Editor's Note: This is the second in a three-part series about Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominees.
Let's get another "elephant" out of the way as we start the last part of this opus, er, thing. It's called…
And it's a big elephant. If they don't make it, I'll be shocked. THE Arena Rock band of the late '70s and through the '80s, they were a hit machine. With the hiring of Steve Perry as lead singer in 1977, they became a monster. I tried to pick a representative sample of their music, but with 18 Number Ones, it's hard to choose.
Journey - Don't Stop Believin'
I picked the version with lyrics. A few years ago, the San Francisco band admitted they didn't know Midwest geography, and confessed that the line "...Born and raised in South Detroit..." just sounded good. Keep in mind there is no "South Detroit", you're either "born and raised" in the Detroit River, or Windsor, Ontario. You go SOUTH from Detroit into Ontario. You can look it up. It's good for winning bar bets. But regardless of that slip up, they get a Yes/Yes from this end. I'm not enamored with the band, but what the heck.
…were rediscovered by one of those PBS My Music shows four or five years ago, and the Rod Argent (keyboards)-Colin Blunstone (vocals) led group had a number of hit singles and one terrific album (1968's "Oddessey and Oracle") and that's about it.
The Zombies - Se's Not There
They have been nominated before, and I'm inclined to believe their nomination again is another sop to the old guard. I'll take the sop, but because of their limited output, they're a No/No.
He should make it. I'm a white guy living in a small town in Central Washington (no, the state) and as such didn't have much exposure to much of his music, and I do know he got caught up in the Rap wars to the extent that he was shot to death in Vegas in 1996.
Tupac Shakur - Changes (featuring Talent)
I'll admit, when I was young, the voices of the ghetto were The Impressions and Marvin Gaye. Tupac was one of the voices in the mid-'90s. I don't understand it, but I'm from the "Keep on Pushin" era, not Tupac's time. He WAS an important act, so I'll say Yes, I Think So/Probably.
…on the other hand, is probably out. She's here again, without Rufus this time, and probably deserves to be in, but suffers the fate of not, except with Rufus and possibly the "Standing In The Shadow Of Motown" soundtrack, being well known outside of R&B radio. Damn shame.
Rufus featuring Chaka Khan - Everlasting Love
She's good, has overcome some problems to cement her reputation but looks to be a Maybe/No.
More electronica, but in a more varied form. BIG (I mean B-I-G) in the '80s, they lost their "hip" edge, but gained musical respect.
Depeche Mode - Enjoy the Silence
But like the other two times nominated, I just don't see them making it this time either, so I'm going to say No/Probably not, but if The Talking Heads made it in, who knows, I could be wrong.
…is a no go. She may be good, but 1) not as good as her brother and 2) a pure product of MTV. Sold a lot of records....
Janet Jackson - Rhythm Nation
…but I'm not one to equate sales with ability. If that were true, The Monkees would have been in years ago. Nope/Nope, but I could be fooled again, I'm not The Who.
He's got a snowball's chance in the desert. Known as much for his feud with James Brown as anything, he was a mid-60's R&B sensation, but the Rock Hall doesn't care much for R&B sensations, and without a big pop following, except for:
Joe Tex - Skinny Legs and All
…realistically he doesn't have much of a chance. He was well regarded in England, but this isn't the Northern Soul Hall of Fame, so No/No. And this leaves us with...
Maybe. I really like the early stuff from this band formed in London in 1968 by Jon Anderson (vocals) and Chris Squire (a unique sounding bass player), they went through so many changes they make the Small Faces/Faces change look like a walk in the park, and for the multiple reformations, I'm going to have to say No. If it was the early Art Rock band:
Yes - Roundabout
…it would be a different story, but the 1968 band and the "Owner of A Lonely Heart" 1983 band are so different, I would be hard pressed to know which one I was voting for, and given that this is their third shot, I'm going to say No/Probably not.
So there you have it. Took a while, but those are my choices from the (overly long) list of nominees for the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame class of 2017. Keep in mind that this DOES NOT reflect the thinking of The Don Rocks, or any of its contributors, just little' old me. But, what do you think?
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