Judas Priest, The Cure, and Iron Maiden are still not in the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame, but some big surprises were announced with the final vote for the 2017 Class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Has the Hall broken down and considered Progressive Rock a worthy genre? Is 2Pac “rock and roll”? Has Joan Baez really done enough to qualify? Can you name a softer arena rock band than Journey? The only obvious choice this year is Pearl Jam, a seminal Grunge rock band from the 90’s that is one of the few dinosaurs left from the Seattle scene. Thrilled to see the Electric Light Orchestra get in but I wonder if it’s more of an award for founder, producer, and Traveling Wilbury, Jeff Lynne. If rock and roll is defined by an attitude then rap qualifies and Tupac (despite only two albums before his death) is an icon worthy of induction. YES finally got enough votes and give hope to other Prog-Rock bands in future years.
“ALIVE” – PEARL JAM
“CHANGES” – TUPAC SHAKUR
The biggest surprises were Journey, Joan Baez, and Nile Rodgers. Nile’s band, Chic, has been on the ballot eleven times without getting in but his work as a producer (Duran Duran, Madonna), songwriter (Daft Punk), and influential guitarist deserves recognition. You can’t deny the ability of Journey to sell out arenas and create some of the catchiest pop/rock anthems of all-time, but it’s no secret that Jann Wenner (the Hall’s chairman) isn’t a fan and his influence has kept bands like KISS out of the Hall for years. Joan Baez recorded with Bob Dylan and her song, “We Shall Overcome” had a major role in the 60’s civil rights movement but is her body of work worthy of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? With the widening stance for induction, I’m hoping Janet Jackson finally gets recognized in 2018.
“EVIL WOMAN” – E.L.O.
“ANYWAY YOU WANT IT” – JOURNEY