Roxy Music has been eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame since 1997, but the English glam rock band was nominated for the first time this year. The wait paid off, as they made the cut on their first try.
The band was formed in 1970 by singer and songwriter Bryan Ferry, previously an art school teacher. Soundscape master Brian Eno got his start with the band as well, though he left after a couple of years due to creative differences with Ferry. The band released eight albums over 11 years before disbanding in 1992, having influenced a whole generation of artists through both their music and their style.
Radiohead became eligible for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2017 and was nominated in 2018 before making the cut this year. The band’s inclusion so quickly was a no-brainer given their commercial and critical success, paired with the boundaries they’ve pushed in the industry.
In addition to their wide-ranging sonic experimentation, their 2007 album In Rainbows was the first by a big-name act to be offered under a “pay whatever you want” model (I’m ashamed to admit I paid nothing). That strategy was an early forerunner of the streaming age we’re living in now.
Our next 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee is Stevie Nicks, who has been eligible as a solo performer since 2006. This was her first nomination. Nicks is already in the Hall of Fame as a member of Fleetwood Mac, who were inducted in 1998. Nicks is the first woman inducted into the Hall of Fame twice, a feat accomplished by 22 men.
As a solo artist, Nicks has released eight studio albums, four of which went platinum and two gold. Her most successful, commercially and critically, was her 1981 solo debut, Bella Donna.
When I first saw Janet Jackson’s name among this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductees, I thought it was a stretch. Has she really accomplished enough for this kind of accolade?
A little research revealed how hopelessly ill-informed I was about Jackson’s legacy. Turns out she has a résumé every R&B performer would kill for. She has rewritten the record books for dance and R&B music — a genre I have never gotten into, which explains my ignorance in this matter.
Our next 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee is the British hard rock band Def Leppard, who have been eligible for inclusion since 2005. This is the first time they have been up for nomination, which is frankly shocking.
Def Leppard is one of only a handful of bands with more than one Diamond album (more than 10 million copies sold). Their company include the Eagles, The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, and Van Halen, all of whom have been in the Hall for decades. They have sold 36 million albums overall, and every rock band in that ballpark is already in.
This year’s batch of new inductees into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is varied and interesting enough to warrant a series of blog posts. In fact, looking back at the lineups from the past several years, I’m kicking myself for not doing this before now. Maybe I’ll start a new series and work backward.
Alphabetically, the first new inductee is The Cure. The English New Wave band has been eligible since 2004 and was nominated once before (in 2012) before making the cut this year. They released 13 studio albums in the 30 years from 1979 to 2008 and gave voice to a generation of disaffected mopers.