It’s election time again and the nominations are out. The candidates for the 2008 election are Madonna, Beastie Boys, The Dave Clark 5, Leonard Cohen, Afrika Bamnaata, John Mellencamp, The Ventures, Donna Summer and Chic.
Of course that isn’t the presidential elections, though it would be cool to have Madonna as our nation’s leader, these are the nominees for the 2008 formal induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
In 1983 some of the musical industry leaders got together and formed the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation. According to rockhall.com, once a year, they honor artists, bands and individuals who have impacted “the evolution, development and perpetuation of rock and roll.”
Out of performers, non-performers, early influences and side men, only five nominees are inducted each year. This year’s nine contenders are all very different and have all made undeniable contributions to the world of music. Here is some background on the nominees:
The Ventures were an American instrumental rock band started by Don Wilson and Bob Boglein in 1958. They contributed to the surf rock genre and rock and roll as a whole. Over 30 major artists, such as the Beatles and the Eagles have named The Ventures as an influence.
The Dave Clark Five band has been nominated three times, but has yet to be inducted. They were an English Beat group in the 1960s, during the heyday of the British Invasion. They were one of the few groups that provided some competition for the Beatles powerhouse with their hits like “Catch Us if You Can” and others.
Leonard Cohen is a Canadian singer-songwriter, poet and novelist. Cohen’s songs and poetry have influenced many other singer-songwriters, and more than a thousand renditions of his work have been recorded. A song of Cohen’s you might recognize is “Hallelujah” covered by Jeff Buckley, Rufus Wainwright and more than 35 others.
Chic is a four time nominee for the Rock Hall and an American disco/funk band that began in 1976. They are best known for their commercially successful disco songs like “Dance Dance Dance,” “Le Freak” and “Good Times.”
Afrika Bambaataa was an instrumental influence in the early development of hip hop throughout the 1970s. Afrika Bambaataa is an originator of “break-beat dj-ing,” and is respectfully known as the “Godfather” of Hip Hop Culture. He has over 15 albums and has been releasing music from 1982 through 2005.
Donna Summer, an American singer, songwriter and artist, is best known as the “Queen of Disco.” She became the first female performer to have four number-one singles in a year and she holds the record for having three consecutive double albums hit number one on the Billboard charts.
John Mellencamp is the American rock icon responsible for the mega hits of the 80s and 90s like, “Jack and Diane,” “Hurts So Good” and “Small Town.”
Beastie Boys started out as a punk rock group in 1979, but switched to hip hop upon the release of their debut album “Licensed to Ill” in 1986. Beastie Boys are one of the longest lived hip hop acts, and more than 20 years after the release of their debut album, they still are bringing home the dough in 2007.
Madonna is a singer-songwriter, dancer, record and film producer and actress who has won several Grammy and Golden Globe awards. She hit the music scene in 1982 and has been constantly redefining the industry ever since.