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The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2018 Nominees Are…

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ( Image Source: Wikimedia)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ( Image Source: Wikimedia)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. ( Image Source: Wikimedia)

Jaylen Moulton, Editor-in-Chief

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The inductees to the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were chosen on Dec. 13, 2017. Of the 19 nominees, only 5 were inducted this year: Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, and Nina Simone. The induction ceremony will take place on Apr. 14, 2018 in Cleveland, and will be broadcasted on HBO.

 

To be eligible for nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, a solo artist or band must have their first album released 25 years prior to their nomination. Once nominated, their musical excellence, influence, talent, career, and other factors are noted and judged by historians, members of the music industry, and other artists. Along with their judgment, people were able to vote online from the initial 19 nominees.

 

If this is sounding familiar, you may have read my article on the R & R Hall of Fame last year where I analyzed every song on each of the artist’s debut albums. While that was fun, I also realize that makes for an incredibly long-winded read and no one wants to endure that, so I’m going to do the same thing, but I won’t examine every song. Instead, I will listen to each artists debut album and write down my commentary on the album as a whole, list my favorite song off the album, and give an overall rating out of 10 to wrap it up!

 

Have I listened to any of these artists before? Yes, I’ve listened to a good handful of Bon Jovi songs (and voted for him during the fan vote), a few Dire Straits songs, of course, the classic “Nights in White Satin” by the Moody Blues, and two Nina Simone songs. The Cars is the only band I have not listened to; although, I’ve been meaning to for a while now, so writing this article was a perfect excuse!

 

Bon Jovi

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BcXnnk6A-GV/?taken-by=bonjovi

 

Bon Jovi is an American rock band that formed in 1983 in Sayerville, New Jersey. The band has been quite successful ever since the release of their 1986 album, Slippery When Wet, which featured hits like “You Give Love a Bad Name,” “Livin’ on a Prayer,” and “Wanted Dead or Alive” (if you haven’t heard any of these songs, go listen IMMEDIATELY!). The band has sold over 130 million albums and received over 1.1 million votes during the Rock Hall of Fame fan voting process.

 

(Image Source: Wikimedia)

 

Their debut self-titled album, Bon Jovi, was released in 1984 and was ranked 11th best rock album of the year by Kerrang! Magazine. Although I already like the band’s hits, I try my best to leave my bias behind, and I managed to do that with this, especially since the songs aren’t particularly well known. When I listened, I definitely got glam metal vibes from it (which I loved). The album was energetic, catchy, and the guitar was probably the best part of it all. There were a few songs in there that were calmer and built up into energetic songs, and I thought the blend of calmness and energy was nice. One thing I definitely did note was that it screamed the 80s. If I didn’t know the year the album was released, I’d still be able to guess it was from the 80s, so it definitely fits the sound of the decade! Overall I would give this album a 6/10. It was enjoyable and catchy, but a very temporary experience; put simply, there wasn’t much substance to it. It’s not an album I’d look to listen to again on my own accord either.

 

Recommended Song: “Love Lies”

 

 

Band Website: https://www.bonjovi.com/

 

The Cars

 

#TBT photo credit: Paul McAlpine

A post shared by The Cars (@thecars) on

 

The Cars is an American new wave band that formed in 1976 in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1978, a Rolling Stone readers’ poll named the band as Best New Artist of the year, and in 1984, they won Video of the Year at the MTV Video Music Awards with their song “You Might Think.” The band broke up in 1988, but reunited in 2010 with the release of a new album.

 

(Image Source: Wikimedia)

 

Their debut self-titled album, The Cars was released in 1978 and remained on the Billboard 200 chart for 139 weeks reaching No. 18 at its peak! When I saw that the Cars had been inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I was really excited to listen to them for this article. After taking the time to listen to them, I am sadly disappointed. Considering this is their most popular album, I was expecting more, but I was left with a drab, unappealing singer backed by subpar instrumentals. While some of the songs had potential, I could list other singers who I thought would sound better singing some of these songs: Robert Smith of the Cure, Dale Bozzio of Missing Persons, Wally Palmar of the Romantics, Debbie Harry of Blondie, among others. The songs have potential, but the sound itself is not that great. The songs that are more tolerable than others are sung by NOT the lead singer of the Cars (Ric Ocazek), but by the bassist (Benjamin Orr). The best song on the album (“Just What I Needed”), like the tolerable songs, is sung by Orr as well. It makes sense that this would be there debut single. I will give this album a 5/10, because although I suffered through it and didn’t find most of the songs enjoyable, I still see their potential to be improved upon by other musicians.

 

Recommended Song: “Just What I Needed”

 

 

Band Website: http://thecars.org/

 

 

Dire Straits

 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BPk5v-rlHmG/

 

Dire Straits is a British rock band that formed in 1977 in Deptford, London. They are known for hit singles like “Sultans of Swing,” “Romeo and Juliet,” (which you may have heard covered by The Killers) “Private Investigations,” “Money for Nothing,” and “Walk of Life.” Throughout their career (before disbanding once in 1988 and then again in 1995), the band enjoyed 1,100 weeks on the UK albums chart and won four Grammy Awards.

 

(Image Source: Wikimedia)

 

Their debut self-titled album, Dire Straits, was released in 1978 and was eventually certified double-platinum in both the United States and United Kingdom. While listening to the album, I noticed a consistent sound to all the songs that I can only describe as a mysterious softness. Even in some of the energetic songs, this softness was still in there even if just as an undertone. This really helped the album flow from start to finish. I also really enjoyed how the songs were very storylike. I give the album a 7.5/10. Although it was definitely enjoyable and there are some great songs, I would rather listen to those songs as stand-alones, rather than as a part of an entire album.

 

Recommended Song: “Six Blade Knife”

 

 

Band Website (it’s not an official website, but this is as close as you can get to a band website for them): https://www.facebook.com/DireStraits/

 

The Moody Blues

 

 

The Moody Blues is an English rock band that formed in 1964 in Birmingham, England. They are most well-known for their hit single “Nights in White Satin.” Early on in their career they started off playing rhythm and blues, but later made themselves into pioneers of progressive rock.

 

(Image Source: Wikimedia)

 

While I debated whether I would review their debut album, I came to the conclusion that I would not, because their second album is truly the album where they developed the sound they are known for. Their second album, Days of Future Passed, was released in 1967, peaking at 27 in the UK and 3 in the US. The album was incredible. Not only did I feel all the emotion packed in the music, but the flow from song to song seemed perfect and the classical/orchestral vibes with the rock were a great mix. I give the album a 9/10. It pioneered the progressive rock movement, it was a huge move away from the type of music they originally started making–so there experimentalism was a success–and it took my breath away.

 

Recommended Song: “Nights in White Satin”

 

 

Band Website: http://www.moodybluestoday.com/

 

Nina Simone

 

 

Nina Simone is an American jazz singer, pianist, arranger, and Civil Rights activist from Tryon, North Carolina. Her singing career began in 1954. She is most well-known for her popular rendition of “Feeling Good.” Throughout her career she was nominated for a Grammy award 15 times, had a statue made of her in her hometown in 2010, and has had her music featured in various films.

 

(Image Source: Wikimedia)

 

Simone’s debut album, <i>Little Girl Blue</i> was released in 1958. Her cover of George Gershwin’s “I Love You, Porgy” was what started her career and would be her only Billboard top 20 hit. Simone’s voice is different, and with different, comes mixed reactions. I do not like her voice, but with that in mind, I do like the songs featured in this album. I like the way they sound and I like the lyrics. Her voice is not to my personal taste, but like all music, there comes an acquired taste and I think her voice has merit to those who appreciate her for that reason. I enjoyed the instrumentals over the vocals most of the time, but the songs were enjoyable, so I give this album a 7/10 overall.

 

Recommended Song: “Love me Or Leave Me”

 

 

Her Website: http://www.ninasimone.com/

For more information on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, past inductees, and more check out their website by clicking here.

 

 

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