tupac Shakur or more commonly known as 2Pac. He is a rap artist from America. My main exposure to 2Pac is my friend, who loves this kind of thing. He introduced me to California Love, which is a prime example of catchy, good hip-hop. I think that 2Pac deserves to be among these people, as N.W.A and Public Enemy are in it, so I don’t see a reason why not to include him. He’s better than Pearl Jam even though I’m not a rap fan at all.
The last musicians announced were the U.K prog band Yes. Formed in 1968 by Jon Anderson and Chris Squire, but has gone through countless lineups since, to be precise 19 different musicians. Their most famous songs include 1971’s Roundabout, and 1983’s Owner Of A Lonely Heart. They were key player in early progressive rock, along with King Crimson (R.I.P Greg Lake), Genesis and one of my favourites, Pink Floyd. I think this is correct that Yes are recognised as pioneers of not only their sub genre in rock, but in the whole genre as well.
Most years they hand out an Award for Musical Excellence, previously won by the E-Street Band (Bruce Springsteen), and Ringo Starr (The Beatles). This year it has been given to Nile Rodgers (CHIC and solo). He accepted this award as ‘Bittersweet’. He liked that he had been given this, but it was CHIC’s 11th year of being shortlisted, so for all of them to not be be inducted was slightly upsetting to Rodgers. However, April will tell.
I hope that you enjoyed reading this blog post. I know that I have practically no audience, however, I like writing for my own entertainment. Just as a test, could you tweet me (@distantpstmusic) ‘Blue Monday’. Thanks a lot, and I’ll see you at least one more time this week.