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HOA: 1981 voting thread

The Hall of Acclaim enters its third decade with the 1981 election.

Select the ten most deserving artists, based on records released through the end of 1980.

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 18, at 6:00 pm US Central time (midnight GMT).

Voting is now open.

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

01. THE JAM: I could never feel comfortable filed under an urban tribe, but if I was forced to join some of these tribes my choice would be easy. From the street battles with the rockers during the sixties to the current revival with Quadrophenia, The Kids Are Alright and, of course, The Jam, long live the mods. And long live The Jam.
My favourite album: All Mod Cons (1978).
My Top 5 Songs: Going Underground (1980), Away From the Numbers (1977), Down in the Tube Station at Midnight (197 , That’s Entertainment (1980), Strange Town (1979).

02. PETER GABRIEL: Gabriel finally achieved with his third album the excellence that everyone was expecting after he left Genesis, but without any debt to his past as star of prog-rock, creating instead his own brand of art rock incorporating elements from avant-garde or African tribal beats.
My favourite album: Peter Gabriel (1980).
My Top 3 Songs: Games Without Frontiers (1980), Solsbury Hill (1977), Here Comes the Flood (1977).

03. JOY DIVISION: the band that has created a new style from the ashes of punk but, instead of using rage against society, they “directed the rage inwards” (quote from Michael Sutton). Finally the demons that showed up constantly on the band songs took bandleader Ian Curtis to hell with them, he hanged himself last May.
My favourite album: Closer (1980).
My Top 3 Songs: Love Will Tear Us Apart (1980), Atmosphere (1980), She’s Lost Control (1979).

04. PRETENDERS: Chrissie Hynde, the American band leader of the British band The Pretenders, is redefining again the role of the front woman of a rock band, she’s the writer of an explosive repertoire with the aggressiveness of punk but with the exquisiteness of pop.
My favourite album: Pretenders (1980).
My Top 3 Songs: Kid (1979), Talk of the Town (1980), Brass in Pocket (1979).

05. AC/DC: heavy metal is not my favourite style, but AC/DC is one of its best practitioners, with a simple but effective sound. Bon Scott, their lead singer died last year but the band recovered by releasing their best effort so far with a new singer, Brian Johnson.
My favourite album: Back in Black (1980).
My Top 3 Songs: Highway to Hell (1979), It’s a Long Way to the Top (If You Want to Rock ‘n’ Roll) (1975), Back in Black (1980).

06. THE POLICE: de do do do, de da da da, it’s all I want to say to you.
08. CHIC.

And a special edition of the backstage wing (today: Joy Division monographic):
01. MARTIN HANNETT: the real responsible of the post-punk sound, of this opaque and terrifying ambiance, of these spacious and reverberating drums and of the clever use of effects and synthesizers. I recommend you to see Martin Hannett “recording fucking Tony Wilson”.
02. TONY WILSON: as a TV presenter for Granada Television was responsible for the first TV appearance of The Sex Pistols and as a founder of Factory Records, one of the very first independent record labels, was responsible of signing groundbreaking bands as Durruti Column, Cabaret Voltaire or Joy Division and creating an outstanding creative team in tandem with producer Martin Hannett and designer Peter Saville.
03. PETER SAVILLE: the third part of the team of Factory Records, responsible of groundbreaking designs as the white on black pulsar waves of “Unknown Pleasures” or the controversial cover of “Closer” and its depiction of Christ’s body entombed (although the design was previous to the suicide of Curtis). And of that legendary absence of credits on the cover art too.

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

1. AC/DC - It's not often a band can lose their lead singer and then turn around and make their best album, especially when that lead singer is as distinctive and beloved as Bon Scott. But when your sound is as mammoth as AC/DC's, you can. They, especially on Back in Black, just plain old rock.

2. The Police - What started out as a trio of post-punk-reggae fusionists as evolved into nothing less than an excellent pop band. All three members are excellent musicians and Sting has improved his songwriting chops further on Zenyatta Mondatta.

3. Joy Division - I'm not the biggest post-punk fan in the world, nor the biggest Ian Curtis fan. But there's no denying "Love Will Tear Us Apart" is a masterpiece. Dance, dance, dance, dance to Joy Division!

4. Queen - They're one of the biggest bands in the world right now, and on the top of their game, too. And man, that guy, uh, Mercury I think his name is, he can sing! Like, really good too!

5. Chic - Disco has just died in the beginning of 1981. But Chic will live on as the crafters of dance classics, especially Bernard Edwards' bass lines.

6. Michael Jackson - Off the Wall shows flashes of the brilliance that will make MJ a superstar and legend in a few years' time. A springboard for further pop success.

7. Rush - One of the best rock bands of their time. They show amazingly virtuosic performances on every record so far; lyric-writing capabilities, not so much.

8. Cheap Trick - Beatlesque melodies + Stoogesque raw power = formula for a good rock band. Also = Cheap Trick.

9. Van Halen - If only because "Eruption" never ceases to amaze me.

10. The Jam - A band that is growing on me with every listen.

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

1. Warren Zevon
2. Jackson Browne
3. Joy Division - Ian Curtis is still one of the coolest "dancers" I've ever seen.
4. John Cale
5. Todd Rundgren
6. George Jones
7. Cheap Trick
8. Randy Newman
9. Willie Nelson
10. AC/DC


1. Hoagy Carmichael
2. Norman Whitfield
3. Eddie Kramer

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

1. QUEEN - Clearly the biggest band of the moment, but the biggest doesn't necessarily make you the best. But they have the phenomenal stage presence that is Freddie Mercury, Brian May's guitarplay, and some fantastic songs, including 1980's "Another One Bites the Dust". (Chic, clearly an inspiration, is my number 11. Sorry Nile & Bernard, but I'm pretty sure you'll find enough support here. If not, you'll get my vote next year.)

2. CAPTAIN BEEFHEART - Don, pop music's mastermind, is still relevant fifteen years after "Safe as Milk". Did anyone notice he's also a fantastic singer? Inimitable.

3. JOY DIVISION - The leaders of the post-punk movement. Beautiful in it's melancholy, perhaps even emotionally devastating.

4. AC/DC - That voice! If it wasn't for alcohol, his larynx would have killed Bon Scott. I love it when someone's willing to torture their vocal chords for music.

5. THE POLICE - I'm always a sucker for a catchy popsong, especially when it's injected with a good dosis of punk. The Police didn't write just one or two catchy punky popsongs, but three full albums. Plus, they're fantastic musicians. Copeland is one of my favorite percusionists.

6. Cream
7. Janis Joplin
8. The Jam
9. The Eagles
10. Deep Purple

1. Brian Eno
2. Leonard Chess
3. Irving Berlin

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

1. THE ZOMBIES – They never got the respect they deserve. Not many bands have an album as strong as Odessy and Oracle. Add in their catchy singles and you’ve got a HOF band. Where is Anthony when we need him?

2. WILLIE NELSON - A great songwriter before becoming an iconic country hippie.

3. PATSY CLINE - Classy country gal.

4. THE SUPREMES – On the 50th anniversary of Motown records, I think we should recognize the label’s top singles band.

5. THE JAM – Maybe too derivative for the HOF, but I like them, so what the heck….

7. T. REX

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

Backstage vote: Hilly Kristal

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

Scheulse, please, pretty please forgive me for neglecting your project. I just got caught up with things and lost track. I hope I can rejoin even though I missed the exciting 70s.

1. CAPTAIN BEEFHEART AND HIS MAGIC BAND - No other artist sounds like him, for better or worse. Trout Mask Replica is very divisive, but I can't deny it's inventiveness in a musical era of all sorts of experimentation. It's hard not to listen to him and think of him and Frank Zappa as kindred spirits. Safe as Milk and the later era Magic Band is great too.

2. JOY DIVISION - I told a friend that for a while it seemed like every hot indie band from about 2003-2006 sounded either like Gang of Four (i. e. The Rapture) or Joy Division (i. e. Interpol). I just got into Closer in the early stages of the countdown and it's amazing how Unknown Pleasures and Closer provide contrasts in interesting ways, with the scattered singles adding more insights into the all-too-short musical vision of Ian Curtis and company.

3. BUZZCOCKS - Singles Going Steady presents such a wide spectrum of interesting punk sounds. Autonomy and Ever Fallen in Love? are the standouts but band combined artistry and attitude.

4. THE CRYSTALS - Fitting to give this group props after I finished listening to the non-Christmas Back to Mono set. Beautiful infectious pop melodies. Who cares if I get them confused with the Ronettes.

5. RIGHTEOUS BROTHERS - There's something real dark to the elements of the Wall of Sound, which make the booming choruses and orchestrations so timeless. You hear You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling and while you are uplifted with romantic sentiments you also have a sense that something in lingering around the corner to remove you from your fantasy. Maybe it's growing up on Lynchian film images that borrow from sixties sentimentality and the sounds that go with it, but this is powerful dramatic music.


Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

A lot of favorites and a few "best" (and some that are both)

1. Robert Wyatt

2. Tom Waits

3. AC / DC : one of the greatest blues-rock bands ever. Not wasting time in endless guitar choruses, but afire with the real spirit of the blues : funny lyrics about drinking and getting laid, and the hell of a music machine.

4. Serge Gainsbourg

5. The Eagles

6. Joy Division
7. The Jam
8. Dick Annegarn
9. Captain Beefheart
10. Django Reinhardt

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

the laughing emotikon was for the joke about best and favorite
I'll have to come back on that subject (with a less radical view)

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

1. THE JAM. Paul, if they’re derivative, they’re derivative in the best possible way. No, they didn’t really change the game, but they had better chops and style than most of their contemporaries. They clearly belong now.
2. T. REX. They clearly belonged some time ago (I thought).
3. THE SPECIALS. As I’ve said before, I always think of the Specials as What the 80s Sounded Like.
4. PRETENDERS. s/t has to be one of the greatest debut albums ever. And on a personal level, it changed almost everything about how I listen to music.
5. PATSY CLINE. She’s going to get in one of these days.
6. THE POLICE. Only a slight jump this year; I think Zenyatta is their weakest album.
7. X. If I was just compiling a list of favorites, they’d be #2 or #3 at this point, even after only one album. Even for a “best” list, they still easily make the top ten…and there are a couple more great albums to come.

I also considered the Buzzcocks (who seem to have more traction around here than I thought), Elton John, Chic and AC/DC.


Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

1. 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).

2. Randy Newman – A master melodist who fully inherited his Hollywood-royalty family’s compositional gifts, and has spent his entire non-soundtrack career putting those gifts at the service of an astonishingly biting and ironic sensibility. No singer-songwriter has ever inhabited a wider variety of delusional, pitiable, or downright despicable characters, with so little regard for how he might be viewed by the confused among us who can’t separate the singer from the song.

3. Pretenders – Something of an erratic career (the deaths within two years of half the founding members didn’t help), but Chrissie Hynde is a pivotal and provocative figure to this day, Martin Chambers is one of rock’s most underrated drummers, and their 1980 debut is one of the greatest albums ever made. They deserve induction on the strength of that record alone. (Hell, they deserve it on the strength of “Tattooed Love Boys” alone.)

4. Captain Beefheart and His Magic Band – Now that most of the giants of the sixties and seventies are in the HOA, maybe the geniuses on the fringes have a better chance of sneaking in. Here’s a vote for one of the fringiest (and most original) of them all.

5. Ornette Coleman – And here’s another one, although by now (whether we’re speaking of either 1980 or the present) he’s largely transcended his whole-new-thing image and become a genuine elder statesman of jazz.

6. Wire
7. Can
8. The Supremes
9. Love
10. Bill Evans

1. Nicky Hopkins
2. Rudy Van Gelder
3. Greil Marcus

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

I'm not finding much young blood to fill my three entries who got voted in last week. Cleraly I'm not feeling the late-70's, early 80's. I need for hip hop to get cracking to get some new blood in here, or a greater appreciation for the less-well known punk an post-punk bands. What do you think people? Wire? X-Ray Specs? Every once in a while I'm feeling Devo, but not often enough to vote for them.

1. Django Reinhardt - Back on top after eventually successful campaigns for Mayfield, Parker, and Kuti. I was listening to an interview with Willie O'Ree, the first black player in the NHL. More impressive is he played while 95% blind in one eye. Now imagine if he was as great as Gretzky... that would be akin to what Django accomplished.

2. Chic - No one bit on my disco/funk theories from last week. They were a bit crackpot, I'll admit. I'll keep it simple this week: Rogers and Edwards are awesome.

3. Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young)

4. Patsy Cline - Never thought she'd climb this high.

5. The Staple Singers - Ditto. But boy they have a sweet sound. Believe me, I'm not a gospel fan... being a big old Jew and all.

6. The Grateful Dead

7. Queen

8. Buffalo Springfield

9. Willie Nelson - (Could just as easily have gone back to voting for the Supremes.)

10. Dolly Parton - (Could just as easily have started votign for the Police. Guess I'm in a country mood today.)

1. Irving Berlin
2. Norman Granz
3. DJ Kool Herc - Reputed inventor of the "break"

Re: HOA: 1981 voting thread

1. The Cure- Seventeen Seconds is amazing enough to vault them to the top!

2. Donna Summer

3. Can

4. Chic

5. Prince- Well, who do we have here?! Some miniature black kid released a great, raw punk-funk album in Dirty Mind.

6. Joy Division- Closer is a great swansong.

7. Pretenders- Their debut is absolutely thrilling.

8. Nico

9. Joan Jett- I don't give a damn about my reputation!

10. Grace Jones- Her disco material is forgettable except for "La Vie en Rose", but Warm Leatherette saw a change in direction that cemented Grace Jones as a style icon and the creative union between Grace, Sly and Robbie would continue to pay dividends.