By Goldmine staff
Albert King, Donna Summer, Heart, Public Enemy, Randy Newman and Rush form the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2013.
They were among the 15 nominees representing music from the blues, disco, hard rock, soul, rap, psychedelic rock, prog and soul genres. The Rock Hall provided basic biographies for all of the nominees; we added in the discographies, band member names, chart information and some fun facts (because, hey, being nominated to be in the Rock Hall should be at least a little bit fun!) Inductees appear first; other nominees follow.
Class of 2013: Heart
Original Members: Steve Fossen (bass); Roger Fisher (guitar); Mike Fisher (guitar); Ann Wilson (vocals); Nancy Wilson (guitar); Howard Leese (guitar, keyboards); Michael Derosier (drums).
Later Members: Mark Andes (bass); Denny Carmassi (drums); Fernando Saunders (bass); Denny Fongheiser (drums).
Biography: With a mix of hard rock riffs and lush, driving harmonies, Heart emerged from the Pacific Northwest with one of the most original sounds of the 1970s. Behind Ann Wilson’s powerhouse voice — one of the best in rock — and Nancy Wilson’s percussive guitar playing, along with guitarist Roger Fisher, bassist Steve Fossen, guitarist-keyboard player Howard Leese and drummer Michael DeRosier, Heart recorded a series of albums that stand as the best mix of hard rock and folk rock of their era: “Dreamboat Annie,” “Little Queen,” “Dog And Butterfly” and “Bebe Le Strange.” All those records included hit singles that remain standards of rock radio: “Magic Man,” “Crazy On You,” “Heartless” and “Barracuda.” Over the band’s long career, Heart has released six Top 10 albums and 20 Top 40 singles. The first women to front a hard rock band, sisters Ann and Nancy Wilson were pioneers, claiming the stage in a way that inspired women to pick up guitars or start bands. When MTV transformed mainstream rock in the 1980s, Heart adapted and recorded some of the signature songs of the era: “Alone,” “What About Love” and “These Dreams.” In the 1990s, Heart returned to its roots with “Desire Walks On” and “The Road Home,” and in the last decade, the band has released two of the strongest albums of its catalog: “Jupiter’s Darling” and “Red Velvet Car.”
Selected Discography: “Dreamboat Annie” (1976), “Little Queen” (1977); “Magazine” (1978); “Dog & Butterfly” (1978); “Bebe le Strange” (1980); “Private Audition” (1982); “Passionworks” (1983); “Heart” (1985); “Bad Animals” (1987); “Brigade” (1990); “Desire Walks On” (1993); “Jupiters Darling” (2004); “Red Velvet Car” (2010); “Fanatic” (2012)
Billboard Hot 100: “Magic Man” (No. 9); “Crazy On You” (No. 35); “Little Queen” (No. 62); “Kick It Out” (No. 79); “Dreamboat Annie” (No. 42); “Barracuda” (No. 11); “Straight On” (No. 15); “Heartless” (No. 24); “Dog & Butterfly” (No. 34); “Even It Up” (No. 33); “Unchained Melody” (No. 83); “Tell It Like It Is” (No. 8); “This Man Is Mine” (No. 33); “How Can I Refuse” (No. 44); “Allies” (No. 83); “What About Love” (No. 10); “Never” (No. 4); “These Dreams” (No. 1); “Nothin’ At All” (No. 10); “If Looks Could Kill” (No. 54); “Who Will You Run To” (No. 7); “There’s The Girl” (No. 18); “Alone” (No. 1); “I Want You So Bad” (No. 49); “Stranded” (No. 13); “I Didn’t Want To Need You” (No. 23); “All I Wanna Do Is Make Love To You” (No. 2); “Secret” (No. 64); “Will You Be There (In The Morning)” (No. 39).
Fun Facts: The Wilson sisters were honored Sept. 25, 2012, with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Class of 2013: Albert King
Biography: He was born in the same fervid Mississippi Delta town of Indianola as another king of the blues guitar, B.B. King. But where B.B. moved to the blues mecca of Memphis during World War II to establish his reign, Albert King (1923-1992) did not arrive there until more than a decade into his career in 1966. He was signed by Atlantic subsidiary Stax-Volt Records in the era when singles ruled, and he had cut more than a dozen singles for various labels over the previous decade, most notably on King and Bobbin. His first Stax album was an influential collection that included “Born Under A Bad Sign,” “Crosscut Saw,” “As The Years Go Passing By” and his cover of Ivory Joe Hunter’s “I Almost Lost My Mind,” tracks mostly recorded with Booker T. and the MG’s as studio backup (with the Memphis Horns). Like B.B. King and Freddie King, Albert King was thrust into the Fillmore generation when British acts like Cream and Jimi Hendrix adopted “Born Under A Bad Sign” (written by Booker T and William Bell), which became a rock anthem and a part of the rock and roll lexicon. The younger generation following them also discovered a mother lode of blues in Albert King’s repertoire. In particular, Stevie Ray Vaughan was an avid follower, and as early as 1983, Vaughan was onstage with Albert King in Canada for a set (released 16 years later) that included a 15-minute jam on “Blues At Sunrise.” At Vaughan’s insistence, their paths intersected frequently over the next decade. From Vaughan, Eric Clapton and Mike Bloomfield to Johnny Winter, Joe Walsh, Derek Trucks and beyond, the influence of Albert King’s husky vocals and his signature Gibson Flying V guitar will live on forever.
Selected Discography: “The Big Blues” (1962); “Born Under A Bad Sign” (1967); “Years Gone By” (1969); “Blues For Elvis: Albert King Does the King’s Things” (1970); “Lovejoy” (1971); “The Lost Session” (1971); “I’ll Play The Blues For You” (1972); “I Wanna Get Funky” (1974); “Albert” (1976); “Truckload of Lovin’ (1976); “King Albert” (1977); “The Pinch” (1977); “New Orleans Heat” (1978); “San Francisco ’83” (1983); “I’m In A Phone Booth, Baby” (1984); “Jammed Together” (1988)
Billboard Hot 100: “Cold Feet” (No. 67); “Breaking Up Somebody’s Home” (No. 91);
Fun Facts: King played guitar guitar left handed, without restringing it, which gave him a distinctive sound. He also taught himself to play guitar and built his own instrument out of a cigar box. He named his signature Gibson Flying V guitar Lucy.
Class of 2013: Rush
Original Members: Alex Lifeson (guitar), Geddy Lee (bass) and John Rutsey (drums)
Later Members: Neil Peart (drums)
Biography: Equal parts Led Zeppelin, Cream and King Crimson, Rush burst out of Canada in the early 1970s with one of the most powerful and bombastic sounds of the decade. Their 1976 magnum opus 2112 represents progressive rock at its grandiose heights, but just a half decade later they had the guts to put epic songs aside in favor of shorter (but no less dynamic) tunes like “Tom Sawyer” and “The Spirit Of Radio” that remain in constant rotation on radio to this day. Absolutely uncompromising in every conceivable way, the trio has spent the last 40 years cultivating the largest cult fan base in rock while still managing to sell out every arena in the country. While they have never gotten the critical respect they so richly deserve, Neil Peart has inspired more young drummers to take up the instrument than any other drummer of the past 30 years. No less impressive is Geddy Lee’s ability to play keyboards and bass in concert while never missing a note of his lead vocals, and guitarist Alex Lifeson is a virtuoso simply without peer. They are a band completely removed from the mainstream music scene, and yet somehow also one of the most popular rock bands in the country. It is a dichotomy that has fueled them from the very beginning. Their newest release, Clockwork Angels, is as bold and ambitious as any of their works of the 1970s, and even though the members are now pushing 60, it is hard to shake the feeling that they are just getting started.
Discography: “Rush” (1974); “Fly By Night” (1975); “Caress of Steel” (1975); “2112” (1976); “A Farewell To Kings” (1977); “Hemispheres” (1978); “Permanent Waves” (1980); “Moving Pictures” (1981); “Signals” (1982); “Grace Under Pressure” (1984); “Power Windows” (1985); “Hold Your Fire” (1987); “Presto” (1989); “Roll The Bones” (1991); “Counterparts” (1993); “Test For Echo” (1996); “Vapor Trails” (2002); “Feedback” (2004); “Snakes And Arrows” (2007); “Clockwork Angels” (2012).
Billboard Hot 100: “Fly By Night/In The Mood” (No. 88); “The Spirit of Radio” (No. 51); “Tom Sawyer” (No. 44); “Limelight” (No. 55); “New World Man” (No. 21); “Closer To The Heart” (No. 69); “The Big Money” (No. 45).
Fun Facts: Guitarist Alex Lifeson’s birth name is Alexander Zivojinovich, and bassist Geddy Lee’s full name is Gary Lee Weinrib. In the episode “Chuck vs. Tom Sawyer” of the TV show “Chuck,” the Rush song “Tom Sawyer” plays a pivotal role. A video game creator explains that the mathematical equations used to determine the progression to the final screen of the game “Missile Command” — which happens to reveal launch codes to real, live missiles hidden in a satellite — is based on “the music of the universe,” aka Rush’s “Tom Sawyer.”
Class of 2013: Donna Summer
Biography: Her lifetime in music was a study in contrasts: The “Queen Of Disco” who was a church-reared gospel singer throughout childhood, and wrote most of her own songs; the Diva De Tutti Dive, the first true pop diva of the modern era, who spent her formative years in a psychedelic rock band, even auditioned for Broadway’s Hair in the early ’70s. She did not get the part, but when Hair opened in Germany, Boston’s LaDonna Gaines (1948-2012) was cast as Sheila. She settled in Germany and began a long-term association with Munich songwriters-producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. They heard her demo lyric “Love to Love You Baby,” and, at Casablanca Records president Neil Bogart’s request, turned it into a 17-minute opus of orgasmic delight (Donna said she was evoking Marilyn Monroe). The song was Summer’s U.S. chart debut and first of 19 No. 1 dance hits between 1975 and 2008 (second only to Madonna). Summer made chart history in 1978-80 as the only artist to have three consecutive double-LPs hit No. 1: “Live And More,” “Bad Girls” and “On The Radio.” She was also the first female artist with four No. 1 singles in a 13-month period: “MacArthur Park,” “Hot Stuff,” “Bad Girls” and “No More Tears” (with Barbra Streisand). Her first U.S.-recorded LP, 1982’s self-titled “Donna Summer,” produced by Quincy Jones, featured Bruce Springsteen, Roy Bittan and many American rockers. “She Works Hard For The Money” kept Donna on top in 1983, followed by the Top 10 “This Time I Know It’s For Real” in 1989. She extended her string of No. 1 U.S. dance hits with “I’m A Fire,” “Stamp Your Feet,” “Fame (The Game)” and “To Paris With Love.” Endless covers and sampling of her music by producers and DJs have kept the five-time Grammy Award-winner’s pioneering body of work on the front line.
Discography: “Lady of The Night” (1974); “Love To Love You Baby” (1974); “A Love Trilogy” (1976); “Four Seasons of Love” (1976); “I Remember Yesterday” (1977); “Once Upon A Time …” (1977); “Bad Girls” (1979); “The Wanderer” (1980); “Donna Summer” (1982); “She Works Hard For The Money” (1983); “Cats Without Claws” (1984); “All Systems Go” (1987); “Another Place And Time” (1989); “Mistaken Identity” (1991); “Crayons” (2008).
Billboard Hot 100: “Try Me, I Know We Can Make It” (No. 80); “Love To Love You Baby” (No. 2); “Could It Be Magic” (No. 52); “Winter Melody” (No. 43); “Spring Affair” (No. 58); “I Feel Love” (No. 6); “Rumour Has It” (No. 53); “MacArthur Park” (No. 1); “Last Dance” (No. 3); “I Love You” (No. 37); “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)” (No. 1); “Hot Stuff” (No. 1); “Heaven Knows” (No. 4); “Dim All The Lights” (No. 2); “Bad Girls” (No. 1); “Walk Away” (No. 36); “The Wanderer” (No. 3); “On The Radio” (No. 5); “Who Do You Think You’re Foolin’ (No. 40); “Cold Love” (No. 33); “State of Independence” (No. 41); “Love Is In Control (Finger on The Trigger)” (No. 10); “Unconditional Love” (No. 43); “The Woman In Me” (No. 33); “She Works Hard For The Money” (No. 3); “There Goes My Baby” (No. 21); “Supernatural Love” (No. 75); “Love Has A Mind Of Its Own” (No. 70); “Dinner With Gershwin (No. 48); “This Time I Know It’s For Real” (No. 7); “Love’s About To Change My Heart” (No. 85); “When Love Cries” (No. 77); “I Will Go With You (Con Te Partiro)” (No. 79);
Fun Facts: Summer starred in the 1978 disco-themed comedy “Thank God It’s Friday.” The movie tanked, but “Last Dance,” Summer’s song from the film, earned both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe.
Class of 2013: Randy Newman
Biography: Cynical romantic, subversive political satirist, social commentator, champion of the underdog – and brilliant one-man medicine show in the bargain – Randy Newman has been one of pop music’s secret hidden weapons for more than four decades. Raised in Los Angeles, the summers he spent in New Orleans as a youngster had a profound influence on both his piano style and his songwriting, which in later years skewered Southern stereotypes in an ironic fashion that only an insider could get away with. A songwriter since his teens, his earliest songs were covered by artists ranging from Gene Pitney and Alan Price, to Judy Collins, Dusty Springfield and Three Dog Night, highlighted by the 1970 ‘tribute’ LP, Nilsson Sings Newman. His sardonic wit and unabashed sentimentality have inspired a myriad of American and British songwriters to stretch the envelope and in so doing, expand the boundaries of rock, pop, folk, country, R&B and (since the ’80s) film music. A six-time Grammy winner, two-time Oscar winner, three-time Emmy winner (the list goes on), Randy Newman is an American treasure.
Selected Discography (excludes soundtrack work): “Randy Newman” (1968); “12 Songs” (1970); “Sail Away” (1972); “Good Old Boys” (1974); “Little Criminals” (1977); “Born Again” (1979); “Trouble In Paradise” (1983); “Land Of Dreams” (1988); “Randy Newman’s Faust” (1995); “Bad Love” (1999); “The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 1” (2003); “Harps And Angels” (2008); “The Randy Newman Songbook Vol. 2” (2011);
Billboard Hot 100: “Short People” (No. 2); “The Blues” (No. 51); “It’s Money That Matters” (No. 60).
Grammy Awards: “The Natural,” Best Instrumental Composition other than Jazz (1984); “A Bug’s Life,” Best Instrumental Composition Written Specifically For A Motion Picture or For Television (1999); “When She Loved Me,” Best Song Written Specifically For A Motion Picture Or Television (2000); “If I Didn’t Have You,” Best Song Written For A Motion Picture or Television (2002); “Our Town,” Best Song Written For Motion Picture, Television Or Other Visual Media (2006).
Fun Facts: Newman, who became a professional songwriter by the time he was 17, followed in the footsteps of his uncles Alfred and Lionel, both of whom were noted film composers. Three Dog Night took the Williams-penned song “Mama Told Me Not To Come” to No. 1 in 1970 (the first time one of Newman’s songs hit the charts); that was the same year that Harry Nilsson recorded an entire album of Newman’s compositions, titled “Nilsson Sings Newman.”
Class of 2013: Public Enemy
Members: Chuck D, DJ Terminator X, Flavor Flav
Auxiliary Members: Bill Stephney (publicist), Professor Griff (choreographer), The Security of The First World (backup dancers); Hank Shocklee (producer)
Biography: “No one has been able to approach the political power that Public Enemy brought to hip-hop,” Adam Yauch of the Beastie Boys told Rolling Stone in 2004. “I put them on a level with Bob Marley and a handful of other artists — the rare artist who can make great music and also deliver a message.” Public Enemy brought an explosion of sonic invention, rhyming virtuosity and social awareness to hip-hop in the 1980s and 1990s. The group’s high points — 1988’s “It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back” and 1990’s “Fear Of A Black Planet,” stand among the greatest politically-charged albums of all time. Powered by producer Hank Shocklee and his crew the Bomb Squad, Nation Of Millions was a layered masterpiece that took the ethic of the hip-hop breakbeat — using only the best parts of any given song — and advanced it geometrically, building new music out of a thicket of samples and beats: tracks like “Rebel Without A Pause,” “Night Of The Living Baseheads” and “Black Steel In The Hour Of Chaos” are triumphs of funk, fury and collage. Chuck D. — routinely rated as one of the greatest rappers of all time — pushed the art of the MC forward with his inimitable, rapid-fire baritone as he connected the culture of hip-hop with black nationalism and the ideas of Malcolm X. His counterpart, Flavor Flav, brought humor (in the case of “911 Is A Joke,” pointed humor) and a madcap energy. Along the way, they brought a new level of conceptual sophistication to the hip-hop album, and a new level of intensity and power to live hip-hop, inspiring fans from Jay-Z to Rage Against the Machine to Kurt Cobain. After Public Enemy, hip-hop could never again be dismissed as kids’ music.
Discography: “You! Bum Rush The Show” (1987); “It Takes A Nation of Millions To Hold Us Back” (1988); “Fear of a Black Planet” (1990); “Apocalypse 91 … The Enemy Strikes Black (1991); “Muse Sick-N-Hour Mess Age (1994); He Got Game (1998); “There’s A Poison Goin’ On” (1999); “Revolverlution” (2002); “New Whirl Odor” (2005); “Beats And Places” (2005); “Rebirth of A Nation” (2006); “How Do You Sell Soul To Soulless People Who Sold Their Soul???” (2007); “Most Of My Heroes Still Don’t Appear On No Stamp” (2012)
Billboard Hot 100: “Can’t Truss It” (No. 50); “Give It Up” (No. 33)
Fun Facts: Flavor Flav’s given name is William Drayton; his signature look includes wearing a large clock around his neck and saying “Hey boy.” He recently attempted to open his own line of fried chicken restaurants, but the venture didn’t last. Chuck D. was born Carlton Ridenhour.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band (aka The Butterfield Blues Band)
Original Members: Sam Lay (drums); Michael Bloomfield (guitar, later of KGM and Electric Flag); Jerome Arnold (bass, Southern Comfort); Paul Butterfield (vocals, harmonica); Elvin Bishop (guitar)
Later Members: Mark Naftalin (keyboards, also of Quicksilver Messenger Service); Billy Davenport (drums), Phil Wilson (drums); Buzzy Feiten (guitar)
Biography: 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 the band’s 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.
Selected Discography: “The Paul Butterfield Blues Band” (1965); “East-West” (1966); “The Resurrection of Pigboy Crabshaw” (1967); “In My Own Dream” (1968); “Keep On Moving” (1969); “Sometimes I Just Feel Like Smilin'” (1971)
Fun Fact: Elvin Bishop went on to find success as a solo artist with the No. 3 hit “Fooled Around And Fell In Love” in 1976.
Original Members: Bernard Edwards (bass); Nile Rodgers (guitar);Tony Thompson (drums, also of LaBelle); Norma Jean Wright (vocals); Alfa Anderson (vocals)
Studio Performers: Raymond Jones (keyboards); Rob Sabino (keyboards)
Later Members: Luci Martin (vocals, replaced Wright); Sylver Logan Sharp (vocals); Jenn Thomas (vocals)
Biography: 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). Chic 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, provided the perfect counterpart to melodic arrangements with 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 No. 1 “Le Freak” and No. 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. The band’s 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.
Selected Discography: “Chic” (1977); “C’est Chic” (1978); “Risque” (1979); “Real People” (1980); “Take It Off” (1981); “Believer” (1983); “Chic-ism” (1992).
Billboard Hot 100: “Le Freak” (No. 1); “Everybody Dance” (No. 38); “Good Times” (No. 1); “Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)” (No. 6); “My Forbidden Lover (No. 43); “I Want Your Love” (No. 7); “Rebels Are We” (No. 61); “Real People” (No. 79); Chip Off The Old Block (No. 79); “Soup For One” (No. 80).
Fun Fact: For a brief time, Chic performed under the billing Allah and The Knife Wielding Punks.
Original Members: Ritchie Blackmore (guitar); Rod Evans (vocals); Nick Simper (bass); Jon Lord (keyboards); Ian Paice (drums)
Later Members: Mel Galley (guitar); Steve Morse (guitar, also of Dixie Dregs and Kansas); David Coverdale (vocals, later of Whitesnake); Roger Glover (bass); Joe Satriani (guitar, also of Chickenfoot); Tommy Bolin (guitar, also of James Gang); Ian Gillan (vocals); Glenn Hughes (bass, vocals); Joe Lynn Turner (vocals, also of Rainbow); Rod Evans (vocals); Don Airey (keyboards).
Biography: Though Deep Purple took its name from a ’30s swingtime-era pop hit, there was nothing breathy or sentimental about the British quintet, which 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. Rod Evans joined next, with the powerful vocal template that was introduced on 1968’s “Hush” (a Joe South song) and “Kentucky Woman” (penned by 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 band’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. Deep Purple’s lineups have ebbed and flowed over the decades, counting among its members such formidable rockers as singer David Coverdale and bassist Glenn Hughes. 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.
Selected Discography: “Shades of Deep Purple” (1968); “The Book of Taliesyn” (1968); “Deep Purple” (1969); “Concerto For Group and Orchestra” (1969); “Deep Purple In Rock” (1970); “Fireball” (1971); “Machine Head” (1972); “Who Do We Think We Are” (1973); “Burn” (1974); “Stormbringer” (1974); “Come Taste The Band” (1975); “Perfect Strangers” (1984); “The House of Blue Light” (1987); “Slaves And Masters” (1990); “The Battle Rages On” (1992); “Purpendicular” (1996); “Abandon” (1998); “Bananas” (2003) and “Rapture of the Deep” (2005).
Billboard Hot 100: “Kentucky Woman” (No. 38); “Hush” (No. 4); “River Deep-Mountain High” (No. 53); “Black Night” (No. 66); “Woman From Tokyo” (No. 60); “Smoke On the Water” (No. 4); “Might Just Take Your Life” (No. 91); “Knocking At Your Back Door” (No. 61).
Fun Facts:Deep Purple once was credited in “The Guinness Book of World Records” as the world’s loudest band. The group also was among the first to stage an orchestral concerto, a concept attempted with varying degrees of success by other bands through the years.
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
Original Members: Joan Jett (vocals, guitar); Ricky Byrd (guitar); Gary Ryan (bass); Lee Crystal (drummer).
Biography: Joan Jett and The Blackhearts created a potent mix of hard rock, glam, punk, metal and garage rock that sounds fresh and relevant in any era. The group’s biggest hit, “I Love Rock ’N’ Roll” (No. 1 in 1982) is a rock classic – as pure and simple a statement about the music’s power as “Roll Over Beethoven.” The honesty and power of the group’s records make you believe that rock and roll can change the world. As Jett once described rock and roll, “It’s a feeling thing, it’s emotion. You don’t think about it. If you start thinking rock ’n’ roll, you’re f**ked. That’s when you’re homogenized. That’s when it’s boring. And that’s when it’s bullsh*t.” From her days as a founding member of the all-female Runaways, Jett has made loud, hook-laden records that convey toughness and joy. Sporting black leather and a shag to create a sexy and androgynous look, Jett took over a role formerly reserved for male rockers. She formed The Blackhearts in 1982, and the band’s classic four-piece sound muscled past the synthesizers that dominated the 1980s and carried the flag for rock and roll. Three albums – “I Love Rock ’N’ Roll,” “Album” and “Up Your Alley” – reached the Top 20, behind songs written by Jett and manager Kenny Laguna. By covering songs from all corners of the rock catalogue – from Gary Glitter to Tommy James to Sly and The Family Stone – Joan Jett and The Blackhearts effortlessly broke down barriers between genres and eras. In the 1990s, Jett’s no-nonsense attitude and vocal style was a major influence on the riot grrrl movement, and she went on to produce Bikini Kill and record with L7. She continues to be an inspiration for young female rockers.
Discography: “I Love Rock ’N’ Roll” (1981); “Album” (1983); “Glorious Results of a Misspent Youth” (1984); “Good Music” (1986); “Up Your Alley” (1988) “The Hit List (1990); “Notorious” (1991); “Pure And Simple” (1994); “Naked” (2004); “Sinner” (2006)
Billboard Hot 100: “I Love Rock ‘N’ Roll” (No. 1); “Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)” (No. 20); “Crimson And Clover” (No. 7); “Fake Friends” (No. 35); “Everyday People” (No. 87); “Dirty Deeds” (No. 36); “I Hate Myself For Loving You” (No. 8); “Little Liar” (No. 19); “Good Music” (No. 83);
Fun Facts: Jett co-starred in the 1987 movie “Light of Day” alongside Michael J. Fox, where they portrayed siblings and band mates Patti and Joe Rasnick. The Blackhearts performed with Jett and Fox as “The Barbusters” in the film. Jett’s character’s quotable quote from the film: “Music is all that matters. One hour on stage makes up for the other 23.”
Original Members: Florian Schneider, Ralf Hutter
Later Members: Wolfgang Flur; Klaus Roeder, Karl Bartos, Andreas Hohman, Michael Rother, Klaus Dinger, Fernando Abrantes
Biography: Kraftwerk is the foundation upon which all synthesizer-based rock and roll and electronic dance music is built. Founded in Düsseldorf, Germany, in 1970 by the band’s two core members, Ralf Hütter and Florian Schneider, the group was a part of a new wave of musicians in Germany collectively referred to as Kosimsche Musik (cosmic music) who explored the intersection of rock and roll and the avant-garde. Kraftwerk’s first three albums capture the sound of an experimental proto-punk jam band riffing on the sounds of Hawkwind and the Velvet Underground, but the band’s fourth album, “Autobahn” (1974), established the beginning of something entirely new (created with longtime friend and producer Konrad “Conny” Plank). The 22-minute title track combined the diverse influences of The Beach Boys and Karlheinz Stockhausen into the creation of an electronic musical odyssey. It also represented a miraculous use of technology through its amalgamation of Moog synthesizers, multi-track recording and traditional instrumentation. The 1977 album, Trans-Europe Express, completed Kraftwerk’s transformation into a synthesized quartet. The album featured some of the funkiest grooves and vocoder melodies ever put on wax. New York City’s burgeoning hip-hop community quickly latched on to the album, and DJ Afrika Bambaataa based his track “Planet Rock” (1982) on Kraftwerk’s beats. The years that followed secured Kratwerk’s place as both musical innovators and master songwriters and the albums, “The Man-Machine” (1978), “Computer World” (1981) and “Electric Café” (1986) established the blueprint for the sound and image of modern electronic music. Kraftwerk’s influence can be heard in the synth-pop of Depeche Mode, the electronic-rock integration of U2 and the DJ/Laptop artist vibrations of Deadmau5 and Skrillex.
Selected Discography: “Kraftwerk 1” (1971); “Kraftwerk 2” (1972); “Ralf and Florian” (1973); “Autobahn” (1974); “Radio Activity” (1975); “Trans-Europe Express” (1977); “The Man-Machine” (1978); “Computer World” (1981); “Electric Cafe” (1986); “Tour De France” (2003); “Minimum-Maximum” (2005);
Billboard Hot 100: “Autobahn” (No. 25); “Trans-Europe Express” (No. 67);
Fun Facts: The band’s name, Kraftwerk, is German for “power station.” Schneider and Hutter created their own music studio they dubbed “Kling Klang.”
Original Members: Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman, Juanita Cowart
Later Members: Wanda (Young) Rogers, Ann Bogan
Biography: Though they were overshadowed at Motown by the much longer-lived Supremes and Martha and the Vandellas, the plaintive girl group harmonies of The Marvelettes – the original foursome of Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson, Georgeanna Tillman and Wanda Young – deserve their rightful spot in rock history. They gave Motown/Tamla its first official Number One Hot 100 hit in the late-summer of 1961, “Please Mr. Postman” (famously featuring Marvin Gaye on drums); and recorded Motown’s first Holland-Dozier-Holland chart single, “Locking Up My Heart.” The Marvelettes went on, despite tremendous odds, to sing (and occasionally co-write) hit after hit for The Sound Of Young America for another seven years. Their signature tunes became classics of the next generation: “Please Mr. Postman” (Beatles, Carpenters), “Beechwood 4-5789” (Carpenters), “Too Many Fish In The Sea” (Mitch Ryder, Rascals), “Danger! Heartbreak Dead Ahead” (Bonnie Raitt), “The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game” (Jerry Garcia, Grace Jones, Blondie) and more. The Marvelettes did more than their fair share to put Motown on the map, and bring the heart of soul to rock and roll.
Discography: “Please Mr. Postman” (1961); “Playboy” (1962); “The Marvelettes Sing” (1962); “On Stage” (1963); “The Marvelous Marvelettes” (1963); “The Marvelettes” (1967); “Sophisticated Soul” (1968); “In Full Bloom” (1969); “Return Of The Marvelettes” (1970); “The Marvelettes Now” (1990).
Billboard Hot 100: “Please Mr. Postman” (No. 1); “Twistin’ Postman” (No. 34); “Playboy” (No. 7); “Beechwood 4-5789” (No. 17); “Strange I Know” (No. 49); “My Daddy Knows Best” (No. 67); “Locking Up My Heart” (No. 44); “Forever” (No. 78); “As Long As I Know He’s Mine” (No. 47); “You’re My Remedy” (No. 48); “He’s A Good Guy (Yes He Is)” (No. 55); “Too Many Fish In The Sea” (No. 25); “I’ll Keep Holding On” (No. 34); “Danger Heartbreak Dead Ahead” (No. 61); “You’re The One” (No. 48); “Don’t Mess With Bill” (No. 7); “When You’re Young And In Love” (No. 23); “The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game” (No. 13); “My Baby Must Be A Musician” (No. 17); “Here I Am Baby” (No. 44); “Destination: Anywhere” (No. 63); “That’s How Heartaches Are Made” (No. 97); “I’m Gonna Hold On As Long As I Can” (No. 76).
Fun Facts: Georgia Dobbins, who left The Marvelettes (and was later replaced by Wanda Young) before the group signed its first record deal, helped the group get its breakthrough hit. Motown executives wanted to hear an original composition from the then-quintet, so Dobbins sought out blues musician William Garrett, who allowed her to make over his unfinished song “Please Mr. Postman” so long as he retained a writing credit in case it became a hit — which it originally did. Both Dobbins and Garrett were credited for their compositions on the original Tamla single, along with Brianbert, the songwriting team of Brian Holland and Robert Bateman, which polished the song further before the final single was released.
Original Members: Art Neville (keyboards, vocals); Leo Nocentelli (guitar); George Porter Jr. (bass); Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste (drums).
Later Members: Cyril Neville (percussion, vocals); Brian Stoltz (guitar).
Biography: 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 lineup of keyboardist and vocalist Art Neville, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist Geroge 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.” They recorded extensively with their homeboy 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’ “Fire 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-D.M.C., N.W.A., Public Enemy and The Beastie Boys. Meters songs have been covered by everyone from the Red Hot Chili Peppers to Grateful Dead, illustrating the far-reaching influence of these masters of funk.
Selected Discography: “The Meters” (1969); “Look-Ka Py Py” (1970); “Struttin'” (1970); “Cabbage Alley” (1972); “Rejuvenation” (1974); “Fire On The Bayou” (1975); “Trick Bag” (1976); “New Directions” (1977); “Here Come The Metermen” (1986).
Billboard Hot 100: “Sophisticated Cissy” (No. 34); “Ease Back” (No. 61); “Cissy Strut” (No. 23); “Look-Ka Py Py” (No. 56); “Hand Clapping Song” (No. 89); “Chicken Strut” (No. 50); “Be My Lady” (No. 78).
Fun Facts: The Meters served as the house band for the Sansu label, under the direction of Allen Toussaint and Marshall Sehorn. The group performed on records by Robert Palmer, Dr. John, LaBelle, King Biscuit Boy and Paul McCartney.
Original Members: Eazy-E, Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, DJ Yella, The Arabian Prince, The D.O.C.
Later Member: MC Ren.
Biography: N.W.A is considered one of the most important groups in hip-hop history. The group’s aggressive, boundary smashing, don’t-give-a-f**k perspective was made clear by its name, which stands for Niggaz Wit Attitude. The group’s most famous single was “F**k The Police,” 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 N.W.A. The Beatles of hip-hop because of the group’s massive influence, sonic power and their place as a launching pad for several critical solo careers. Dr. Dre, a prominent producer in hip-hop history, created the G-Funk sound for which he would become known 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 “Efil4zaggin” (Niggaz4Life spelled backwards). Indeed, the FBI sent the group a warning letter that is on exhibit at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland.
Selected Discography: “N.W.A. and The Posse” (1987); “Straight Outta Compton” (1988); “100 Miles and Running” (1990); “Efil4zaggin” (1991)
Billboard Hot 100: N.W.A. never achieved any Billboard Hot 100 singles; the group did find some success on the R&B and Billboard 200 album charts and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles and Tracks charts.
Fun Facts: According to legend, Suge Knight threatened to kill Jerry Heller, the manager of N.W.A., if Heller refused to allow Dr. Dre out of his contract; Dre and Knight formed Death Row Records in early 1992. Death Row Records went on to become a dominant force in the 1990s hip-hop scene. By the end of 1997, Death Row was falling apart. Dre had formed his own record label, Aftermath, and Knight was imprisoned on racketeering charges.
Original Members: Gary Brooker (vocals/piano); Keith Reid (lyricist); Matthew Fisher (organ); Ray Royer (guitar); Dave Knights (bass); Bobby Harrison (drums)
Later Members: Robin Trower (guitar); B.J. Wilson (drums); Chris Copping (bass and organ); Dave Ball (guitar); Alan Cartwright (bass); Mick Grabham (guitar); Pete Solley (keyboards); Mark Brzezicki (drums); Geoffrey Whitehorn (guitars); Down Snow (keyboards); Matthew Pegg (bass); Dee Murray (bass); Dave Bronze (bass)
Biography: A multitude of evolutions swept across the face of rock in the tumult of 1967, and none was so jarring and unexpected as the stately grandeur of Procol Harum’s “A Whiter Shade Of Pale,” with its “16 vestal virgins, who were leaving for the coast” – on Top 40 radio. There was no precedent for the onslaught of Matthew Fisher’s haunting cathedral-sized organ swirls, or the keening vocals of pianist Gary Brooker, who gave gothic voice to the poetry of the unseen group member, enigmatic lyricist Keith Reid. The touring and recording group settled into a brilliantly talented quintet with guitarist Robin Trower, bassist Dave Knights and one of British rock’s premier drummers, B.J. Wilson. Procol Harum forever raised the intelligence quotient of rock with the band’s next two albums, “Shine On Brightly” (with its 18-minute masterwork, “In Held ’Twas I”) and “A Salty Dog.” The stage was set in 1972, for rock’s first and arguably greatest major orchestral project, whose evocative “Conquistador” is a dramatic tour de force that has held onto its mystique for four decades. Various personnel changes have revolved around the core of Brooker and Reid, but as their numerous live albums of the past 20 years have proved, the whole continues to be greater than the sum of its parts.
Discography: “Procol Harum” (1967); “Shine On Brightly” (1968); “A Salty Dog” (1969); “Home” (1970); “Broken Barricades” (1971); “Grand Hotel” (1973); “Exotic Birds and Fruit” (1974); “Procol’s Ninth” (1975); “Something Magic” (1977); “Prodigal Stranger” (1991); “The Well’s On Fire” (2003);
Billboard Hot 100: “Homborg” (No. 34); “A Whiter Shade Of Pale” (No. 5); “Conquistador” (No. 16).
Fun Facts: Initially known as The Pinewoods, Procol Harum got its new band name in time for the release of its first recording, “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” The inspiration for the band’s band name is believed to have come about from one of two sources: a cat’s birth certificate (procol harun) or from the Latin world “procul,” which means “far from these things.”