Friday, February 26, 2016

Playlist for 2/26

Lucinda Williams - Ghosts of Highway 20
King - We Are King
Jon Savage's 1966 - Various
Weather Report - Legendary Live Tapes 78-81

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Playlist for 2/21

Harmonica Frank Floyd - Great Original Recordings 51-58
Aubrie Sellers - New City Blues
Bruce Springsteen - Live In Chicago 1/16
Long Ryders - Native Sons/State Of Our Union/Two Fisted Tales

Thursday, February 18, 2016

Playlist for 2/18

Brothers Osborne - Pawn Shop
Savages - Adore
Glenn Frey - No Fun Aloud/Allnighter/Soul Searchin'/Strange Weather/After Hours
Tedeschi Trucks Band - Let Me Get By
Amy (Documentary)
Drunked Stoned Brilliant Dead - Story of National Lampoon  (Documentary)

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Playlist for 2/13

Paul Carrack - Soul Shadows
Dylan LeBlanc - Cautionary Tale
David Bowie - Pin Ups
Elton John - Wonderful Crazy Night
Junior Wells - Southside Blues Jam
R&B Book - Big Al Pavlow   (Book)

Thursday, February 11, 2016

Women & The Rock Hall (Updated 2017 Inductees)

As of the 2016 induction announcement, only 64 women have been inducted into the Rock Hall (or 7.9%, source  Not one woman was voted into the 2016 class.  I originally posted this after the 2015 induction ceremony. But nothing changed with the 2016 class. Which is sad and disgusting.

Below is a list of contenders.  I've included groups with female members.   And a rating on their induction chances. Because of what happened with the 2016 nominees, I've lowered some of my initial ratings.

All these artists are eligible for the 2017 induction ceremony.

Tori Amos  - Singer-songwriter who released a bunch of critically acclaimed albums in the 90's.  Peaked in that decade, but still releases albums.   4

Joan Armatrading -  A British singer-songwriter who never made it as big in the U.S. as she did in her home Country.  Her music touched on many genres, but lack of recognition outside of her most devoted audience hurts her chances.  4

Ashford & Simpson - Could go in as songwriters, but they had plenty of success on the R&B charts and one big one on the Pop chart ("Solid").  7

Bangles - The other big Girl Group of the 80's.  Lots of success, but just missing the critical acclaim that could get them on nominated.   4

Pat Benatar - Benatar's stock has risen over the years since she's been eligible.  Her hits have held up since the 80's.  Not being a critical fave could hurt her chances, for now.   7

B-52's - Most likely being thought of as a Dance/Novelty band hasn't helped their cause.  Behind the lyrics lay some of the best beats of the New Wave and post-New Wave era, though.    7

Bjork -   Away from the Sugarcubes, Bjork may the most adventurous female singer of her era.  Too quirky for some voters?  Possible.    8

Kate Bush -  Bush's 80's/90's records  are often cited by many alternative female artists as a huge inspiration.     8

Mariah Carey - Selling tons of records won't get her in.  Not with Whitney, Janet and a whole host of other R&B singers left to induct.  4

Carpenters - Way too Pop for many people.   Still, Karen Carpenter's voice was loved by many more than Pop fans. And she did make Rolling Stone's list of 100 greatest singers.  But Pop artists like this remain a tough sell.   4

Chantels  -  Nominated twice in 2002, 2012, they were one of the earliest and successful female girl groups.  Hurt by not having many hits, and I think many voters know little about them.   7

Chic -  Nile & Co. always had 2 female vocalists in the band.  Not much else to say about their chances.  They've got to get in at some point.  10X nominated.  8

Tracy Chapman -  Hasn't released an album since 2008.  But for a few years in the late 80's/early 90's, she was critically loved and selling records.   6

Patsy Cline  - A member of the Country Music Hall of Fame, Cline has also had an influence on many Pop singers thanks to her crossover hits.   7

Judy Collins - The other popular female Folk singer of the 60's/70's.  But if Baez can't get in, her chances don't seem that great.   4

Crystals - Early 60's Phil Spector-produced group that at one point included Darlene Love (but not with the other Crystals on the record).  Still, many great Girl Group records from the early Rock era.  7

Gloria Estefan -  Her success in the 80's with the Miami Sound Machine, and her 90's solo hits helped the subsequent Latin Pop breakthrough happen.  7

Melissa Etheridge - A well-liked figure throughout the music biz and especially among fellow artists.  Maybe a career resurgance could help her cause.  5

Eurythmics -  Annie Lennox was a groundbreaking artist who came along at the right time:  the dawn of MTV.  But she was also a fabulous singer who along with Dave Stewart came up with some of the best records of the 80's.   9

Fairport Convention - The great British Folk-Rock band not only had Richard Thompson (who deserves a nod himself), but Sandy Denny, who is often mentioned with the best singers of her era.  Denny left after their 3rd album in 1969, formed another band and did solo records.  6

Fanny - One of the first female rock bands signed to a major label, they released 4 albums on Reprise in the early 70's.  Although they had 2 Top hits, bigger success eluded them.   Still, their early success paved the way for many future women rock bands.   4

5th Dimension - Lots of hits in the late 60's/early 70's, but hit singles artists haven't always fared well with the Hall (e.g. Three Dog Night).  Especially Pop ones.   6

Roberta Flack - Very popular throughout the 70's, but somewhat underrated in terms of impact.  Maybe a little to Adult Contemporary for the NomCom which has frowned on these types of names for the ballot  (e.g. Dionne Warwick).   4

Connie Francis - Another singer who will be deemed too Pop by some, but you can't deny her many hits from the late 50's/early 60's.   7

Go-Go's -  One of the most popular girl groups of the 80's.  Might be too Pop for some NomCom members.    6

Lesley Gore  -  Her death in 2015 put her career achievements back in the limelight.  Her 60's hits were punch pop nuggets.   8

Emmylou Harris -  The Queen of Americana, she sang with Gram Parsons on his two solo albums before releasing a bunch of Country-Rock leaning albums that helped define the genre.  Also a member of the Country Hall.    7

PJ Harvey -  Major critical favorite who has been an Alt-Rock Indie favorite since her first album.  Like Kate Bush, she hasn't had many hits, but she continues to receive accolades for anything she does.   8

Hole - Courtney Love is a decisive figure for many people.  But she's had some great moments on Hole's albums.  Many will write off her mid-90's success as happening only because of Kurt Cobain's death.  And how much would Lord Wenner love to have Courtney Love accepting a Rock Hall honor.    6

Whitney Houston -  A musical icon who will be too big for the NomCom to ignore.  Not to mention how influential she was to future Pop/R&B singers.    9

Janet Jackson -   Right there with Whitney as an icon and hitmaking machine.  Passed up her first time nominated in 2016.  But she'll get in eventuallly.   9

Grace Jones - Remembered more for image than music, she had some good dance moments in the 80's.  Don't think her music will be enough to overcome anything else.  4

Chaka Khan -  Very few singers possessed her powerful voice, which anchored hits with Rufus and her own solo work.   Nominated once w/Rufus in 2012.  And solo in 2016.    8

Carole King -  King is in as a songwriter, but many feel her solo career is worthy of a slot all her own.  But I suspect the NomCom thinks the former is good enough.  Nominated once in 1989.  9

Patti LaBelle -  Here's a name that doesn't get mentioned much, but she has had a remarkable career.  Her Rock credentials lie with the records she made with Sarah Dash and Nona Hendryx as LaBelle in the first half of the 70's.  Her solo years since have been equally impressive.  7

Cyndi Lauper - Speaking of MTV era artists, Lauper was as big as they got on that channel in the 80's.  Her hits have outlasted her colorful image and videos.  And she was inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2015.  7

Marvelettes -  Nominated twice in 2013/2015, they were a great girl group.  But they may suffer from Motown fatigue among voters.   7

Alanis Morissette - As big a female star as any from 1995 to the mid-2000's.  Hasn't been in the spotlight for a few years though.  One of those, like Sinead O'Connor, whose reputation could rise over time.   6

Stevie Nicks - She never topped her first solo album Bella Donna, but away from Fleetwood Mac she had enough hits that you can't disregard her chances.  But for now, her Fleetwood Mac induction will be enough for the NomCom.   7

Sinead O'Connor -   Talk about doing things your own way.  She was controversial and daring but had the talent to back it up.  Another name who I think will gain momentum down the road.   7

Dolly Parton - Not Rock and Roll enough for you?  Jack White has covered her, and Lars Ulrich is a fan.  Not much Rock in her catalog, but she's one of music's (not just Country) biggest icons.   5

Peter, Paul & Mary -  They were as popular if not more than Joan Baez in the 60's, and had more hits. Only one problem: they were seemed to be anti-Rock.  ("I Dig Rock and Roll Music" was not a tribute).  If the NomCom can get over that, then they have a chance.  6

Esther Phillips - Twice she's been nominated, but the last way back in 1987.  Another one of those who sang many genres, but never became as big a star as she should have.  4

Pixies - A group whose critical reputation has grown since their peak in the early 90's.  An influence on Nirvana and groups like the Strokes.  Bassist Kim Deal was the only female member, but she was an important one.  Sang mostly backup, but did sing a lead vocal or two.  She later went on to co-found the Breeders.   5

Pointer Sisters - Long-running hitmakers who peaked in the mid-80's.  Early hits were quite diverse.  They were the first African-American vocal group to perform on the Grand Ole Opry.  From the late 70's to the mid-80's they piled up a bunch of Top 40 hits. Again, might be too Pop for the NomCom.  4

Suzi Quatro - Before Joan Jett and the Runaways came this Detroit born rocker.  She had more hits in England than in the U.S.  Mostly remembered for her Happy Days acting gig, she should garner more respect. Oddly enough, in the States,  it was as Leather Tuscadero that many girls saw her as an influence.   3

Sylvia Robinson - Best known as the co-founder of Sugar Hill Records, the legendary Rap label.  But before that she had a recording career cutting solo hits and teaming with Mickey Baker on "Love Is Strange".  Also, before Sugar Hill,  co-founded labels that had R&B and crossover hits.  7

Diana Ross - If Sting's solo careeer can get a nomination, then why not Ross?  Besides getting an Oscar nomination for playing Billie Holiday, she had 27 Top 40 solo hits, with 6 going to number one.  Doubt she'll ever get a solo nod, though.   5

Runaways - Joan Jett's 2015 induction may have either put an end to their chances of getting in or delayed it by several years.  6

Sade -  Hugely popular with a devoted audience, she pretty much became the voice of Smooth Jazz/Urban R&B formats.  Two genres that the NomCom has never addressed.   7

Salt N Pepa - The biggest female Hip Hop artists of all time.  That should count for something, considering their success paved the way for many female rappers.   5

Shangri-Las  - One of the 60's best girl groups, with some truly classic singles.  Matter of time before they got nominated.  Unless some sort of girl group fatigue (see Marvelettes, Chantels) has struck the NomCom.   7

Carly Simon  -  She never gets mentioned with Carole King or Joni Mitchell as an important female singer-songwriter of the 70's.  I think the faint critical acclaim has hurt her chances, but has some projects coming out in 2016 which could raise her profile.   7

Nina Simone - Talk about eclectic.  Simone dabbled in many genres in her lifetime.  She's the subject of a recent Netflix documentary and an upcoming biopic.  Her reputation continues to grow since her death in 2003.    6

Siouxsie and the Banshees - Led by Siouxsie Sioux, they were one of the first and  most successful punk-goth bands of the late 70's/80's.  Sioux was a captivating and colorful lead vocalist.  4

Sonic Youth  -  Kim Gordon as much a part of the success of this group as her ex-Thurston Moore.  A huge critical favorite.  But if the NomCom wants hits they should look elsewhere.  Like the Replacements, they never had any Top 40 songs.  But they will get nominated eventually.   8
Sonny & Cher -  Cher could get in on her own.  But her 60's hits with Sonny were pretty great, too.   Things going against her:  Campy 70's TV shows which caused her to garner minimal critical respect.    7

Tina Turner - Although inducted with Ike, Tina's solo career was just as iconic.  One of Pop music's greatest comeback stories, she became a legend as the 80's ended.   Again, if Sting and Lou Reed can get nominated for their solo work, Tina Turner (and Carole King) should as well.   9

Dionne Warwick  - Had she stopped having hits after 1971, when her collaborations with Bacharach/David dried up, she might be in already.  But the later Adult Contemporary hits have hurt her.   7

Mary Wells - An early 60's Motown hitmaker, she left the label in 1965 at her peak.  Her career never recovered.  Nominated way back in 1986, 1987.    7

Lucinda Williams - Right behind Emmylou on the Americana scale, she's also a huge critical favorite that has been previously considered by the NomCom.   6

X - Classic West Coast Punk Band who made a mark critically if not commercially in the early 80's.  Featured Exene Cervenka, who co-wrote and sang on most of the band's material.  

Early Influence Candidates

Ella Fitzgerald - Considered the Greatest Female Jazz Vocalist not named Billie Holiday.  Holiday was inducted as an Early Influence in 2000, and Fitzgerald's legend has extended beyond Jazz and reached many female vocalists.   

Big Mama Thornton - One of the great Blues shouters who also had an influence just as Rock and Roll was at its infancy.  "Hound Dog" was her ticket, and many female Rock & Blues singers were influenced by her.     

Sister Rosetta Tharpe - Probably more Gospel than Blues, but she did cut some records in the latter category.  Regardless, she's one of the best vocalists and guitarists from the early years of Blues and Gospel.

Memphis Minnie - One of the early Blues guitarists, and a pioneer in that category among many of the women who followed her.  Somewhat forgotten today, but she was a popular presence throughout her life.  Early Influence category.

Below is a link to other genres that the Hall could improve on:
Other Genres & The Rock Hall

Future Rock Legends

Email me for missing names:

Monday, February 08, 2016

Playlist for 2/8

Lee Michaels - Best of
Free- Highway
Jackson C. Frank  - s/t
Rudresh Mahanthappa - Bird Calls
Jorge Ben - Ben
4th Coming - Strange Things
Bikini Kill - Singles

Friday, February 05, 2016

My Dad 8 Years Later ( + His Record Collection)

My Dad played a big part in my own eclectic tastes in music. So, here's a Father's Day gift in his memory.  Below is a list, as I remember it, of his vinyl collection.  I heard these records many times. Lots of Country and Pop vocalists.  I may be missing a few titles.  Most are from the early 70's.  I've got some of these in my own collection, but many of these are out of print and have never been released on CD or digitally (as of February 2016).

Elvis Presley - Elvis (1973)
Elvis Presley - Aloha From Hawaii
Elvis Presley - Raised On Rock
Elvis Presley - Legendary Performer Vol. 2
Jerry Lee Lewis - Sometimes A Memory Ain't Enough
Chuck Berry - San Francisco Dues
Neil Diamond - Tap Root Manuscript
Engelbert Humperdinck - After The Lovin'
Tom Jones - Body and Soul of
Tom Jones - Greatest Hits (bought at concert my parents attended)
Johnny Mathis - I'm Coming Home
Tommy Overstreet - Heaven Is My Woman's Love
Merle Haggard - His 30th Album
Merle Haggard - Okie From Muskogee
Merle Haggard - If We Make It Through December
Johnny Cash - Ragged Old Flag
Charley Pride - 10th Album
Charley Pride - Sings Heart Songs
Conway Twitty & Loretta Lynn - Louisiana Woman/Mississippi Man
Loretta Lynn - Entertainer of the Year
Johnny Rodriguez - All I Ever Meant To Do Was Sing
George Jones & Tammy Wynette - Let's Build A World Together
Charlie Rich - Very Special Love Songs
Charlie Rich - Tomorrow Night
Tom T. Hall - In Search Of A Song
Kris Kristofferson & Rita Coolidge - Full Moon
John Denver - Rocky Mountain High
Jim Ed Brown - Morning
Don Gibson - Snap Your Fingers
Hank Williams Jr. - After You/Pride's Not Hard To Swallow
Jerry Reed - Lord Mr. Ford
Shirley Bassey - Never, Never, Never
Fifth Dimension -Age of Aquarius

(8 tracks)
Rod McKuen - New Ballads
San Sebastian Strings - The Sea
Elvis Presley - Love Letters From
Bobbie Gentry & Glen Campbell  - s/t

Thursday, February 04, 2016

Maurice White R.I.P. (+ Top 20 EWF Songs)

Maurice White's goal when forming Earth, Wind & Fire in 1969 was to elicit positive energy through music. I'd say he achieved everything he wanted.  Some of EWF's songs conveyed positive messages, but funky enough to get up and dance.  At their peak in the late 70's, EWF were one of the best bands on the planet.  Go and check out videos of their shows from that period.

White co-wrote most of the band's hits, and traded vocals with Philip Bailey on many of those. Along with a dynamic rhythm section, the songs had a shimmery glow about them.  And the hits sounded great on the radio.  Before he formed EWF, White was no stranger to the studio, having been a session drummer at Chess Records.

EWF were inducted into the Rock Hall in 2000, the Songwriters Hall in 2010 and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award this year. By the mid-90's White had stopped touring with the band.

Below are my 18 favorite EWF songs, 1 Maurice White R&B hit (his only solo album from 1985) and their 1975 #20 R&B charting collaboration with Ramsey Lewis.

1.  Shining Star
2.  Sing A Song
3.  Serpentine Fire
4.  Can't Hide Love
5.  Reasons
6.  Fantasy
7.  September
8.  Got To Get You Into My Life
9.  That's The Way Of The World
10. Let's Groove
11. Mighty Mighty
12. Getaway
13. After The Love Is Gone
14. Devotion  (live Gratitude LP)
15. Boogie Wonderland
16. Saturday Nite
17. System of Survival
18. Love's Holiday
19. I Need You (solo)
20. Sun Goddess (Ramsey Lewis and EWF)

Bonus: "Best Of My Love" - Emotions
Co-Produced and Co-Written by Maurice.  Went to #1 Pop in 1977.

As for their albums, all their releases from 74-79 are great or pretty great.
Pressed to name the essential ones I'd say you need to hear the partly live Gratitude (75), That's The Way of the World (75),  All 'N All (77), I Am (79) and their last solid album, 1981's Raise.


Monday, February 01, 2016

Playllsit for 2/1

Roger Miller - Early Years 57-62  (Jasmine)
J.D. Souther - John David Souther/Black Rose/You're Only Lonely/Home By Dawn
David Bowie - Blackstar
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