The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has announced its 2019 inductees: Janet Jackson, Fleetwood Mad, Radiohead, Def Leppard, the Cure, Roxy Music and the Zombies will be induced March 29 at a ceremony at the Barclay Center in Brooklyn.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will welcome its sixth member of the Jackson Family and the first ever two-time female inductee. Janet (Miss Jackson if You’re Nasty) Jackson will finally enter the Hall of Fame, joining Michael and the Jackson Five in the Cleveland-based Hall. Fans and critics alike have long championed her induction, given her longevity and influence in the music industry. In the words of Questlove, her exclusion from the Hall was “highly criminal,” especially given the influence of her 1986 album Control. Jackson became eligible in 20007 but was not even nominated until 2016. Jackson said “I am truly honored and I am happy to be in there with my brothers.”
Stevie Nicks earned induction as a solo artist, having previously been inducted into the Hall of Fame with Fleetwood Mac. Nicks, who is currently on the road with Fleetwood Mac’s final tour, becomes the first woman to be inducted twice. “I have a lot to say about this,” Nicks said, “but I will save those words for later. For now I will just say, I have been in a band since 1968. To be recognized for my solo work makes me take a deep breath and smile. It’s a glorious feeling.”
Although Rage Against the Machine was nominated and Tom Morello is on the Rock Hall Committee, the band did not make it. Instead, critical darling Radiohead is holding it down for the alternative set. Radiohead’s 1997 OK Computer made them into the most important band of the decade.
Alt-rock band Roxy Music is eccentric and original, qualities not always recognized by the Hall of Fame. The institution has often been reluctant to recognize influencers in addition to hitmakers. With Roxy Music, the Hall is saying the band that launched Bryan Ferry, Brian Eno, and Phil Manzanera is worthy in its own right. Roxy influenced the late 70’s-early 80’s New Romantics, spurring on groups as different as Spandau Ballet, Duran Duran, and the Talking Heads. Their style continues to reverberate today among U2, Coldplay and others.
English rock band Def Leppard has been around since 1977. Their longest-lasting lineup is Joe Elliott, Rick Savage, Rick Allen, Phil Collen, and Vivian Campbell. The albums Pyromania and Hysteria both sold over 10 million copies. “Now we can stop holding our breath and go, ‘Great! How wonderful to be in the same club as the Rolling Stones and the Beatles and the Who and Queen and etc., etc,” Elliott said. “It’s nice. It’s a good club to be in.”
This year marks the 40th anniversary of the Cure. Robert Smith has been curating various tributes and experiences of the band over the last decade, so this is welcome news to the band.Smith’s goth vibe sometimes overshadowed the dense textures of the band’s music, which was edgy, gloomy, and delightful. The band not only spawned the goth rock genre, it expanded it, branching into pop and influencing generations of musicians.
The Zombies emerged during the British Invasion in 1964. Despite being eligible since 1989, they didn’t receive their first nomination until 2014. Their album Odyssey and Oracle is considered a psychedelic rock masterpiece. Hits include “Time of the Season” “She’s Not There” and “Tell Her No.” Keyboardist and vocalist Colin Blunstone said, “I’ve tried to be fairly philosophical about it and tell myself that if we don’t get inducted, it’s just a bit of fun. Don’t take it too seriously. But of course, when you’re actually inducted, everything changes. You think, ‘This is a career-defining [and] life-defining moment.’”
Kraftwerk Snubbed, Again
Def Leppard topped the fan vote, followed by Nicks and Todd Rundgren, who was not selected. Rundgren was the only one of the top-five vote-getters not to be inducted. Unbelievably, German pioneers Kraftwerk were nominated again and somehow not selected, again.