Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Hopefuls

image from neufutur.com

Note: this list was originally presented October 21, 2011. It has been updated to exclude acts which have subsequently been inducted.

Bashing the Rock Hall has become the quite vogue thing to do. Of course, they have inducted hundreds of deserving artists alongside those who raise many music fans eyebrows. However, fans get outraged this time every year when their favorites get snubbed…yet again.

In the true spirit of Dave’s Music Database, the occasion for a list presented itself. Just who are the biggest Rock and Roll Hall of Fame snubs, those acts which fans most think have been overlooked? 49 lists were consolidated to create the DMDB list of 100 deserving acts. Here we go:

1. The Moody Blues
2. Yes
3. Journey
4. Electric Light Orchestra
5. The Cure
6. The Cars
7. T-Rex
8. Iron Maiden
9. Judas Priest
10. Bon Jovi

11. Def Leppard
12. Motorhead
13. Depeche Mode
14. Pat Benatar
15. The Smiths
16. The Doobie Brothers
17. Roxy Music
18. Joy Division
19. Bad Company
20. Warren Zevon

21. New York Dolls
22. Jethro Tull
23. Todd Rundgren
24. The Replacements
25. Chic
26. The Zombies
27. Boston
28. Peter Frampton
29. Kraftwerk
30. Dire Straits

31. Joe Cocker
32. Emerson, Lake & Palmer
33. The Guess Who
34. Thin Lizzy
35. MC5
36. Devo
37. Duran Duran
38. Foreigner
39. The Monkees
40. Motley Crue

41. King Crimson
42. Janet Jackson
43. Styx
44. Big Star
45. Gram Parsons
46. The B-52’s
47. Dick Dale
48. Three Dog Night
49. Steppenwolf
50. The Scorpions

51. Pixies
52. War
53. Ted Nugent
54. Sonic Youth
55. Jimmy Buffett
56. Slayer
57. Nine Inch Nails
58. Love
59. Soundgarden
60. Captain Beefheart

61. Joan Baez
62. Blue Oyster Cult
63. J. Geils Band
64. Spinners
65. Los Lobos
66. Link Wray
67. Tommy James & the Shondells
68. Grand Funk Railroad
69. Kate Bush
70. Barry White

71. Weird Al Yankovic
72. Little Feat
73. New Order
74. Ozzy Osbourne
75. X
76. Carole King (as a performer)
77. Pantera
78. Nick Drake
79. Black Flag
80. Afrika Bambaataa

81. Procol Harum
82. Mott the Hoople
83. Megadeth
84. Eric B. & Rakim
85. Harry Nilsson
86. Johnny Burnette & The Rock N’ Roll Trio
87. The Flying Burrito Brothers
88. Pearl Jam
89. Television
90. Donovan

91. Brian Eno
92. Dead Kennedys
93. Whitney Houston
94. LL Cool J
95. Badfinger
96. Ben E. King
97. Jim Croce
98. The Runaways
99. The Clovers
100. Eurythmics

Resources and Related Links:

Saturday, October 15, 2016

50 years ago: The Four Tops "Reach" #1

Reach Out (I’ll Be There)

The Four Tops

Writer(s): Brian Holland/Lamont Dozier/Eddie Holland (see lyrics here)

Released: August 18, 1966

First Charted: September 3, 1966

Peak: 12 US, 11 CB, 2 GR, 2 HR, 12 RB, 13 UK, 6 CN, 62 AU, 1 DF (Click for codes to charts.)

Sales (in millions): 1.0 US, 0.2 UK, 1.2 world (includes US + UK)

Airplay/Streaming (in millions): 3.0 radio, 12.7 video, 122.5 streaming


Click on award for more details.

About the Song:

The Four Tops were an R&B vocal quartet who formed in Detroit in 1953. They’d soldiered along for a decade without a hit when they signed with Motown in 1963. The famed writing team of Holland-Dozier-Holland crafted “Baby I Need Your Loving” for them and the group had their first hit - #4 on the R&B chart and #11 on the pop chart. Over the next two years, they reached the top 5 on the pop chart with “It’s the Same Old Song” and hit #1 with “I Can’t Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch).” They hit the top again with “Reach Out (I’ll Be There).”

H-D-H cranked out many a hit for Motown Records but even in such a “strictly defined, even formulaic context,” MA much of what they “created... was brilliant, and now and then, as on this record, it was pure genius.” PW They were “increasingly ambitious” SS even as they worked within the confines of the three-minute single. This is “one of the best of all the Motown productions” DJ and a song to match “anything in the history of rock and roll.” MA

In his captivating baritone, Four Tops’ lead singer Levi Stubbs belts “reach out” with a religious fervor “like a great preacher who can make merely reading the gospel a creative act.” MA Supposedly, H-D-H instructed Stubbs to sing like Bob Dylan on “Like a Rolling Stone.” SF Apparently it showed; famed producer Phil Specctor described the song, the Four Tops’ second #1 on the pop charts, as “black Dylan.” RS500

In the fall of 1966, Motown was concerned because the Tops’ last two hits had barely cracked the top 20. TB One Motown exec concluded that “Reach Out” wouldn’t sell because it was “too different.” TB Even the Four Tops, who nailed the song in just two takes, SF assumed it was just a throwaway album cut. However, Motown founder Berry Gordy disagreed, telling the Tops to prep “for the biggest hit of their career.” FB Gordy’s instincts for hits were uncanny, and he definitely got this one right. The song went to #1 on the pop and R&B charts in the U.S. and was a #1 in the UK as well. It was “their greatest performance.” SS


First posted 9/3/2011; last updated 2/3/2023.

Friday, October 7, 2016

Concert: Elvis Costello

image from elviscostello.com

Venue: Yardley Hall, Johnson County Community College – Overland Park, KS

Opening Act: Larkin Poe

I missed Elvis Costello a year before and was sure I’d blown my one chance to see him. Lo and behold, he was back in 2016 and I wasn’t going to miss him this time around. With a wide catalog to work from, I was pleased to see the varied approaches he used to play the songs – a set on guitar, a set on piano, etc. The highlight of the show was “Alison,” and not just because it is arguably his most celebrated song. Armed with just a guitar and no mike, Costello wondered out into the audience to perform the song, even sitting down in the seats by a fan at one point.

The Set List:

1. New Amsterdam
2. Poison Moon
3. Accidents Will Happen
4. They’re Not Laughing at Me Now
5. All This Useless Beauty
6. Everyday I Write the Book

Set on piano:

7. Shipbuilding
8. Deep Dark Truthful Mirror
9. No Man’s Woman
10. A Face in the Crowd

Back to guitar:

11. Little White Lies
12. American without Tears (also on harmonica)
13. Watching the Detectives
14. Alison (off mic, walking through audience)

Set with Larkin Poe:

15. Blame It on Cain
16. Nothing Clings Like Ivy
17. Clown Strike
18. Burn the Paper Down to Ash (vocal by Larkin Poe’s Rebecca Lovell)
19. Vitajex
20. That’s Not the Part of Him You’re Leaving
21. American Mirror


22. The Angels Wanna Wear My Red Shoes
23. Jimmie Standing in the Rain
24. Side by Side (on piano)
25. Blood and Hot Sauce

Encore with Larkin Poe:

26. Brilliant Mistake
27. Down on the Bottom
28. What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love and Understanding
29. A Good Year for the Roses