Here’s who should get inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame next year

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Gangsta rap pioneers N.W.A. win Rock Hall of Fame nod.

• The 2016 inductees in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are the pioneering rap group N.W.A, and ’70s rock acts Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Chicago and Steve Miller. Soft-rockers Chicago, heavy-metal forerunners Deep Purple, power-pop outfit Cheap Trick and everyone’s favorite midnight toker Steve Miller all get the nod. This year’s full list of nominees, which was revealed in October, included Janet Jackson, The Smiths, The Cars, Chic, The J.B.’s, Chaka Khan, Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails, The Spinners and Yes.

While there’s a solid critical and commercial case for each act’s involvement, there are huge question marks for just about everybody: N.W.A.’s discography is remarkably small, the influence of Cheap Trick seems questionable, Deep Purple’s major contributions seem to stop at “Smoke on the Water,” Steve Miller’s contributions are catchy but remarkably lightweight, and Chicago always seemed like little more than a treacly power ballad machine. Thanks to N.W.A.’s biopic, Straight Outta Compton, they’re back in the spotlight and have finally earned a spot on the list, after being nominated three times before. Pardo is a Chicago superfan who has often discussed the group on his podcast and even appeared in a Chicago documentary Now More Than Ever: The History of Chicago. I think the movie helped to get people to remember that.” The inductees will be honored at the annual ceremony on April 8 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Centre. They were a rock band, and they were experimental, and you could hear Terry Kath doing a guitar solo where he’s just messing around with feedback for nine minutes in concert.

With their 1988 debut album “Straight Outta Compton,” they epitomized the sound of gangsta-rap and encapsulated the pressure-cooker atmosphere of a south central Los Angeles plagued by drugs, poverty and heavy-handed policing. Danny Seraphine, who was the drummer who was eventually fired but was one of the original members, he felt like they could have been like the Dead or Dave Matthews or Phish.

While initially taking up political themes, Chicago turned into the quintessential soft rock band with a slew of radio-friendly ballads such as “If You Leave Me Now,” “Hard to Say I’m Sorry” and “You’re the Inspiration.” Keyboardist Robert Lamm voiced hope that Peter Cetera, who went on to a successful career as a solo singer, would join his bandmates for their first performance together since 1985. I don’t know that they would have had that kind of following, and I think they were more melodic than any of those bands, but I get where he was coming from. Steve Miller, while born in Wisconsin, became a leading force in the cultural mix in San Francisco in the 1960s as he experimented with jazz, blues and other American roots music. But in the ’80s, when drugs and other parts of life got in their way, Peter Cetera and David Foster really took the reins, and Cetera was suddenly the front of the band.

That Chicago 17 album was humongous, and Peter said, “I’m leaving.” He had two number one hits with “Next Time I Fall” and “Glory of Love,” and Chicago had other hits when Jason Scheff joined in ‘86. Even die-hard Steve Miller fans can’t deny that the idea of N.W.A. doing “F**k tha Police” in front of an audience of suited and booted industry people is way more interesting than hearing “The Joker” for the 67,484th time. In the ’70s, they had five number one albums, they’re selling out venues all over the place, and they’re not known as this schlocky ballad band yet.

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