Iconic disco band led by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards, who were also some of the most dominant songwriters, producers and backing musicians of the era. The band recorded several critically acclaimed albums and retained respect even during the years following the decline of disco. They’re best known for their hits “Le Freak” and “Good Times”. Chic has been eligible since 2002 and have been nominated every year since 2003.
Jon Winkler: Despite disco not being rock and roll, I’ll make Chic an exception.
Matt Rice: Chic is the group I’m most hoping gets in, and disco is totally rock and roll.
Ryan Gibbs: This is their record-tying 10th nomination. Only other artist to get that many nominations was Solomon Burke, and he got in there. It is stupid that they’re not in yet. And agreed, disco come out of funk and r&b. How is it not rock?
Matt: What’s more rock and roll than pissing off white guys so much they crush a bunch of your records?
Jon: lol. Point taken.
Ryan: It’s stupid that they didn’t get in when Nile Rodgers was having a great year off of the Daft Punk record. It’s stupid that they didn’t get in 10 years ago. It’s stupid that so many artists that don’t deserve to be in got in before them.
Jon: Nile Rodgers is one of the best guitar players alive today, and he’s a great producer.
Kevin Montes: Agreed.
Ryan: And also one of the best songwriters, which should have worked to his and their advantage.all the times they were nominated before. They’re due for induction. One of my problems with that dumb fan vote is that people sometimes have a really narrow minded idea of what rock is and it’s white guys with guitars. Which is silly. Even though, yeah, that fan vote is really a thrown bone. It only counts for a single ballot.
Matt: I’m not big on “Get Lucky” or Let’s Dance, honestly. Their work with Sister Sledge, on the other hand…
Ryan: C’est Chic is a fantastic album. One of the strongest of the disco era.
Matt: Risque and Real People are phenomenal, too.
Jon: They have a great instantly recognizable sound too.
Ryan: I really want them in this year. If had a vote, they’d be on my ballot easy.
Matt: Their biggest contribution to rock and roll: the “Good Times” bassline.
Jon: And to hip hop as well.
Ryan: Yeah! That bassline is all over early hip hop; The backbone of “Rapper’s Delight.”
Matt: And, more importantly, “The Adventures of Grandmaster Flash on the Wheels of Steel.”
Ryan: Right now, disco, funk and old school hip hop are having a huge resurgence. This is probably the best chance Chic has to get in.
Matt: To sum up my feelings, on a scale of one to ten, this band is a “26.”
Ryan: Ha! Awesome.
Jon: So we all agree: Chic goes in or the HOF are dumb.
Ryan: Well the HOF is kinda dumb for not putting them in last year, or the year before, or the year before that etc. etc., but yeah.
Starting out in the late 60’s, Chicago had a string of horn-heavy jazz-rock hits in the 70s led by guitarist Terry Kath and singer-bassist Peter Cetera. When Kath died in an accident in 1978, Cetera took over the band, and led them into a soft rock sound that turned into simultaneously into massive pop stars and ear poison for music critics and most rock fans. The band had a string of hit singles and albums that is nearly unmatched in rock history, but at the same time, their legacy is complex at best. They’re best known for hits like “Saturday in the Park” and “You’re the Inspiration”. Chicago has been eligible since 1994, but this is the first time that they have been nominated. It should be noted that the band is one of the most requested nominees in the history of the Hall.
Matt: Ugh. Fucking boomers.
Ryan: I have…many feelings about Chicago.
Jon: I honestly don’t know too much about them.
Jon: I just remember the joke in Little Nicky about them, when Nicky spins the record backwards.
Kevin: Of all movies!
Ryan: This is Chicago’s most recent greatest hits album. Disc 1 is really good! It’s quite solid jazz-rock aside from “If You Leave Me Now” which is a sign of things of to come. Disc 2 is the fucking worst. If you just had that record and didn’t know that band’s history, your first question would be “how do you go from something as cool as “25 or 6 to 4” to a waiting room soft rock snoozathon like “You’re the Inspiration“?” The answer is compromise, and also their talented guitarist accidentally shooting himself.
Matt: I’ve never been able to care about them at all, even their supposedly good stuff. I love Lester Bangs’ review of their Carnegie Hall live album.
Ryan: This isn’t like Genesis where the Phil Collins-era “corporate” stuff is actually pretty good and you can totally see the growth from their prog days to Invisible Touch. 80’s Chicago is some of the worst pop music of the past 50 years. I know people are very, very excited about this band finally getting nominated. I love their singles from their first few albums. But the stuff they did under Peter Cetera’s brutal regime should absolutely work against them. Anyway, anyone have anything to say about Chicago?
Kevin: I wanna visit the city.
Matt: I visit Chicago a lot. Wouldn’t mind living there. Chicago the band is the opposite of Chicago the city in my book.
Blues-influenced survivors of the psychedelic era, Deep Purple cemented their place in rock history first with their Concerto for Group and Orchestra in 1968, and then a string of well received albums leading to 1972’s Machine Head and the iconic “Smoke on the Water”. The band is often named as one of the major influences on heavy metal, and guitarist Ritchie Blackmore and organist Jon Lord remain highly revered figures in British hard rock. Aside from “Smoke”, the band’s best known songs include “Hush” and “Highway Star”. The band has been eligible since 1993 and were nominated previously in 2013 and 2014.
Jon: Four words: “Smoke on the Water.”
Kevin: I’ve never heard of em either, lol. Or I have, but not by name. Jon, what you said is familiar.
Matt: I love “Black Night.” And I remember their albums being pretty great, although I don’t know if I’d have the patience for them anymore. “Smoke on the Water” may have the most overrated guitar riff in rock history.
Ryan: I think Deep Purple in Rock and Machine Head are good albums. And “Smoke on the Water” and “Hush” are solid rock standards. I just don’t know what separates them from some of the other 70s rock giants that aren’t in yet.
Jon: They’ve had great members in their line up.
Ryan: Yeah, but so did King Crimson.
Matt: In Metal: A Headbanger’s Journey, Lemmy said they might be the first metal band.
Ryan: I suppose, but you have a few other candidates there. Like Blue Cheer. I’m not sure this is Deep Purple’s year. They might split the vote of “70’s rock heroes” with Yes. They have a name, people know them, they were successful…but that’s kept plenty of other bands out of the Hall too. Maybe if this year’s other nominees weren’t so strong i’d consider otherwise.
Jon: I feel like most people who started getting into rock got a taste of Deep Purple.
Matt: I mentioned Lemmy, so I’d say Motörhead is a metal band I see as being more worthy of the HOF than Deep Purple.
Ryan: Yeah, definitely.
Jon: Holy hell how are Motörhead not already in?!?!
Ryan: Because the Hall hates metal. I think it took Sabbath something like six nominations to actually get in. And that was Sabbath! I do love Deep Purple’s “Concerto for Group and Orchestra” though. First example of a symphony working with a rock band.
Joey Daniewicz: Honestly, I theorize that the remaining people who think Deep Purple mattered are slowly dying off. Outside of your first lessons and the denizens of your local Guitar Center, do they really seem worthy of any Hall of Fame?
It’s about time. One of the most legendary acts in pop history who became famous on her own terms separate from her famous brothers. Her albums Control, Rhythm Nation 1814, Janet and The Velvet Rope and collaborations with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis pushed the boundaries of R&B and are some of the best records of the past 30 years. Her many hits include “Nasty”, “Escapade” and “That’s the Way Love Goes”. Long considered one of the Hall’s biggest snubs since she was first eligible in 2007, this is her first year nominated and she’s widely tipped as a favorite.for induction.
Kevin: I remember that expensive video she made with her older bro, “Scream.”
Ryan: More than any other nominee this year, Janet Jackson is the one I want in.
Kevin: I love Janet.
Ryan: I don’t understand why it’s taken her this long to actually get nominated.
Kevin: How long ago was her first album?
Ryan: She’s been eligible since 2007, Kevin.
Matt: I’ve actually just been exploring her albums for the first time. I really hate teenage me for wasting so much time trying to get Interpol instead of exploring old R&B.
Jon: I heard her new album is really good
Ryan: Her new one is great! Her records with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis in the late 80’s and early 90’s are world conquering stuff.
Jon: I think it’d be good for her to go in. Who was the last female pop/R&B star to get in?
Ryan: Darlene Love in 2011. Unless you consider Donna Summer R&B (2013).
Matt: Donna Summer taking that long to get in is criminal.
Ryan: It took her dying to get in. The Hall does that all the time and it pisses me off.
Jon: Even Janet’s 2000 output has been solid. Every time she does something musical, it’s a major event. That equals her as a “big freakin deal.”
Ryan: I actually like Rhythm Nation 1814 more than any of her brother’s albums. Really.
Ryan: Ha! But seriously, all my music critic friends were super-excited about Janet getting a nomination. And they have every right to be. I hope she gets inducted. She’s too huge of a name on the ballot to be ignored at all. I imagine voters have been clamoring to put her in.
Jon: Definitely. Didn’t BET just give her a lifetime achievement award recently?
Ryan: I think they did Jon.
Matt: I love her singles, and it’s been fun listening to her albums finally. I wish I had more to say about her.
Ryan: I think “Escapade” is the best song of any of the nominated artists this year.
Joey: Put her in so that CBS and the NFL can kiss her ass.
On page 3, we talk about The J.B.’s, Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails and N.W.A.