The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame has announced the nominees for its Class of 2014. They are:
• The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
• Deep Purple
• Peter Gabriel
• Hall and Oates
• LL Cool J
• The Meters
• The Replacements
• Linda Ronstadt
• Cat Stevens
• Link Wray
• The Zombies
The 2014 inductees will be chosen by a secret ballot of more than 600 individual voters consisting of past Rock Hall inductees, musicians, historians, critics and members of the music industry. Several nominees — The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Meters, N.W.A. and Chic — are making an encore on the ballot.
The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in April 2014 in New York City. Venue and public ticket sale information will be announced at a later date. The ceremony will be presented on HBO in May 2014.
To be eligible for nomination, an artist or band must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination; the 2014 nominees had to release their debut recordings no later than 1988.
The Rock Hall again will offer fans the opportunity to officially participate in the induction selection process. Now through 5 p.m. ET Dec. 10, 2013, the public can cast votes for the artists they believe to be most deserving of induction via the following websites: www.rockhall.com/vote, www.rollingstone.com, and www.usatoday.com to cast votes for who they believe to be most deserving of induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The top five artists, as selected by the public, will constitute a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2014 inductees. Goldmine, which has participated in previous Rock Hall induction votes, is hosting its own, independent online poll to collect reader input; the results of that poll are used to guide Goldmine’s vote to represent the readers’ voice.
All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, the nonprofit organization that tells the story of rock and roll’s global impact via special exhibits, educational programs and its library and archives.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame provided the following artist biographies and images:
Paul Butterfield Blues Band
“I was born in Chicago – nineteen and forty-one …” The racially mixed Paul Butterfield Blues Band blasted-off from the Windy City with a wall-of-sound fueled by Butterfield’s inspired harmonica and lead guitarist Mike Bloomfield’s explosive lead guitar – at that moment, American rock and roll collided with the real Southside Chicago blues and there was no turning back. Along with original members Elvin Bishop on second guitar and Mark Naftalin on organ, they conquered the landmark 1965 Newport Folk Festival. It was there Bob Dylan borrowed Bloomfield and the Butterfield band’s African-American rhythm section of Sam Lay on drums and bassist Jerome Arnold (both former Howlin’ Wolf band members) for his world-shaking electric debut that Sunday evening. The Butterfield band converted the country-blues purists and turned on the Fillmore generation to the pleasures of Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Little Walter, Willie Dixon and Elmore James. With the release of their blues-drenched debut album in the fall of 1965, and its adventurous East-West follow-up in the summer of ’66, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band kicked open a door that brought a defining new edge to rock and roll.
Chic’s founding partnership consisted of songwriter-producer-guitarist Nile Rodgers and bassist Bernard Edwards (1952-1996), abetted by future Power Station drummer Tony Thompson (1954-2003). They rescued disco in 1977 with a combination of groove, soul and distinctly New York City studio smarts. Rodgers’ chopping rhythm guitar, alongside Edwards’ deft bass lines, were the perfect counterpart to melodic arrangements with their two female vocalists Alfa Anderson and Norma Jean Wright (replaced by Luci Martin). Out-of-the-box chart smashes “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah),” the #1 “Le Freak” and #1 “Good Times” (ranked on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Singles Of All Time) made Chic the preeminent disco band – emphasis on the word ‘band’ – of the late ’70s. Their music also extended disco’s tenure at a critical moment, as hip-hop (and later in the ’80s, New Jack Swing) began to take the stage. Over the years, artists such as Sugar Hill Gang and Diddy have turned to Chic for beats and samples: “Good Times” has been checked everywhere from “Rapper’s Delight” and Blondie’s “Rapture,” to Queen’s “Another One Bites The Dust.” Rodgers and Edwards followed their five years in Chic with careers as top-flight producers for an A-list of megastars. Under Rodgers’ leadership, Chic has continued to tour, releasing live performances of its shows in Japan and Amsterdam.
Taking the band’s name from a ’30s swingtime-era pop hit, there was nothing breathy or sentimental about the British quintet Deep Purple, first organized in 1967, around a core of phenomenally brilliant musicians. Classically trained, former child prodigy Jon Lord (1941–2012) was responsible for the towering wall-of-organ sound that formed the band’s bedrock. Lord found an ally for his classical ideas in ace session guitarist Ritchie Blackmore. (In fact, Deep Purple was among the first groups to stage an orchestral concerto, a concept attempted with varying degrees of success by other bands through the years.) Rod Evans joined next, with the powerful vocal template that was introduced on 1968’s “Hush” (a Joe South song) and “Kentucky Woman” (Neil Diamond). Evans brought along his former band’s thundering drummer, Ian Paice, but Evans was eventually replaced by longtime frontman Ian Gillan; multi-instrumental Welsh bassist Roger Glover completed the first definitive lineup. The group’s onslaught of sound, along with such contemporaries as Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, led rock critics to coin a new musical genre: heavy metal. The original lineup reached an early peak on the landmark albums “Machine Head” and “Who Do We Think We Are,” whose epic chart singles “Smoke On The Water” and “Woman From Tokyo” sold Gibson Les Paul and Fender Stratocaster guitars in numbers that stagger the imagination. Touring around the world now for more than four decades, still led by Gillan, Glover and Paice, the legend of Deep Purple will endure forever.
Peter Gabriel’s influence is so widespread, we may take it for granted. When the rest of rock was simplifying in the new wave days, the former Genesis frontman blended synthesizers and a signature gated drum sound with an emotional honesty learned from soul music to create a sensibility that would influence artists from U2 and Arcade Fire to Depeche Mode. With extraordinary ambition, Gabriel transitioned from cult artist to multimedia pop star to global rock icon. His WOMAD festival has been a 33-year laboratory for musical cross-pollination. The epic song “Biko” directly inspired the Artists Against Apartheid movement as he spearheaded the Amnesty International A Conspiracy Of Hope and Human Rights Now tours. His brilliant stage shows inspired U2 and Flaming Lips and expanded the visual vocabulary of music videos with clips such as “Sledgehammer,” “Shock The Monkey” and “Big Time.” In addition, he wrote songs like “Don’t Give Up,” “Red Rain” and “In Your Eyes” that put heart and soul on the radio at a time when those values were in short supply. Four decades on as a solo artist, Gabriel continues to push the boundaries of popular music and challenge audiences across the globe.
Hall and Oates
Daryl Hall and John Oates created an original mix of soul and rock that made them the most successful pop duo in history. As songwriters, singers, and producers, they embraced the pop mainstream, bringing passion and creativity back to the 3-minute single. Over the course of their career, they have recorded six No. 1 hits and put thirty four songs in the Billboard Top 100. Deeply rooted in lush Philly soul, Hall and Oates mixed smooth vocal harmonies and the romantic vulnerability of soul with edgy hard rock and new wave riffs to create some of the finest pop music of the 1980s. They teamed up in the early 1970s in Philadelphia, and landed a deal with Atlantic. On their first three albums, they searched for the right style for their talents as they experimented with soul, folk and hard rock. The duo finally scored a hit with “Sara Smile” in 1976, an irresistibly sexy soul ballad that showcased their vocals, songwriting and guitar playing. After their subsequent string of hits (“Rich Girl,” “She’s Gone,” “Wait For Me”) Hall and Oates were energized by new wave and dance music. The result was an incredible run of original songs that topped the pop and R&B charts throughout the 1980s: “Kiss On My List,” “Private Eyes,” “You Make My Dreams” and “I Can’t Go For That” combined the best of both rock and R&B, setting the stage for the important crossover work of Madonna and Prince. They continue to record and attract new young audiences, and their influence can be felt in the work of contemporary artists like Bruno Mars and Justin Timberlake.
Few bands short of The Beatles inspired more kids to pick up the guitar than KISS. With the group’s signature makeup, explosive stage show and anthems like “Rock And Roll All Nite” and “Detroit Rock City,” the members of KISS are the very personification of rock stars. Original members Peter Criss, Ace Frehley, Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons came together in New York in 1972. While their first two records did not generate many sales, they quickly gained a national following for their bombastic, pyro-filled stage show. The 1975 live disc “Alive!” captured that energy and reached No. 9 on the charts, quickly making KISS one of the most popular bands of the 1970s – scoring countless hit singles, sold-out tours and appearing everywhere from comic books to lunch boxes to their very own TV movie. Frehley and Criss left in the early 1980s, and group members took their makeup off for 1983’s “Lick It Up.” The band continued to be a popular live draw, but in 1996, the original quartet reformed (and they put their makeup back on), and KISS mania was reborn. In 2009, KISS released “Sonic Boom,” the band’s first album of new material in 11 years. KISS released “Monster” in 2012.
LL COOL J
LL Cool J always had his sights set on rock and roll. Born James Todd Smith in Queens, New York, LL was only 17 in 1985 when he recorded “Rock The Bells,” which included the following couplet: “It ain’t the glory days with Bruce Springsteen/I’m not a virgin so I know I’ll make Madonna scream.” A year earlier, LL had made his debut on Def Jam, which was also the debut of the label itself. His first two singles – “I Need A Beat” followed by “I Want You” – sketched out the two main gears of his career: testosterone-maddened battle raps and tender, sexy, love songs. The former included “I Can’t Live Without My Radio” (1985), “Jack The Ripper” (1987) and “Mama Said Knock You Out” (1991). The stylish aggression built into these songs influenced no less a figure than Michael Jackson, who cut “Bad” after meeting LL in person – and after LL himself cut “I’m Bad.” The love songs may have been even more influential and popular. When “I Need Love” went to No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot R&B Singles chart in 1987, it was the first rap recording ever to reach that summit. His success in music has served as a launching pad to concurrent careers in the movies, on television, in fashion, and in fitness.
James Brown, Sly and the Family Stone and Parliament-Funkadelic all coasted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Yet one of the true cornerstones of funk is still waiting for induction. The Meters were not only the leading instrumental unit to emerge from the great musical gumbo of New Orleans, they were also one of the tightest and hardest-grooving ensembles R&B has ever seen. The Meters formed in 1965 with a line-up of keyboardist and vocalist Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter Jr. and drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste; the group was later joined by percussionist/vocalist Cyril Neville. The Meters first came to local prominence as the house band for Allen Toussaint’s record label, Sansu. In 1969, the band went on its own and released a string of definitive, irresistibly slamming singles— “Sophisticated Cissy,” “Cissy Strut,” “Look-Ka Py Py” and “Chicken Strut.” In the years that followed, the band became one of the hottest session groups in the world, working with Paul McCartney, Robert Palmer and LaBelle. They recorded extensively with Dr. John, including his “Desitively Bonnaroo” album and the smash hit “Right Place, Wrong Time,” and provided the musical backbone for such modern New Orleans classics as The Wild Tchoupitoulas and the Neville Brothers’ “Fiyo On The Bayou.” With the explosion of hip-hop, the group became familiar to a new audience when its records were sampled countless times by the likes of RUN DMC, N.W.A., Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys. Meters songs have been covered by everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to the Grateful Dead, illustrating the far-reaching influence of these masters of funk.
It only takes one song to start a rock revolution. That trigger, in late 1991, was “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” an exhilarating blast of punk-rock confrontation by Nirvana, a scruffy trio from Seattle. “Teen Spirit,” its moshpit-party video and Nirvana’s kinetic live shows propelled the band’s second album, “Nevermind,” to No. 1 and turned singer-guitarist-songwriter Kurt Cobain into the voice and conscience of an alternative-rock nation sick of hair metal and the conservative grip of the Reagan-Bush eighties. Founded by Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in the logging town of Aberdeen, Wash., Nirvana were underground stars when they made 1989’s “Bleach” with drummer Chad Channing. Moving from the indie Sub Pop label to Geffen, the band – with drummer Dave Grohl – packed Cobain’s corrosive riffs, emotionally acute writing and twin passions for The Beatles and post-punk bands like The Melvins and The Pixies into “Nevermind.” A multi-platinum seller, it included the hits “Come As You Are” and “Lithium” and opened the mainstream gates for Green Day, Pearl Jam and Smashing Pumpkins. In 1993, Nirvana released the caustic masterpiece, “In Utero,” and gave a historic performance on MTV’s Unplugged. But in April 1994, Cobain – suffering from drug addiction and severe doubts about his stardom – took his own life. Like Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison, Cobain was 27, in his creative prime, when he died. Also like them, he and Nirvana remain an enduring influence and challenge – proof that the right band with the right noise can change the world.
N.W.A. is one of the most important groups in hip-hop history. Their aggressive, boundary smashing, don’t-give-a-f**k perspective was made clear by their name, which stands for Ni**az Wit Attitude. Their most famous single was “F**k The Police” which was a minimalist classic that described the frustration and anger young black men felt toward the Los Angeles Police Department, years before the Rodney King riots broke out. Some call them the Beatles of hip-hop because of their massive influence, sonic power and their place as a launching pad for several critical solo careers. Dr. Dre, the greatest producer in hip-hop history, created the G-Funk sound he would become known for while he was in N.W.A.. The G-Funk sound, built on P-Funk samples, synthesizer-heavy, cinematic and ominous themes would shape a generation of hip-hop. Ice Cube, who would become one of the most important MCs in hip-hop history was also in the group as was Eazy-E, an unforgettable figure. The group also included MC Ren, a formidable MC, and DJ Yella, an important producer. N.W.A. is the prime influence for the sound, ideology, vibe and look of gangsta rap and the L.A. hip-hop sound. They attracted nationwide attention for their albums “Straight Outta Compton” and “Ni**az4Life.” Indeed, the FBI sent the group a warning letter that is on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.
The Replacements never had a hit single. Career-wise, they were masters of self-sabotage, but in the long decade between the fall of The Clash and the rise of Nirvana, The Replacements were the heart and soul of the post punk/indie/ alternative/college rock movement that kept the faith alive. Their shows could be triumphs or disasters, often both in the same night. Their albums still sound terrific today. The band’s frayed DNA lives on in Green Day, Fall Out Boy, The Hold Steady and dozens of other beautiful losers. Leader Paul Westerberg’s songwriting was a blueprint for alt-country greats like Jeff Tweedy and Ryan Adams. Tom Waits recorded with them, Lucinda Williams sang about them, Peter Buck produced them, Tom Petty took them out as his opening act and swiped Westerberg’s line “a rebel without a clue.” The Replacements’ influence is everywhere.
Linda Ronstadt dominated popular music in the 1970s with a voice of tremendous range and power. She was one of the most important voices in the creation of country rock, in part because she understood how to sing traditional country songs like “Silver Threads And Golden Needles.” She regularly crossed over to the country charts in the ’70s, a rarity for rock singers. Working with producer Peter Asher, Ronstadt crafted a repertoire of songs that roamed throughout rock history that she interpreted with beautiful, precise phrasing. Ronstadt was especially good at singing early rock and roll; she had a long string of hits that revived interest in rock’s pioneers: Roy Orbison’s “Blue Bayou,” The Everly Brothers “When Will I Be Loved” and Buddy Holly’s “That’ll Be The Day” among them. She was equally comfortable with Motown music and the beginning of new wave. Her finest work was the run of four consecutive platinum albums in the mid-70s: “Heart Like A Wheel” (1974), “Prisoner In Disguise” (1975), “Hasten Down The Wind” (1976) and “Simple Dreams” (1977). In the 1980s, she expanded her musical vocabulary by recording songs from the classic American songbook (“What’s New,” “Lush Life”) and Mexican music that she heard growing up in Tuscon, Ariz., (“Canciones De Mi Padre”). That work proved as successful as her rock albums; she is the only artist to win a Grammy Award in the categories of pop, country, Mexican American and tropical Latin. That diversity reflects her approach to singing: she was always looking for the best song, regardless of category.
Cat Stevens (aka Yusuf Islam)
The musical odyssey of Cat Stevens is well documented, from teenage London art school songsmith (“The First Cut Is The Deepest,” the Tremeloes’ “Here Comes My Baby”) to introspective cornerstone of the 1970s singer-songwriter movement. Who can measure the courage it took him in the late ’70s, after seven years of multi-platinum success in the U.S. (and over a decade in the U.K.) to convert to Islam, amid the wave of turmoil and confusion that was engulfing the world? He left his touring and recording life behind and named himself Yusuf Islam. Inevitably, many longtime fans abandoned him. He found certain international borders closed, and worse yet, controversies laid at his doorstep despite his humanist background. It was 17 difficult years between his final LP as Cat Stevens (1978’s “Back To Earth”), and the first CD as Yusuf and more than a decade until his first pop album in nearly 30 years (“An Other Cup” in 2006). “When I accepted Islam,” he told Rolling Stone, “a lot of people couldn’t understand. To my fans it seemed that my entering Islam was the direct cause of me leaving the music business, so many people were upset. However, I had found the spiritual home I’d been seeking for most of my life. And if you listen to my music and lyrics, like ‘Peace Train’ and ‘On The Road To Find Out,’ it clearly shows my yearning for direction and the spiritual path I was travelling.” The musical gifts that he has shared with the world are an important chapter in rock history – a beacon of hope that will never be extinguished.
Legions of rock guitarists on every continent testify that the biggest bang of all was the first time they heard “Rumble” by Link Wray (1929-2005), a dangerous slab of reverberating power chords and raw distortion laid down in 1958. In the summer of “Purple People Eater,” “Witch Doctor” and “Patricia,” the rebellious sonic onslaught of “Rumble” cut through Top 40 radio like a steamroller. This was more than a decade before power chords even had a name; a decade after that, in the heat of the punk era, Wray’s collaboration with Robert Gordon left every retro-rockabilly guitarslinger in the dust. The impact of Link Wray, one of Rolling Stone’s Top 100 Guitarists of All Time, can be heard in generations of American and British metal, punk, grunge, thrash, and psychobilly rockers, all of whom have claimed him and “Rumble” (and follow-ups “Raw-Hide” and “Jack The Ripper”) as their own. Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Bruce Springsteen head the A-list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees who bow to Link Wray’s abiding influence. Pete Townshend simply calls him the King: “If it hadn’t been for Link Wray and ‘Rumble,’ I would never have picked up a guitar.” Even Iggy Pop is an acolyte: “I left school emotionally after hearing ‘Rumble.’” The DIY recordings that North Carolina Native American Link Wray made on his three-track machine in the family’s converted chicken coop are the holiest of six-string grails. “The major modus operandi of modern rock guitarists,” wrote Cob Koda, “the blueprints for heavy metal, thrash, you name it…if Duane Eddy twanged away for white, teenage America, Link Wray played for juvenile delinquent hoods, plain and simple.” The “Rumble” goes on forever.
Yes is the most enduring, ambitious and virtuosic progressive band in rock history. By fusing the cinematic soundscapes of King Crimson with the hard-rock edge of The Who and the soaring harmonies and melodies of Simon and Garfunkel, they took progressive rock from a small audience of aficionados to radio airwaves and football stadiums all over America. Hits like “Roundabout” and “I’ve Seen All Good People” appealed to rock fans who did not even think they liked prog rock, while album-side length epics like “Close To The Edge” and “The Gates Of Delirium” represent the genre at its absolute finest. Steve Howe remains one of the most underrated guitarists in rock history, while keyboardist Rick Wakeman, bassist Chris Squire and drummers Bill Bruford and Alan White are musicians simply without peer. Frontman Jon Anderson is an alto-tenor singer who still hits the highest of high notes forty-five years after forming the group. While many of their contemporaries wilted once punk hit, Yes managed to change with the times, and the band re-emerged in the 1980s as an MTV-ready commercial force, landing massive hits on the charts like “Owner Of A Lonely Heart.” While prog giants like Pink Floyd, Genesis and Emerson Lake & Palmer retired years ago, Yes continues to tour (albeit with some new members) at a pace that would leave bands half their age breathless.
One of the consummate joys of the first wave of the British Invasion was the startling variety of sounds and styles that emerged month after month in that heady halcyon era. At one end of the scale were the raw, blues-drenched disciples of American blues and R&B (Rolling Stones, Animals, Yardbirds), and at the other end were the more studied, sophisticated, intricately arranged atmospherics of The Zombies. There was no other band whose sound filled space as gorgeously and completely as The Zombies: the jazz-inflected electric piano of Rod Argent, the choirboy vocals of him and his St. Albans schoolmates bassist Chris White and lead singer Colin Blunstone. Other schoolmates, Paul Atkinson on guitar and vocals, and drummer Hugh Grundy rounded out the classic original lineup, which endeared itself overnight to the most loyal and dedicated army of fans to which any rock band can lay claim. At the end of the day, it always comes back home to the triad of career defining hits by the Zombies that beg the question: Where were you the first time you heard “She’s Not There” or “Tell Her No” or “Time Of the Season?” Their second and final album Odessey And Oracle has earned its reputation (and its spot inside the Top 100 on Rolling Stone’s list of the 500 Greatest Albums Of All Time) alongside such masterworks as the Beatles’ White Album and the Beach Boys’ Pet Sounds. Rod Argent’s eponymous band gave majesty and definition to the ’70s, but the Zombies, which he and Colin Blunstone have been helming on records and tours for the past decade, are truly a rock band for all seasons.