- Def Leppard
- Janet Jackson
- John Prine
- LL Cool J
- Rage Against the Machine
- Roxy Music
- Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
- Stevie Nicks
- The Cure
- The Zombies
- Todd Rundgren
Bullshit or not, The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame is a great yearly discussion. I look forward to the same debates much in the same way I look forward to Thanksgiving, or my yearly physical. The conversation is not without its greatest hits.
"What about Procol Harum?"
"Fuck Radiohead, I'm voting for Don & Dewey."
Without further ado, I'd like to offer my nickel's worth of opinions on this year's nominees.
As far as hard rock and hair bands go, Def Leppard ain't bad. As a matter of fact, they've put out at least a half dozen excellent singles, including "Photograph" and "Bringing On The Heartbreak." But, no. Absolutely not ever! If it only had to do with sales, maybe. Otherwise, I see nothing special here. Keep moving.
I do love that first album, and that string of MTV hits were damn catchy. But what have they done since 1985? Who have they influenced? If there is a weirdo wing, then yes! Devo, to me, are legendary for the wrong reasons.
Of course not. No. Why? She wasn't part of The Jackson 5 or Motown, at least not for her hit-making streak. Just no.
Prine has surely written some amazing songs, and lord knows he's influenced many. I just don't see it happening, though I wouldn't be upset if it did.
LL COOL J
Charming guy. First few records for DefJam full of great tunes. Might have even influenced a few hip-hop artists a long the way. But, no sir. Just not deep enough.
Something tells me Radiohead is going in. Long time readers know how I feel about this band. They peaked with "OK Computer," one of the greatest records of the last 25 years, arguably, of all time. But since then it's been a patience contest. Fans would of course, disagree, which is why they will be chosen. I'd need one more masterpiece before I'd be convinced.
RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE
No. Aggressive, politically charged, relevant. Check, check, check. Musical? Occasionally. Influential? Possibly. I still say no.
RUFUS & CHAKA KHAN
They were damn good when they were good. Not many could mix rock, funk, R&B and jazz, as well as these guys. But those days in the sun were short-lived. I say, no.
Miss Nicks is already in with that other band. As a solo artist, she's had some good singles, but not much more than some good singles. Maybe someday, but not now.
Ralf and Florian were innovators. Few, if any, were creating the sounds and rhythms they were making prior to their debut. They were a big influence on Bowie's Berlin Trilogy. Bowie's Berlin Trilogy still gets talked about today as being influential. They crossed over in to the pop world. They had huge club hits. I vote yes. Big yes!
These guys recorded only three records. Three very uneven records. But what was good, was great! And there isn't a rock and roll band, or metal band, or punk band who hasn't cited The MC5. Influential? Oh yeah! Important? Damn straight! Yes.
Fan or not, it's hard to ignore the fact that no one sounded like Roxy Music, not then and not now. This was a truly original band that appealed to fans of pop music, glam, punk, jazz and the avant-garde. They made a seamless transition from art rock to new romantics. Each record, beginning with their debut broke new ground. I'm voting yes, please.
THE ZOMBIES or THE CURE
I don't mind The Cure. I truly love The Zombies. The Cure made a lot of records. The Zombies didn't. The Cure have been going strong since their inception and have put together a massive fan base. The Zombies did very little since, though individually, Argent, Blunstone and White have contributed great work has solo artists and producers. "The Love Cats." "Odessey & Oracle." Who do I want in? The Zombies, of course. Who will get it? The Cure, but one can hope.
He pisses off a lot of people. He's sabotaged his own career, sometimes spitefully. He's consistently released inconsistent records since his days with The Nazz. Many of you think I'm out of my mind for loving him as much as I do. But, if you keep me out of this, you'd have to really make a case to keep Todd Rundgren out of the Hall. As a vocalist, as a guitar player, as a songwriter and most definitely as a producer, Todd has done plenty to love. He better get in, otherwise, there will be hell to pay.