The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced their inductees for 2016. Let the complaining begin.
New to the Hall are Chicago, Deep Purple, Steve Miller, Cheap Trick & N.W.A.
In a lot of ways, it was a year for the Hall to make amends for artists they previously overlooked. Deep Purple have been eligible for induction for 23 years and have been nominated three times. They have also been one of the artists for which the Hall has been most criticized for not inducting.
While Deep Purple has had a number of members over the years, the Hall has chosen to induct Ritchie Blackmore, David Coverdale, Rod Evans, Ian Gillan, Roger Glover, Glenn Hughes, Jon Lord and Ian Paice. Not included are early bassist Nick Simper, mid-70's guitarist Tommy Bolin and later members Joe Lynn Turner, Joe Satriani, Steve Morse and Don Airy.
Eligible for 22 years and never nominated, Chicago has also been on the wish list of many fans but also has been criticized by some quarters who remember them more for their 80's Adult Contemporary music and not for their more progressive, and successful, blend of progressive rock, pop and jazz from the early-70's.
The Hall has named the inductees as Peter Cetera, Terry Kath, Robert Lamm, Lee Loughnane, James Pankow, Walter Parazaider and Danny Seraphine, the original lineup of the band who were responsible for the classic albums from 1969's Chicago Transit Authority through 1977's Chicago XI, their last album before the death of Kath.
Like Deep Purple, Steve Miller was also in his 23rd year of eligibility and, like Chicago, he had never previously been nominated. Once again, this was a huge oversight by the Hall based on the fact that Miller was so instrumental in the development of the psychedelic blues sound with albums like Children of the Future and Brave New World. While his 70's albums took him much more in the direction of pop-rock, he nonetheless was a major influence, a main criteria for induction, on later artists who continued to mix blues with various forms of rock.
Cheap Trick were also first-time nominees although they had been eligible for a relatively shorter fourteen years. Bun E. Carlos, Rick Nielsen, Tom Petersson and Robin Zander will be inducted for their "extremely individual yet classic rock and roll band sound". As the Rock Hall said in their press release, they have stayed consistent over their almost forty years "Remaining interesting, sometimes hilarious, in that way is also pretty much unparalleled – and indispensable to understanding them."
Finally, and this is where all the controversy will be concentrated, N.W.A. are in after being nominated all four of their eligible years.
"Rappers don't belong in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame! They're not rock and roll!" It's the cry that came out every year when they were nominated and it will surely be all over message boards for the next few days but the fact is that the Rock Hall has NEVER been just about rock music. It has embraced all forms of popular music in what can be called the "rock era" from about 1955 to today.
If you go over the long list of inductees, you will see names like Sam Cooke, Marvin Gaye, Otis Redding, Aretha Franklin, Johnny Cash, Laverne Baker, Bob Marley, the Moonglows and so many more that would not be considered rock acts yet every one is deserving of their place because of their legacy and their influence over other artists.
The individual members being inducted are DJ Yella, Dr. Dre, Eazy-E, Ice Cube and MC Ren.
Nominated but not inducted were:
- The Cars (1st Nomination, 13th Year Eligible)
- Chic (10th Nomination, 14th Year Eligible)
- Janet Jackson (1st Nomination, 9th Year Eligible)
- The J.B.'s (1st Nomination, 21st Year Eligible)
- Chaka Khan (2nd Nomination, 1st Nomination as a solo artist, 17th Year Eligible)
- Los Lobos (1st Nomination, 13th Year Eligible)
- Nine Inch Nails (2nd Nomination, 2nd Year Eligible)
- The Smiths (2nd Nomination, 8th Year Eligible)
- The Spinners (3rd Nomination, 30th Year Eligible)
- Yes (2nd Nomination, 22nd Year Eligible)
The public went three for five on their ballot, having named Chicago, Deep Purple and Steve Miller to their five choices from the single, voted ballot. Not making it were Yes and The Cars.