What your view of sports and life would be if you had too many concussions
In yet another effort to limit how much we have to talk about the crap-fest that is the National Football League, and as a reflection of this blog’s branching out to things outside of the world of sport, it’s time once again remind everybody about how many Dubsists are music fans. That’s why once again we here at Dubsism are tossing out our thoughts on the nominees for induction to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It’s been said before; its not like we haven’t put a collective toe in the water for melding sports and music before … and Lord knows we love a poll.
First and foremost, there’s the list of nominees being considered for induction in 2018 (listed alphabetically):
Secondly, to be eligible for nomination, an individual artist or band must have released its first commercial recording at least 25 years prior to the year of induction, which means the 2018 nominees had to release their first official recording no later than 1992.
Since the nudniks who vote for the Baseball Hall of Fame seems to be concerned about guys who should or shouldn’t be “first-ballot Hall of Famers,” this Halls’ first time eligibles include Nina Simone, the Eurythmics, Dire Straits, Judas Priest, Kate Bush, Moody Blues, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, and Sister Rosetta Tharpe.
The Dubsism poll is shown below and you can check back daily to vote and see updated totals. As far as the “real” tally is concerned, you can also mirror your vote on Dubsism by going to rockhall.com and letting the Hall know how you Dubsists feel. Their poll is open until 11:59 p.m. EST on December 5, 2017. The top five artists selected will comprise a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots to choose the 2018 inductees. You will need to log in with a Facebook account or email to vote, and just like here at Dubsism, you can vote once per day.
The list of 2018 inductees will be announced in December, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2018 Inductions ceremony will be held in Cleveland on April 14, 2018.
But one thing you won’t see anywhere else is how J-Dub voted. More importantly, you’ll see why.
J-Dub’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ballot
1) The Eurythmics
There was once a major-league pitcher who shared his moniker with one-half of the duo known as the Eurythmics. Dave Stewart was a dominant moundsman in the late 1980’s and early 90’s; he notched four straight 20-win seasons for the Oakland A’s between 1987 and 1990. The musician Dave Stewart along with Annie Lennox saw the Eurythmics have a similar dominant run through the annals of music during roughly the same period.
But the sports-music comparison you can only get here at Dubsism isn’t between the two namesakes; you have to look at another Hall-of-Fame pitcher who while his period of dominance was similarly short, it was no less game-changing.
Los Angeles Dodger legend Sandy Koufax is in Cooperstown largely for six seasons in which he was virtually unhittable. Koufax’s dominance was so complete he is part of the reason why major league baseball lowered the pitcher’s mound in the 1960’s. The Eurythmics also effected such a tectonic change in modern music in a shot period of time.
The explanation for that comes in my theory about the three most important songs in the history of rock:
The Eurtyhmics were the genesis of a rule I had about MTV in the early 1980’s…you know, when it still had music. I discovered early on that the power of video could easily overwhelm the music, and therefore completely distort my impression. The first time I listened to “Here Comes The Rain Again,” I knew I was listening to something that was significantly different than anything I’d ever heard before.
At first, I thought this was just about them being yet another band that taught me you can put “real” music into rock. That meant a lot to a teen-age J-Dub, whose first training as a musician was as a classic strings guy…it meant I could still play an instrument with a bow and be a rock star. Naturally, this lead to my progression toward the electric bass I play today, with a couple of stints as a drummer in between.
But it wasn’t until I started dabbling in composing and arranging that I understood what this record really represented. Not only is this an incredibly intricately written and arranged piece, but it completely changed the game in terms of production values. Think about it. Top 40 radio in America in the early 1980’s wasn’t about complex music meant to be listened to…it was about mass-produced stuff meant to be consumed. After the Eurythmics, you could sell polished, orchestrated music to the masses because artists really started to what was possible when it came to electronic instrumentation and production.
Every genre of popular music adopted something from what the Eurythmics perfected if not invented.
This is the second year I have the Detroit-based pioneers slotted in the second spot on my ballot. Last year, the Dubsist voters ranked them in the #5 spot. Obviously, the Hall of Fame committee didn’t see it that way.
MC5 holds on to the #2 spot for one reason. Many people credit MC5 with the birth of punk rock. I disagree. I think that title belongs to The Kinks. What MC5 created was a genre unto itself…”bad-ass rock.” This is the song I want to listen to right before I get into a bar fight. If that isn’t enough, this is the band Lemmy Kilmister credited as the inspiration for the founding of Motorhead. You simply can’t “out bad-ass” that. You can try, but you’ll fail.
Another of this year’s nominee’s can attribute much of what they did to the trail-blazing nature of MC5… you can’t listen to this version of “Kick Out The Jams” and not know immediately the origins of the throbbing buzz of Rage Against the Machine.
3) Moody Blues
Rush and Yes were my amongst my beefs with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; somewhat along the lines of my annual Bert Blyleven rant until he finally was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. That’s because until recently, neither of them were in but should have been. I believe that slight came from the fact that baseball purists love the flamethrowers over the crafty curveball guys.
In much the same way, “Progressive Rock” gets a bad rap amongst rock and roll purists who believe all rock songs should follow the “Rule of Three’s:” three Instruments, three chords, and three minutes long. Prog Rock is more like the 20th-century electric version of classical music. If you are a student of music, you can’t tell me that when you listen to Yes, you don’t hear Brahms and/or the mathematic precision of many 18th century composers. It’s the Prog Rock guys who put the “music” in rock music, and without them a lot of rock music would still sound like Pat Boone doing “Tutti Fruitti.”
If one were to make a Venn diagram of the various genres of popular music, the Moody Blues would be in that spot where Prog Rock intersects with the epic story-telling songs usually reserved for folk and old-school country. Don’t get me wrong, I understand perfectly that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a commercial venture intended to get people to visit Cleveland, which is little more than the anus of the Great Lakes industrial rust-belt.
That means I know this is the least likely of my picks to gain induction, and I already know why; the aforementioned “Prog Rock” problem. The Moody Blues don’t have the sex appeal of Bon Jovi, they don’t have the commercial success of The Cars, and they don’t have the pop-culture panache of LL Cool J. That’s why it’s called the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame,” not the “Talented Musician Hall of Fame.”
4) Judas Priest
In my opinion, there’s two people who established the standard for fronting a rock band; David Lee Roth and Freddie Mercury. Anybody who does anything to get compared favorably to one of those guys obviously has done something right. There’s no other way to say it…Rob Halford is the Freddy Mercury of Heavy Metal. If you listen to Halford’s vocals, you quickly realize he has a range unheard of with precious few exceptions…Freddie Mercury and the aforementioned Annie Lennox of the Eurythmics come to mind.
As for the band itself, if you were making a “Top Ten” list of iconic Heavy Metal songs, how many Judas Priest cuts are in the conversation? Heading Out To The Highway, Livin’ After Midnight, Breaking the Law, and of course…You’ve Got Another Thing Coming.
There are a very few songs that the first time I heard them, I literally stopped what I was doing and focused on what I was hearing. Radiohead’s debut single “Creep” was one of those songs. That song was so good, I was convinced I was listening to yet another one-hit wonder produced by the corporate music crap-terfuge. But once I listened to the album Pablo Honey in it’s entirety, I knew I would be hearing from this quintet formed in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, England in 1985 for quite some time.
Since then, Radiohead has sold tens of millions albums worldwide, and they routinely rate high in both listener polls and critics’ lists of the best music of the 1990s and 2000s. Since induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a matter of winning an election, consider the following:
In 2005, Radiohead were listed amongst Rolling Stone magazine’s list of all-time greatest artists, and four year later, Rolling Stone readers voted the group the second-best artist of the 2000s. Now, they are are nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility.
Go back to that thing I said about the Baseball Hall of Fame and it’s electors’ fascination with candidates in their first year of eligibility. You’ll notice I have four of them on my ballot, and I’ve stated my reasons.
Now, let’s see your ballot, and be sure to hit up the Comments section!