By Phill Marder
This is the 31st set of 10 selections in The Goldmine Hall of Fame.
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. 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
301. FRANK ZAPPA (with the Mothers of Invention) – Surrounding himself with the best musicians, this Baltimore-born artist became one of the most successful recording figures of our time period without ever becoming commercially acceptable. The prolific composer/producer/performer wound up issuing more than 60 albums, including many multi-disc sets, between 1966 and his death from prostate cancer in 1993, then left enough material to assure future releases which continue today.
Though his first LP, “Freak Out!,” today is considered a masterpiece, it peaked no higher than #130 on the Billboard Top Albums chart in 1966, but its successor, the next year’s “Absolutely Free,” did much better, just missing the U.S. top 40. Both went under the flag of Zappa’s band, The Mothers of Invention. After “Lumpy Gravy” was released under Zappa’s name, the Mothers returned with 1968’s “We’re Only In It For The Money,” which gave Zappa one of his biggest commercial successes in the U.S., reaching #30.
Zappa maintained a steady presence on the U.S. album chart, but it took him until 1973 to come close to the top 30 again, 1973’s “Over-Nite Sensation” stopping at #32. But in the meantime, Zappa had broken into the market that would give him his greatest commercial rewards – Europe. The 1968 success had risen to #31 in the U.K. and the next year’s “Hot Rats” rose all the way to #9 and spread into Australia, becoming a hit there. Zappa opened 1974 with “Apostrophe (‘),” which, at #10, became his only top 10 entry in the U.S. But reaching #6 in Norway, “Apostrophe (‘)” opened the European door wide and by 1979 Zappa’s LPs were topping charts in Norway and Sweden with frequent appearances on best-seller charts elsewhere, as well, Zappa placing four LPs in the Austrian top 10 from 1979 to 1981.
Today, Zappa still ranks at or near the top 10 percent of all album sellers. Hit singles, as would be expected, were rare, 1982’s “Valley Girl,” which featured his 14-year-old daughter Moon Unit on vocals, being his lone top entry in the States. In 1979, Zappa enjoyed his biggest European hit when “Bobby Brown” topped charts in Norway and Sweden and hit the top five in Switzerland, Germany and Austria.
Zappa used enough supporting musicians to field his own philharmonic, but variations of The Mothers of Invention or The Mothers were present from the 1966 debut “Freak Out!” to 1975’s “Bongo Fury,” and deserve “Miners.” We have tried to filter those who participated the most. They are: Ray Collins (vocals & percussion); Jimmy Carl Black & Aynsley Dunbar (drums); Roy Estrada (bass & guitarron); John Leon “Bunk” Gardner (woodwinds); Don Preston (keyboards); Euclid James “Motorhead” Sherwood (sax); Ian Underwood (guitar, keyboards, woodwinds & sax); George Duke (organ) and Ruth Underwood (marimba, vibes & percussion).
302. ERASURE – Scan the list of all-time best-selling singles’ artists and the name Erasure sits near the top. Scan the list of the all-time best-selling albums’ artists and the name Erasure sits near the top. No wonder, as the English duo has been notching hits since 1985.
Vocalist Andy Bell and multi-instrumentalist Vince Clarke make up Erasure, whose success should have come as no surprise considering Clarke’s prior track record. Clarke was a founding member of Depeche Mode, already inducted into the Goldmine Hall of Fame. He wrote almost all the material on their first album, including their first three singles. He then formed Yazoo, whose two LPs hit U.K. #2 and #1, respectively, and whose singles often topped the U.S. Dance chart.
Erasure followed a similar pattern, the first three singles scoring on the U.S. Dance Chart. The fourth, “Sometimes,” broke through across Europe, hitting #1 in Spain and South Africa, #2 in the U.K. and Germany and top 10 almost everywhere else.
From 1988 until 1994, Erasure placed five straight LPs atop the U.K. chart, including a greatest hits package. Between 1986 and 2007, Erasure put 35 singles and EPs into the U.K. top 40, and had one EP, 1992’s “Abba-Esque,” hit #1. The pair has placed a remarkable 15 singles and two EPs into the top 10. In the U.S., only three singles have hit the top 20 on the Hot 100. But, Erasure has had 16 entries on the Dance Chart top 10, including two #1s, 1987’s “Victim Of Love” and 2005’s “Breathe.” Their most recent entry came in 2011 when “Be With You” climbed to #7.
303. AIR SUPPLY – It took several years for the rest of the world to catch up with Australia where this duo was concerned. But once it happened, English-born Graham Russell and Australia-born Russell Hitchcock left few locations untouched.
Their debut LP, “Air Supply,” rose to #17 in Australia thanks largely to the success of the single, “Love and Other Bruises,” which peaked at #6 down under. The next year’s LP, “The Whole Thing’s Started,” was also an Australian success, but the third flopped and none of the three made any noise elsewhere. The aptly named fourth LP, “Life Support,” rescued the pair as Russell, who wrote most of the material, delivered “Lost In Love,” a five-minute plus cut that rose to #13 in Australia and #3 in neighboring New Zealand. More importantly, it was heard by Clive Davis, head of Arista Records. Davis remixed it, cut its length, and it hit #3 on the U.S. Hot 100, eventually making the top 10 in Brasil and France as well.
Once the breakthrough occurred, Air Supply became one of the ‘80’s biggest acts, scoring five straight albums in the U.S. top 30, two reaching the top 10. On the singles’ side, Air Supply put together a five-year stretch where almost every release was a chart-topper. “Lost In Love” was followed by “All Out Of Love,” which climbed to #2 in the States and reached the top 10 in Australia, France and Canada. “Every Woman In The World” closed 1980 hitting U.S. #5 and top 10 in Australia and New Zealand, and 1981 started with “The One That You Love” giving the duo their first U.S. #1.
“Here I Am,” “Sweet Dreams” and “Even The Nights Are Better” gave the duo three straight #5 hits on the U.S. Hot 100 and they added a #2 finish with 1983’s “Making Love Out Of Nothing At All.” Currently, the pair continues to tour and release new music.
304. THE SEX PISTOLS – If this group of British punks want to thank somebody for their inclusion in the Goldmine Hall of Fame, they need look no further than the British youth of the ‘70s. Of course, it would be strongly anti-Sex Pistols for them to even want to be included, and certainly thanking anyone for anything would be a real stretch. That’s what made The Sex Pistols The Sex Pistols.
Confrontation, chaos, anarchy, rebellion and violence characterized The Sex Pistols, and the youth of Britain ate it up. The band made just one proper album, “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here Come The Sex Pistols,” during its heyday, but that and a succession of soundtracks, compilations and live recordings have proven popular enough to keep the Pistols on the charts into the 2000s, and have lifted the group well into the list of best-selling LP artists. The 1977 LP ran to #1 on the U.K. charts and became a substantial hit in other parts of Europe and the Pan Pacific. Its reception in the U.S. wasn’t the enthusiasm felt in Europe, but it fared more than respectably for a debut by a new band, topping off at #106. Three more LPs hit the U.K. top 10, including an interview disc which peaked at #6!
Hit singles were much more prevalent, however. The band’s first effort, “Anarchy In the U.K.” just squeaked into the U.K. top 40, but the next, “God Save The Queen,” soared all the way to #2, and the group placed six more singles into the U.K. top 10 by the summer of 1979, 18 months after the band had collapsed. The four hits eventually appeared on The Sex Pistols’ debut album, but the next four were done after Johnny Rotten and Sid Vicious had left the band.
The inductees are the members who recorded “Never Mind The Bollocks, Here Come The Sex Pistols,” Johnny Rotten (John Lydon), vocals, Steve Jones, who replaced Vicious for recording of the LP, Glen Matlock, who left the band in February, 1977, but has appeared in various reunions, and drummer Paul Cook. Vicious (John Simon Ritchie), whose contribution to the group’s image was significant, also receives a “Miner.”
305. DEEP PURPLE – There have been 14 different members of Deep Purple, including four different lead singers, since the band’s chart debut “Shades Of Deep Purple” in 1968. With some members coming in and out more than once, there have been seven five-man combinations, all of which have been successful. The first combination of guitarist Ritchie Blackmore, bassist Nick Simper, organist Jon Lord, drummer Ian Paice and lead singer Rod Evans saw its first albums and singles chart, but, strangely, only in the U.S., where the initial album, powered by the #4 single “Hush,” reached #24. The next two releases didn’t do as well, though, and Evans and Simper left, being replaced by vocalist Ian Gillan and bassist Roger Glover. Gillan, Blackmore, Glover, Lord and Paice became the band’s classic combination, taking Deep Purple to new heights from 1969 to 1973, coming back from 1984 to 1989, and again from 1992 to 1993.
This also was the conglomeration that broke the band in the U.K., where it has enjoyed tremendous success since. The first effort, Lord’s “Concerto For Group and Orchestra,” a live effort performed at London’s Royal Albert Hall, didn’t do much in the States, but became the group’s first U.K. chart effort, hitting #26. “Deep Purple In Rock” had a weak showing in the US, but bolted to #4 in the UK and a single – “Black Night” – just missed being the band’s first chart-topper in its native land, reaching #2. The next single “Strange Kind Of Woman” reached #8 in the U.K. Included on the U.S. version of the ensuing “Fireball” LP, it helped bring the group back in the States, the LP hitting #32, while becoming the group’s first #1 album in the U.K.
“Machine Head,” generally considered Deep Purple’s finest hour, appeared in 1972, topping the British charts for three weeks and soaring to #7 in the U.S. But the group’s signature song, the single, “Smoke On The Water” on which Blackmore introduced one of Rock’s most instantly identifiable guitar riffs, didn‘t gain release in the U.S. until a year later, eventually getting to #4. Even stranger, the song didn’t hit the British chart until 1977, peaking at #21. And even stranger was the fact that all this was happening after Gillan and Glover had quit the group. The band went through several changes, and it wasn’t until 1984 that the group reformed with the classic lineup intact. Two smash albums, “Perfect Strangers” and “The House Of Blue Light” ensued. All told, Purple’s remarkable career has produced just six hit singles in the UK, but 21 hit albums, including three that topped the charts. In the U.S., only three of the group’s singles could be considered hits, but they put 20 LPs on the Top 200, 11 reaching the top 50, with three climbing into the top 10.
The inductees are: Ritchie Blackmore & Steve Morse (guitar); Jon Lord & Don Airey (keyboards); Ian Paice (drums); Rod Evans, Ian Gillan & David Coverdale (vocals); Nick Simper, Roger Glover & Glenn Hughes (bass).
306. T. REX – This Marc Bolan-led group had its major impact in its homeland of England, but over time has become somewhat legendary in the United States as well. What Bolan might have accomplished if he had lived longer than 29 years is food for speculation. But what he did actually accomplish was enough to earn him and his cohorts induction into the Goldmine Hall of Fame.
As Tyrannosaurus Rex, Bolan and percussionist Steve Peregrin Took issued three folk-oriented albums, the first and third charting in the U.K. top 15. In 1972, four years after their initial release, the first two LPs were re-released together, reaching #1 in the U.K. By that time, Bolan and new partner Mickey Finn had run roughshod over the British charts, with two #1 singles, “Hot Love” and “Get It On” and two that fell just short at #2, “Ride A White Swan” and “Jeepster.” “Get It On” was released in the U.S. as “Bang A Gong (Get It On)” and became Bolan’s first success in the States, reaching #10. It also broke Bolan in Canada, climbing to #12 and became a worldwide smash, entering the top 10 of almost every country keeping score. The host LP, “Electric Warrior,” topped the Brit charts and reached #32 in the U.S.
The next two singles, “Telegram Sam” and “Metal Guru” followed suit, but not in the U.S., where Bolan never had a second hit. “Children Of The Revolution” and “Solid Gold Easy Action” finished off 1972 by climbing to #2 in the U.K. Strangely, though it contained no hits in the States, the follow-up to “Electric Warrior,” “The Slider,” became T. Rex’s best-charting LP in the States, climbing to #17. Both “The Slider” and the next LP, “Tanx,” rose to U.K. #4. “Bolan Boogie,” a best-of compilation, topped the U.K. chart in 1972, and Bolan continued to be a major force in the U.K. until his death in 1977, now being recognized as one of the pillars of “glam rock.”
While Bolan is the obvious centerpiece of T. Rex, Took and Finn also deserve induction for their roles in the group’s success as do Steve Currie on bass and Bill Legend on drums.
307. RICHARD MARX – If he hadn’t eventually received a contract to make his own recordings, Chicago-born Richard Marx would have had a good shot at making the still-to-come songwriter’s portion of the Goldmine Hall of Fame. But he did get that contract, and he made good on it. So good that he ranks among the best sellers of singles and albums worldwide.
Between 1987 and 1994, Marx placed nine singles into the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100. The first seven made the top four, with three, 1988’s “Hold On To The Nights,” and 1989’s “Satisfied” and “Right Here Waiting,” reaching #1. The latter also hit #1 in Japan, Sweden, Poland, Ireland, Canada, New Zealand, Australia and Spain. The same year, “Angelia” and “Satisfied” also topped the charts in Japan and 1992’s “Hazard” hit #1 in Australia.
“Hazard” was pulled from Marx’s third LP “Rush Street,” but it was Marx’s second LP, “Repeat Offender,” that proved his biggest success, hitting #1 in the U.S. and Australia and top 10 across Europe. Four singles from his debut album, “Richard Marx,” reached the top three in the U.S., capped by “Hold On To The Nights.”
Before getting his break, Marx sang background for Madonna, Luther Vandross, Lionel Richie, Kenny Rogers and Whitney Houston, all Goldmine Hall of Famers, and when it came time for him to record he had plenty of support from industry stars.
308. BERT KAEMPFERT – Born in Hamburg, this German orchestra leader and songwriter is responsible for many musical milestones of the Rock Era. By the time he produced The Beatles first recordings with Pete Best on drums and some featuring Tony Sheridan on vocals, he already had notched a #1 single in the U.S.
That tune was “Wonderland By Night,” featuring Charly Tabor on trumpet, which entered the Billboard singles’ chart at the close of 1960 and eventually held the #1 position three weeks. And though Kaempfert had several other hits, including “Jingo Jango,” which reached #8 U.S. in 1963 and “Red Roses For A Blue Lady,” #11 U.S. in 1965, Kaempfert was best known as a great album seller, ranking among the world’s most successful. His “Wonderland By Night” long-player topped the U.S. LP chart for five weeks in 1961, and from that point until 1971 he placed 21 albums on the U.S. chart, including “Blue Midnight” that hit #5 in 1965. He also scored regularly on the U.K. album chart starting with 1966’s “Bye Bye Blue Eyes,” which peaked at #4, and, naturally, became a favorite in his homeland.
Kaempfert’s albums became a treasure trove for those seeking hits, most of the music written by Kaempfert. “Strangers In The Night” originally was part of Kaempfert’s score for the 1965 film “A Man Could Get Killed” but also appeared on his 1966 LP of the same name, which reached #13 in the U.K. and #39 in the U.S. That same year, it became a #1 single for Frank Sinatra, though reportedly he hated it. The year before, his album, “The Magic Music Of Far Away Places,” containing “Moon Over Naples,” reached U.S. #27. When lyricist Eddie Snyder added lyrics, it became a major hit for Goldmine Hall of Famer Al Martino as “Spanish Eyes.” One of Kaempfert’s earliest successes came from his 1963 LP “Living It Up!,” which yielded “Danke Schoen,” Wayne Newton’s signature song, and the year prior his U.S. #14 album, “That Happy Feeling,” gave Billy Vaughn, also a Goldmine Hall of Fame inductee, a major hit with “A Swingin’ Safari.”
Kaempfert passed away in June 1980 at the age of 56. The next month his LP “Sounds Sensational” was #17 on the U.K. chart. He was inducted into the Songwriter’s Hall of Fame in 1993.
309. IGGY POP (with the Stooges) – One has to search long and hard to find The Stooges on any best-seller list. None of the band’s five albums made a dent on the charts. Lead vocalist Iggy Pop fared better with his solo output, but still didn’t set cash registers on fire. So how do they rate a spot in the Goldmine Hall of Fame? Refer to criteria #3, please.
Iggy Pop’s solo success garnered the necessary chart points which, coupled with critical raves, lifted Pop and his band into our list of inductees. Iggy actually had eight solo LPs that made the Billboard chart from 1977 to 1990. The highest-charting was the first, 1977’s “The Idiot,’ but the most durable was 1990’s “Brick By Brick,” which peaked at #90 but stayed on the top 200 37 weeks. “The Stooges,” the group’s 1969 debut, rose to #106, their best showing as a band.
In the U.K., where the punk movement had a much greater chart impact than in the U.S., Pop actually had a top 10 single, “Real Wild Child (Wild One),” which rose to #10 in 1986, and two more that made significant impact, 1996’s #26 “Lust For Life” and 1998’s “The Passenger,” which rose to #22. The “Lust For Life” album topped off at #28 and “The Idiot” at #30. Across Europe, Iggy’s recordings appear on the best-of lists of many countries.
The inductees are Iggy Pop (vocalist), Dave Alexander (bass), Ron Asheton and James Williamson (guitar) and Scott Asheton (drums).
310. JEFFERSON STARSHIP (Starship) – Many bands, Deep Purple for example, go through numerous lineups, especially if they’re in existence for an extended period of time. Few go through as many different names as this band (or these bands) an offshoot of Jefferson Airplane, which was inducted into the Goldmine Hall of Fame at #207. There were the above three names, plus Starship Jefferson, Hot Tuna, Mickey Thomas’ Starship, Starship featuring Mickey Thomas and Jefferson Starship – The Next Generation. For our purposes, we treat the Airplane and Jefferson Starship as two different bands, but Jefferson Starship and Starship as basically the same group.
Jefferson Starship was started with Grace Slick and Paul Kantner the main holdovers from Jefferson Airplane, with Marty Balin contributing and underrated drummer Johnny Barbata, the former Turtle who played on the final Airplane LP. Slick, Balin and Kantner all earned “Miners” as inductees with the Airplane. While the Airplane was a critics’ fave as one of the legendary experimental underground bands of the psychedelic era, Jefferson Starship/Starship achieved much more commercial success, and was treated with scorn and disdain by most critics as a result.
With personnel changes along the way, Jefferson Starship released eight LPs between 1974 and 1984, with great success. The first, “Dragon Fly,” reached #11 U.S. and the next four reached the top 10 in the States, 1975’s “Red Octopus” topping the charts. “Spitfire,” released in 1976 and “Earth,” which appeared two years later, both were huge in Canada, also, hitting #3 and #4, respectively. The band also made regular appearances on the Billboard Hot 100, “Miracles” climbing to #3 and “Count On Me” reaching #8. Kantner split and the group shortened its name for 1985’s “Knee Deep In The Hoopla,” which rose to U.S. #7 on the backs of two massive hit singles, “We Built This City,” which topped charts in the U.S., Canada, Australia and Sweden, and “Sara,” which hit #1 in the U.S. and Canada. In 1987, the “No Protection” album yielded “Nothing’s Gonna Stop Us Now,” which became the band’s lone chart topper in the U.K. as well as hitting #1 in the U.S. and Canada.
The inductees are: Grace Slick, Marty Balin & Mickey Thomas (vocals); Paul Kantner & Craig Chaquico (guitars); John Barbata & Donny Baldwin (drums); Pete Sears (bass); David Frieberg (keyboards).