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HOA: 1979 voting thread

It's the end, the end of the seventies / it's the end, the end of the century (well, of 2008, anyway).

Select the ten most deserving artists, based on records released through the end of 1978.

When considering your vote, you may want to check out the top 100 eligible candidates. For a reminder of who’s already been inducted, see the results thread.

For your ballot to be eligible, you must submit a ranked list of your ten most deserving artists.

Also, for your top FIVE artists (at least), you must explain why they deserve to be in the HOA. You may recycle your comments from past elections if you wish, but I want us to have a context for WHY we're selecting these artists. Ballots without comments for the top five will NOT be counted!

In addition, you may nominate up to three people for the Backstage Wing. This is optional; your ballot will still be eligible even if you don’t vote for Backstage candidates.

Deadline for ballots is Sunday, January 4, at 6:00 pm US Central time (midnight GMT).

Voting is now open.

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

1. Elvis COSTELLO : While never a personal favorite (because of his voice I guess) he is a great songwriter that could really encompass every form of popular music (pop, punk, reggae, country, rock) and write great and witty songs.

2. Tom WAITS : Blue Valentine, his first masterpiece, is out in 1978.

3. STEELY DAN : I see them on the edge every week, and I think they deserve an induction for their musical skills, even if I also have some personal reserves.

4. Fela KUTI : a true giant.

5. KRAFTWERK : these guys were pioneers in so many ways that they have to be in too

6. Robert Wyatt : a cult hero

7. Django Reinhardt

8. Serge Gainsbourg

9. The Eagles

10. Jimmie Rodgers

Backstage wing

1. Lee Scratch Perry
2. DJ Kool Herc : he came from Jamaica to NYC and became one of the first hip hop DJs in the '70s before hip hop had a name

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

1. LOVE - I love Love. They're one of my favorite bands ever.
2. KRAFTWERK - Very innovative, and still sound great.
3. BLONDIE - Sexy and edgy, and very very good.
4. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - Very dopey. Works as a substitute for harder stuff.
5. SERGE GAINSBOURG - I thought he was just a perv, but then I remember he was French :) May have been a little controversial, but nevertheless made great music.

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

1. Steely Dan
2. Warren Zevon
3. Jackson Browne
4. John Cale
5. Todd Rundgren
6. Elvis Costello
7. Cheap Trick
8. George Jones
9. The Clash
10. Randy Newman


1. Hoagy Carmichael
2. Holland/Dozier/Holland
3. Norman Whitfield

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

1. Kraftwerk - Sure, there's punk. But there's also an electronic revolution going on. These Germans introduced new sounds to all the important innovators of the 70s.
2. Charlie Parker - Last time, Bird missed induction by one point. So I'm promoting him one place up.
3. Captain Beefheart - Not only an inimitable musical genius, but he was also a great singer, who had an impressive vocal range.
4. The Clash - The true heroes of British punk. Joe Strummer & co. will release their masterpiece in a year, but their first two albums are fantastic enough to put them in the top five.
5. Elvis Costello - The late 70s saw a massive explosion of British talent. The most gifted songwriter of the bunch was Costello, drenching his sophisticated lyrics with wit and cynicism and borrowing from practically every genre he crossed.
6. Queen
8. Cream
9. Fela Kuti
10. The Eagles

1. Leonard Chess
2. W.C. Handy
3. Holland/Dozier/Holland

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

1. CHARLIE PARKER - A transformative figure in the history of jazz on par with Armstrong, Ellington, and Davis.

2. FELA KUTI – A world renowned musical giant from a culture that makes it difficult to become a world renowned musical giant.

3. ELVIS COSTELLO – You’ve got a chemistry class I want a piece of your mind.

4. THE CLASH – Deserve it for first album.

5. T. REX – I just listened to Electric Warrior for the first time in awhile. Sounded great. Hence the re-evaluation.



Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

1. ELVIS COSTELLO. Book it. Two home runs in his first two at-bats.
2. THE CLASH. Give ‘Em Enough Rope is a shaky sophomore effort; on the other hand, they did get “Hammersmith Palais” under their belt in ’78.
3. T. REX. Thanks, Paul!
5. WILLIE NELSON. Patsy and Willie will probably be the last country artists I vote for (unless you count Wilco). And hey, Willie got into the top 100 eligibles this year…ahead of Patsy, even!
8. ELTON JOHN. I dropped him too soon…he really does deserve to get in eventually.
9. BUZZCOCKS. Probably won’t get in, but all of their Acclaimed Music stuff has been released at this point, and they’re a great band.

(Honorable mention: Brian Eno, Wire, Cheap Trick, Augustus Pablo, Pere Ubu, Captain Beefheart, the Police and the Jam. The latter three stand a good chance of making my ballot eventually; in fact, #10 was a near tossup between Blondie and the Jam. But this is the year of Parallel Lines, so I gave Deb the nod.)

(And I’m intrigued to see so much interest in Fela Kuti, an artist about whom I know very little; can anyone recommend a good album or a handful of songs to start with?)


Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

1. Steely Dan – I’m keeping them at #1 until they get in. The contrasts were always heady: fiendishly complex music (executed by the best session pros money could buy), performed in brilliantly crafted and highly accessible pop contexts, all in the service of a ferociously cynical and near-misanthropic view of the world. Becker and Fagen are the Coen Brothers of rock, and the early albums – made before, to borrow Robert Christgau’s phrase, pursuit of The Tasty became its own reward – are masterpieces.

2. Elvis Costello – Even after only two albums, it should have been clear to anyone listening beyond the angry-young-man hype (which absurdly tried to link him to punk) that Mr. MacManus was nothing less than the finest songwriting craftsman of his generation. And with ‘78’s ferociously brilliant THIS YEAR’S MODEL, he introduced the Attractions, quite possibly the greatest backing band ever. (At the very least, keyboard maestro Steve Nieve has to be considered one of the most invaluable musical partners any artist has ever had.)

3. The Clash – The Pistols are obviously more influential, but the Clash were the greatest punk band, and while they may not have been The Only Band That Mattered (in the words of their hyperbolic slogan), at their very best they sure sounded like it. Like a lot of great bands they thrived on the tension between two strong personalities, with Strummer’s passionate agitprop tendencies tempered by Jones’ (rather unexpected, for a punk “guitar hero”) popcraft.

4. Talking Heads – After a more-than-promising debut, David Byrne and company hooked up with Brian Eno, resulting in one of the most fertile (literally, given Byrne’s lyrical obsession with birth and creation) artist/producer combinations in rock history. They might have made more innovative records in the future, but for my money nothing can top ‘78’s MORE SONGS…; combined with 77 that’s already enough to merit their induction.

5. New York Dolls – They only made two albums, but they’re one of the all-time great bands, and their influence is incalculable. David Johansen and Johnny Thunders came off like Mick & Keith if they’d never taken off the drag from the “Have You Seen Your Mother, Baby” video and started gobbling amphetamines 24/7. The Dolls were unabashedly hip, but there wasn’t a cynical bone in their bodies: they may have needed both a fix and a kiss, but you always sensed that the kiss was more important (even if that sadly wasn't true for some of them in real life).

6. Kraftwerk
7. Wire
8. Randy Newman
9. Captain Beefheart
10. Blondie

1. Holland-Dozier-Holland
2. Nicky Hopkins
3. Rudy Van Gelder

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

1. The Clash - Will remain here until they get in (I'm sue they will). They've fallen into a bit of a sophomore slump after their excellent debut, but they churned out "White Man in Hammersmith Palais" this year, hinting at their future sonic expansion.

2. Elvis Costello - Will also likely remain here until he gets in. He's established himself as the premier songwriter of the late seventies, save for one Mr. Springsteen. Pump it up, his latest album is a knockout.

3. Boston - See previous years.

4. The Eagles - See previous years.

5. The Police - Outlandos d'Amour is not the best in their canon, but it's still a strong debut.

6. Blondie
7. Bee Gees
8. Kraftwerk
9. Queen
10. Eric Clapton - Just noticed he was missing this week.

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

01. KRAFTWERK: the sound of the future right now. Surely there was electronica before, but Kraftwerk were the first ones to use the synthesizers not in the usual ethereal way but in a tense and cerebral way. They embraced gladly the technological world creating a robotic sound, minimalist and repetitive but also evocative and sophisticated.
My favourite album: Die Mensch Maschine (1978).
My Top 5 Songs: Das Modell (197 , Trans-Europe Express (1977), Autobahn (1974), Die Roboter (197 , Spiegelsaal (1977).

02. ELVIS COSTELLO: a new artist that comes fully developed from the very beginning, his two albums show him as a prolific composer that shares the urgency and the rage of the punk generation with the craft and the wryness of a mature songwriter.
My favourite album: This Year’s Model (197 .
My Top 3 Songs: No Action (197 , Watching the Detectives (1977), Lipstick Vogue (197 .

03. THE CLASH: the best punk band ever probably, with two albums and various singles filled with anthems, a band more politically conscious and musically open-minded that many of their peers. But I got the feeling that we are voting them too soon, I expect greater thing to come…
My favourite album: The Clash (1977).
My Top 3 Songs: Stay Free (197 , Career Opportunities (1977), Garageland (1977).

04. BRIAN ENO: he defines himself as non-musician, but his solo albums are filled with excellent music, from the weird glam rock of his first albums to the revolutionary concepts of ambient music or soundtracks for imaginary films of his last albums.
My favourite album: Another Green World (1975).
My Top 3 Songs: By This River (1977, see also that moving scene from Nanni Moretti’s La stanza del figlio), Baby’s on Fire (1973, see also this scene from Todd Haynes’ Velvet Goldmine), 1/1 (197 .

05. BLONDIE: the band most gifted for pop and most apt for popular success of all the bands coming from the CBGB scene. Part of the merit must go to songwriter Chris Stein, but the main part must go to the attractive front-woman Debbie Harry.
My favourite album: Parallel Lines (197 .
My Top 3 Songs: Heart of Glass (197 , Denis (1977), One Way or Another (197 .

06. STEELY DAN: the only Dan release during 1978 was the title theme for the failed movie FM. But maybe now?
08. THE JAM.

And at the backstage:
01. BRIAN ENO: I find quite odd being the first voting for Eno (or so I think). Besides an astonishing work as a solo artist, he collaborated or produced albums by Robert Fripp (“No Pussyfooting”, 1973), John Cale (“Fear”, 1974), Penguin Café Orchestra (“Music From Penguin Café”, 1976), David Bowie (“Low” and “Heroes”, 1977), Ultravox (“Ultravox!”, 1977), Devo (“Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, 197 , Talking Heads (“More Songs About Buildings and Food”, 197 or the No-Wave compilation “No New York” (197 . Not enough yet? Favourite song: DAVID BOWIE Heroes (1977).
02. LEE ‘SCRATCH’ PERRY: last year I called him the Jamaican mad genius and the events during 1978 put the emphasis on “mad”. During a fit of rage he burned himself his Black Ark Studios, reducing to ashes one of the most important music legacies, with unreleased recordings now lost forever.
03. MARTIN SCORSESE: probably the most promising filmmaker of today, it’s in the list not only for making great rockumentaries (his last movie documents the last concert of The Band) but for the use of pop music as a pivotal part of his movies. Favourite song: THE ROLLING STONES Tell Me (You’re Coming Back) (1964).

Don’t click on any link if you don’t want to. But you should not miss the serene beauty of By This River. Or the heartfelt vocal performance of Mickey Jones on Stay Free. Or the furious Attractions performance under the rain of Lipstick Vogue. But there’s “Heroes” too. Or “The Model”. Or “Heart of Glass”… Phew, don’t worry, click on the link you want. You’ll only find masterpieces here.

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

1. Blondie- With Parallel Lines, Blondie showed that they could be the ultimate pop band, capable of infusing their punk beginnings ("One Way or Another", "Hanging on the Telephone"), sci-fi ("Fade Away and Radiate"), power pop ("Picture This"), disco ("Heart of Glass") and simply great pop songs ("11:59", "Sunday Girl") into their sound. And they would only get better...

2. Kraftwerk- The Man Machine elevates them to this lofty place, as I really believe it is their best 70s album, marrying a keen ear for pop with their electronic mastery.

3. Can- It seems they won't make the cut, which is a shame.

4. Elvis Costello- This Year's Model amazed me with its songwriting prowess and bristling energy.

5. Chic- Their debut album is awesome. "I Want Your Love" is one of the greatest songs of the 70s- one of the few funk/disco songs that truly captures the essence of the pain and ache of yearning.

6. Donna Summer- Too many great singles to ignore at this point! Bad Girls would propel her even higher if 1979 wasn't such an awesome year.

7. Nico- 'Cuz everybody knows (she belongs in the Hall).

8. Sparks- It seems they won't be getting in, but I'll give them some more love here.

9. Aerosmith- Treading water for now. They'll probably drop out of my list until the late 80s.

10. The Cars- Their snappy debut gets them on the radar.

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

Paul and I are kinda thinking in the same direction these days...

Hooray for Curtis (and the Impressions! in my head, if not reality, he was joined by Sam Gooden and Fred Cash).

Can't get with the Clash this year. "(White Man) in Hammersmith Palais" is a very overrated song. Don't worry, they get a high vote next year if they don't get in this year.

Elvis Costello is huge at this point, The Talking Heads are one year away from overtaking him. They are more interesting to me in general, but Costello has some monster hits at this point. That said, I don't know if either makes it this year.

1. Charlie Parker

2. Fela Kuti

3. Django Reinhardt

4. Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young)

5. Patsy Cline

6. Steely Dan

7. Chic - They have released my favorite single of theirs (the super-funky "Everybody Dance") and the epic club track "I Want Your Love" and a monster hit in "Le Freak." They will climb significantly when they combine the best of those three tracks next year in "Good Times."

7. The Staple Singers

8. The Grateful Dead

9. Queen -- I really do love "A Night At The Opera." I don't have enough silly, cheesy, bombastic, delightful rock music on my list. Okay, yes, the Grateful Dead are silly and cheesy... but not bombastic. But unlike the atrocious Kiss, Queen is, you know, musical.

10. The Jackson 5 - This is, I know, a throw away vote. But the year before Michael's solo breakthrough (and I'd say his only worthy, but not HOA-worthy output, in Off the Wall) this vote is more a protest for his inevitable solo entry after Thriller. Like Curtis Mayfield, I think Michael Jackson deserves entry more for his earlier group work. Unlike Curtis, I don't think he deserves it for his solo output.

1. Irving Berlin
2. Lee "Scratch" Perry -- I'm convinced he should be in.
3. Norman Granz

Re: HOA: 1979 voting thread

I've missed a couple in a row I think, maybe just one. Looks like only The Ramones got in off my last ballot.

1. The Zombies- One of the greatest albums ever and a few other singles should put them in right now... I'm sure they'll get in later if not now. Maybe not.

2. Harry Nilsson- One of the guys the Beatles raved about and his solo career (well his only career) was better than any of the Fab Fours. Any Beatles fans who don't have him on their list should take a listen to Aerial Ballet and Pandemonium Sideshow.

3. Paul McCartney- Ram and Wild Life are his two underrated classics but McCartney and Band On the Run should have put him in already.

4. The Monkees- How are the Monkees not on that top 50 list? More of the Monkees and Pisces, Aquarius, Capricorn and Jones came out in '67 (Headquarters as well, but that's not as great as those two). The only thing essential that's missing is Valleri. EDIT: And now Head is out too. It would be a shame if they don't make it in.

5. Buzzcocks- Almost everything on Singles Going Steady came out in the past two years. I'll be moving them up in 1980 once it's all out.

5. Todd Rundgren- Deserves to be in for Something/Anything alone.

6. Herman's Hermits

7. Neil Diamond

8. Bill Fay

9. Talking Heads

10. X-Ray Spex


1. D.A. Pennebaker

Reminders for later years: Art Blakey, Nico, Cream, Phil Ochs, The Turtles, Lovin Spoonful, The Supremes, Cat Stevens, The Groundhogs, Alice Coltrane, Rod Stewart, Donovan, The Bee Gees, Warren Zevon, Hollies, ABBA, Elvis Costello, X-Ray Spex