THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME FOUNDATION
TO ANNOUCE 2007 INDUCTEES
New York -- The nominations for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum were announced in October. To be eligible for nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an act must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. This year's nominees had to release their first single no later than 1981. Of the nine original nominees, five have now been chosen for induction into the Rock Hall of Fame.
The Foundation will release the five inductees via press release on January 8, 2007. Also in January, The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame launches its exhibit on groundbreaking punk carnival, The Vans Warped Tour. “Warped: 12 years of Music, Mayhem, and More” documents the tour and its impact, from its first year in 1995 to the present with a gala kick-off ceremony on January 26, 2006 at the museum in Cleveland. Three noted punk bands will play at the beautiful I.M. Pei-designed Hall for the opening; Pennywise, The Used, and Paramore. Kevin Lyman, Warped’s founder, will also be on hand. “Warped: 12 years of Music, Mayhem, and More” will run through September, 2007. After “Warped” opens in late January, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Foundation’s next event will be the March 12th induction ceremony honoring five special artists and/or bands, at the Waldorf Astoria in New York.
The nine nominees for 2007 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are: Chic, The Dave Clark Five, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, R.E.M., The Ronettes, Patti Smith, The Stooges, Joe Tex, and Van Halen.
Chic was a pioneering New York jazz-funk group led by writers and producers Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, who brought refined musicianship and rhythmic innovation to 1970s disco. They also laid the foundation for hip hop, with their song "Good Times" providing the music for the groundbreaking hit "Rapper's Delight." Rodgers and Edwards went on to write and produce some of the '80s' biggest pop songs for Madonna, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, and others.
For a time, the Dave Clark Five were the British Invasion's most popular band, with more appearances on the Ed Sullivan show than the Beatles or the Rolling Stones. From 1965 to 1968, they had 17 Top Forty hits, including the iconic pop song "Glad All Over." They were known for a bigger production sound than their peers and a slick, pure melodic sensibility. Despite disbanding in 1970, the Dave Clark Five have sold more than 50 million records worldwide to date.
New York City's Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five were the greatest innovators of hip-hop's formative era beginning in the late 1970s. Grandmaster Flash himself is considered the first to develop most DJ techniques, from cutting to back-spinning to phasing on the wheels of steel. Teaming with the Furious Five's influential MCs, such as Melle Mel and Cowboy, the group released a series of seminal rap tracks, incorporating soul, r&b, funk, punk, new wave, hard rock, and glam.
R.E.M. was the first underground American band from the 1980s' "indie" scene to break through and find mainstream success. Their 1981 cult hit "Radio Free Europe" was an entirely new kind of pop song -- jangly, distorted, lo fi, but still melodic and even delicate. The unique sound of their first album, 1983's "Murmur" on IRS Records, was the beginning of the multiplatinum band's emergence as leader of the U.S. alternative scene of the '80s and '90s.
The Ronettes' timeless Girl Group anthems have at times been overshadowed by the personal drama and history of the group's connection (and leader Ronnie Bennett's marriage) to Phil Spector. But the Ronettes' music, made in just three years from 1963 to 1966, is nearly perfect on its own, with no backstory. Megahits like "Be My Baby" and "Baby, I Love You" were instant classics, and remain as compelling today as when they were first released, inspiring the Rolling Stones and the Beach Boys to become fans.
Patti Smith is considered the Godmother of Punk, and her cerebral, poetic, raggedly emotional music is both utterly unique and very much of a certain time and place in music history. The time and place were lower Manhattan's grimy streets in the early 1970s, where Patti was a contemporary of bands like Television and the Voidoids and artists like Robert Mapplethorpe and Andy Warhol.
The Stooges came out of Ann Arbor, Michigan, but they were quickly adopted by Detroit rockers the MC5, who recognized their incendiary garage-rock sound and proto-punk sensibility. With songs like "I Wanna Be Your Dog" and "Search and Destroy," the Stooges' intensity, especially that of frontman Iggy Pop, has rarely been rivaled. An international sensation, the Stooges made only three studio albums, but they influenced hundreds of bands to come.
A downhome singer with a preacher's style, Joe Tex was the first soul musician to cross over and have a pop hit with his 1965 song "Hold What You've Got." Joe Tex was one of Atlantic Records' most talented artists, and he scored more than two dozen consecutive pop/r&b crossover hits through 1969. Tex's songs were covered by James Brown, Percy Sledge, Johnny Cash, the Animals, Etta James, Elvis Costello and many others.
Van Halen was the 1980s' biggest hard-rock success story, with brothers Alex and Eddie Van Halen emerging as drum and guitar virtuosos, featuring the most bombastic, outrageous frontman since Mick Jagger in David Lee Roth. Van Halen played metal-tinged rock and roll with a fun, sexy swagger, and their 1978 self-titled debut album sold 10 million copies, featuring a genre-changing guitar solo on "Eruption." Van Halen continued to chart through the 1990s.
All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.