Friday, December 18, 2015

Week In Review: Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees 2016

I haven't heard who else got in, outside of the five in question, but the 2016 inductees are probably the most classic rock and roll based in many years with the exception of NWA.   Probably Jann Wanner being pissed off about Deep Purple and Chicago getting into there by the popular vote so NWA got in there by default.  Let's take a look at those who got in there in order of my preferences.  Of course Yes and The Cars got kicked to the curb but I'm guessing 2017 will be the year that one or the other or both get in.  But never the Moody Blues, Jann hates them.  Or Yes although the fans will burn down his house if he refuses them in.  But  if it means anything Deep Purple, Steve Miller Band, Chicago and Cheap Trick are in the Crabb Real Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

Deep Purple

Out of all the bands in question, I followed Deep Purple through their career, the original lineup with Rod Evans and Nick Simpler before Richie Blackmore kicked them out, the classic lineup with Ian Gillan and Roger Glover coming over from Episode Six, a folk rock group and turn Deep Purple into a heavy rock band. I still find the early Purple albums of Shades, Book Of Talyisen, and the S/T album to have some great songs among the hippie dippy and progressive rock leanings.  Although Rod Evans was a shouter, he wasn't the screamer dry wit singer that was Ian Gillan, but I still love Kentucky Woman and Bird Has Flown and Listen, Learn Read On.  With Gillan/Glover on board, Deep Purple became the ultimate hard rock band beginning with Black Night, which Warner Brothers didn't bother to issue on the classic Deep Purple In Rock album. (or Harvest in the UK which issued DP albums)  Fireball and Machine Head upped the ante and even if Who Do We Think We Are paled in comparison, it is a damn good album.  And of course, one of the best live albums ever made, (Made In Japan) to which Ian Gillan screamed in full glory and the full bombast of Child In Time and the side 4 20 minute Space Truckin.   By then Blackmore had enough of Gillan and Ian moved on to his own solo band, Roger Glover went into production and later part of Rainbow, and both were replaced by David Coverdale, a booze soaked R and B rocker and the high notes taken over by the overpowering Glenn Hughes.  However Burn turned out to be a nice rocking album with the title track and Might Just Take Your Life the highlights.  Maybe Ian Gillan wasn't missed?

If Burn was a comeback album, Stormbringer was a disappointment outside of the title track.  Blackmore got bored and left to form Rainbow with members of Elf and Ronnie James Dio and the ill fated Tommy Bolin took over for the underrated Come Taste The Band, but alas, Bolin overdosed in 1976 and Deep Purple took a break, Coverdale forming Whitesnake, which would featured Jon Lord and Ian Paice for their best albums before Blackmore kissed and made up with Gillan for Perfect Strangers.  While critics remained somewhat stagnant on House Of Blue Light, I liked it better than Perfect Strangers. But the temperamental Blackmore finally had enough and after The Battle Rages On,  (1990 Slaves And Masters featured Joe Lynn Turner for one album before the rest of the guys demanded Gillan to be back into the fold) he moved on to the medieval folk of Blackmore's Night (with wife Candace Night).  But Deep Purple didn't break up, instead, Steve Morse replaced Blackmore and has remained with the band ever since the 1996 Purpledicular album which might be one of the best records in their history.  Jon Lord bowed out after the 1998 Abandon record and Don Airey replaced him.  And this lineup of Gillan/Morse/Glover/Airey/Paice has been the most stable.  Gillan can't scream he once did, so basically Child Of Time has been retired but Deep Purple continues to make pretty good albums, Now What?! was the most recent and produced with Bob Ezrin.   It's interesting to see who shows up or if anybody can locate Rod Evans, which would be more of a shock if he did show up than Blackmore's appearance.  Nobody can deny Deep Purple's role in hard rock/heavy metal, their inclusion makes sense.   If anything they should have been there before Metallica, which was influenced by Deep Purple.  And if anybody says Deep Purple was a one hit wonder, smack them upside the head  and tell them to learn rock and roll history and their single.  There's more to them than just Smoke On The Water.


The two phases of Chicago.  The horns era is their best and perhaps Terry Kath figured greatly in their development. He can play damn near anything, can be jazzy at first and then wailing away fusionwise the next.  But their songs are set in concrete on radio be it Saturday In The Park or 25 to 6 or 4 or Beginnings.  Robert Lamm was the main songwriter and with William James Guercio found the perfect song for AM radio.  Highlights are many, I like the lesser charting singles of Lowdown and Free and before Peter Cetera became Mr. Soft Rock, he had some nice album songs such as In Terms Of Two or the heavy metal riffing of Hideaway before getting a major number 1 single in 1976 with If You Leave Me Now, which would serve "the beginning" of the dreaded David Foster produced years.  It was Terry Kath that kept Chicago rocking and rolling and with his senseless death in 1977.  Donnie Dacus replaced him and although Kath was irreplaceable, I liked his contributions to Hot Streets with the hit single Alive Again and the Peter Cetera written Gone Long Gone and Little Miss Lovin' (with The Bee Gees doing backing vocals, they were everywhere). But fans and record buyers weren't getting less impressed with each album. Chicago 13 was unlucky for them, it didn't help when Columbia issued Dacus' Must Have Been Crazy as a flop single. Dacus then left, Chris Pennick replaced him and 14 (the Thumbprint album) Chicago lost their way.  Their resurrection came when David Foster come on board and decided to go with a updated (at that time) sounds of keyboards and cheesy keyboards and more ballads and Hard To Say I'm Sorry was the start of cheese ballads with Peter Cetera doing the lead vocals (Cetera actually did a 1981 Full Moon album of hard rocking songs that remain his best solo album overall). By then this direction, I had enough and wrote them off, only album that I got since 16 was the Ron Nevison produced 19 which had a hit with Look Away.  Chicago remains highly in demand on the oldies circuit, and I like their lost years before the ballads and David Foster ruined them.  Even in the afterlife, Terry Kath remains a guitar genius.

Steve Miller Band

He was a FM cult favorite before The Joker and Fly Like An Eagle made him forever associated with classic rock radio, but he's always had one foot in the blues throughout his career.   With Boz Scaggs and Glyn Johns, the early Capitol albums were perfect for FM radio, but as a whole they are uneven, Children Of The Future side 1 is basically a song collage and the best songs were written by Boz Scaggs.  A slowed down Key To The Highway makes Little Walter's version sound like speed metal. Sailor was better but still Miller tends to throw in overlong songs that bore me (Song From Our Ancestors) and Boz Scaggs has the best song in Dime A Dance Romance.  After Boz moved on to a solo career that still going strong (his new album is quite good).  The albums got better, at least the next one Brave New World was a consistent listen, giving us Space Cowboy and Tim Davis being the other vocalist.  Your Saving Grace was a fine title track (Sung by Tom Davis) but the album wandered all over the place (the boring Baby's House) and Number 5 improved.  However Tim Davis left and the next two records Rock Love and Recall The Beginning were so bad, that Miller never bothered to issued them on CD.  Capitol did put out Anthology, which did captured most of the best moments off Brave New World, Number 5 Sailor and Your Saving Grace but ignored Children Of The Future and Rock Love but for an overall picture of the early years a much better best of that came out in 1991 has rendered Anthology useless.

Miller's classic years revolve around three albums, the blues based The Joker to which the title track has become a bar standard but the album was slightly better than the two farts known as Recall The Beginning and Rock Love.  On 1976 Fly Like An Eagle, Miller teams up with Lonnie Turner and Gary Mallaber and the result was three gigantic hits in the title track, Take The Money And Run and the basically simple to do Rock'n Me, one of my favorite songs before classic rock radio ran it down our throats too often.  Highlights include Mercury Blues which is more stripped down than the hippie dippy version that you can find on Rhino's History of Texas Music Volume 3 and Serenade.  With the big success of Fly Like An Eagle, Miller quickly followed with Book Of Dreams which he got big hits from Jet Airliner, Jungle Love, Swingtown and a Rocky Mountain Way cop of The Stake to which somebody should have given Joe Walsh credit.  Capitol then issued a greatest hits 1973-1978 to which all the hits were there (except Your Cash Ain't Nothing But Trash and Living In The USA, which was reissued as a single in 1974 and B side to Rock N Me in 1976).

Miller then took more time off and then came back in 1981 with Circle Of Love but then things were beginning to change different.  Circle Of Love was half assed, with the title track being a decent hit but the whole thing is shot down by the side 2 Macho City.  With Abracadabra, Miller actually went more power pop then ever before, take away the goofy title track and there's a more pop sound with Keeps Me Wondering Why, Give It Up, Never Say No.  At this point Gary Mallaber seems to be the other important member of the band, writing 8 of the 10 songs (only Miller wrote the title track).  This album would make it to number 3 on the charts, the last top three album Miller would write.  Mallaber would figure into the role of other bands, helping out Gerald McMahon and Kid Lightning for two decent albums and later Tracker that made one so so album for Elektra).  Alas Italian  X Rays was a farce, Miller going with more keyboards and less guitar and the results was a disappointing 106 showing, the goofy Bongo Bongo a failed single.

After that Steve Miller returned to a more blues based sound, Living In The 20th Century the last time Gary Mallaber would figure into the band, the album is famous for having half of the songs written by Jimmy Reed.  Born 2 B Blue is Miller going jazz/blues with mixed results.  Wide River, recorded in 1992 shows Miller leaving Capitol in favor of Polydor and while he tries to recapture the pop rock magic of his late 70s albums, it falls short of expectations. Since then, Miller has issued two albums in the 2010's on Roadrunner, Bingo and Let Your Hair Down, basically uptempo party rock versions of blues songs.  Something akin to George Thorogood. But for the most part Steve Miller basically tours as a oldies classic rock act.

Cheap Trick:

While fans have been waiting and demanding that Cheap Trick get in the rock hall of fame, I have mixed emotions about Rockford's most famous band.  While some people consider their debut to be their best, I think it falls short.  Tom Werman was the better producer for the next two records In Color and their best album remains Heaven Tonight. Cheap Trick At Budokan broke them big; something bout their power pop rock and roll made the Japan girls scream like it was Beatlemania all over again, but I'm sick of I Want You To Want Me, which for a live song was better than the studio. But nobody plays the studio version so I do instead.  Their albums got uneven.  Dream Police is bogged down by the 9 minute disco Wanna Raise Hell and Need Your Loving was better on the Budokan album. After that, I did listen to All Shook Up and didn't care much for it. They sold out on The Flame and Lap Of Luxury and the less said the better.  I did see them twice in the 1990s and they put on a great show.


Whatever made be the case, N.W.A. has a rock attitude, Straight Out Of Compton was Urban Rap Madness. In my book, rock attitude doesn't transcribe over to rock and roll as music and I don't listen to rap outside of Body Count.  Not my idea of music.

So that's your inductees to the Jann Wanner Hall Of Fame.  Let me know when Foghat gets into the hall.  They're still waiting.


It's been a slow news week here but death does on regardless. Adam Roth passed away Thursday from cancer he was 57 and played in a few bands but mostly worked with Dennis Leary on music projects.

Also on Thursday, Snuff Garrett, famed producer for Liberty years ago (Gary Lewis and the Playboys, Del Shannon, Brian Hyland) then had success with his own label Viva in the 1980s passed away at age 77.  Garrett also produced albums for Sonny And Cher during their comeback year on Kapp in the early 70s, as well as Vicky Lawrence's The Night The Lights Went Out In Georgia. 

Other news; REM, The Warner Brothers years will be reissued via Concord Bicycle Group. Which means the albums Green through Live At The Olympia will be reissued with bonus tracks and other oddities to get the consumer to buy them once again.  Don't know about the Reveal/Up/Around The Sun albums, the worst that REM ever put out (they should be in the box set called the Drone Era) but the thinking is that REM will follow Led Zeppelin's way and issued them via long digipak format. Which means you can't fit them on your CD case very well.

Not a full blown reunion but Ray Davies and brother Dave got together during Dave's show and performed You Really Got Me which made the social and music media.  At least they're talking and being friendly enough to get together to do at one song, but keep those Kinks reunion rumors to yourselves. 

Out with the old, in with the new:  While Family Foods in Anamosa goes by the way of the dinosaur, in its place will be a Fareway store.Fareway have been quite popular in small town Iowa, Monticello, Marion, Nevada and Maquoketa has one of their own.  The problem of Family Foods was that they were overpriced as hell, but they were open 24 hours a day.  Fareway stores are open till 9 and closed on Sunday but for those who detest Wal Mart, Fareway is probably the way to go in small towns.

The weather has been more March than December.  The Thanksgiving week snow has melted and Winter Storm Dopamine of last weekend was a rain event of 2.25 inches of rain which got the rivers out of their banks and flooding the wetlands and low lying areas.    If this was 2009 we'd had two feet of snow on the ground. Thanks to El Nino, it's shaping up to be a brown Christmas with slight snow chances before hand.  Kiddies will be disappointed though of a non White Christmas but for those who have to drive to and from areas, the lack of snow on the roads and salt will enable the cars life to be extended another year.

In 1930 the planet Pluto was so far out that only drawings could show what the planet's surface looks like.  Thanks to technology and the advancement of science we now have the power to build explorers to beam back pictures of the surfaces.  Here's the most recent shot of the planet Pluto. Having a good time wish you were here.

After flirting with 200 views per day last week, we're back down to closet cult status again despite adding more content and the Best of 2015 which did garner the most views in quite a while and promoting some of the best unheard of bands around the area.  There's always the grim reminder that things may wind down to nothing and Record World goes by the way of Family Foods, but my plate is full on things to do and 2016 promising to be more offline than on. After 40 years of records and CDs and fads, the old Crabb is winding down on life and raring to get back into focusing on playing music and preserving my band's music although record collecting will still play a vital role in what I find at thrift stores and Half Priced Books. From what I know about rock and roll, the groups and artists that I grew up listening to are now senior citizens or dead.and the call list of 2015 who passed on might have been the most diverse in years although Scott Wieland shouldn't mix cocaine and ethanol together.  But he won't do that anymore.

For 14 years, I have regularly blogged week in week out, in various stages and various websites, most have gone by the wayside. There's a couple that have managed to read them throughout life and I thank them for the ongoing support behind the scenes.   Basically a labor of love, time consuming and doesn't pay at all but if I managed to get a band recognized via Icons or Forgotten Bands (mucho thanks to The Swinging Steaks for sharing my blog on them which still gets viewed) then it's all worth the effort.   Or finding off the wall singles and posting them.  There's a few more I need to scan pictures of and I'm sure they're surface on later blogs.  There's lots more to be discovered out there and if my force of habits have any say of this, I'm sure I'll won't be gone from Record World.  This labor of love of music and musings has lasted longer than any of my relationships.  And I suppose that it will always be that way.  Music has been my mistress for five and a half decades. So be it.  

From Ian Gillan:

Dear Friends, Families and Fans,
Putting the past shenanigans to one side, the induction is not - in clear fact - for Deep Purple.

It is an arbitrary selection of past members, which excludes Steve Morse and Don Airey; both of whom have been with the living breathing DP for a very long time.

Obviously this is very silly, and so my response is quite simple: 'Thank you very much'.

And….what a coincidence…This morning I got an invitation to a wedding from some dear old friends. Unfortunately my family was not invited and they said that I would be required to sit next to my ex (we divorced decades ago) at the wedding feast.

They were shocked when I called to thank them and decline the invitation.

Ian Gillan
Copyright © Ian Gillan 2015


1 comment:

R S Crabb said...

Basically, spam does nothing for me. Seems like whoever the Blogger is seems to think this is a stripper's blog or someone to hook up for the night. Which is why I look at comment before deciding if they're worthy of inclusion. Adding a site for strippers isn't music related at all. in fact it's a fucking waste of time.