Bill Haley & His Comets recorded “Rock Around the Clock”. Although only a minor hit when first released, when used in the opening sequence of the movie Blackboard Jungle a year later, it set the rock and roll boom in motion. The song became one of the biggest hits in history, and frenzied teens flocked to see Haley and the Comets perform it, causing riots in some cities. “Rock Around the Clock” was a breakthrough for both the group and for all of rock and roll music. If everything that came before laid the groundwork, “Rock Around the Clock” introduced the music to a global audience.
This was the first Rock and Roll song, and many have come since, some good, some bad and a lot important and influential to bands who would come later and fans like myself. But in reality where does the “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” really fit in? Is it about the fans, the music, the influence, or is it just about the amount of money the companies make? Is it worth anything when pop stars get a place while some of the most influential bands of the 60’s to 80’s are always overlooked.
Blue Oyster Cult, Sweet, Troggs, Uriah Heep, Free, all of these bands are a lot more heavy than most people realise, you listen to some of the b-sides, especially with Sweet and Troggs, More Rock and Roll than either the Beatles and Elvis combined, but maybe it is because these bands wrote proper songs, rather than the commercial 1 verse 1 chorus repeated for 3 minutes. Maybe that is why they got in? It is not about the music at all but how many songs we can get on 1 a4 page. Easy for the kids to sing along to and remember.
Within the 70’s and 80’s there are more, many more, especially with the so called “New Wave” and while some of these are not British, most are.
Motorhead where art thou? RIP (Rock in Paradise) Ian, we will never see your like again. Ian started in Hawkwind before forming Motorhead, and his brand or Rock and Roll, I am sure inspired what was to become the “Thrash” style, with bands such as Slayer, and Megadeth (Neither have been inducted either, and both influential with the darker and heaver Death and black metal scene. Every song I have ever heard, apart from one, is a masterclass for the young Rocker on how it is done.
Dio (Ronnie James) now how good is he? RIP Ronnie. Pint sized with a vocal range which would put most people in the pop culture to shame and in the shade, and with bands such as Rainbow (before they went very commercial), Black Sabbath (for me, by far the best BS albums) and his own band Dio. Most people think of the horns and that he was a Satanist, they do not know the music nor the man, and have they even listened to the words? Much like Slayer. Both of these are all about life, some are war, some are sex, some are hatred, but all are life.
Girlschool, well what to say? Yes they are all female, but does that really matter? It seems to most it does, Girls with Guitars and all that BS, but have you ever brought one of their albums? I have, and while I have been lax in keeping up to date with my music due to no money and way to many albums to buy, but I will get there. Solid music, and as with the other two above, all about life, which includes sex, hate, the music industry, but it is all about life. All Girl bands of the 90’s owe these Ladies so much, because if it was left to the Runaways and Cher only women in Lingerie would get anywhere. Get real, it is not about which sex you are nor about how little you can get away with wearing on stage, Good solid music, great beat, vocals which get into the song and take you there, and outstanding guitar (I am very biased regarding lead guitar) and a song which tells a story. Are Girlschool worth watching live? Hell yes, I have once and hopefully I will again, are they worth buying? Hell yes, even more so than seeing them live.
Judas Priest underrated even more so than the others listed above, but what is not to love. While not technically Rock and Roll, as they are too heavy (really? Have you listerned to anything I have said regarding those above) again all about life, all aspects, and any aspect, and again I have been lax in keeping up with these guys. Heavy guitars and songs which tell a story and Rob,s vocals are outstanding, fitting the style and the music of Priest perfectly. Does it matter he is gay? Errrrr What are you on? Who gives a flying fig (this is public so I must not swear), again have you ever brought an album? Have you ever listened to them, especially the early stuff. Sex, hate, war, political, and all the other good things which make up life. I have never seen them, but one day I will.
Iron Maiden, still going and still selling out any stadium they go to. I use to really be into these guys, but now not so much. Again the songs are Life, and as with all the others a range of topics on each album. Bruce’s vocal range and the twin guitars and thundering rhythm section.
All of these are hugely influential to not just me, but hundreds of thousands of Rockers, and while most will be going through a fad or faze see here, some of us are for life. Apart from Maiden the rest of the Bands are underrated but very worth getting to know, and listen to the words, and especially with Ronnie, understand what is being said, not what you think is being said.
All of these have sold hundreds or thousands of album and singles between them, and still waiting for recognition from the masses and the industry, so to answer the question in the title? Yes it is corrupt and not worth anything to the Rocker. It is not about Rock and Roll, but about something else entirely, and of this I am not sure what, but I can guess.