A new list courtesy of Ranker.com argues that Kiss is the top act not already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, followed by Rush, Heart, Yes and Jethro Tull. The rest of the Top 10 of eligible absentees includes Deep Purple, the Cure, Peter Gabriel, the Moody Blues and Chicago.
The 2012 class of the rock hall will be inducted this weekend: They include Guns n’ Roses, the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Laura Nyro, Donovan and the Faces. Acts are eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their debut album.
[THE ROCKOLOGIST: Glen Boyd examines the rocket-ride career of 2012 inductee Donovan, who went from musical Forrest Gump to the Rock Hall’s sunshine superman.]
Ranker.com’s list of alternate inductees was compiled by its readers. Their Top 20 is rounded out by Sonic Youth, Cheap Trick, Blue Oyster Cult, AC/DC, the Scorpions, the Cars, Motorhead, Iron Maiden, the Doobie Brothers and Judas Priest. Further down the rankings, at No. 29, is King Crimson; Hall and Oates is at No. 33.
Ignore, of course, the list’s No. 25 suggestion: Bob Dylan. Not because we don’t like Dylan. He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.
Here’s a look back at our recent thoughts on members of the Ranker.com Top 5, including Kiss, Rush, Heart, Yes and Jethro Tull. Click through the titles for complete review …
SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: KISS: News that Kiss is back in the studio, working toward the 2012 release of a new project called Monster, got us scurrying back to our old album collections. And not just because of those fond memories of playing air guitar with former guitarist Ace Frehley during Kiss Alive. Bassist/vocalist Gene Simmons said something interesting about the sessions: “This new record feels heavier than (2009’s) Sonic Boom. It feels like a connection between Destroyer and Revenge. Those were but two of the favorites we discussed here.
RUSH – TIME MACHINE 2011: LIVE IN CLEVELAND (2011): Rush used this opportunity to, as they really have been doing each tour lately, rifle through catalog and pull out some dusty old gems (“Time Stand Still,” reggae “Working Man,” “Marathon,” “Subdivisions,” “Stick It Out” and “Leave That Thing Alone”) and even one bonafide “never been played before” fan favorite (“Presto”) but, most importantly, a run-through of their entire classic Moving Pictures album for its 30th anniversary. Some of those tunes have been played a lot (“Tom Sawyer,” “Limelight,” I’m looking at you) but others have disappeared for far, far too long. Welcome back to the stage “The Camera Eye” and “Witch Hunt.” Maybe you’ll stick around for a couple tours?
[SOMETHING ELSE! REWIND: Axl Rose’s refusal to join the rest of the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class brings up the question: Are they still Guns n’ Roses?]
HEART – GREATEST HITS (1998; 2011 Audio Fidelity Remaster): The distractions when it comes to Heart (gender politics, obvious curtsies to Led Zeppelin, wall-to-wall 1980s power-ballads, etc.) are swept away with this single turned-up-to-11 instrumental interlude during “Magic Man.” I’m struck all over again by guitarist Roger Fisher’s ever-increasing distortion, just before a smeared prog rock-influenced keyboard descends from the heavens. Heart’s “Magic Man” (a No. 9 hit in 1976) has, right there inside of it, this brilliant piece of in-the-moment, well, magic — unlikely to happen again in the age of auto-tune, but buried for decades in a muddy pre-digital mix. Now, this small joy has been spit-shined into a revelatory moment, and it’s almost worth the price of admission itself. This band, you quickly realize all over again, wasn’t led by a couple of Girls Who Rocked. They were, simply, rockers. And very good ones, at that.
SOMETHING ELSE! FEATURED ARTIST: YES: We dig back into deep cuts and favorites from Fragile, Relayer, Drama, and 90125 — including “South Side of the Sky,” highlighted by “Chris Squire’s gurgling bassline. Listen closely: Bill Bruford is also mesmerizing behind the drums. It seems simple but it gathers steam as the song wears on, packing in more twists and turns than seems necessary and yet seems perfectly sensible. Rick Wakeman compliments all of this with organ and, in the breakdown, a beautifully elegant piano line. On top of it all, Jon Anderson’s airy vocals narrate a polar expedition gone tragically wrong.”
JETHRO TULL – AQUALUNG (1971; 40th ANNIVERSARY EDITION): Aqualung was — and still is — an album that’s simply bursting with strange, forgotten, sometimes unsavory characters (not least of which is the leering homeless man of its title track) as well as blunt questions about faith and its earthly trappings (“My God,” and the closing “Wind Up”). A highlight is “Locomotive Breath,” this chillingly prophetic indictment (recorded, mind you, four decades ago) of over population that kept building — relentlessly, improbably — towards popular music’s most distinctive flute solo. Ian Anderson completely rocks an aerophone on this one, making for a curiously involving, out-of-nowhere delight.
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