We've talked about them ever since the long list of nominees was announced. The fan voting took place for quite a while, with Dave Matthews Band winning out over Pat Benatar and the Doobie Brothers. And now, the list of Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2020 inductees has finally been released. Many people have questions.
The 35th class of inductees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will include Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Whitney Houston, Nine Inch Nails, The Notorious B.I.G. and T-Rex, along with veteran rock journalist, producer and artist manager Jon Landau (they keep expanding categories.)
Depeche Mode, we can see, even though they're more electronic pop and alternative than actual rock and roll.
The Doobie Brothers - excellent choice! They came in third in fan voting, have blended a variety of styles into a diverse set of rock hits for decades, and deserved to be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame years ago.
Whitney Houston - hmm. Amazing singer with huge hits. Is she rock and roll? Ah, pop is close enough. I still can't believe she died almost eight years ago. But her legend continues, so that's cool.
Nine Inch Nails - good choice for their powerful songs that influenced Alternative Rock in the 1990s, especially with 1994's The Downward Spiral. Just the fact that Johnny Cash was able to cover their song "Hurt" and make it even more haunting qualifies them, in my opinion.
Notorious B.I.G. - well, he's a rapper and never did anything rock and roll except some samples. Should he be in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame? I'm not so sure. Songs like "Hyponotize" (which samples Herb Alpert's jazz hit "Rise"), "Mo' Money Mo' Problems" (which sampled Diana Ross' "I'm Coming Out"), and "Juicy" (which sampled Mtume's "Juicy Fruit") were all huge hits and hugely influential - but in the Hip-Hop genre. So basically, if Hip-Hop counts as close enough to Rock, Biggie's a good choice. But then again, would the Doobies get inducted into the Rap or Hip-Hop Hall of Fame? Doubtful.
T. Rex - these pioneers of 1970s "Glam Rock" should have been inducted a while ago, too. The 1971 classic "Bang A Gong (Get It On)" is definitive. They
Who were some key artists and bands left out?
How about Judas Priest? Did they break the law or something? Were they livin' after midnight too much? What the heck? Judas Priest's guitarist Richie Faulkner was none too pleased at the snub.
Pat Benatar? She's been one of the female leaders in rock for a long time, plus she was a top finalist in the fan voting. What's the deal?
Thin Lizzy, Motorhead, and Soundgarden would have been pretty good choice, but I understand they wouldn't necessarily make it this year (or again this year.) And there are others, but it's time for me to get off my soapbox and jump back on the air. lf you have any thoughts, please share your comments!