I actually do prefer ELO. But I have been told The Move is better because, er, I guess, they are.
I think they will get in, they were a major 70's act and Lynne has solid chops as a producer. Which makes me wonder about Dave Stewart. It doesn't hurt he seems to be friends with everyone, either. And, no, I'm not endorsing Eurthymics.
ELO might have grown from the Move, but despite the common denominator of Jeff Lynne they are really two different bands; the analog might be Led Zeppelin growing from the Yardbirds with Jimmy Page the common factor there. The Move under founder Roy Wood was closer to the Who in execution (they even busted things up on stage) although singles like “I Can Hear the Grass Grow” had a psychedelic-Beatles flair to it (maybe it was the harmonies).
Lynne joined near the end of the 1960s and brought his Beatles fixation with him, which of course flourished when formed ELO. The Move’s two best-known (and two of its best) songs came from the Lynne era: “California Man,” later covered by Cheap Trick (who were no strangers to Beatles-esque flourishes), and “Do Ya,” which Lynne revamped for the better-known ELO hit. But Lynne wrote it, and it shows what he brought to the Move that the band lacked: commercial appeal. I don’t say that in a back-handed manner because “Do Ya” is immediately catchy even in the rough-hewn Move arrangement, a quality lacking in previous Move singles, which might be why the band never caught on in the US (although they were regulars on the UK charts). For the longest time all I could find on the Move was a budget comp on Pickwick, which should tell you how long ago that was (I don’t think the LP jacket even has a UPC code).
“Better” is always in the ear of the beholder, but I’ll take the Move over ELO any day. That’s just personal preference. The Move was proto-punk with decidedly off-kilter attitudes: “Cherry Blossom Clinic,” “Night of Fear,” “Blackberry Way,” “Brontosaurus,” and “Wild Tiger Woman” are pure acid-pop, while “Turkish Tram Conductor Blues” suggests where Robyn Hitchcock might have got his own warped perspective.
As far as the Hall of Fame goes, ELO has the better shot because of its commercial success, which makes it a significant part of the 1970s landscape, although I don’t think either band should be inducted. But I’ve been preoccupied with auditing the Hall lately, anyway.
>> For every supporter of punk crap like Patti Smith (haters...just my opinion here) there is someone like myself who thought she sucked and wonders why her and Lou Reed rate so high on critics lists. Not my cup of tea at all and I have not known anyone personally who likes them in my 50 years on the planet.
PickGuru, don’t you think that’s a bit of selection bias if you don’t personally know anyone who likes them? Pardon the generalization, but we tend to associate with those who share our own tastes and opinions.
When she arrived on the scene, Patti Smith had more pretenses than anyone since Jim Morrison: Like Jimbo, she was a “poet” who decided to use rock and roll as her medium too. Whether she was completely successful with that is debatable, but I see her as a key figure at a time, the mid-1970s, when rock was transitioning from its classic roots to a more modern, abrasive style. Like it or lump it, that was where the parade was headed, and you can see where my vote is.
But I agree with you about Lou Reed. Although he is deservedly a Hall of Famer as the driving force behind the Velvet Underground, his solo career has been a shambles, and it’s no snub that he hasn’t been inducted. Reed has occasionally produced some interesting material (Street Hassle, New York) but most of it has been half-baked extrapolations from his Velvets days; he even went heavy metal to reproduce that Velvets material on the “unbelievably bombastic” (to borrow Ira Robbins’s phrase) live album Rock ‘n’ Roll Animal. Not that I don't have my own copy--I like unbelievable bombast now and then--but it's not going to get him into Cleveland.
I can't believe some of the groups/artists who are in the Hall of Fame because the following have been left out and deserve to be in -- The Moody Blues, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Deep Purple, Chicago, Yes, Renaissance, Electric Light Orchestra, Blood Sweat & Tears, Jethro Tull -- these prog rock bands have contributed so much to rock and roll. Their omission is ridiculous and just unfair. Who votes for the bands who are in? Someone who is 16? Why are there disco queens and blues artists but not rock and roll bands like the above, most of whom are STILL rocking???? The Hall of Fame is not truly representative of rock and roll if these super groups above are being left out. Notice how most of them are British. Notice how most of them have horns, phenomenal keys, and the use of other instruments which added so much to the rock scene. I'm sure I'm leaving some groups out, but these are the ones that come to mind first -- let's get these groups in already, will ya? Their omission is disgraceful.
Last edit: 9 years 4 months ago by Ronna. Reason: typo
The Hall has by and large slighted prog rock in relation to other genres and styles; my pick for biggest prog-rock snub is Roxy Music, which can fit across other genres and styles as well.
Moreover, the Hall had also shot itself in the foot right from the start by calling itself the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, which has set up preconceptions in the minds of countless listeners about just what exactly "rock and roll" is. It seems that for a lot of listeners, "rock and roll" is made by predominantly white musicians, and I think that part of what has enforced that perception has been the musical apartheid in radio that has segregated "white" music and "black" music. Related to this is Ronna's labeling of the bands Ronna listed as "super groups," which could easily be the result of AOR/Classic Rock radio having promoted them as such consistently to two generations of rock listeners. (Although Renaissance is definitely the ringer in the bunch.)
At the very least, it should be called the Rock and Soul Hall of Fame. This is more accurate because for the past 60 years much of the tree of Western popular music has stemmed from the twin, entwined trunks of rock and soul. This is borne out by the fact that in the Hall's inaugural class of 1986, three of the ten inducted artists--James Brown, Ray Charles, and Sam Cooke--are typically classified as "soul" artists. But, really, it is most accurate to call it the Primarily Western Popular Music Since the Mid-1950s Hall of Fame because that reflects the range of artists inducted--from ABBA to Johnny Cash to Miles Davis to Bob Marley--but that is a somewhat unwieldy title.
As for whether "the Hall of Fame is truly representative of rock and roll," that depends on your definition of "rock and roll," and that is very likely shaped by your biases and limitations. The Hall has shown itself to be expansive enough to include "disco queens" and "blues artists" because they fit others' definition of "rock and roll," and that definition may not correspond with yours--but does that make it any less valid?
The Hall has set itself with a truly monumental task of trying to account for Western popular music since the mid-1950s. During the course of this task, it has come in for criticism from all sides. (As the author of the DDT's Pop Flies column on this site, I have done comprehensive "audits" of the Hall's selections since 1986, and even with the broadest latitude, I estimate that one-quarter of the Hall's selections should not have been inducted.) It all boils down to, how do you define "rock and roll"? Whom do you include? Whom do you exclude?
Rock and Soul Hall of Fame...... That sounds like a future DDT article!
That name alone would eliminate a large amount of the BS "that's not Rock" argument that happens every year.
The biggest agreement here, is exactly what you say.... "What is Rock and Roll anyway?". It is one of those ask ten different people on the street, but expect ten different answers. When Joan Jett (a prediction for a Hall induction btw) screamed that she loved Rock and Roll, just what songs are in that Juke Box anyway, and how many are "Rock and Roll?".
DDT, I also meant to say, I hope you are right about Roxy in the predictions. I will gladly pay for a night of beer to lose that one.
Back to the Prog Rock question....if Genesis didn't go radio friendly with a sound that bared no resemblance to the previous band are they in the Hall at all? Not a chance.
Actually, one of the themes that runs through my existing audits is that "rock and roll" has been used by the Hall as such an expansive, catch-all term. This shouldn't be a controversial or divisive point because if you look at how rock music arrived in the 1950s, it was already an amalgamation of existing forms: blues, rhythm and blues, country and western, folk, and so on.
What is a possible "future DDT article" is the "musical apartheid" of commercial rock radio, primarily FM, that has enforced a color line for decades that in turn has shaped perceptions of "rock and roll." This struck me years ago, when I was sitting at my day job only half-listening to the classic-rock station playing on my desktop clock radio. As a particular song was ending, I tuned into it and realized it was "Soul Man," and in the next moment I realized that it was the Blues Brothers' version. That's silly, I thought. Why on Earth would you play the Blues Brothers cover version, which is sincere but ultimately inferior to the Sam and Dave original, when you could play the Sam and Dave--I interrupted my own thought. Of course a white classic-rock station isn't going to play a track from a black soul act--even if it's the same song. (And the Blues Brothers version even features at least two of the same musicians, Steve Cropper and Duck Dunn, who played on Sam and Dave's original.) Musical apartheid. And it does have an impact. Purely anecdotal, but I've talked to whites who have never heard of Public Enemy and blacks who have never heard of the Allman Brothers. In my mind, both acts are significant and influential enough in the stream of Western pop music to be included in the Hall.
That's just one point that feeds into the larger issue. The upshot here is that listeners needn't feel obligated to know the history of the music and all its various forms, all of which has, for better and for worse, been collected in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame already and continues to be. However, listeners should recognize that an act that they don't think is "rock and roll"--biases and limitations again--could very well be "rock and roll" to someone else. That is the reality of Western popular music since the mid-1950s, and that is approach that the "Rock and Roll" Hall of Fame has taken. One alternative is to "Balkanize" the existing Hall into components, but that immediately introduces hair-splitting: Does Sly and the Family Stone go into the "Soul" wing while the Red Hot Chili Peppers go into the "Rock" wing? We're back to apartheid, and that runs counter to how the music developed in the 1950s.
RE: Genesis: Agreed. The Phil Collins pop years pushed the band to the front of the prog line. This is why I suspect Yes will be the next prog-rock act inducted--it too tried the pop approach in the 1980s. Die-hards might prefer "Roundabout" or "Long Distance Runaround," but "Owner of a Lonely Heart" was a fine pop single for its time that got the band more widely recognized. Prog purists might gnash their teeth on that, I realize.
Someone is taking me to task for the groups I suggested and the types of music that I'm suggesting for the Hall. First, I am a professional musician in a gigging band, playing keys/organ/synth. We play rock, soul, funk, disco, blues, r&b, etc and I love playing all of them. However, we play disco for weddings because we have to -- most of the people in my "rock band" wouldn't play disco except that we have to for weddings. In fact, disco has never been associated with rock and roll (remember the I hate disco movement) so why is disco part of rock now? I'm not pitting white bands against bands of color--so what -- I don't care if the musicians are purple, it's the music that counts. I grew up listening to and going to concerts to see Sly Stone, Stevie Wonder, Earth Wind and Fire (are they in??? if not, they should be), The Four Tops, The Supremes, and more obscure groups like the Checkmates, etc. What I'm saying is this: there is no explanation on earth as to why the Small Faces got in before the much more popular and still gigging Moody Blues or Emerson, Lake & Palmer, still gigging as the Keith Emerson band (amazing, saw them in NY) et. al. This stuff just doesn't make sense. Maybe the Rock and Soul Hall of Fame would have been better. No argument there.
Someone please get the Moody Blues, ELP, Chicago, Yes, Tull, BST, ELO, Renaissance, etc. in the Hall. They belong there.