CLEVELAND, Ohio – Sometimes, having big names in a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class can disguise the fact that several of those Inductees should have been honored long ago.
Our “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Remixed” series looks back on every year of Inductions, correcting mistakes and re-evaluating resumes.
[See previous remixed classes: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012]
Like the actual Class of 2013, our version stars with first-ballot hall of famer Public Enemy. From there, it gets tricky:
- Public Enemy
- Black Flag
- Kate Bush
- The Cars
- The Replacements
- Leonard Cohen*
Fiction vs. Reality: Aside from Public Enemy, the actual Class of 2013 featured Donna Summer, Heart, Albert King, Randy Newman and Rush.
Several of those artists probably waited way too long. Our Remixed series has already inducted Summer, Heart, Rush and King. But Randy Newman was tricky.
His induction into the Rock Hall in 2013 was surprising as a name that came out of nowhere. And while there’s no denying Newman’s accomplishments, most praise begins with his songwriting. Thus, we’d rather see him in the Rock Hall under the “Music Excellence” category.
Taking their place in our Remixed Class of 2013 are The Cars, Kate Bush, Black Flag and The Replacements. The Cars weren’t inducted until 2018. But most music fans agree the influential and hit-making new wave/power pop band had been overlooked for some time.
The Replacements are the kind of band that will never look sexy to voters but deserves recognition. Alternative rock simply wouldn’t have evolved into what it’s been over the past 25 years without The Replacements.
Kate Bush is interesting in that she’s one of the biggest female acts in UK history. But she never crossed over to the United States like, say, a Peter Gabriel or Annie Lennox. But Bush’s influence on much celebrated contemporary acts like Radiohead, Bjork, St. Vincent, Florence Welch and Fiona Apple is immense.
Biggest debate: How far do you want to go with punk rock? The Rock Hall hasn’t moved far beyond the big name innovators like The Clash, Sex Pistols, Ramones and Patti Smith.
That’s a shame. If you move into the realm of influential L.A. punk acts, whose influence was essential to the development of the genre, you have to start with Black Flag. As pioneers of the hardcore and post-hardcore genres, Black Flag influenced everyone from Sound Garden and Sonic Youth to Green Day and Rage Against the Machine.
*Legends Committee: Leonard Cohen was inducted into the Rock Hall in 2008. We waited a bit longer, pushing him past our 10-year eligibility mark.
But Cohen was a rather easy Legends Committee selection, given his longevity. He put out excellent work in the 1960s and 1970s, released his landmark “Hallelujah” in 1984 and then became this beloved indie icon in the 21st century.
What’s next: 2014 and Nirvana!