Goldmine’s Hall of Fame Inductees – Volume 73

This is the 73rd set of selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.

This section concludes our list of inductees considered “recording artists.” The next section, beginning approximately three weeks from now, will focus on sidemen & others who made their mark on the industry. The last section will feature the great songwriters who have written the most top 10 songs between 1955 & 1991. 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

591. JOE JACKSON

This English vocalist/pianist has done it all, from being a Punk pioneer to recording classical albums. In between, he managed to account for several memorable hit singles and brought back an album full of classics from the ’40s. And he’s been so successful at it, that he stands in the top 50% of the all-time album sellers worldwide.

Joe Jackson hit it right off the bat, scoring a #20 hit on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart with his 1979 debut, “Look Sharp!” The album produced a rare, but not unheard of occurrence, when the initial single, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?,” flopped as did the next three single offerings. However, it was re-released the following year, becoming a huge success, climbing the U.K. chart to #13, the Billboard Hot 100 to #21 and the Canadian charts to #9. Later that year, “It’s Different For Girls” from the follow-up LP “I’m A Man” failed to connect in North America, but soared to U.K. #5. The parent LP, however, almost equaled the U.S. success of the debut, climbing to #22. It did even better in his homeland, rising to #12.

In 1980, “Beat Crazy” failed to produce a hit and the LP faltered somewhat, failing to reach the top 40 on either side of the Atlantic. Rather than play it safe, Jackson, instead, released “Joe Jackson’s Jumpin’ Jive” later that year, featuring covers of classics by the likes of Louis Jordan, Cab Calloway and Louis Armstrong. Again, no hits emerged, but the LP returned Jackson to the upper echelon in the U.K., peaking at #14. Then, in 1982, he gave us his biggest LP, “Night and Day.” Though the title was the same as Cole Porter’s 1932 classic, this album was not a repeat of “Jumpin’ Jive.” Instead, it yielded two hit singles, “Steppin’ Out,” which became his biggest hit, reaching #6 in both the U.K. and U.S. and #5 in Canada, and “Breaking Us In Two,” a surprising miss in the U.K., but a #18 hit in the U.S.

“Night and Day” reached the top 5 on the LP charts of the U.K., the U.S., the Netherlands and Australia and also hit the top 10 in New Zealand. “Body and Soul,” also borrowed its title from a 1930’s classic, and this LP featured “You Can’t Get What You Want (Till You Know What You Want),” which peaked at U.S. #15, but struggled elsewhere. The album, however, was a success, hitting #2 in the Netherlands, #8 in New Zealand and the top 20 in the U.S. and U.K. Since, he has continued touring and releasing LPs, popular, especially in the Netherlands, where his 2015 release “Fast Forward” climbed to #11. Interest in Jackson’s back catalog remains strong, “Stepping Out: The Very Best of Joe Jackson” climbing to U.K. #7.

592. MEGADETH

The story of music, in particular Rock music, is littered with group members tossed out at various stages of the group’s history. Some fade into oblivion, some rebound to gain a measure of success and fame. Dave Mustaine belongs to the latter group.

Tossed out of Metallica before the metal giants recorded their first album, Mustaine, who received composer credits on four of the songs on that LP, recovered to form this Los Angeles-based congregation that has become one of the most successful metal groups in history, ranking in the top third of all worldwide album sellers. Bent on playing ever faster and with more intensity, Megadeth became a leading force in speed metal and thrash metal, sometimes interchangeable genres. Though these styles require technical virtuosity, Megadeth has succeeded in spite of a revolving door of members.

Besides the ever-evolving lineups, Megadeth has survived the usual obstacles that befall most groups, particularly those of the metal genre. They have had the obligatory infighting, substance abuse, controversial statements and lyrics and have even had several offerings banned by MTV. Still, Megadeth has achieved 10 top 20 albums in the U.S., 1992’s “Countdown To Extinction” leading the way with a peak of #2 on Billboard’s Top 200 album chart. Three studio efforts also reached the U.K. top 10 and the band also has hit the top 10 in Japan, Australia, Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Canada and a 2010 effort, “The Big 4 Live From Sofia, Bulgaria,” that combined Megadeth sets with Metallica, Anthrax and Slayer, topped the charts on both sides of the Atlantic.

With over 20 members in its history, including two new members on the recent release, “Dystopia,” choosing the inductees can be difficult. As is our custom, the inductees are the members most responsible for Megadeth’s recorded output. They would be lead vocalist and guitarist Mustaine and David Ellefson, bass, the lone remaining members from the band’s first LP, Marty Friedman and Chris Broderick, guitar, and Nick Menza, Jimmy DeGrasso and Shawn Drover, drums. Original members guitarist Chris Poland and drummer Gar Samuelson, who played on the band’s first two LPs, also are inductees as their contributions helped Megadeth secure a major-label contract. And don’t forget Vic Rattlehead!

Incidently, “Dystopia” temporarily knocked Adele off her #1 perch on Amazon’s list of best-selling LPs. Megadeth rolls on!

593. ROD ARGENT

The Zombies didn’t achieve enough to qualify for a spot in the Goldmine Hall of Fame. Argent didn’t achieve enough to qualify, either. But, when their achievements are joined, the leader of both bands, Rod Argent, qualifies…as he should. And for those pining for the induction of lead singer Colin Blunstone, too, no problem. He was already inducted as one of the lead voices for the Alan Parsons Project.

Fans of the Zombies remember them as a major force of the British Invasion. In fact, their stature is much greater now than it was in the ’60s, largely due to their final album, “Odessey & Oracle,” which, over the years, has gained recognition as one of the era’s outstanding achievements. But it was not so at the time. The group’s first single, 1964’s “She’s Not There,” became an instant smash, reaching #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and Canada while topping the Cashbox chart. The release was also a hit in their homeland, reaching #12, and in Australia it did one spot better. Though that year’s “Tell Her No” peaked at #6 in the U.S. and Canada, it didn’t even make the top 40 in Britain, a fate that also befell the group’s 1968 effort “Time Of The Season,” which reached #1 in Cashbox and Canada and #3 in Billboard. As most know, by that time the band had disintegrated. So, in a whole, just two albums were released. “The Zombies Begin Here,” known as simply “The Zombies” in its U.S. form, where it reached #39, and their classic, which peaked at just #95 in the States with less impact overseas.

Argent, the keyboard whiz responsible for the writing of all three hit singles, then formed a new group in his name, and Argent struggled as well, issuing two LPs that went nowhere, though the initial effort contained lead singer Russ Ballard’s “Liar,” soon to become a major hit for Three Dog Night. But Argent connected with its own smash, 1972’s “All Together Now,” which proved once again the power of the hit single. “Hold Your Head Up,” containing what keyboard virtuoso Rick Wakeman called “the greatest organ solo ever” and drumming by Robert Henrit that echoed Joe Morello, shot to #5 on both sides of the Atlantic and the LP followed, reaching #13 in the U.K. and #23 in the U.S.

The next LP, “In Deep,” didn’t fare as well, but the lead track “God Gave Rock & Roll To You” became a top 20 hit in the U.K. It didn’t connect in the U.S. until 1991 when the hit movie “Bill & Ted’s Bogus Journey” featured it by KISS. Though a non-charter in the U.S., it reached #4 in the U.K.

594. LOU CHRISTIE

There have been many great falsettos in the history of Rock & Roll…Frankie Valli, Del Shannon, Larry Henley of the Newbeats, Russell Thompkins, Jr. of the Stylistics, Jay Siegel of the Tokens, Brian & Carl Wilson and Barry Gibb through to a-ha’s Morton Harkett, Jeff Buckley, Jeff Lynne and Jack White to name just a few. Then, there was Lugee Alfredo Giovanni Sacco of the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania area.

Sacco, who did journalists, disc jockeys and his many fans a huge favor by recording as Lou Christie, slipped into the upper reaches of the vocal scale with little apparent effort. As a result, Christie has managed to remain a popular attraction since his first hit record, “The Gypsy Cried,” which climbed to #24 on Billboard’s Hot 100 in 1963. Christie penned the hit along with Twyla Herbert, and the two followed with an even bigger hit, “Two Faces Have I,” which peaked at #6 on the Hot 100 and climbed to #11 on the R&B chart. The next single, “How Many Teardrops,” stalled at #46, perhaps due to Christie’s induction into the U.S. Army.

Discharged from the service, Christie wasted little time rejuvenating his career in 1965 when he signed with MGM Records and his first release became his biggest hit. Another Herbert/Christie composition, “Lightnin’ Strikes” first topped the charts in Canada in early 1966, then duplicated that feat in the U.S. In addition, it became Christie’s first U.K. hit, climbing to #11. “Lightnin’ Strikes” was somewhat controversial lyrically, the female chorus pleading “Stop!” to Christie’s advances, to which he replies, “I can’t stop. No I can’t stop myself.” The follow-up, “Rhapsody In The Rain” also co-written by Herbert & Christie, raised an even bigger fuss as “We were makin’ out in the rain. And in this car, our love went much too far” caused a radio ban in some spots. Still, the song reached U.S. #16 and #10 in Canada.

How times have changed.

He couldn’t find another hit until 1969 when he returned to center stage with “I’m Gonna Make You Mine,” which became his biggest smash overseas, climbing to #2 in the U.K. It also reached #5 in Canada and #10 in the U.S. In 1973, Christie’s recording of “Beyond The Blue Horizon” rose to #12 on Billboard’s Adult Contemporary chart and has been featured in several movie soundtracks, including that of “Rain Man,” 1988’s top grossing film. In 2015, Christie released new material, including “Drive-in Dreams.”

595. THE B’Z

According to the International Federation of the Phonograph Industry, Japan is the second largest music market in the world behind the United States and the biggest in Asia. Several Goldmine Hall of Fame artists have become major stars in that Oriental hotspot, Cheap Trick being one that conquered the language barrier and The Ventures, who didn’t have to deal with that obstacle, being primarily an instrumental group.

So it’s no wonder guitarist Tak Matsumoto and Koshi Inaba, who sings and plays a variety of instruments, rank in the top 25% of all singles sellers worldwide and have a slot in the top 40% of all worldwide album sellers. After all, the duo has registered 48 consecutive #1 singles in Japan, starting with 1990’s “Komachi Angel” up to 2015’s “Red.” You read that right – 48 consecutive #1 singles. In addition, that same time period has seen 24 albums and three EPs by the B’Z top the Japanese charts. And if that still isn’t enough, both have had very successful solo releases.

Matsumoto and Inaba have covered many genres in their musical journey, which likely accounts for a good deal of their popularity as their material stays fresh. They have made several brief visits to North America and are the first Asian group to have their handprints and signatures enshrined in Hollywood’s RockWalk.

The B’Z are Japan’s top-selling recording artists, being credited with 80 million-plus in sales by Japan chart tabulator, Oricon.

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