The Rock and Roll of Fame Class of 2016 has been announced, and, as expected with the annual induction of music luminaries to the triangular glass pyramid in Cleveland, Ohio, also comes a list that is no less polarizing and possibly even semi-controversial, just as it has been in years past.
This year’s roster includes Cheap Trick, Chicago, Steve Miller, incendiary rappers N.W.A, and finally getting a nod in the hall, Deep Purple. Official induction ceremonies will take place on Friday April 8th, 2016 at The Barclay’s Center in Brooklyn, New York, marking the second time the ceremonies will be taking place at the Center. HBO will then as it is wont to do, broadcast the ceremonies sometime that spring.
The latest roll call of the 2014 nominees for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was announced earlier this week, and as usual, the list is full of some names that are questionable, and ultimately some that are long overdue for possible inclusion in the triangular edifice, like Kiss, Deep Purple, and Yes.
Nirvana seems to be the forerunner here and the absolute shoe-in to the Hall. The defunct grunge trio, which disbanded almost 20 years ago after the death of their front man, flanneled-laden Kurt Cobain, was on the apex of the entire Grunge sound movement which shot large bullet holes through the hair metal and pop music that permeated radios and CD players coast to coast when it first burst onto the scene in the early 1990s. More than just a success story, Nirvana opened an entire new lifestyle for teens in subdivisions, urban societies and pretty much every other demographic with their hard edged, yet simplistic post punk attack.
Rising, the bone crunching, sonic molten lava of a record by Rainbow, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.00, as part of Amazon’s massive Browse over 2000 albums on sale this month for only MP3 Album Sale (2,000 albums for only $5 each).
This album, the second by the hard rock/heavy metal quintet, is arguably one of their best. Comprised of ex-Deep Purple pyrotechnical wizard on the guitar and man in black Ritchie Blackmore, Tony Carey on keyboards, the taut bang your head against the wall rhythm section of Jimmy Bain and Cozy Powell on bass and drums respectively, and the late, champion of the high notes vocally Ronnie James Dio, Rising is an album which is a cornerstone and A-list achievement of the entire heavy metal spectrum. Starting off with “Tarot Woman,” the record has a kind of second generational Deep Purple feel to it, and colored by a lot of the hard sounds of that era (the mid 1970s), but those soaring vocals of Dio make Rainbow a band all its own.
The nominations are in for the 2013 class of inductees for Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the mix of names and bands definitely runs the genre gamut for sure.
Finally, however, there is a nod for Canadian power trio Rush. The band has been much the source of controversy at the glass pyramid on Cleveland’s waterfront, as many of its fans have seen the omission of the band in the Hall as unconscionable and out and out ridiculous. Although the band has been around for almost 40 years and the Hall almost 30, this is still the first acknowledgement for the group in any way, shape or form. The band, which is currently on their Clockwork Angels tour spanning America, is bigger than ever. It remains to be seen if they will make it (finally) into the oddly shaped edifice in Ohio.
Deep Purple‘s red hot sonic piece of meteorite, the rock your socks off live album, Made In Japan, is now available on MP3 format from Amazon this month for only $5.
Originally available for purchase way back in 1973, this album crystallizes and encapsulates all the hard rocking fervor that is the British group Deep Purple. The band has gone (and continues to go) through many personnel changes throughout its 45-year-plus career. But on this live album, recorded during their Machine Head tour – which arguably stands as their most well known and successful record – with the lineup of guitar tunesmith Richie Blackmore, the neo-classical and fast-fingered posturing of the late Jon Lord on keyboards, the rhythm section cannonball through your chest of Roger Glover on bass and Ian Paice on drums, and of course the wailing, notes sometimes sung so high only a cocker spaniel can hear it warbling of lead singer Ian Gillan, the band is like a rocket ship out of control. Amped up versions of well known Purple tracks “Highway Star,” “Child in Time,” the smoldering electric bluesy “Lazy,” the pounding riff into the earth “Space Truckin’,” and of course the seminal played on radio and by cover bands coast to coast incessantly “Smoke on the Water” get the live treatment. Most of these songs are elongated and spontaneously performed, much unlike their studio versions, and the result ultimately whips the crowd up into a frenzy. This deluxe edition also includes some songs that were not on the original release, “Black Night” (which for my money, is the best track on the record) and the macho, pumped-up balls-out rocker, “Speed King.” Made In Japan is money well spent for a collection such as this, for a live record that showcases a band at their absolute peak and power and yet still remains criminally, headshakingly underrated, in the world of hard rock and roll.