It’s an annual tradition and always a nostalgic and respectful look back at the artists and bands that paved the way for the musicians of today. The Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame 2017 inductees have been announced and it’s an amazing class, full of diverse talent that made their impact in very different ways at very different times.
Here are the six inductees for this year’s Hall of fame class:
It seems to now be known as Jeff Lynne’s ELO now as they’ve resurged over the past few years and even performed at Glastonbury festival, but the 70’s electro rock band were famous for attempting to pick up where the Beatles left off and added classical elements to contemporary rock and pop. Classics like ‘Mr Blue Sky’, ‘Don’t Bring Me Down’ and ‘Evil Woman’, plus their unique style and intention is what’s maintained their longevity.
Rogers is one of the most unmistakeable guitarists of the past fifty years, as he led the disco movement with his funk and soul outfit CHIC, in which he’d originally unleash his signature guitar sound, taking the guitar out of the hands of rockers and bluesmen and giving it a cool, hip, dance floor filling new approach. He’s been an amazing hand in adding massively to other bands and artist’s music both as a producer and musician, and is heavily sought after to give their tracks a boost. The likes of Sister Sledge, Daft Punk, Madonna, David Bowie and Diana Ross have all worked alongside Rogers and a have all found huge success with those recordings.
Baez was one of the leading names and faces in the sixties folk boom, emanating out of Greenwich village and New York. Alongside Bob Dylan and multiple other great names, they went from coffee shops, to small gigs, Jazz festivals and eventually the big stage, even the White house steps where we’ve just seen a new President inaugurated. Throughout Dylan’s earliest years as a performer, Joan Baez could always be seen, featuring on many of his tracks, covering a lot of his songs and of course producing her own sound. A political pillar of a left-wing youth movement, Baez and Dylan were seen as a huge power couple, despite never being romantically linked, but it’s always been a question for me, whether Dylan would have been as massive as he is, if it wasn’t for this level-headed, guiding figure being by his side through those initial years.
The stadium rock group that will always be known for their epic hit ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ are going into the hall of fame in 2017 and whether or not you’re familiar with the rest of their discography, the impact of their biggest hit is larger than most bands could ever dream. The band began releasing music in the mid seventies and it wasn’t until the early eighties that they released this mammoth track. Since then it has been covered by everyone and anyone, from other band and artists, X-Factor winners, Cartoon Chipmunks, Big Brother contestants, DJ’s and the cast of GLEE. Because of its use on the TV show GLEE, the original version made its way back into the charts in 2009 hitting the number six spot. It’s not hard to see why the tracks so successful and why the band have acclaimed such recognition, due to the unworldly vocals of lead singer, Steve Perry and the unreal guitar skills of lead guitarist Neal Schon.
The Rock and roll hall of fame has always celebrated diversity in music, and a genius is a genius, whether they sit on the edges of the rock n roll genre. Tupac Shakur (or 2pac) is one of the biggest names in Hip-hop of all time, as he led a movement in the nineties and aside from being an innovator of gangster rap, feuding with other artists, most famously Notorious B.I.G, he supplied a social commentary and often pointed out issues like racism, youth movement and gang violence. His tragic murder in 1996 is still talked about today and his legend grew posthumously ever since, with multiple recordings being released since, greatest hits compilations and his vocals used on chart topping hits of the 2000’s.
Eddie Vedder, the frontman of Pearl Jam, is no stranger to the Hall of Fame as he’s inducted multiple people throughout the years, including R.E.M and the Ramones, for which he gave one hell of a speech… a long, long speech too. But now Pearl Jam are to be honoured themselves and as one of the bigger names in the early nineties grunge movement, it’s well deserved. Leading the way alongside Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, Pearl Jam found fame with releases like ‘Jeremy’ ‘Even Flow’ and the epic ‘Alive’, and have been consistently hard-working and committed to their music and live stage shows even to this day.
You can find out much more about the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame by visiting Rockhall.com
Words by Stuart Green (@mojo20_music)