2007 Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees
The small, but solid, 2007 Hall Of Fame inductions corrected a previous oversight (Van Halen), gave credit to an vastly under-represented style (The Ronettes), rewarded an outspoken artist (Patti Smith), honored the year's only first-time eligible inductee (R.E.M.) and thankfully saw fit to include the first inductee from rap, the most popular and far-reaching rock-style of the past quarter century (Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five). While the ceremonies lacked any of the explosive drama or must-see moments of past years, the inductees made up one of the more diverse, and deserving, classes in recent memory.
MAIN PERFORMER INDUCTEES
Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five
Pioneering rap artists finally made the much anticipated breakthrough for the genre into the Hall Of Fame after their first two nominations failed to get them in. Their time on top was relatively short, but extremely groundbreaking, particularly with the hits "The Message" and "White Lines (Don't, Don't Do It)", which brought social consciousness to what had been largely a party-rooted style. Their influence is massive, as they created the scratching turntable style that dominated the form for years to come. A hugely important artist in rock's evolution.
The only first-time eligible artist on the ballot last year and they didn't have wait to get their ticket punched. Generally credited with being the start of the alternative rock movement, a style that's been a steady presence in rock over the past quarter century. Though it began as a fringe movement they were able to eventually translate that critical acclaim and underground buzz into mainstream success without alienating their core audience or changing their style to do it. In an era in which group success can be short lived before breakup they remained together for a quarter century, continually adding to their legacy with each new release.
The signature artist in Phil Spector's vaunted Wall Of Sound productions of the early 60's who for too long got obscured by the focus on Spector himself. The trio, led by the sultry voice of Ronnie Bennett, crafted an indomitable image that brought overt sexuality in female performers to the forefront, influencing the way almost all female acts have been presented ever since, and had a string of enduring hits, including their signature performance "Be My Baby" which is still considered one of the handful of greatest rock singles ever cut. The girl group style was a dominant force in the 60's and had long been in dire need of more representation than the Hall Of Fame had granted it.
Smith has long been a critical darling, seen by many as the first truly outspoken, and thus somehow independent, female performer, though that is certainly not the case. Strong in the influence department however with a consistent album-oriented career at her peak and a ton of respect within the industry. The weakest of this year's inductees in terms of strict credentials, but not undeserving of the honor, Smith's solid reputation put her over the top.
Eligible for multiple years without so much as a nomination Van Halen had been one of the Hall Of Fame's most inexplicable omissions until now. They brought metal into the mainstream in the 80's with a string of hit singles and albums, had one of rock's most acclaimed guitar gods in Eddie Van Halen and their theatrical shows with either of two dynamic frontmen, David Lee Roth or Sammy Hagar, were legendary. Epitomized the decadent style of hard-rock that helped define their era.
Written By: Sampson
(Note: DDD is not affiliated with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame)