This is the 58th set of selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Great Blogs Of Fire will be announcing 5 inductees approximately every three 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. These also can be found under “Great Blogs Of Fire” at the bottom of the page or by following this link – http://www.goldminemag.com/blogs/goldmine-hall-of-fame-inductees
516. BACHMAN-TURNER OVERDRIVE
As the ‘60s rolled into the ‘70s, Canada’s Guess Who was riding a wave of popularity rarely even imagined by most bands. “Laughing” and “No Time” had topped the charts in their homeland, and the band had just released a two-headed monster entitled “American Woman” backed with “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature.” Thus it came as quite a shock when Randy Bachman, the group’s lead guitarist and primary composer, walked away.
It seemed Bachman had committed professional suicide, especially when his new band, Brave Belt, floundered. But when C.F. Turner was introduced to the mix, Bachman-Turner Overdrive eventually resulted, the band becoming one of the most successful record sellers of the ‘70s. Today, Bachman-Turner Overdrive, commonly referred to as BTO, stands in the top 50% of all worldwide album sellers and in the top 75% of all singles sellers.
The group’s biggest success came with 1974’s “You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet,” which hit #1 in the U.S., Canada, New Zealand, South Africa and Germany. The hit’s parent LP, “Not Fragile,” (a swipe at prog giant Yes’ “Fragile” LP?, became the band’s most successful long-player, topping charts on both sides of the U.S./Canada border. But by that time, BTO already had two major hit singles, “Let It Ride” and “Takin’ Care Of Business,” both included in Bachman-Turner Overdrive II. Three more top 10 hits followed in Canada, led by “Hey You,” which hit #1. Bachman and Turner eventually parted ways, then reunited and continued touring and recording. The resulting efforts fell short of their peak success, though.
The inductees are Randy, Tim and Robbie Bachman, Blair Thornton, plus Turner.
517. MEN AT WORK
One would think any band capable of introducing the world to vegemite sandwiches would automatically qualify for Hall of Fame status. Or maybe one would think such a feat should disqualify the band responsible.
Regardless, Australia’s Men At Work, the group in question, accomplished a lot more than just that somewhat dubious distinction, eventually becoming a “whatif” band, “whatif” referring to the relevant question, “Whatif this band had remained intact. As it turned out, the group’s achievements in a very brief time period are somewhat staggering, good enough to easily qualify for a slot in the Goldmine Hall of Fame. With just three studio albums and a handful of singles, Men At Work entered the all-time best sellers list in both categories.
The first album, 1981’s “Business As Usual,” didn’t break big until the following year, but when it did Men At Work instantly became one of the world’s most successful groups. In the U.S. alone, the album spent 90 weeks on the Billboard Top 200, 15 at the #1 position. In Canada, the LP was #1 nine weeks and it also topped the charts in the band’s homeland, plus New Zealand, the U.K. and Norway. The impetus was provided by two incredibly successful singles, “Who Can It Be Now?,” which rocketed to #1 in the U.S. and achieved top 10 status almost everywhere from Australia to South Africa, and its follow-up, “Down Under,” which did even better, holding down #1 in the States for four weeks and topping the charts in the U.K., Australia, Canada, Switzerland, Poland, Ireland and New Zealand while just missing #1 in several other countries.
The follow-up LP, “Cargo,” had an almost impossible act to follow, but still hit #1 in Australia, #3 in the U.S. and went top 10 in most other charting nations, yielding two major singles, # 3 U.S. “Overkill” and #6 U.S. “It’s A Mistake.” But by the time 1985’s “Two Hearts” was released, Men At Work had become Men At Odds, drummer Jerry Speiser and bassist John Rees being unceremoniously dismissed with lead guitarist Ron Strykert leaving soon after. That left just leader Colin Hay and Greg Ham (flute and sax) and, although the third LP performed well, the momentum had been lost.
518. WAYLON JENNINGS
There is no way to summarize briefly the career of this Country superstar from Texas. His achievements are just too numerous and his impact on Country music simply cannot be measured. As an Outlaw, along with Willie Nelson, Tompall Glaser and wife Jessi Coulter, Jennings was part of the first platinum Country album, “Wanted! The Outlaws.” Later, he was a pivotal member of The Highwaymen, along with Nelson, Kris Kristofferson and Johnny Cash. Add these to his success as a solo artist, and you have one of the true giants of Country music.
All this after beginning as bass player with Buddy Holly, giving up his seat on the ill-fated plane that crashed killing Holly, Ritchie Valens and the Big Bopper when the Bopper (J.P. Richardson) became sick.
Jennings eventually won Grammy Awards in 1970 and 1979, was inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame in 2001 and received the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award from the Academy of Country Music in 2007. In 2003, Country Music Television ranked Jennings #5 on its list of Greatest Men Of Country Music and, in 2007, he received a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Nashville Songwriters’ Festival.
As a solo artist, Jennings placed 23 albums into the Country Top 10, with four more in collaboration with others. Nine, including a pairing with Nelson, hit #1, one remarkable stretch between 1975 and 1980 seeing four straight and five of six Jennings’ LPs top the Country charts, a streak interrupted only by one that fell just short at #2. He has notched 12 #1 Country singles in the U.S. and 15 in Canada, with three more in the U.S. and two more in Canada when paired with Nelson. If that’s not enough, Jennings was part of the USA For Africa chorus on the 1985 single “We Are The World.”
Jennings passed away in 2004. He was 64.
519. KING CRIMSON
For some bands, you need a scorecard to keep track of the players. From its inception, King Crimson has been a revolving door as members come and go. That in spite of the tremendous success of the 1969 debut album “In The Court Of The Crimson King,” which rose to #5 in the U.K. and entered the top 30 in both the U.S. and Canada. Even more significantly, the recording made the band highly regarded as a trendsetter with its uniqueness. But even before lead singer and bassist Greg Lake parted to front Emerson, Lake & Palmer, multi-instrumentalist and chief composer Ian McDonald and drummer Michael Giles had split, McDonald later surfacing as a founding member of Foreigner. That left just guitarist Robert Fripp and lyricist and lighting director, Peter Sinfield. Though no longer band members, Lake and Giles did participate heavily on the second album, “In The Wake Of Poseidon,” along with studio musicians and Fripp.
“Lizard” continued the pattern, though it started as a five-man group effort, Fripp and Sinfield along with Mel Collins, vocalist Gordon Haskell and drummer Andy McCulloch. Alas, soon after the album’s completion, the latter two split. Collins, sax and flute, actually stayed on for another LP, “Islands,” before departing. And so it has gone through the years.
However, some members are easy to define as permanent. Drummer Bill Bruford put in 26 years and guitarist Trey Gunn hung in for nine. Vocalist and multi-instrumentalist Adrian Belew was around for 28 years, up until 2009, and bass player Tony Levin totals 24 years in two separate stints. Drummer Pat Mastelotto served 15 years. Those five plus, of course, Fripp and the original lineup of Giles, Lake, McDonald and Sinfield plus Collins deserve induction into the Goldmine Hall of Fame. Bruce Eder, at allmusicguide.com, summed up the band’s importance, writing, “If there is one group that embodies progressive rock, it is King Crimson. Led by guitar/Mellotron virtuoso Robert Fripp, during its first five years of existence the band stretched both the language and structure of rock into realms of jazz and classical music, all the while avoiding pop and psychedelic sensibilities; the absence of mainstream compromises and the lack of an overt sense of humor ultimately doomed the group to nothing more than a large cult following, but made their albums among the most enduring and respectable of the prog rock era.”
No matter who participates, Fripp has kept Crimson alive through the years, recently appearing in concert with three drummers across the front of the stage while Fripp remained almost hidden by a wall of equipment. The reviews were, of course, spectacular. King Crimson has remained a steady seller in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada throughout the years, if not challenging the top spot on the album charts. Not surprisingly, King Crimson never has been close to having a hit single, releasing few over the years.
520. GERRY & THE PACEMAKERS
This Liverpool quartet had either terrific timing or terrible timing, depending on one’s point of view. On the plus side, as part of the British Invasion, Gerry & the Pacemakers were swept to stardom along with what possibly could be classified as the greatest collection of bands in any one portion of the Rock & Roll era. On the negative side, as part of that collection, they were in direct competition with no less than The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Dave Clark Five, The Kinks and more.
Either way, Gerry Marsden and his cohorts, brother Freddie on drums, Les Chadwick on bass and Les Maguire on piano accomplished a lot more than they’re given credit for. They were the second band signed by Brian Epstein, following the Beatles, and they were produced by George Martin. Despite the stiff competition, Gerry & the Pacemakers were the first band to see its first three singles hit #1 in the U.K., “How Do You Do It?,” “I Like It” and “You’ll Never Walk Alone” all topping the charts. Their fourth, “I’m The One,” narrowly missed, stalling at #2 when The Searchers’ “Needles & Pins” refused to budge. And when the “T.A.M.I. Show” kicked off, it was Gerry & the Pacemakers holding their own with no less than Chuck Berry to get the famous concert off and running.
“You’ll Never Walk Alone,” written by the immortals Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II, has been covered many times since its debut in the 1945 Broadway show “Carousel.” But it was Gerry Marsden’s stirring rendition that became the anthem for the Liverpool Football (soccer) Club, and continues today as the inspiration for many sports teams around the world.
While the Pacemakers did not author their original string of #1 hits, they are responsible for an impressive portfolio of compositions beginning with “I’m the One” and including two of the Invasion’s most memorable offerings, “Don’t Let The Sun Catch You Crying” and “Ferry Cross The Mersey,” the title song of the film starring the group. Still ranked as one of the top sellers of singles worldwide, Gerry & the Pacemakers played a huge part in making the music of the ‘60s most memorable.