Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Rush, Randy Newman Inducted into Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

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Donna Summer RIP

Yesterday, the slate of official class of 2013 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was announced.

As is the case of every year, the announcement was immediately followed by lots of people who spend the rest of the year saying that such honors are meaningless complaining about who got in and who didn’t. It was also of course followed by the other annual phenomenon of people noting that many of the nominees do not technically qualify as “rock and roll” whatever that means.

That said, whatever the criteria this year’s Hall of Fame inductees were undeniably strong. As music writer Noel Murray noted on twitter, “I know the RnRHoF is meaningless, but Rush, Public Enemy, Donna Summer, Albert King and Randy Newman is a concert I would go see.” For an act to be eligible for nomination it must have been 25 years since the release of their first record meaning, I believe, that Public Enemy was successfully inducted the first year they were nominated. The rest of the 2013 nominees are Donna Summer, Heart, Randy Newman, Albert King, and Rush.

Acts who were nominated but not inducted include Deep Purple, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Kraftwerk, and N.W.A. Marah Eakin of A.V. Club asserts that all of these acts are “arguably just a little bit edgier than most of the acts that got the nod.” I’m not so sure that’s true, though the N.W.A. versus Public Enemy question revives the age old debate among hip-hop fans over which act changed hip-hop/American culture more.

The induction ceremony will take place on April 18 in Los Angeles, a city which Randy Newman says he loves. As a resident of Greater Cleveland I must point out that the Rock Hall of Fame itself is actually located here.


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