Foxy Shazam may be another one of those bands that fall into the genreless category, but they make good music nonetheless. If you want to check out a cool tune for free, visit the band’s Facebook page, where you can download their new song “I Like It” for free! “I Like It’ is from the up and coming album from Foxy Shazam, coming in January 2012. Check it out!!
The latest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees have been announced. I was not upset with this year’s list, which included the Red Hot Chili Peppers and the Beastie Boys on a return ballot, along with Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Guns N Roses, The Cure, and Faces. All of those bands had some critical claim to the way that rock music was shaped. So while this year’s nominees are solid, there is still one glaring omission yet again—Kiss.
This notable omission is simply ridiculous. Not only is the Hall of Fame ignoring one of the greatest rock acts of the 20th century (for the twelfth year in a row), they are also insulting Kiss fans everywhere and, by extension, rock music fans.
Putting aside my personal biases, I decided to research the qualifications to enter the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame, who makes such decisions, and how many acts are allowed to be nominated in one particular year. I wanted to learn, first hand, if Kiss truly deserves to be enshrined in the Hall of Fame.
First up is the initial qualification to be inducted into the hall. This comes from the Hall of Fame’s own website and states the following: “One of the foundations many functions, is to recognize the contributions of those who have had a significant impact on the evolution, development, and perpetuation of rock and roll by inducting them into the Hall of Fame.”
Other criteria are:
- 25 years must have passed since the release of the artists first album
- Unquestionable musical excellence
- Musical influence on other artists
- Length and depth of career and body of work
Without a doubt, Kiss meets all of these qualifications. Obviously they make the time qualification (their first record was released in 1974). They have made a significant impact on the evolution, development, and perpetuation of rock and roll. Kiss led the way for an innovative live stage show. Their live act was the stuff of fantasy before Kiss came along and showed every other band what a live performance should be like.
Then they went ahead and changed the world of music by showing how a live album should be done. Prior to Kiss bands did not release live records. It was unheard of—they wouldn’t sell. Kiss forever changed the way that music is heard and now, every band has a live record, some as their second release.
As for musical influence on other artists, let’s examine the following: Red Hot Chili Peppers have stated they were influenced by Kiss. Guns N Roses have stated that they were influenced by Kiss. Looking at bands that are already in the Hall, Aerosmith was influenced by Kiss. Metallica have stated numerous times what an effect Kiss had on their music. Van Halen was discovered by Kiss (or at least a member of Kiss). So it’s clear that Kiss had musical influence on other artists—including artists that are in the Hall of Fame themselves.
As far as “unquestionable music excellence” goes, look at their album sales. After the Beatles, no other band has more gold and platinum albums than Kiss. Obviously fans thought their music was excellent. If the rating is determined by chart position, Kiss had 10 studio albums and 6 live albums that were in the top 25 US albums. 16 albums in the top 25 is a lot more than most of the performers currently in the hall have.
Seeing as how Kiss meets all the qualifications to be inducted into the Hall Of Fame, let’s take a look at the people who are doing the nominating. What makes these people so qualified to determine who should be inducted into the Hall of Fame? Again, from the hall’s own website:
“The Foundation’s nominating committee, composed of rock and roll historians, select nominees each year in the Performer’s category. Ballots are then sent to an international voting body of more than 500 rock experts.” Performers have to receive more than 50% of the vote to be inducted and usually 5 to 7 performers are inducted each year.
Simply stated, the nominating committee determines who is put on the ballot, and that committee is made up of “rock historians.” And what, pray tell, does it take to be a rock historian? It’s not as if there is a degree in rock music history (or if there is, I’ve never heard of it). Perhaps it is safest to define a rock historian as someone who studies the history of rock music and provides abundant knowledge on the subject. If that is true, or even close, how could these “historians” not nominate Kiss for the Hall of Fame? Is this a personal vendetta? What gives?
Sadly, Kiss’ omission from The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame is annoying and confusing. How could a band with this much history, this much influence on other musicians, this much gold and platinum in their catalog, not be in the Hall of Fame? It makes no sense to me. Love them or hate them, the facts remain…Kiss is Hall of Fame material. When will the “historians” see that?
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Between 1984 and 1995 Queen released their last five studio albums and consolidated their reputation as the biggest, brashest and boldest band in the world. They achieved legendary status as they delivered THE defining performance of the century at Live Aid as well as headlining massive stadium concerts all over the world. Queen also released some of their best loved and most anthemic work in this period, before and after the passing of Freddie Mercury in 1991.
Hollywood Records will reissue deluxe editions of the five Queen albums from this period on November 1st as part of the band’s 40th Anniversary celebration – The Works, A Kind Of Magic, The Miracle, Innuendo and Made In Heaven in an exclusive box set.
Many Queen favorites were released during this period including “Radio Gaga” (the track from which Lady Gaga took her name), “I Want To Break Free” (complete with the infamous cross-dressing Coronation Street parody video that MTV banned in the US), “One Vision,” “A Kind of Magic,” “I Want It All,” “The Miracle” and “These Are The Days of Our Lives” (featuring Freddie’s haunting final video appearance).
These five albums cover the era when Queen were elevated to truly legendary status as they stole the show at Live Aid in front of a global TV audience of 1.9 billion people, and wowed audiences with subsequent headline shows at Knebworth and Wembley, the latter recently voted by the public as one of the most iconic events ever seen at the stadium. This was also a consistent period of commercial success with each of the five albums going platinum in the UK and A Kind of Magic and Made in Heaven each selling over 1 million copies.
As well as their huge UK gigs they continued the global domination of the late 70’s playing Rock in Rio twice to crowds of over 300,000 each time. On their subsequent Magic tour they sold over 1 million tickets around the world, and played the first ever stadium gig in Eastern Europe at the Nepstadium in Budapest in front of fans who hitchhiked from all over the Eastern Bloc to attend.
After Freddie’s death The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert saw a packed Wembley set alight again to the music of Queen once again, with stars from all over the world joining John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor on stage.
Subsequently The Mercury Phoenix Trust was founded to help distribute money raised from this concert for AIDS awareness. Since then, the Trust has raised and distributed over $15 million to help in the fight against AIDS. The charity has just created a truly unique initiative with the launch of the ‘Freddie For A Day’ Global Charity Network.
Queens 40th Anniversary year has kicked off in spectacular style so far with their first ever major exhibition “Stormtroopers in Stilettos” in London’s East End and kicked off with a star studded launch party attended by the likes of Foo Fighters and Jessie J.
A recent two part BBC TV documentary, “Days of Our Lives”, drew widespread rave reviews as Brian May and Roger Taylor looked back over their first 40 years in detail for the first time. The Guardian described it as ‘fantastic and moving’.
Meanwhile the bands first ten albums have been reissued to considerable acclaim. The Telegraph said of their early work, “Queen’s greatest music was extravagantly innovative, technically brilliant and created with a jeweler’s care.”
Rolling Stone Magazine gave the first set of reissues the magazine’s highest rating of five-stars, describing the collection’s “instrumental intensity” as a “compelling portrait of vehement and violent art.”
These last five studio albums highlight the diverse talent, musical ambition and global success of a band made up of some of the best songwriters, musicians and performers of all time.
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