The Real 2016 Class of Inductees Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
I have decided that after last year’s embarrassing inclusion of Green Day, it is time for the people (for me) to take the power and start pressuring the Hall to start making sense (have I mentioned that I can easily think of 100 acts that should have been inducted prior to Green Day)..
In this spirit, I am suggesting nominees for induction into the 2016 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...Everyone who agrees with my choices should join me in agitating the ROHOF to get it done.
(I am under no illusion that the RORHOF committee cares what I think...but, in this instance, they should).
Power to the people!
What Are the Requirements for Nomination/Induction?
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame explains the requirements for membership thusly:
To be eligible for induction as an artist (as a performer, composer, or musician) into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the artist must have released a record, in the generally accepted sense of that phrase, at least 25 years prior to the year of induction; and have demonstrated unquestionable musical excellence. We shall consider factors such as an artist's musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique, but musical excellence shall be the essential qualification of induction.
So, they have to have released an album at least 25 years before induction, they have to demonstrate musical excellence, and it does not hurt to have influence, a long career, and demonstrate innovation and/or good style and technique.
Now, my nominations for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame...Drum Roll….
Nomination Number One: Joy Division
What if I were to tell you that there was a band that:
At least 8 full length books about them (So This Is Permanence, Unknown Pleasures, Joy Division, Touching From a Distance, Joy Division Piece by Piece, Chapter and Verse: New Order Joy Division and me, An Ideal For Living, and of course the 33 + 1/3d book about Unknown Pleasures.
A long line of bands and artists that cite them as a seminal influence...bands as diverse as Bloc Party, The Cure, Radiohead, Jane’s Addiction, and U2 (who even worked with JD’s producer Martin Hannett).
Speaking of Martin Hannett, the sound he helped Joy Division create was so unique and innovative that even today people refer to him as a ‘Genius.”
And at least one band was clearly influenced by them so much that they try to pretend that they were not (Interpol).
In case the articles are not enough...
Here is Radiohead:
And Here is Bono discussing Joy Division:
If I told you that, would you be interested in them being in your Hall Of Fame?
Joy Division was so powerful that they were able to survive the death of their singer, change their whole style, and become an even more commercially successful band (New Order) that is still releasing albums decades later.
Yet, despite their massive commercial successes (and Blue Monday, for instance, was the largest selling dance cut ever), nobody, not even them would ever claim that New Order was more important than Joy Division.
Yes, they only released two albums (and an EP and several singles)...But they were great albums that defined an entire genre (I defy anyone to try to explain post-punk without making reference to Joy Division). Joy Division had a sound that is still unique today, they pass the musical excellence test easily.
Yes, they did not have massive commercial success, but if that were a RORHOF standard half of its members would never have been inducted. And everybody knows who Joy Division was even today...Most everyone knows who Ian Curtis is even decades after his suicide.
They have survived the test of time and passed with flying colors...How many people in the HOF are still so relevant to contemporary culture that the biggest dramatic moment in a 2015 show featured a cover of one of their songs (the really strong Raveonettes cover of “She’s Lost Control” on the AMC show Halt and Catch Fire).
They have musical excellence, they have influence, they were really innovative, and their career is long (in the sense that their music is still culturally relevant today).
I strongly endorse the induction of Ian Curtis, Peter Hook, Bernard Sumner, and Stephen Morris...Collectively known as Joy Division into the 2016 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
And here is another link to that great Raveonette cover of She's Lost Control:
Nomination Number Two: Kraftwerk
I do not mean to be crude, forgive me here, but how the fuck are Kraftwerk not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (and forget the genre thing, I can give you a long list of RORHOF members who have little to do with “Rock”).
Virtually all music today is made using electronic tools instead of traditional instruments...Kraftwerk created that shit.
They aren’t just a spiritual father...They are THE FATHER.
As The Guardian said in 2013 Kraftwerk are “the world’s most influential band” - they created club music, the ability to make the ‘beats’ that are the heart of Hip-Hop, all popular synthesizer music starts with them...And now that pop is all produced in a box...they are the whole show.
It is also hard to overstate their ability to predict the future, how much music today is an interchangeable man (or woman) singer superimposed over machine created music...Modern music is a cyborg.
I remember thinking of Man-Machine every time I hear new Britney Spears, Madonna, Katy Perry, or any Boy Band music...where the people singing are almost indistinguishable. It is an odd kind of reverse branding where the singers popularity (brand) is attached to the produced computer music and the singers voice is almost wholly irrelevant to the process.
And then there are the Japanese computer generated pop stars….Man Machine indeed.
They have been a band since 1968….They still play occasionally (well, most of “they” have left the band).
They were like aliens, nothing else looked or sounded like them when they came out, they were so far ahead of their time that the world has kind of caught up to them now (bands like Purity Ring and Chvrches are clearly indebted to them).
I remember DJing at the Candy Store in Denton in the 80’s...when we had rap nights, the biggest response I would get was for non hip-hop artists Kraftwerk and the Art of Noise (also indebted to Kraftwerk).
As Andy McCluskey of OMD put it in a Telegraph Interview in 2013,
“People always go back to how the American blues was lifted by the British and turned into pop in the Sixties, but that was a long time ago, and its reign was 20 or 30 years,”...“When you listen to pop now, do you hear the Beatles, or do you hear electronic, synthetic, computer-based grooves?”
“For anyone of our generation involved in electronic music, Kraftwerk were the godfathers”...“Radio-Activity in 1975, Trans-Europe Express in 1977, The Man-Machine in 1978: they still sound modern today.
For god’s sakes, “Planet Rock” was built on a sample from Trans-Europe Express...Hip-Hop sampling was built on the spaceship that Kraftwerk built.
Bambaataa knows I am right...he knew it then....and he created sampling.
I would spend a bunch of time talking about the albums, but I should not have to sell this...anyone who knows anything about alternative music from 1975 to today knows that I am right.
That they are not in the HOF is insanity. This should be rectified immediately.
I strongly support the induction of Ralf Hütter, Florian Schneider, Fritz Hilpert, and Falk Grieffenhagen and any other members and/or machines that are collectively known as Kraftwerk into the 2016 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Looking for Joy Division classics listen here:
Looking for Kraftwerk classics listen here:
Do you agree with my nominees? Who Do You Think Should be in the 2016 Class of the RORHOF? Leave a comment!