Steve Miller is joining the Rock Hall of Fame: Can we put this moribund “honor …

23 Dec 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Cars snubbed again by Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

This morning, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its latest slate of inductees. Lead guitarist Rick Nielsen performs with his band Cheap Trick at the 6th annual John Varvatos Stuart House Benefit in West Hollywood, California March 9, 2008. The class includes N.W.A., Cheap Trick, Deep Purple, Chicago, and Steve Miller, which is almost certainly the first time those artists have all been mentioned in the same sentence.

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. Stuart House is a program of the Rape Treatment Center at Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and serves the special needs of child victims of sexual abuse. 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. Dre and Ice Cube, was elected after three unsuccessful nominations in a year when a movie about the group’s career, “Straight Outta Compton,” was a box-office hit. 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.

Their hard-core tales of life on the street on songs like “F— the Police” made them a provocative chart presence in the late 1980s and influenced an empire of other acts. 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. Carlos and Tom Petersson on bass, Cheap Trick succeeded with a highly amped version of Beatles-influenced melodies on hits “Surrender” and “Dream Police.” The group’s “Live at Budokan” album is one of rock’s best-known live sets. 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.

Cheap Trick moved swiftly to capitalize on the honor, announcing Thursday the band had signed a new deal with Taylor Swift’s label, Big Machine Records. Rock purists may not want to hear this, but N.W.A’s induction opens the floodgates for future eligible rap acts, which have a better chance than ever of earning induction: First up is 2Pac. 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. The band remains active and is scheduled to ring in the new year in Chicago as part of the new Chi-Town Rising celebration, airing live from downtown on WMAQ-Channel 5 and WSNS-Channel 44.

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. Behind the vocals of Peter Cetera, they had a string of pop hits including “Saturday in the Park,” ”25 or 6 to 4,” ”If You Leave Me Now” and “Does Anyone Really Know What Time it Is?” The influential disco-era band Chic is becoming the Susan Lucci of music, failing to win induction in its 10th year as a nominee. 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. We are excited and honored.” The hard-rocking Deep Purple had made the ballot twice before in the past five years, but did not get enough votes until now.

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. 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. When Ocasek sang “alienation is the craze” in his trademark disaffected voice on the song “Double Life,” it was an ethos ahead of its time, but one very much in vogue today. The Strokes, the Killers, so many new new wave bands try to reinvent what the Cars created: retro music that sounds fresh by adding a modern sense of alienation to it.

Listen to the old-school guitar line pushed up against cutting-edge (back then) synths, listen to the lyrics: “You’ve got your nuclear boots/And your drip dry glove/Ooo when you bite your lip/It’s some reaction to love, o-ove, o-ove.” The Atlanta duo has essential albums and songs, and has something no other hip-hop act outside of Lauryn Hill can claim – a Grammy for Album of the Year. If you had to bet on a hip-hop artist to make into the Rock Hall, I’d put money on either Biggie or 2pac, the two most influential hip-hop figures of the past 25 years.

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