Breaking Down the Halls of the Rock Hall: Class of 2013

After the success of their second public ceremony in 2012, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame decided to make it a permanent thing. And to make it more an annual thing, the Hall decided to take the ceremony in LA (the second time the Hall held the ceremony in that city after 1993).

And what better way to celebrate an LA ceremony than to have Randy Newman start off the ceremony. I mentioned this back in the 2005 article that Newman probably didn’t make the final cut back then was probably because any voter who wasn’t a friend or fan of Newman probably know him more as a soundtrack staple for family films. But having Randy Newman be known as the guy who writes songs for Pixar really undermines his recording career. In my opinion, Newman’s satire songs are better and aged better than most of Frank Zappa’s songs.

Although not much as recognizable as BB King, Albert King has really left a mark on the guitar world. Not only was he a major influence on Stevie Ray Vaughan, but he was a major influence on many guitarists. Albert King was the last King Blues guitarists to be inducted at the Hall, and while there was a little controversy that Freddie King was inducted in Early Influence even though he had his peak during the 1960s, Albert King might’ve gotten enough votes to get inducted to the main Performers category because he was more recognizable for voters than Freddie King.

No matter what people say, Donna Summer really deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Even though she had the title of “Queen of Disco”, the guitar solo of “Hot Stuff” was more Rock and Roll than most of the inductees. Like Whitney, Donna Summer also left a major influence in female vocalists from Kelly Rowland to Jennifer Hudson and so on.

Although some people know Heart more for their 80s hits, people often forget how successful they were during the 1970s. When they first started, critics called them the “female Led Zeppelin”. And it clearly shows on songs like “Crazy On You” and “Barracuda”. Heart may not be the first women to lead a Rock and Roll band, but they had a major influence on them that no one can ever forget.

There’s really no denying that Public Enemy belongs in the Hall of Fame on their first year of eligibility. Although their string of success was short, they left a major mark on Hip Hop by making politically charged songs that is still seen in Hip Hop to this day. And there’s no denying that writing the song “Fight the Power” can make them one of the most biggest acts of all time.

And last and certainly not least, 2013 was the year that Rush was finally inducted. Since 1999, Rush fans have been clamoring at the Hall to get them inducted. When the band got inducted, audiences at the (then) Nokia Theatre overwhelmed Jann Wenner when he gave introductions at the ceremony. Watching their 2010 documentary and listening to their songs proved that Rush really deserves to be in the Hall of Fame. Having inspired many people to be musicians themselves to this day, Rush may as well reach the same stratosphere as the Beatles.

The non-performer inductees in 2013 are really the most deserving of the bunch. First, there’s Lou Adler. Not only is he a super producer who made hits such as Carole King’s Tapestry, but he was also the man behind the Monterey Pop Featival, the Rocky Horror Picture Show, and Cheech & Chong. Then there is Quincy Jones, who really should’ve been inducted a long time ago. There’s no need to explain who Quincy Jones other than he is probably the most recognizable music producer of all time.

Artists Who Were Nominated But Didn’t Get Inducted That Year

There were nine artists on the ballot who didn’t get inducted in 2013. Besides one artist, the nominees were artists go inducted in future years or already mentioned in previous articles. Here are the nominees:

  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
  • Chic
  • Deep Purple
  • Joan Jett & The Blackhearts
  • Kraftwerk
  • The Marvelettes
  • The Meters
  • N.W.A

One of the nominees that I will talk at length is Procol Harum. This nomination seems mixed to me because although they have the criteria for a deserving induction, many Rock Hall watchers see Procol Harum as amendment to Prog fans for not getting the Moody Blues inducted so sooner. Nonetheless, Procol Harum haven’t reappeared on the ballot since 2013.

Final Thoughts

The 2013 ceremony is a perfect mix of both fan and critical favorites. All of the 2013 inductees are very deserving for induction. And the ceremony was itself the best public ceremony of all time. The all star jam was also the best one combining Hip Hop and Blues in the best way possible. Just wish they would be like this, and also take place in Los Angeles again.

Artists Who I Would’ve Voted If I Had a Real Ballot:

  • Chic
  • Kraftwerk
  • Public Enemy
  • Rush
  • Donna Summer

Heart, The Marvelettes, and The Meters would’ve made my final cut.