2021 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees POLL

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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame announces the Nominees for #RockHall2021 Induction - and the Fan Vote is now open. Watch the official announcement here, then head to https://t.co/9DIz8WWd6Z pic.twitter.com/tGuSzyvEYT

— Rock Hall (@rockhall) February 10, 2021

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Fela Kuti 24
Devo 19
Kate Bush 15
Iron Maiden 12
Carole King 10
New York Dolls 10
LL Cool J 6
The Go-Go's 5
Chaka Khan 4
Tina Turner 4
Todd Rundgren 3
Jay-Z 2
Mary J. Blige 1
Foo Fighters 1
Dionne Warwick 1
Rage Against the Machine 0


avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:07 (one year ago) link

That's quite a stacked field for Foo Fighters, Iron Maiden, New York Dolls, Rage Against the Machine and, oh why not, Todd Rundgren to run roughshod over.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:08 (one year ago) link

no idea what 'rnr' means for the RNRHOF anymore, but simply going on age, todd, dionne, and carole king should def be in there.

candyman, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:09 (one year ago) link

I'm shocked Carole King isn't in already

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:15 (one year ago) link

Iron Maiden might get in just because they like to have "stand ins" for genres they aren't much interested in, Maiden could stand in for all the metal bands that existed between Black Sabbath and Metallica

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:16 (one year ago) link

really really shocked Tina Turner isn't in, weird

Blue Oyster Cult is never getting in

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:17 (one year ago) link

With or without Rufus, this is now Chaka Khan's 7th nomination. (Chic has had 11 fruitless tries, and haven't been nominated since 2017.)

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:20 (one year ago) link

just fill the ballot with Dionne Warwick and Chaka.

Ideal ballot:

Kate Bush
Devo
Chaka Khan
Carole King
Fela Kuti
Tina Turner
Dionne Warwick

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:22 (one year ago) link

Yesterday was Carole King's birthday! She's definitely in as a writer. Surprised Tina and Dionne and Chaka are not in yet. The others, I guess maybe less shocked, though of course most are more than "worthy."

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:23 (one year ago) link

She's definitely in as a writer.

ah okay that makes sense, they usually do a good job of honoring all the old school songwriter types

I wouldn't have a problem with any of these getting in. Except Foo Fighters, but it's inevitable might as well get it over with. Maybe except Todd Rundgren who I have a semi irrational dislike of.

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:26 (one year ago) link

Surprised about Carole King, too. I usually look at this subjectively and objectively, but I'd be fine with any or all of these: Jay Z, Carole King, LL Cool J, New York Dolls, Todd Rundgren, Tina Turner, Dionne Warwick. (If Turner is already in with her abusive husband, I'm not sure she needs to go in on her own--although, in that special circumstance, it's the preferable of the two.) I don't know Fela Kuti's music at all.

clemenza, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:28 (one year ago) link

It's great!

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:29 (one year ago) link

Agreed. Still, that this is Fela's first nod feels like a big admission of "oops."

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:33 (one year ago) link

voted for jay

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:37 (one year ago) link

If Carole King's already in as a writer, there's no reason to vote her in as a performer except that everybody now living's mom owned a copy of Tapestry.

I'll vote for Devo, Iron Maiden (best live act in metal), Fela, LL Cool J, and Tina Turner. Fuck the New York Dolls and Todd Rundgren forever.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:37 (one year ago) link

everybody now living's gay uncle, too

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:39 (one year ago) link

My mom never actually owned a copy of Tapestry, but when I was a little kid she used to listen to a radio station with a morning DJ named "the Mellow Mother," so I'm pretty sure I've heard the whole album.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:41 (one year ago) link

i think i've posted enough bullshit on ilm that i deserve to vote in this

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:43 (one year ago) link

Are we voting for who we like best, who is most likely to get in, or who we feel is most deserving of admission?

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:44 (one year ago) link

Would say 1 > 3 > 2 out of those options

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:45 (one year ago) link

The Foo Fighters are almost certain to get in but I'm sure not voting for them.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:45 (one year ago) link

burn this shit down. abominable institution

Left, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:46 (one year ago) link

(Chic has had 11 fruitless tries, and haven't been nominated since 2017.)

Whoa, I could have sworn they got in at some point in the last few years but I guess not.

peace, man, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:48 (one year ago) link

Most deserving, I'd say Carole King, but as a writer/performer, not just as a performer. (They should have just put her in for both the first time.)

For whose music means the most to me, it'd be Dionne Warwick, the New York Dolls, and Todd Rundgren, with the last two concentrated in a very tiny window of two or three years.

clemenza, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:48 (one year ago) link

Foo Fighters are the Jack Morris of this HoF if they get in

he said that you son of a bitch (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:49 (one year ago) link

you can search inductees here for reference

https://www.rockhall.com/inductees/a-z

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:52 (one year ago) link

In the end, it had to be Iron Maiden.

to party with our demons (Sund4r), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:53 (one year ago) link

at least half of these are great but are we voting for the best or the most appropriate inductee (which may be the same or not but I have no idea how to judge- wtf does rock and roll mean?)

Left, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:55 (one year ago) link

my fake ballot (idk what the limit is)
Jay
Fela
Rage
Devo
Dolls
Bush

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:55 (one year ago) link

iron maiden, judas priest, thin lizzy, etc. should have been inducted years ago

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:55 (one year ago) link

The limit is five (I was a voter the last few years; I expect to get a ballot this year).

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:56 (one year ago) link

the funny thing to me is non-metal people probably view Iron Maiden as derisively as Night Ranger. I used to tell people I was going to see Iron Maiden and they'd either make Bill and Ted joekz or go "omg Iron Maiden, they're still around? I remember them", like it was me going to Pete's Tractor Pull with 5 other fans to see "The Iron Maiden experience featuring Bruce D".

I don't think a lot of layfolk realize the vitality they still have in 2021 (which is awesome and amazing). i was kind of amazed a few years ago when I saw them at Amalie Arena and the 20,000+ seat arena was pretty much FULL. even Priest can't do those numbers these days (they do festivals and House of Blues-sized venues), and Slayer had a lot of empties when I saw them at their last tour (which was an arena tour).

he said that you son of a bitch (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:56 (one year ago) link

xpost when u wrote Bush I thought you meant Gavin Rossdale jfc

he said that you son of a bitch (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:57 (one year ago) link

Jack Morris is a good analogy (the Foo Fighters: winningest band of the '90s), except they don't even have a Game 7 on their resume. Harold Baines, maybe, except I like Harold Baines. I don't know if there's such a blatant long-term mediocrity that works as an analogy.

clemenza, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:57 (one year ago) link

(xxpost my previous post was US centric so keep that in mind, but the RR HOF is US centric so *shrug*)

he said that you son of a bitch (Neanderthal), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:58 (one year ago) link

Todd Rundgren should be in as a producer alone, if he isn't already, both for his solo stuff but also for a ton of hit or influential stuff: Badfinger ("Baby Blue"!), the Band, New York Dolls, Meat Loaf, Psychedelic Furs, XTC, Patti Smith ("Dancing Barefoot"!), etc.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 14:59 (one year ago) link

This piece by SF writer John Scalzi about seeing Iron Maiden live in 2019 captures their appeal better than anything I've ever read. Metal journalists are too close to the screen to see clearly, and as Neanderthal says, non-metal writers don't give a fuck. But Maiden are incredible live. Too bad there are no concerts anymore...

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:04 (one year ago) link

foo fighters won't win this poll but if they get in i won't be surprised. if they get in and turner and/or warwick don't I'll be violently angry

Left, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:04 (one year ago) link

xpost when u wrote Bush I thought you meant Gavin Rossdale jfc

― he said that you son of a bitch (Neanderthal), Wednesday, February 10, 2021 9:57 AM (ten minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

i walk from my machine
to make a deal with god

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:09 (one year ago) link

No one else voting for Fela?

chap, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:11 (one year ago) link

Jack Morris is a good analogy (the Foo Fighters: winningest band of the '90s), except they don't even have a Game 7 on their resume. Harold Baines, maybe, except I like Harold Baines. I don't know if there's such a blatant long-term mediocrity that works as an analogy.

― clemenza, Wednesday, February 10, 2021 9:57 AM (twelve minutes ago) bookmarkflaglink

more like yadier molina, in that their stats don't measure up but they've been around for ever and have position-specific intangibles (for yadi, pitch framing and catcher defense, for foo fighters, dave grohl being both guy that everyone loves and a walking symbol for "rock lives on after kurt cobain")

tiwa-nty one savage (voodoo chili), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:12 (one year ago) link

No one else voting for Fela?

I will. I saw him live in '89; it was amazing. I'm pretty sure he played no more than four songs in two hours, and between the band and the female dancers, it seemed like there were 50 people onstage.

but also fuck you (unperson), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:13 (one year ago) link

I would but Chaka forever.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:15 (one year ago) link

tapestry was released 50 years ago today, so points for symmetry

i'm not gonna hate on any of these acts, but new york dolls/go-go's/ratm didn't really put out that much music. and as jaymc pointed out elsewhere, where are pj harvey/björk/tori?

mookieproof, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:17 (one year ago) link

Surprised the New York Dolls aren't in...well, not that surprised, since the MC5 also aren't in. But the Dolls and Fela easily, along with Chaka, Tina Turner, Carole King, and Dionne Warwick.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:24 (one year ago) link

They should have just started with everybody in, and then every year they vote someone out.

Josh in Chicago, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:25 (one year ago) link

I like that! This year's ballot: Bo Donaldson & the Heywoods, Matt Bianco, Rupert Holmes, Doctor & the Medics, the Foo Fighters.

clemenza, Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:29 (one year ago) link

Ratt gets snubbed again

Blues Guitar Solo Heatmap (Free Download) (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:49 (one year ago) link

The day Björk gets nominated for the R&R Hall of Fame, I'll start listening to Iron Maiden.

avatar of a kind of respectability homosexual culture (Eric H.), Wednesday, 10 February 2021 15:55 (one year ago) link

Right, but once you have done so it unleashes the deluge of all the other "influencers who were not particularly famous" and that way lies madness

Because you get to a reductio thing where basically every musician ever should either be inducted, or none should.

Burn

It

Down

may the florist be with you (Ye Mad Puffin), Friday, 6 May 2022 14:05 (one week ago) link

Re: Carly Simon, did anyone argue whether James Taylor was rock when he was inducted? tbh I figured she was nominated partly because of that - if you induct James Taylor, you have to at least nominate Carly Simon. I think Taylor has more worthy songs, but I'm not sure I would have inducted either.

I gave Benatar another try and played Best Shots but it was really tough getting through the whole thing. So much of it felt overwrought.

birdistheword, Friday, 6 May 2022 14:11 (one week ago) link

The Velvets didn't make it in their first year of eligibility, and an argument could be made that part of what got them in was recognizing Reed & Cale's careers, particularly since at that time the former's solo work didn't seem a lock for induction.

xxp personally I kind of prefer that. On some level that got me into exploring music. Like there's a LOT more than what I've heard on the radio, going back to my grandfather (and even great-grandfather's) childhood, and that sense of discovery even applied to famous musicians - I knew Louis Armstrong, but as a harmless celebrity, not a revolutionary musical genius. Something like Lionel Richie's solo career is like, "oh that guy" and nothing more.

birdistheword, Friday, 6 May 2022 14:16 (one week ago) link

Also, no room for DJs in the hall? Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Jeff Mills, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Tiesto, Sven Väth, Talla 2xlc?

Siegbran, Friday, 6 May 2022 17:31 (one week ago) link

Flash is in there

Whiney G. Weingarten, Friday, 6 May 2022 17:52 (one week ago) link

xp there's always been a strong bias against anything rooted in dance or electronic music. There's Madonna and they're kinder towards disco-era stuff: Abba, Donna Summer, the Bee Gees and Nile Rodgers (not even Chic and not even as a performer), and they finally rammed Kraftwerk in with the "musical excellence" consolation, but there's nothing else past them, not even global superstars New Order. With that in mind, I think it's going to be a long while before you see more DJ's, not unless they're part of a hip-hop group.

birdistheword, Friday, 6 May 2022 18:28 (one week ago) link

Also, no room for DJs in the hall? Larry Levan, Frankie Knuckles, Jeff Mills, Sasha, Paul Oakenfold, Carl Cox, Tiesto, Sven Väth, Talla 2xlc?

― Siegbran, Friday, May 6, 2022

they're not real musicians, man

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Friday, 6 May 2022 18:47 (one week ago) link

As an influencer, and a responder, drawing in elements of many genres, incl. of popular music, also many musos from same, for his work and their own subsequent projects: Arthur Russell, who confounded mimimalist peers by booking The Modern Lovers at the Kitchen (later he and Ernie Brooks recruited each other for a wild range of projects). As he testifies in Tim Lawrence's Arthur bio, Rhys Chatham was shocked--but then went on to massively loud works like "Guitar Trio" and in Theoretical Girls with Branca, but of course Arthur himself went into other poptastic visions. I nominate all of those people, also David Mancuso, Larry Levan, Tom Moulton, probably some more DJs and remixers.

dow, Friday, 6 May 2022 18:53 (one week ago) link

I don't know what producers are in, sessioneers like the Funk Brothers and Wrecking Crew should be. Arrangers---?

dow, Friday, 6 May 2022 18:57 (one week ago) link

and they finally rammed Kraftwerk in with the "musical excellence” consolation

Kraftwerk was inducted as a “Early Influence.” Which makes sense: Alan Lomax traveled to Düsseldorf in the ‘30s and made field recordings of Blind Lemon Kraftwerk (later shortened to just Kraftwerk) for the Library of Congress which were hugely influential.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 6 May 2022 18:59 (one week ago) link

LMAO, forgot about that. Kudos to Lomax for getting Florian pardoned on that murder rap.

birdistheword, Friday, 6 May 2022 19:06 (one week ago) link

The “Musical Excellence” category was originally designed for session musicians (Funk Brothers, Wrecking Crew, Muscle Shoals, others who weren’t necessarily part of those scenes like James Burton and King Curtis), songwriters, producers, and engineers. But there’s also the Ahmet Ertegun Award which has gone to producers, promoters, managers, and songwriters (Holland-Dozier-Holland, Frank Barsalona, Gamble & Huff, Brian Epstein). So maybe “Musical Excellence” is really now just a consolation/2nd-place “award.” More to the point, the categories are no longer adequately defined (if they ever were) so they just toss shit up in the air to see where it lands.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 6 May 2022 19:12 (one week ago) link

lol xp

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Friday, 6 May 2022 19:14 (one week ago) link

See That My Computer Is Kept Clean

Yeah, the Musical Excellence awards and the Early Influence awards are now silver medal ghettos for black music and queer music

Whiney G. Weingarten, Friday, 6 May 2022 19:16 (one week ago) link

Real dumb and shitty

Whiney G. Weingarten, Friday, 6 May 2022 19:16 (one week ago) link

They should retroactively induct everyone dropped in that pile:

As it stands: Chic, Gil-Scott Heron, LL Cool J, Kraftwerk and Judas Priest

Whiney G. Weingarten, Friday, 6 May 2022 19:18 (one week ago) link

Just quietly move them into the regular class and keep it moving

Whiney G. Weingarten, Friday, 6 May 2022 19:19 (one week ago) link

silver medal ghettos for black music and queer music... They should retroactively induct everyone dropped in that pile

there is indeed a ghetto feel to those awards, but for what it's worth they all *have* been inducted. if i'm not mistaken, their plaques on the hall of fame walls look exactly like everyone else's plaque on the hall of fame walls. the plaques don't say "musical excellence" or "early influence" or "actually voted in" or anything like that, and the hall itself doesn't make any such distinctions anywhere inside the actual museum.

fact checking cuz, Saturday, 7 May 2022 05:26 (one week ago) link

Big Black doesn't belong in the Hall, but Steve Albini definitely does.

I might delete the "definitely," but I was thinking this too, that he'd make more sense on his own.

I'm going to start working up a Ken Keltner test for prospective inductees. That was something baseball writer Bill James came up with for prospective Baseball HOF candidates: 15 questions that could be used as general guidelines for induction.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keltner_list

Sample question: "Was he ever regarded as the best player in baseball? Did anybody, while he was active, ever suggest that he was the best player in baseball?"

That's a pretty high bar for pop music--if you were ever regarded as the most important artist around, even for five minutes, you're probably an obvious yes--so you'd need different questions.

(No, I'm not really going to work on this.)

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 13:03 (one week ago) link

if you were ever regarded as the most important artist around, even for five minutes, you're probably an obvious yes

This raises the Terence Trent D'Arby conundrum.

Re: Leonard Cohen: of course there's a lot of sexist discrimination against female acts, but he probably gets in for being dark and edgy, like a mellower Jim Morrison. Can you imagine Kurt Cobain namechecking Carly Simon in song? And even at his most becalmed or slick, he was never really "soft rock" like her or James Taylor.

I was ruminating that in the first years of the Hall, it must have seemed so simple to the nominating committee. Everyone knew what "Rock and Roll" was, everyone knew who had been great at it, and nobody was advocating for Louis Armstrong, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Nino Rota, Ravi Shankar or Glenn Gould.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 7 May 2022 13:57 (one week ago) link

Mick Jagger is on "You're So Vain"! Idk what point we're arguing, though, since Simon was inducted. I am willing to make an argument against Leonard Cohen if the demand is there for it.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 7 May 2022 14:02 (one week ago) link

TTD is an interesting counter...I was pretty attentive to everything that was going on back then, so I remember his "moment" pretty well. He definitely got a lot of attention, but I'm not sure if he was ever given the full Dylan/Rolling Stones/Clash treatment. My recollection is that, when his LP came out, Prince was pretty solidly viewed as the Most Important Artist Around, with maybe some support for the Talking Heads (not from me!), and Public Enemy coming up quickly.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 14:07 (one week ago) link

Sign 'o' the Times came out March '87, and was not as universally adored then as it is now - Rolling Stone's review basically called it a grab-bag. TTD's debut came out in July, and he went to #1 with "Wishing Well" when Prince could only get to #2 with "U Got the Look"; he was definitely the "new kid in town" for five minutes at least.

Halfway there but for you, Saturday, 7 May 2022 14:38 (one week ago) link

I was ruminating that in the first years of the Hall, it must have seemed so simple to the nominating committee.

I like to imagine Jann Wenner in 1986 with a dreamy look in his eyes, thinking to himself "one day Lionel Richie and Pat Benatar will be in here".

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:06 (one week ago) link

I don’t know a ton about Leonard Cohen, but I don’t really get why there would be any controversy about his eligibility (is it because he doesn’t shred on guitar?) Or is the idea that some folks were objecting to Carly Simon, and so – “why don’t they object to Cohen too”?

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:11 (one week ago) link

Posting on the run there...Having thought about it, I think "Most Important Artist" was a somewhat crowded field in the summer of '87. Besides the people I mentioned--Prince (Christgau gave Sign 'o' the Times an A+--"Merely the most gifted pop musician of his generation"--and it dominated Pazz & Jop, which carried at least as much weight as RS's often shortsighted reviews), Talking Heads, and Public Enemy (first album only--I maybe jumped the gun by a few months there)--there was also Springsteen (still), Michael Jackson (still), Madonna, U2 (the tree album), R.E.M., Run D.M.C. and/or the Beastie Boys, Husker Du, and maybe others. I just don't remember TTD being accorded the same treatment on the basis of one LP. "New Kid in Town," yes, but to me, not the same thing.

I'm not objecting to Cohen being in there, just the idea that he (or James Taylor, or Tom Waits) are any more "rock and roll" than Carly Simon (or Madonna, or the Supremes).

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:15 (one week ago) link

From a quick Google, I can find evidence of one Twitter rando mocking Simon's inclusion and a bunch of classic rock sites with articles listing five or ten reasons why she should have been included.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:25 (one week ago) link

(is it because he doesn’t shred on guitar?)

A good reason btw; shitty Casio keyboards and tuneless mumbling also disqualifying factors

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:29 (one week ago) link

Maybe the perception of her is a lot different than I think it is, I don't know. Could also be some confirmation bias in that--people who've been advocating for her are much more likely to post something than someone who doesn't think she should be in. (Who's going to post a "10 Reasons Why Carly Simon Shouldn't be in the HOF" piece?)

Anyway, I like this comment from one of those advocacy pieces: "I bet she thinks the Hall of Fame is about her."

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:32 (one week ago) link

Maybe Classic Rock Sites like her, but I really don't ever remember hearing anything by her on Q-107 during its heyday.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:33 (one week ago) link

I was ruminating that in the first years of the Hall, it must have seemed so simple to the nominating committee. Everyone knew what "Rock and Roll" was, everyone knew who had been great at it, and nobody was advocating for Louis Armstrong, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Nino Rota, Ravi Shankar or Glenn Gould.

― Halfway there but for you, Saturday, May 7, 2022 9:57 AM (one hour ago) bookmarkflaglink

I think more to the point, no one was saying, "Hey, come on, Pat Boone sold a ton of records and had a tv show! And Neil Sedaka wrote some huge hits!" I mean, yeah, while nominations may have seemed simple in the '80s and early '90s, Charley Patton didn't get in until last year, and Link Wray still isn't in.

(And Louis Armstrong was inducted in 1990.)

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:38 (one week ago) link

One thing that gets at what I'm talking about is the lead paragraph of Jon Pareles' piece on Madonna's induction:

Leave it to Madonna to make the right gesture. For her induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, she didn’t worry about whether her career as a pop hitmaker, image maker, sex symbol and provocateuse qualified her as a important figure in any narrowly defined genre of rock ’n’ roll.

Now, that was written in 2008. Maybe general perceptions have changed drastically since then, to the point that Carly Simon is now unquestionably viewed as a rock and roll artist.

https://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/11/arts/music/11fame.html#:~:text=Leave%20it%20to%20Madonna%20to,of%20rock%20%27n%27%20roll.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 15:40 (one week ago) link

Fwiw, from a similar Google search, here are some quotes from a few Leonard Cohen fans at https://www.leonardcohenforum.com/viewtopic.php?t=1524 from five years before Cohen's induction, about the suggestion that he should be in:

When I think of Rock 'n' Roll, I don't think of Leonard. When I think of Leonard, I don't think of Rock 'n' Roll.

I agree, 'Rock 'n' Roll' just ain't it. True originals cannot be categorized, pidgeon-holed or labeled. Look at Johnny Cash; he crossed Country, Rock, and finally "Alternative". Maybe 'Alternative' is as close as you can get to a 'class' for LC. The 'classiest' of all.

As far as Leonard being inducted into the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame is concerned. I don’t think he is the kind of artiste who would ever be bothered by it, not even an iota. It may be something that would mean more to some of his *fans*.

Personally I doubt it if Leonard will ever be inducted into the hall of fame. For the simple reason that Americans by and large want sunny songs, celebrating the joy of life, happy stuff ... There is little place, if any, in American culture for the plaintive no matter how it is expressed. For this reason Leonard has never been mainstream in America. In fact for this reason “Various Positions” was never even released in the U.S. Contrarily, Leonard has always been popular in Europe because they embrace the reality of emotions, no matter what colour it comes in. Anyhow, my take on Leonard being inducted into the hall of fame is that it would be like putting the sun on display in MOMA, or Whitney or a suchlike place.

My sense is that it matters little even if Leonard was inducted into the RnRHofF, if his music and poetic vision are not understood and truly appreciated.

Cohen himself described his induction as "an unlikely occasion" and said "It is not a distinction that I coveted or even dared dream about."

The Guardian recalled Jon Landau's 1970 comment "I have seen the future of rock'n'roll, and he is not Leonard Cohen" when reporting his induction

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 7 May 2022 16:56 (one week ago) link

Anything from after he was inducted? Personally, I've never come across anyone questioning him or Tom Waits in the way they questioned Madonna.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 16:59 (one week ago) link

Haha I went looking for what controversy there was about Madonna and found this doozy:

“Why am I not in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame? That has a lot to do with the fact that you can’t always explain why people are rotten. Why do some people violate other people and commit vicious crimes and lie?” Nugent told KNAC.

“Why isn’t a band like Triumph in there, but Grandmaster Flash is?! That’s just dishonest,” he said. “Why are Patti Smith, ABBA and Madonna in the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame, but not STYX?! Are you kidding me?! You can only explain that is that the people who made those decisions are just plain rotten people. The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame should genuflect to Chuck Berry, Bo Diddley, Howlin’ Wolf, Muddy Waters, the Motown Funk Brothers. Are you kidding me?! How dare you put Grandmaster Flash, ABBA and Madonna in that?!”

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 7 May 2022 17:04 (one week ago) link

I feel like I have to circle back to my original point: that the is/isn't rock and roll distinction (which is pretty arbitrary to begin with) has fallen disproportionately on females, and that it serves as a good explanation for why Dionne Warwick has not been inducted. Unless it's her commercials for the Psychic Friends Network keeping her out, I'm having a hard time coming up with anything else. (I know--race. I think with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, at least with regards to earlier artists--'70 and before? pre-disco?--race is less of a factor. I'm not saying it's absent, it never is, but 6 of the original 11 inductees were African-American. As they should have been.)

Whenever I want to point the finger at lunkheadedness, I should always begin by googling Ted Nugent.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 17:08 (one week ago) link

Styx? Jesus, if you have to ask...

I didn't realize there was so much debate as to whether to consider any of these people as rock n' roll. It's probably because my gateway into rock history was through books that didn't make the distinctions I'm hearing some people making now. Like hip-hop, Madonna, Carly Simon, Cohen and I'll even add a lot of country artists were all in the same books devoted to rock, and in retrospect lumped in as being different parts of the same "rock" culture.

I would have thought the controversy would be about the quality of their work. I thought Cohen had skeptics since the beginning, but they seemed to warm to him when he made that magnificent return in the late '00s. I always thought he was a great songwriter and loved his voice from all stages of his career, it was just his records that seemed hit-or-miss. The common knock was that they were overproduced, but to me he just seemed like a very erratic recording artist - his strengths didn't extend to arranging or recording, he was mostly about writing and performing.

birdistheword, Saturday, 7 May 2022 17:08 (one week ago) link

I think it was very much a point of contention when Madonna went in. (Why she enlisted Iggy Pop to perform her song; benefitted both of them.) As some of the stuff Sund4r has dug up on Carly Simon, maybe that's changing.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 17:13 (one week ago) link

xp I also thought about Tom Waits along the same lines (i.e., “if you’re gonna question Cohen”…)

Some of those observations doubting why Cohen would be inducted are very arguable; and of course he was inducted anyway

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Saturday, 7 May 2022 17:25 (one week ago) link

Like hip-hop, Madonna, Carly Simon, Cohen and I'll even add a lot of country artists were all in the same books devoted to rock, and in retrospect lumped in as being different parts of the same "rock" culture.

Yeah, it just seems so natural that a wide variety of “rock era” stuff has always been considered part of the broader rock ‘n’ roll diaspora – covered by Rolling Stone, history books, etc. I never would’ve thought to question any of it either

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Saturday, 7 May 2022 17:28 (one week ago) link

Anything from after he was inducted? Personally, I've never come across anyone questioning him or Tom Waits in the way they questioned Madonna.

I did, a few posts up! Don't tell my wife.

No purposes. Sounds. (Sund4r), Saturday, 7 May 2022 17:56 (one week ago) link

Dude bangs a few trashcan lids together and puts on an “I’m so interesting” fedora, that’s rock ‘n’ roll? ;)

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Saturday, 7 May 2022 18:26 (one week ago) link

I was ruminating that in the first years of the Hall, it must have seemed so simple to the nominating committee. Everyone knew what "Rock and Roll" was, everyone knew who had been great at it, and nobody was advocating for Louis Armstrong, Edith Piaf, Jacques Brel, Nino Rota, Ravi Shankar or Glenn Gould.

except that louis armstrong did get in in the first years! along with jimmie rodgers, jimmy yancey, hank williams, louis jordan, lead belly, woody guthrie, les paul, bessie smith, the ink spots and charlie christian. is that a list that "anyone who knew what rock and roll was" would agree was, in fact, rock and roll?

(also, i find myself ruminating right now on the fact that ricky nelson was inducted in year two, along with aretha franklin, bo diddley, marvin gaye, smokey robinson and roy orbison. was there a time when ricky nelson was really considered in that league? is he considered in that league now?)

fact checking cuz, Saturday, 7 May 2022 19:27 (one week ago) link

Marcus included Legendary Masters in his Stranded discography, but I agree, he does stick out. Bill Haley does too, and I'd even extend that to Eddie Cochran.

clemenza, Saturday, 7 May 2022 20:37 (one week ago) link

Looking at that list of "early influence" inductions, it makes sense why no one would object at the time. Those inductions involved music created before rock n' roll crystalized into something everyone would recognize. As a result, "early influences" is a lot more defined - there's no question it refers to important work pre-dating that of the main inductees.

Ricky Nelson's work is at least a cut below what Chuck Berry et al from the first wave made to define rock n' roll, but his best work is still great. He still cut some really lame shit - specifically the type of harmless teen pop that was big before the Beatles came along - but he made sure to get the stuff he really liked on tape, and compilations like Legendary Masters generally do a great job focusing on that. He put together a great band (James Burton was still a little-known teenager to most and this was his most visible work), and guys like John Fogerty later cited those records as being a major influence and leaving a big impression before they tried making music themselves.

birdistheword, Saturday, 7 May 2022 23:33 (one week ago) link

the Terence Trent D'Arby conundrum

^ my favorite Robert Ludlum novel btw

Anyway when we talk about producers and engineers, why not just keep going and include acousticians? The person who decided that the Record Plant in Sausalito should have tan shag carpet on the walls made a huge contribution to the sound of Rumours.

Why stop there; someone probably brought a tray of tea into Abbey Road at just the right time to perk up the Beatles.

(Lest I sound too flippant, I should say that the arts are collaborative by design, as they should be, and I've never thought of artists as being in competition with one another, so top-x lists and ranking and awards and halls of whatever have never appealed to me, but I understand that one can be mildly interested in the conversation while not endorsing the whole institution.)

may the florist be with you (Ye Mad Puffin), Saturday, 7 May 2022 23:38 (one week ago) link

Looking at that list of "early influence" inductions, it makes sense why no one would object at the time. Those inductions involved music created before rock n' roll crystalized into something everyone would recognize. As a result, "early influences" is a lot more defined - there's no question it refers to important work pre-dating that of the main inductees.

i completely agree. but inasmuch as it included figures like louis armstrong, charlie christian and hank williams, it also shows that jazz, country, folk and other branches of the american musical tree were built in to the dna of the rock hall of fame from the beginning, and any complaints that only people whose musical licenses include the word "rock" with a capital R should be considered for a place on its walls have always been, and continue to be, foolish.

fact checking cuz, Sunday, 8 May 2022 00:12 (one week ago) link

I think I mentioned this earlier with Ornette Coleman, but during a big tribute concert in his honor (possibly the Brooklyn concert that was also his final public appearance - one of my BIGGEST regrets as I planned to go but had to skip it due to work), someone pointed out that many of the participants weren't usually known as jazz musicians - yet Coleman's influence on their work was very much apparent and they certainly belonged there. It brought up the argument that the most fruitful results of his innovations were now being found in experimental and avant-garde music more closely associated with rock rather than jazz. Who would've predicted that in 1962, a year after Free Jazz was released and with Coltrane's freer masterworks just around the corner? It's another reason why I don't like it when so much emphasis is put on categories because who knows how the music is going to evolve? (Again, "Voter Two"'s great defense of the Fela Kuti nomination speaks to this.)

birdistheword, Sunday, 8 May 2022 02:04 (one week ago) link

Indeed, most of what I know about Coleman and "harmolodics" is via Royal Trux.

Bob Dylan's iconic Ray Ban sunglasses (morrisp), Sunday, 8 May 2022 02:21 (one week ago) link


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