Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2022
What does being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame even mean anymore? It's like getting a star on Hollywood Blvd. Or your own Madame Tousald's statue, or at the least a tributary cannabis brand label named after you in a legal state. It's an honor that isn't quite an award, the ceremonies are smaller, but fans fight tooth and nail over whom should be so honored next.
There was an online vote (now closed) which was reposted around message boards with urges by many to vote early, vote often, and be damn sure your favorite artist or group is on top. Sleep is for wimps; click that button all night if you have to, but don't let somebody else pull ahead.
What Takes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame So Long?
Every year, the contenders to be honored form a long list of people who should have been admitted years ago. You go to root for your favorite artist, and then see the list and cry out "Holy Lollapalooza, Dolly Parton isn't even inducted already?" She's a Boomer, her first film was released 22 years ago. Must everybody wait until they're shuffling onto the stage with a walker, before they get their due?
Dolly Parton herself offered to bow out of the competition, just because she'd rather see somebody else get it. That's what a class act she is. After a rallying tally finish, with her on top, she agreed to accept the induction even though - quote - " she did not feel she had earned a rock n roll honor." Wow!
The other inductees include, in order of highest vote totals:
At just shy of a million votes, Duran Duran won the top position by a landslide. That fits, because this is the quintessential 80s band with enduring popularity today. With so many hits under their belt - "Rio," "Girls on Film," "The Reflex," "Hungry Like the Wolf," "New Moon on Monday," so many iconic hit songs - they have hardly seen a day without radio play somewhere in the world for decades now.
Through all that time, they have released their 15th studio album, Future Past, just last year in 2021. The majority of their albums have sold multi-platinum or gold. Sometime I need to do a whole blog post on Duran Duran, because being married to Mrs. Penguin (I met her when I went to see a John Hughes movie and she walked right out of the screen to me, like that A-Ha video) makes me a natural Duran Duran expert anyway.
The youngest career out of the list of inductees, and yet a hot star that rose fast. Eminem is just that hard an overachiever, turning out ten albums since his Slim Shady LP blew up in 1999, before you count the videos, movie roles, and cameos or featured artist spots in other artists' works. So Eminem hasn't been waiting as long for R&RHoF inclusion - but he's obviously destined for it sometime.
Along with Dolly Parton, we see another seminal female artist getting the nod. Pat Benatar has just about single-handedly carried the torch for the hard-rock women category after Joan Jett and Lita Ford have faded from the mainstream. Once again, we have a legend who anyone would expect would have had the honor long ago.
Now this is starting to sound like an 80s revival. Eurythmics put out the bulk of their studio albums within the 80s decade. However, Annie Lennox herself has gone on as a solo act releasing albums well into the 21st century, while her duo partner has likewise had an extended career in other groups like Platinum Weird and SuperHeavy. It might make more sense to honor them individually. In any case, they might as well usher Eurythmics too. It's not like radios will ever stop playing "Sweet Dreams." Ever.
The rest of the list:
Below those top 5 (we already mention Dolly Parton), we see the rest of the list also composed of artists we would have expected to break in years ago.
Judas Priest - It's crazy to think how popular they are for a band that is almost too taboo for radio play.
Carly Simon - That's right, "You're So Vain" Carly Simon, a song released before most of you reading this were born.
Lionel Richie - "Brick House," 1977, a son we have a hard time picturing being released in modern times.
Devo - We just got done ranting about what a force of creative, culture-mashing nature Devo is. Why didn't they score higher?
Kate Bush - While her album output runs from the 70s to the 2010s, her singles have never been far from a chart somewhere in the world in every decade.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Is Slow and Ponderous
That annual meeting schedule could stand to be sped up to a monthly induction intake until they have thins balanced out. Until then, the machinations of music's most popular exhibit (you can just make out Winston Smith typing away in the 14th story window of that "Ministry of Peace" pyramid) can only be guessed at. Maybe they're supposed to release white smoke from the council of elders whenever they select somebody.