By Phill Marder
The Goldmine Hall of Fame is, we hope, a more fan-oriented alternative to the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. This is the third set of 10 selections.
Great Blogs Of Fire will be announcing 10 inductees approximately every two weeks until all 700-plus inductees are announced. Bios of all selections and criteria for induction can be found on our website by clicking the Goldmine Hall of Fame tab. A running list of all announced inductees will be listed, also.
21. GUNS N’ ROSES – In its prime, a period that lasted only from 1987 to 1993, Guns N’ Roses unleashed a string of just five albums. But the amazing success of those recordings, plus the hit singles culled from those discs, propelled this Los Angeles conglomerate to the # 21 position on the list of Goldmine’s Hall of Fame, ahead of many of music’s most famous artists.
The first LP, 1987’s “Appetite For Destruction,” fueled by three U.S. top 10 singles, “Welcome To The Jungle,” “Sweet Child o’ Mine” and “Paradise City,” hit # 1 in the United States, # 3 in Canada, # 5 in England and was a smash across the European continent and Australia. The follow-up, “Guns N’ Roses Lies,” didn’t do quite as well, but still reached # 2 in the U.S.. The next set, “Use Your Illusion I” and “Use Your Illusion II,” released simultaneously, proved the band was no fluke, however. The first set topped the charts in Canada, hit # 2 in the U.S. and the U.K. and went top five in several other nations, while “Illusion II” was a chart-topper in five nations, the U.S., U.K. and Canada included.
In 1993, “The Spaghetti Incident?” was topping charts around the world, and Guns N’ Roses was breaking concert tour records everywhere. But the band that had built its reputation on being everything but conventional turned out to be the typical rock band, imploding as riots resulted from canceled dates and internal disagreements divided members. Finally, in 1996, lead guitarist Slash left officially. By mid-1997, the only member left from “Appetite For Destruction” was singer Axl Rose. Fifteen years after “The Spaghetti Incident?” Rose and a new band released “Chinese Democracy.” It was a great commercial success, but nothing followed. Rose currently tours with a new group.
Rose refused to join his mates when they were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame this year, stating, “I still don’t exactly know or understand what the Hall is or how or why it makes money, where the money goes, who chooses the voters and why anyone or this board decides who, out of all the artists in the world that have contributed to this genre, officially “rock” enough to be in the Hall?”
No problem with the Goldmine Hall of Fame. We don’t make any money and our criteria is clearly stated on our website.
In addition to Rose and Slash, the inductees consist of the members from 1987 until 1993, Steven Adler (drums), “Duff” McKagan (bass), “Dizzy” Reed (keyboards), Matt Sorum (drums), and Izzy Stradlin (guitar).
22. RAY CHARLES – By the time the Rock Era began in earnest, Ray Charles already was a superstar on the Rhythm & Blues circuit with a slew of hit singles under his belt. “Mess Around,” “I Got A Woman,” “This Little Girl Of Mine,” “Hallelujah I Love Her So,” “Mary Ann” and “Drown In My Own Tears” were just some of the classics Charles released as he dominated the R&B charts as the Rock explosion approached.
Most of his LPs touted Charles as “The Genius,” and that was probably understated.
Glaucoma took his eyesight by age seven, but Charles studied classical piano and clarinet, settling for keyboards as his recording career blossomed. In 1959, he unleashed the classic, “What’d I Say,” and the floodgates opened. He recorded standards, instrumentals, jazz and blues. But, ironically, his biggest success came with his stunning Country interpretations, spearheaded by 1962’s “Modern Sounds In Country & Western Music,” which became his first # 1 album. Volume 2, which came out later in the year, just missed duplicating the original’s success, reaching # 2.
The # 1 “I Can’t Stop Loving You,” and top 10 entries “You Don’t Know Me,” “You Are My Sunshine,” “Take These Chains From My Heart” and “Crying Time” were all Country classics given the Charles treatment.
One of the most distinctive voices of the Rock Era, Charles often has been imitated, but never duplicated.
23. DAVID BOWIE – Most artists establish a niche. The great perfect it, the not-so-great run it into the ground and disappear when fan boredom sets in.
David Bowie did the opposite, bouncing from one persona to the next, sometimes following the current trend, sometimes setting the next. From early acoustic to hard rock to spaced out “Ziggy Stardust” to the ultimate cool “Thin White Duke” to plastic soul to oldies to German rock to Tin Machine and more, not necessarily in that order or in any order for that matter.
And the record buying public followed along, ears and wallets open. The reason? Because Bowie did it all great. He wrote great songs, sang them with his great voice, had great musicians backing him up and looked great the whole time he was doing it.
Though, surprisingly, he never had a # 1 album in the United States, his long players topped the charts somewhere in four straight decades, starting with the ’70s, eight hitting # 1 in his home country of England. Between 1973 and 1981, Bowie had 13 straight albums hit the British top five.
24. CREEDENCE CLEARWATER REVIVAL – John Fogerty was one of the Rock Era’s greatest triple-threat talents.
He was/is one of Rock’s best vocalists, one of the genre’s most outstanding guitarists (ignore any ridiculous poll that doesn’t include him), and few have written more memorable hit songs.
As the leader of Creedence Clearwater Revival, he guided this California quartet, which also included his brother Tom on rhythm guitar, Stu Cook on bass and keyboards and Doug Clifford on drums, to phenomenal success while maintaining the plaudits of the critics.
A Rockabilly throwback in the midst of psychedelia, CCR nevertheless became the most popular band in the world from 1968 until 1972. And they were a throwback in their manner of sales, too, specializing in two-sided hit singles, commonplace in the ’50s but very rare in the ’60s and ’70s. In their prime, CCR had nine singles reach the top 10, seven being two-sided smashes. Ironically, they never reached # 1 on the Hot 100, stopping in the runner-up slot an amazing five times. In other parts of the globe, they were regulars in the # 1 position.
Though a tremendously successful singles band, Creedence put out a stream of fantastic albums with nary a weak cut on any. Five reached the U.S. top 10, with “Green River” topping the charts for a month and “Cosmo’s Factory” heading all challengers for nine weeks.
25. SLY & THE FAMILY STONE – Sly & the Family Stone didn’t have many big selling records, though it seems every record they did was a smash.
Their first hit single, “Dance To The Music,” did reach the top 10 in both the States and Great Britain. But, surprisingly, they never came close again in the U.K., where they had just one album crack the top 40 as well. In the States, their next single stiffed and their first two LPs barely made a dent on the top 200.
But 1969’s “Stand!” LP, powered by the # 1 single, “Everyday People,” pushed close to the top 10 and garnered the group a spot on the Woodstock Festival lineup, where they delivered a show-stopping performance. As a result, “Sing A Simple Song,” “Stand” and “I Want To Take You Higher” gained massive popularity even though their chart finishes weren’t that great.
The next two singles, the # 2 “Hot Fun In The Summertime” and the Hot 100 chart-topping “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” were new cuts on a “Greatest Hits” release that reached # 2 in late 1970. A year later, “There’s A Riot Goin’ On,” featuring the # 1 single “Family Affair,” became the band’s only # 1 album, the follow-ups, 1973’s “Fresh” and 1974’s “Small Talk” reaching # 7 and # 15, respectively.
By then, drug abuse and internal group problems, a story common to so many groups, led to canceled concerts and, eventually, the group’s demise. The band’s point total, decent in sales figures, is heavily boosted by strong critical support, lifting the interracial group to this high slot on Goldmine’s list of Hall of Fame inductees.
The inductees: Sylvester Stewart (Sly), Freddie Stewart (guitar), Larry Graham (bass), Rose Stewart (keyboards), Cynthia Robinson (trumpet), Jerry Martini (sax), Greg Errico (drums) and Vet Stewart, Mary McCreary and Elva Mouton (backing vocals).
26. THE POLICE – With Sting on bass backed by guitarist Andy Summers and drummer Stewart Copeland, the Police became one of the most popular bands of the 1980s, so popular that their reunion tour in 2007, 21 years after they broke up, was the hottest concert ticket going.
What made the Police so great? Simple…Sting proved to be a songwriter of extraordinary talent, capable of penning tunes that the mass public loved and critics admired. No easy feat. Summers was a guitarist who seemed to play just the right thing at the right time and Copeland turned out to be one of Rock’s most inventive and talented drummers making The Police an almost perfect package.
The trio released just five studio albums, but each was a top seller around the world, their 1978 debut “Outlandos d’Amour” finishing # 2 in France and the Netherlands and # 6 in the U.K. The next four LPs topped the charts in England and Australia and also produced chart-toppers in Canada, France, the Netherlands and the United States.
Five times they topped the British singles chart and they also hit the top in Canada, Ireland, the United States and the Netherlands.
27. JOHNNY CASH (and the Tennessee Three) – “The Man In Black” combined a Rock & Roll outlaw image with a Country music sound to become one of the most beloved singers of the Rock Era.
A Sun Records’ stablemate of Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins, all Rock stars with a heavy Country background, Cash was the one out of The Million Dollar Quartet who remained most true to Country music, though he regularly visited the Hot 100 United States singles chart in Rock & Roll’s infancy.
From his first hit – 1956’s “I Walk The Line” – through 1959’s “Don’t Take Your Guns To Town,” Cash scored hit after hit, the two-sided “Ballad Of A Teenage Queen” and “Big River,” “Guess Things Happen That Way” and “The Ways Of A Woman In Love” delivering his distinct vocals to Country, Rock and Blues fans alike.
In 1963, he returned from a small slump when “Ring Of Fire” brought Cash’s pure Country back to the Rock charts. But his biggest score was yet to come, “A Boy Named Sue” soaring all the way to # 2 in 1969. The album containing that hit, “Johnny Cash At San Quentin,” topped the Billboard charts and the last three entries from his “American” series have reached # 2, # 1 and # 2, the most recent in 2010.
Cash is in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the Country Music Hall of Fame and the Gospel Music Hall of Fame, a tribute to his remarkable across-the-board appeal. He now holds membership in the Goldmine Hall of Fame.
The Tennessee Three was Cash’s band since he first walked into Sun Studios and introduced his group as The Tennessee Three. Sam Philips suggested a change to Johnny Cash & the Tennessee Two, his cohorts being Marshall Grant on bass and Luther Perkins on electric guitar. Drummer W.S. Holland joined around 1960 and Bob Wootton took over for Perkins in 1968 when the latter died in a fire.
28. ARETHA FRANKLIN – Aretha Franklin is the second-ranked solo female in the Goldmine Hall of Fame.
The gold standard for female vocalists, Franklin has excelled singing Jazz, Rock, Gospel and Rhythm & Blues, garnering 18 Grammy awards in her career.
Franklin was no overnight sensation, though. She had been steadily releasing albums since 1956, but didn’t break through to superstardom until Atlantic Records began guiding her career in 1967. At that point, she started a string of five albums that established her as “The Queen of Soul,” a sobriquet she has yet to relinquish.
She never had a # 1 album in the States and the Brits probably still wonder what all the fuss is about, Franklin rarely even charting there with long-players though many of her singles have sold well. But she did have strong sales throughout many European countries and her critical acclaim lifted her totals considerably.
In the U.S., there rarely has been an artist with a hotter two years. Franklin broke through in 1967 with “I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You,”) which hit # 9, then followed with a cover of Otis Redding’s “Respect,” which soared to # 1 and became Franklin’s signature song. Before 1968 ended, she added seven more Top 10 hits in the U.S., including the # 2 “Chain Of Fools.”
During that run, the U.S. LP charts saw “I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You” reach # 2, followed by the # 5 “Aretha Arrives,” the # 2 “Lady Soul” and the # 3 “Aretha Now.”
Over the years, she has consistently maintained a presence in the U.S. top 10, with eight more entries, including 1971’s cover of Ben E. King’s “Spanish Harlem,” which rose to # 2 and “I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me),” a 1987 duet with George Michael that climbed to # 1.
29. BARBRA STREISAND – During the Rock Era, two names came to the fore when discussing the major vocalists not considered Rock & Roll. On the male side, it was Frank Sinatra. On the female side, Barbra Streisand.
She may not have the across-the-board appeal of Aretha Franklin, but she has sold more records than Aretha or Madonna, being the highest-ranking (#10) female on the RIAA list of all-time best sellers. Trying to document Streisand’s accomplishments would require an encyclopedia’s worth of space. An actress of notable accomplishment, she has captured two Academy Awards along with her eight Grammy Awards. She is one of a very select few to take home Oscars, Grammys, Emmys and Tonys.
When Streisand’s “Love Is The Answer” topped the LP charts in 2009, it gave her a #1 album in five consecutive decades and her 2011 album “What Matters Most” reached # 4, 48 years after her debut album reached the top 10. Her biggest success chart-wise came with 1980’s “Guilty” album, a # 1 in virtually every record-charting country around the globe. The success was spurred by the hit singles “Guilty” and “What Kind Of Fool,” two duets with Barry Gibb. At the close of 2011, she held the record for most top 10 albums by a female (30) and most #1 LPs by a female (9).
Previously, she had topped the charts with other duets, teaming with Neil Diamond on “You Don’t Bring Me Flowers” and Donna Summer on “No More Tears (Enough Is Enough).” Other # 1 singles were “Sleep In Heavenly Peace (Silent Night),” a 1966 Christmas release, “The Way We Were” and “Love Theme From ‘A Star Is Born’ (Evergreen).”
30. BOB SEGER (with the Silver Bullet Band) – It took Bob Seger almost a decade to break through to major success in the music industry, but when he finally did he made the most of it, starting with 1976’s “Night Moves,” the album that reached # 8 in the United States and produced the top 10 single of the same name.
When “Main Street,” culled from the same LP, also became a hit, even reaching # 1 in Canada, Seger was on his way. The successor, “Stranger In Town,” did even better in the States, climbing to # 4 and yielding the smash “Still The Same” along with “Hollywood Nights,” “We’ve Got Tonight” and “Old Time Rock & Roll.” Ironically, the last item, the lowest charting of the four singles at # 28, became one of Rock’s greatest anthems after being featured in the Tom Cruise movie “Risky Business.” It now ranks as the second most played record on jukeboxes, behind only Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.”
Seger now was poised to open the ‘80s in roaring fashion, which he did with his only # 1 long-player, “Against The Wind,” the title song and “Fire Lake” scoring as top 10 singles. Over the next decade, Seger released four more top 10 LPs and the singles “Shame On The Moon,” which reached # 2 and “Shakedown,” a Number 1 hit from the movie soundtrack of “Beverly Hills Cop II.”
In 2006, Seger released the LP “Face The Promise,” proving he still had the touch as it climbed to # 4 in the U.S. He toured last year and announced plans for a new release later this year (2012).
While much of Seger’s success has been accomplished on his own, his peak years featured his backing group, The Silver Bullet Band. The main staples of this group also receive “Miners.” They are Drew Abbott (guitar), Alto Reed (sax & flute), Chris Campbell (bass), Robyn Robbins (keyboards) and Charlie Martin (drums).