Following on yesterday’s Part One post on classic bands not yet in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, the list is lengthy enough and includes a number of key artists from over the years.
In this second of two-parts, I’ve highlighted some of the contributions of the following groups:
Kraftwerk – I posted an overview of these German electronic music pioneers on June 26, 2012 following their triumphant stand at NY’s Museum of Modern Art. (http://timbrosnan.wordpress.com/?s=Kraftwerk). Their song “Radioactivity” is provided below and is well-worth a listen. The beat in the intro is from a Geiger counter. Get it?
Judas Priest - This Birmingham, UK band was formed in 1969. They were known for the more “operatic”range singing of lead singer Rob Halford and their use of twin lead guitars. They also seem to be credited with the introduction of S&M-type dress elements into heavy metal. Their hit “Breaking the Law” is added below.
Yes - When I was a teen every cover band needed to play “Roundabout”. It had just the right touch of classical and artsy elements with its distinctive intro to get these progressive rockers onto mainstream radio in 1971. They’re still going strong. I’ve added, what else, “Roundabout” below. It remains one of my favorite songs to this day
Roxy Music - I was never a huge fan of Roxy growing up but a lot of credit is owed to Bryan Ferry for some great songwriting over the decades. Formed in the UK in 1971, Roxy was an art group that clearly gave inspiration to groups like Talking Heads and Duran Duran. I’ve included their 1975 hit “Love is the Drug” from their album Siren below.
Chicago - I was really surprised to find this band not inducted into the Hall. After all, they dominated the airwaves back in the day and put out some great great music along the way. I think I was a little biased towards them as they seemed to be mostly a horn section and broke away from (my then) classic view of rock bands (drums, 2 guitars, and a bass). That bias was up-ended when you hear the guitar solo from “25 or 6 to 4” by the late Terry Kath. Just astounding. (Trivia Note: Guitarist Terry Kath died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at a party. Fooling around with what he thought was an unloaded gun, his last words were “Don’t worry, it’s not loaded.”. A true and very sad end.
The Moody Blues - My last entry on the “overlooked”. The Moody Blues combined fusion rock with classical music better than anyone before or after (I realize they’re still active in some form). Their 1967 release “Days of Future Passed” was their second release and shot them up the charts on the strength of “Nights in White Satin“. The band had been asked to record a rock version of Dvorak’s New World Symphony but instead went into a West London studio and recorded their own symphonic piece that charts out a full 24-hour day (in 41 minutes) in the writer’s life. The original 1967 video is included below.