The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a prestigious institution that honors the most influential and impactful musicians in the world of rock and roll. Each year, a new class of inductees is chosen to be immortalized in the hallowed halls of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony is a highly anticipated event that brings together music legends and fans alike. In this blog post, we will delve into the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees, the controversies surrounding them, and how fans reacted to the chosen few.
Inductees for the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were announced on December 20, 2016, and included five rock bands/artists: Electric Light Orchestra (ELO), Joan Baez, Journey, Pearl Jam, and Yes. The inclusion of these artists sparked both excitement and controversy among fans and critics. Let’s take a closer look at each inductee and their contributions to rock and roll.
Electric Light Orchestra (ELO)
ELO, formed in Birmingham, England in 1970, is known for their fusion of rock and classical music elements. They achieved major success in the 1970s and 1980s with hits such as “Mr. Blue Sky” and “Don’t Bring Me Down.” The band’s frontman, Jeff Lynne, was thrilled by the news of their induction, stating, “I’m deeply honored and would like to thank everyone who voted for us.”
Joan Baez is a folk singer-songwriter who rose to fame in the 1960s with her powerful vocals and social justice activism. She was a prominent figure in the civil rights and anti-war movements and her music reflected her political beliefs. Baez, known for songs such as “Diamonds and Rust” and “We Shall Overcome,” was the only female inductee for the 2017 class. In her acceptance speech at the ceremony, she stated, “I’m honored to be inducted but also saddened that I am the only woman here tonight.”
Journey, a rock band formed in San Francisco in 1973, is best known for their power ballads such as “Don’t Stop Believin'” and “Open Arms.” They have sold over 80 million records worldwide and are one of the best-selling bands of all time. The band’s induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was highly anticipated by fans, who had been petitioning for their inclusion for years.
Pearl Jam, formed in Seattle in 1990, rose to fame during the grunge movement of the early 1990s. Their debut album “Ten” was a critical and commercial success, featuring hits such as “Alive” and “Jeremy.” The band’s activism and dedication to social causes, as well as their continued popularity and influence, made them a top contender for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Yes, an English progressive rock band formed in 1968, is known for their complex compositions and use of classical music elements. With hits such as “Roundabout” and “Owner of a Lonely Heart,” they have sold over 13 million albums in the United States alone. Yes has been eligible for induction since 1994 and finally made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2017.
The Ceremony for the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony took place on April 7, 2017, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York. The star-studded event was attended by past and present inductees, as well as industry professionals and celebrities. It was also broadcast on HBO for fans around the world to watch.
The evening began with a tribute to Chuck Berry, who had passed away just a few weeks before the ceremony. Several artists, including ELO’s Jeff Lynne, paid homage to the “Father of Rock and Roll” by performing his classic hit “Johnny B. Goode.” This was followed by an opening speech by David Letterman, who was filling in for Neil Young as the official presenter for Pearl Jam due to Young’s illness.
Each inductee was then recognized and honored with a video montage highlighting their contributions to rock and roll. The induction speeches were given by fellow musicians and admirers, adding a personal touch to the event. One of the most memorable moments of the ceremony was when Journey’s former lead singer, Steve Perry, joined the band on stage for the first time in over two decades to perform with them.
History of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was established in 1983 by Ahmet Ertegun, co-founder of Atlantic Records, and Seymour Stein, president of Sire Records. In 1986, the first induction ceremony took place in New York City and included artists such as Elvis Presley and Chuck Berry. Since then, the annual ceremony has become a highly anticipated event in the music industry.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not only a museum but also a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving the history and cultural significance of rock and roll. It features exhibits that showcase the evolution of rock and roll, from its roots in blues and gospel music to its current form. The institution also hosts educational programs and workshops for aspiring musicians.
Criteria for Induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
The criteria for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are often a subject of debate and controversy. According to the official website, an artist or band becomes eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first commercial recording. However, this does not guarantee their induction, as other factors are taken into consideration.
The main criteria for induction are the artists’ “musical excellence” and their significant influence on the development and perpetuation of rock and roll. This can include the genre’s impact on other musicians, its influence on popular culture, and its role in social and political movements. The nomination process involves a nominating committee, made up of music industry professionals, who choose the final list of nominees to be voted on by a larger pool of industry experts, historians, and previous inductees.
Controversies Surrounding the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
As with any award or recognition, the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were not without their share of controversies. One of the main arguments against the selection of certain artists was whether they truly fit the criteria for rock and roll. Some critics argued that Joan Baez, being primarily known for her folk music, did not belong in the same category as the other inductees. Similarly, ELO’s style of incorporating classical music elements into their songs raised questions about their eligibility for induction.
Another issue that has caused controversy is the lack of diversity among the inductees. Out of the five chosen artists, only one was a woman, which has been an ongoing criticism of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In response to this, the institution has made efforts to increase diversity among nominees and inductees, but many feel that more needs to be done.
Performances at the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony
One of the highlights of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony is the performances by both the inductees and other artists paying tribute to them. This year’s ceremony was no exception, with artists such as Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, and Neil Young taking the stage to celebrate the inductees’ achievements.
One of the most talked-about performances was Pearl Jam’s set, which included a touching rendition of their song “Alive” with Neil Young on guitar. Journey also delivered a memorable performance, with Steve Perry joining the band for the first time since his departure in 1998. The ceremony ended with all the inductees and performers coming together for a group performance of Chuck Berry’s “Rock and Roll Music.”
Notable Snubs from the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction
Like every year, there were notable snubs from the list of 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees. Many fans and critics were surprised that influential bands such as Bad Brains, Kraftwerk, and MC5 were not chosen for induction. These bands have been eligible for years and have had a significant impact on the rock and roll genre, but have consistently been overlooked.
One of the biggest snubs of the year was the exclusion of Janet Jackson from the list of nominees. Despite being one of the best-selling and most influential artists in pop and RB, Jackson has yet to be recognized by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This decision sparked controversy and led to discussions about the lack of diversity among inductees.
Impact of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on the Music Industry
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has become a symbol of excellence and achievement in the music industry. Being inducted into the institution brings prestige and recognition to the chosen artists and solidifies their place in music history. It also serves as a platform for new generations of musicians to learn about the pioneers and innovators of rock and roll.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame also plays a role in preserving and promoting the legacy of rock and roll. Through its exhibits, educational programs, and induction ceremonies, it ensures that the genre continues to thrive and evolve. Many artists who have been inducted into the institution have seen an increase in record sales and recognition following their induction.
Future of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
As the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to expand and evolve, there are many questions about its future. Will the criteria for induction change to include more diverse genres and artists? How will it adapt to the ever-changing landscape of music? These are just some of the questions that the institution will have to address in the coming years.
One thing is certain, though – the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will continue to be a highly anticipated event and a source of controversy and celebration among music fans. It will also continue to honor the legacy of some of the greatest musicians of our time and inspire new generations to continue the tradition of rock and roll.
Fan Reactions to the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
As with every year, fan reactions to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees were mixed. Some were thrilled to see their favorite bands finally getting the recognition they deserve, while others were disappointed by the snubs and lack of diversity among the chosen artists.
One fan commented, “I am so happy that Journey finally made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame! They have been overlooked for far too long.” Another expressed their disappointment, saying, “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has once again failed to recognize influential artists like Bad Brains and Kraftwerk. It’s a shame.”
Despite the controversies, the induction of these artists sparked discussions and brought attention to their contributions to music. This is one of the main goals of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – to start conversations and keep the legacy of rock and roll alive.
The 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a night filled with excitement, controversy, and memorable performances. The chosen inductees, while not without their share of controversies, all have made significant contributions to the world of rock and roll.
As we look to the future, it will be interesting to see how the institution evolves and adapts to the changing landscape of music. One thing is for sure – the legends honored by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will continue to inspire new generations of musicians and fans for years to come.