This is the 66th set of selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
Goldmine 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
If asked to define New Age music, many might respond, “It’s all Greek to me.” It may not be all Greek, but anyone truly interested in defining the genre need only play a recording by Greek born Yanni even though he always has strongly disputed the label.
In 1988, he told the Los Angeles Times “when someone says new age music, I think of something that you put on in the background while you’re vacuuming the house. I don’t want to relax the audience; I want to engage them in the music, get them interested.” Six years later, he told the Times, “Creative people–painters, writers, all artists–prefer to avoid categories. No one likes being pigeonholed, because that implies that your next project will be in the same vein. And I want the freedom to move forward or backward or laterally or any direction I choose. I understand the existence of labels in every aspect of life, because it helps us find things. I happen to have been placed in this New Age category, but I think almost anyone who takes my album home couldn’t care less if it’s called New Age or not.”
And that would apply to many fans as his releases have sold millions around the world. In the U.S., his breakthrough occurred with 1988’s “Chameleon,” which rose to #2 on the Billboard (you guessed it) New Age Chart. The following year, “Niki Nana” also climbed to #2 on the NA list. Then, in 1990, something very interesting happened as “Reflections of Passage” not only topped the New Age chart, but also powered its way to #29 on the Billboard Top 200 LP list, the first of 16 Yanni recordings to score well on the top 200. In 1993, Yanni again topped the New Age list with “In My Time,” which also climbed to #24 on the top 200.
In 1994, Yanni unleashed “Live At the Acropolis,” which proved his best-seller on the top 200, climbing to #5 while becoming his third New Age chart topper and the second-best selling music video of all time, eclipsed only by Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” In total, Yanni, who continues touring the world, has notched 13 #1 albums on the New Age chart including 2014’s “Inspirato.” Five of his releases just missed, stopping at #2.
Some things are just too difficult to explain. One, for example, is how an English-speaking artist can be so successful and popular in many areas of the globe while experiencing little acceptance in the U.S. The reverse – an act popular in the U.S. failing to gain much of a following in other English-speaking countries – is just as puzzling.
Status Quo, Shakin’ Stevens and a-ha, all previously inducted into the Goldmine Hall of Fame, are prime examples of artists with mammoth success worldwide, but little in North America. Add this inductee, Ultravox, to the list. Even in their native England, this London New Age group couldn’t make a dent in the market, their first three albums flopping in 1977-78. Leader John Foxx left and two guitarists came and went, with Midge Ure taking over vocal and guitar duties as well as contributing keyboards.
“Vienna,” the group’s first LP with Ure, proved the breakthrough the quartet was looking for, climbing to #14 on the U.K. chart in 1980, then rebounding the next year to soar to #3. The major impetus was provided by the #2 single of the same name, and another hit single, “All Stood Still,” which reached U.K. #8 in 1981. Between 1980 and 1986, Ultravox placed 16 singles into the U.K. top 40, 10 gaining entry to the top 20, the most successful being 1984’s “Dancing With Tears In My Eyes,” which peaked at #3. In 1993, the single “Vienna” was reissued and reached #13. Between 1981 and 1986, Ultravox released six more LPs, all reaching the U.K. top 10.
The inductees are the four who accounted for the group’s biggest successes, including the appearance at Live Aid, led by Ure, who also has had a successful solo career, including the #1 single “If I Was” and co-writing credits on Band Aid’s “Do They Know It’s Christmas?” the biggest selling U.K. single until overtaken by Elton John’s “Candle In The Wind 1997,” the tribute to Princess Diana. Bassist Chris Cross, the only holdover from the original 1973 trio, drummer Warren Cann and Billy Currie, who contributed keyboards, synths and violin, join Ure.
558. THIN LIZZY
Midge Ure also played a role in this Ireland-based band. But then, so did a lot of others as the band lineup became a revolving door. Like Status Quo and several others, the group is often recalled as a one-hit wonder in the United States, but a long and impressive resume places them among the top 50% of all album sellers worldwide.
The one hit for Thin Lizzy was, of course, “The Boys Are Back In Town,” which rose to #8 in the U.K. (#1 in Ireland) and Canada and #12 in the U.S. featuring a twin lead guitar attack that would become a group trademark, though you need a scorecard to identify the players. The hit returned Thin Lizzy to the limelight four years after their initial success, 1972’s “Whiskey In A Jar,” which reached U.K. #6 (Ireland #1) and #7 in Germany. Thin Lizzy followed “The Boys Are Back In Town” with 11 more U.K. top 40 singles from 1976 until 1991, six of which reached the top 20. Two, 1979’s “Waiting For An Alibi” and 1980’s “Killer On The Loose” climbed into the U.K. top 10.
Thin Lizzy had a much stronger U.S. presence on the album chart, placing 10 entries on the Billboard Top 200 capped by #18 “Jailbreak,” which contains “The Boys Are Back In Town.” But the group’s main strength remained centered in the U.K. where nine albums reached the top 10 and another just missed, stalling at #11. In 1978, “Live and Dangerous” reached #2 as did the following year’s “Black Rose (A Rock Legend).” As late as 2004, a Thin Lizzy “Greatest Hits” collection reached U.K. #3.
Bass player and lead singer Phil Lynott, just 36 when he passed away, was the centerpiece of the band, but even after his death in 1986 the group has continued with numerous lineups. For induction purposes, Goldmine welcomes Lynott, drummer Brian Downey and guitarists Scott Gorham and Brian Robertson, the four responsible for the peak of Lizzy’s success.
559. SMASHING PUMPKINS
Those who feel the need to place all musical efforts into nice, neat categories find this Chicago group somewhat perplexing. In fact, some would even struggle with the definition of group as Billy Corgan dominates these proceedings much as Trent Reznor in Nine Inch Nails.
Corgan, musing on the categorization of his efforts, told MTV in 1993, “We’ve graduated now from the next Jane’s Addiction, to the next Nirvana, now we’re the next Pearl Jam.” Today, they’re the first Smashing Pumpkins. And that’s more than enough to earn this spot in the Goldmine Hall of Fame.
With Corgan writing, playing guitar and singing lead, the Pumpkins still have managed quite a diversified portfolio since their 1991 debut LP, “Gish,” barely squeaked into the Billboard Top 200 LP chart (a 1990 single brings them into the 25-year qualifying period for the HOF). If “Gish” didn’t exactly established the band as a major force, 1993’s successor, “Siamese Dream,” certainly did, hitting the top 10 in the U.S., Australia, Canada, New Zealand & the U.K. “Mellon Collie and the Infinite Sadness” did even better in 1995, soaring to #1 in the U.S. and Pan Pacific, and while 1998’s “Adore” fell just short at #2 in the States, it hit #1 in the Pan Pacific and Belgium and went top five in almost every nation charting such matters. Three more long-players from 2000 to 2012 landed in the U.S. top five and the band also notched several top 10 singles around the globe.
Today, Corgan’s group ranks near the top 10 in all-time worldwide album sales and holds a healthy grip in the top 50% of singles movers.
Except for brief spells, drummer Jimmy Chamberlin has been at Corgan’s side since the beginning (1988). He and Corgan are joined by guitarist James Iha and bassist D’Arcy Wretzky as inductees.
560. GARY U.S. BONDS
In 1961, many teenagers added their own time zone to those in general use. When the clock hit 2:45, youngsters in the USA knew it was Gary US Bonds time – quarter to three. It wasn’t this Norfolk, Virginia-based singer’s first hit, and it wasn’t his last, but “Quarter To Three” certainly was his biggest, and one of Rock & Roll’s mammoth records.
“Quarter To Three” reached #1 in the U.S. and Canada, and hit the top 10 in many other areas, including the Pan Pacific region and the U.K. (#7). The record featured a live party atmosphere, with a spattering of questionable comments buried in the muddy mix of producer Frank Guida, who multi-tracked the vocals of Bonds on top of a thunderous backing provided by The Church Street Five and saxophonist Gene Barge (Daddy G). It was a sound Bonds, real name Gary Anderson, and Guida became noted for, but it didn’t start with “Quarter To Three.”
The year prior, Bonds had reached U.S. #6 with “New Orleans,” which contained a singalong refrain that became a standard used in many Rock recordings. “New Orleans” also was a top 20 success in the U.K. and Canada and a major success in the Pan Pacific. Its successor, “Not Me,” is considered a flop, but in reality it was a much-played offering in certain areas. Following a monster hit often is a daunting task, but Bonds proved up to the challenge with #5 “School Is Out,” which he followed with “School Is In.” The latter stalled at U.S. #28, probably because the sentiment expressed was not quite as popular as “School Is Out.” When the twist craze hit, Bonds offered two of its most memorable offsprings in 1962, “Dear Lady Twist” and “Twist Twist Senora” both reaching the U.S. top 10.
A favorite of Bruce Springsteen, Bonds and “The Boss” combined on several albums in the 1980s, resulting in Bonds returning to the hit parade with “This Little Girl,” which reached U.S. #11 in 1981 and “Out of Work,” which peaked at #21 the following year. Still active on the concert circuit, Bonds remains a fan favorite.