The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has unveiled its Class of 2022. It’s the predictable mixed bag, one that follows months of speculation and the usual dose of controversy since the nominees were announced in early February.
There are seven inductees in the performer category, including five first-time nominees, including Duran Duran, Lionel Richie, Carly Simon, Dolly Parton and Eminem, who was also in his first eligible year. The class is completed by Pat Benatar and Eurythmics.
Much of the uproar surrounding this year’s nominees was because Parton, who is primarily recognized as a country artist, was on the ballot in the first place. It got to the point where she released a statement in March saying, “I respectfully step down” out of consideration so the votes don’t end up splitting. The Rock Hall said it was too late and the ballots were already out.
All was quiet for a while after that, but last Friday Parton seemed to abruptly change course, telling NPR when asked if she ended up being inducted, “Well, I’ll graciously accept. I’ll just say thank you and I’ll accept it because the fans are voting.
One has to suspect that the singer and actress knew at the time that she was on her way to Cleveland, where the physical Rock Hall is located. When the news officially broke on Wednesday, Parton was “happily” accepting the accolade.
“Usually people [say] ‘Dolly rocks’ or ‘you rock’ or ‘you’re a rock star,'” she told Billboard. “I thought they just wanted to say I was cool, and I took that as a big compliment. But now I’m going to have to take it literally!
Among the inductees, there is a distinct lack of actual rock and roll, with Benatar being the only real rocker on the list. Known for ragers like “Hit Me with Your Best Shot”, “All Fired Up”, “Love Is a Battlefield” and “Heartbreaker”, she will be united with her husband, guitarist and longtime musical partner Neil Giraldo to enter the Hall of Rocks.
Other than that, it’s really overkill to call someone else “rock”. Certainly not rapper Eminem or soft rock superstar Simon. Richie is firmly categorized as soul and R&B while Duran Duran had their moments throughout a long career, they burst onto the scene in the 80s as a synthesizer backed new wave band.
Rage Against the Machine, Devo, New York Dolls and MC5 were all on the ballot in February. Obviously, none of them succeeded. Judas Priest was also a consideration. The metal legends will be inducted in November at the ceremony in Los Angeles, but not as performers.
It’s a bit ignominious, but the group will enter as recipients of the “Musical Excellence Award”, which is voted by another committee entirely, and was once dubbed the “sidemen” category. Namely, Priest is joined in the band with hit R&B songwriting and production team Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis. Still, frontman Rob Halford appeared overjoyed with the recognition.
“It’s not just for Judas Priest, it’s for heavy metal music,” the singer told Hall President and CEO Greg Harris in the mandatory post-inductee announcement video chat. “Heavy metal music is such an important part of the culture and fabric of the United States, so much so that you get a band like Priest on The Simpsons. This is the reach that this group has; we will come to you at any time.
VINYL OF THE WEEK
Keep an eye on this place as each week we’ll be reviewing new or upcoming vinyl from a variety of artists. It can be a reprint of a historical recording, a special edition or a new collection of a legendary act. This week is the 25th anniversary effort of a Washington DC post-hardcore unit
GIRLS AGAINST BOYS: ‘HOUSE OF GVSB [25TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION]’
By 1996, post-hardcore/noise-rock band Girls Against Boys had really caught on. The Washington DC musicians had delivered “Venus Luxure No. 1 Baby” in 1993 and the following year “Cruise Yourself”. By the time “House of GVSB” was released in 1996, the band had long since left DC in the rearview mirror of the New York scene, giving the songs grit and grime to accompany the flashy guitar and propelling low end.
Today, Girls Against Boys celebrates the 25th anniversary of ‘House of GVSB’ with a double vinyl reissue of the album. Packaged in a full-color gatefold sleeve, sides A and B are the original album, remastered by Bob Weston of fellow noise rockers Shellac, and sides C and D are filled with odds and ends of the band’s work from the ’90s , including the sought-after B-. sides, singles, compilation tracks and an unreleased recording.
‘House of GVSB’ is available in several different configurations. There’s the standard 2LP set on black vinyl and a 2LP version on baby blue vinyl available exclusively from Touch and Go Records. Also available from the label’s store (store.touchandgorecords.com), a bundle with the choice of either vinyl with a navy t-shirt depicting the album cover, designed by drummer Alexis Fleisig
After “House of GVSB”, the majors came calling, and Girls Against Boys’ next release, “Freak *on *ica*”, appeared on Geffen’s DGC Records. Met with mixed reviews, it signaled a bit of disappointment from band and fans alike, but this year they are on tour for the first time since 2013. No regional dates have yet been announced, but with only Brooklyn and DC on the docket for October, hope remains that a Philadelphia show will happen.
The 25th anniversary edition of ‘House of GVSB’ can be found online and in the stores of all respectable retailers that sell vinyl.
To contact music columnist Michael Christopher, email [email protected] Also check out his blog at www.thechroniclesofmc.com