Breaking Down the Walls of the Rock Hall: Class of 2007

Since the 2006 induction ceremony, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had some major changes behind the scenes. The nominating committee has cut half of it’s members from 60 to 30 people in the committee (including Jann Wenner, but remained executive position in the foundation), and that the Hall set the number of inductees to a fixed five per year. Also, with Black Sabbath finally inducted, the Hall can finally get going with inducting major bands from the 70s and 80s.

With Sabbath finally inducted, the Hall can finally get to induct Van Halen after three years of eligibility. Even though they weren’t as big as they were in their peak since the release of Van Halen III, Van Halen were (and still are) one of the most successful and influential acts in their world. Although they still have drama behind the scenes (which included David Lee Roth boycotting the ceremony after Velvet Revolver suggested that they should play a different song than the one Roth wanted), their induction ran smoothly.

qWith the ballot cutting down to just 9 artists, it made it easier for Patti Smith to get inducted after 6 tries. Patti Smith is one of the major Punk artists during the CBGBs era that she should’ve been inducted right away. The critic voting body should be enough to get her inducted, but there were also enough past inductees that kept her off. Still, better late than never.

When you see their name, you know that The Ronettes are Hall of Fame worthy. The Ronettes are one of the major bands that Phil Spector produced, and probably the most distinct bands that Spector produced during the 1960s. There were some rumors that the reason it took so long to get inducted was that Phil Spector was in the nominating committee and that his own induction was enough for The Ronettes to not get inducted. With Spector out of the nominating committee, the Hall can finally nominate and, eventually, induct to the Hall.

2007 was also the year that the Hall has inducted it’s first Hip Hop act with the induction of Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five. Although they weren’t the first Hip Hop act ever, Flash and the Furious Five were one of the earliest acts to try to get Hip Hop to the mainstream. And unlike The Sugarhill Gang, their discography is consistent enough for them to warrant induction.

And last, and certainly not least, 2007 was the year when R.E.M. became eligible for induction. Like U2 before them, R.E.M. were still one of the biggest bands in the world and still selling out concerts, and also one of the first acts that head started the modern Alternative Rock genre. Their induction was one of the most anticipated than any artists who were inducted on their first eligibility. Their induction in 2007 was also the first timewhen they were reunited with Bill Barry after he retired in 1998.

Artists Who Were Nominated, But Not Inducted That Year

They were four other artists who were nominated, but didn’t made the final cut. Since the ballot was short and already mentioned in my other posts, I’ll just list them out:

  • Chic
  • The Dave Clark Five
  • The Stooges
  • Joe Tex

Final Thoughts

Even though the ballot was short, it’s still a pretty good class. This class feels like a good representation of the Hall being “on schedule” rather than playing catch-up by inducting second tier acts who were on their 15th year of eligibility. Heck, this would’ve been the class that I would’ve voted if I had a real ballot.