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HOA: 1987 voting thread

It's 1987, so here's a special arms-for-hostages edition of the Hall of Acclaim.

Choose the ten most deserving artists, based on records released through the end of 1986.

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, 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 have the option to nominate up to three people for the Backstage Wing. This isn't required.

Deadline for ballots is Sunday, March 1, at 6:00 pm US Central time (midnight GMT).

Voting is now open.

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. GEORGE JONES – The last country great not be enshrined (apart from Ernest Tubb, Bob Wills, Lefty Frizzell and a whole host of others who have no chance). He Stopped Loving Her Today is sort of cheesy, but in the absolute best kind of way. A Good Year For The Roses has got to be in the running for best country song ever. And She Thinks I Still Care is a masterpiece of the form.

2. RUN-DMC – They followed Grandmaster Flash, but they were both more influential and more prolific. Just less hip.

3. PAUL SIMON – The Mississippi delta was shining like a National guitar. I am following the river down the highway through the cradle of the Civil War...

4. HUSKER DU – What a rock band should be.

5. THE SPECIALS – Like Schleuse said, if we want a ska band included…

7. T. REX
8. XTC

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. George Jones
2. Todd Rundgren
3. Warren Zevon
4. Jackson Browne
5. John Cale
6. Randy Newman
7. Hall & Oates
8. Cheap Trick
9. Woody Guthrie
10. Lynyrd Skynyrd


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

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. THE SPECIALS. Honorio, let’s get them off our plate!
2. HÜSKER DÜ. Well said, Paul. In all honesty, they should probably be #1 on my ballot at this point, but I’m pushing the Specials hard.
3. RUN-D.M.C. Raising Hell has to be in the running for best hip-hop album ever (like many white boys, it was also the first one I ever owned). Forget the Aerosmith collaboration for a moment—they morphed “My Sharona” into “It’s Tricky.” Anybody who can spin gold out of dross like that deserves to get in.
4. T. REX. Since I’ve run out of things to say about the founders of glam rock, let me talk about their demented stepchildren, the New York Dolls. I voted for the Dolls once or twice in the mid-70s, and, Harold, I wish I could help you out in your lonely quest to get them inducted. I might yet—but a) Marc Bolan should really get in first, and b) the big limiting factor with the Dolls is that they’re not, actually, you know, good. I do understand that that’s beside the point in their case (see also: Mott the Hoople).
5. VAN HALEN. This vote emphatically has nothing to do with this year’s abysmal 5150.
7. PAUL SIMON. Graceland is a masterful record, even if its proper function is as a gateway drug to The Indestructible Beat of Soweto (I wondered if I should dock points for having the temerity to use Chevy Chase in a video, but decided that was being childish).
9. PUBLIC IMAGE LTD. An acquired taste, but well worth acquiring, PIL sounds less out of place in 2009 than they did in 1986.
10. THE JESUS AND MARY CHAIN. I believe I’m the first to vote for them, which is kind of surprising.

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. LOVE - Still the best of the bunch. I'm still sad I didn't get to see them live before Arthur Lee died.

2. KATE BUSH - What a wonderful woman. I'd vote for more Kate Bushes, and less Britney Spearses.

3. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - So out there, they still haven't landed.

4. VIOLENT FEMMES - Best album of the 80s.

5. GANG OF FOUR - Coolest band of the 80s. They still sound as fresh as milk.

7. RUN-D.M.C.
10. XTC

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

Hüsker Dü : what a rock band should be.
Oh God. Then every rock band would aggress me or bore me.
I really can't get them. I just can't get a music which is only reaction. I mean I've never heard such an ideological music. What rock has to do with ideology ?
Paul and Schleuse, I always respect your opinions, but don't count me in on that one.

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

I'd rather hear a James Taylor compilation than any HD album

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. CREAM - Still trying to get Clapton in.
2. JANIS JOPLIN - That wailing, raspy, heartbreaking voice! She was one big piece of emotional energy, both on record and on stage. The greatest white woman in rock music.
3. EAGLES - People, they're topping the eligibles list for a reason! There are quite some hidden gems on their albums.
4. DEEP PURPLE - The influence of the third greatest hardrock group is undeniable. The creators of the riff that every beginning guitarists will learn.
5. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - Airplanes can't reach the heights these guys were playing on.

6. Run-DMC
7. Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young
8. Kate Bush
10. Metallica

1. Norman Whitfield & Barrett Strong
2. Leo Fender
3. Gamble & Huff

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

I think a good rock band should aggress you every now and then. Whether that is boring is in the eye of the aggressed, of course.

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread


Should James Taylor take your comment as a compliment or an insult?

He is now the standard of intolerableness.

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

About James Taylor : I just wrote that because at that right moment I was listening to "Fire and Rain" for the 1970 poll. Well, I like that song, and a few others. Don't love the guy but I remember buying a best-of in the eighties and that I really appreciated that music. Now that I've grown and I've discovered "true" folk music, I wouldn't listen to it, but I picked him because he is typically the guy that Hüsker Dü fans would hate. As long as I take pleasure in listening, that's OK with me.

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread


To give a more serious response to your critique, I think you may have misunderstood what I meant by my original comment. I was not trying to say that rock bands should make music that sounds like Husker Du's music. What I was trying to applaud was the Husker Du attitude/integrity. Maybe better explained by the All Music Guide:

"Not only did they shape the sound of the music, they shaped the way independent bands made the transition to the major labels; they showed other bands that it was possible to record uncompromising music on a major label without losing any integrity or creative control."

Sorry about the missing umlauts.

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

nic, have you heard the du's last album, warehouse? you should give it a try - it's very melodic and not really aggressive at all. in fact, it probably has more in common with mould's solo albums (and the sugar albums) than earlier husker records. i think it's their best album, though i like all the earlier ones too. but i remember zen arcade being a bit much for me at first. now i listen to it occasionally, though rarely all the way through. but yeah, try warehouse if you haven't.

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

I have a problem with that "integrity" thing. In fact I don't care much about it. I care about music. Integrity, attitude towards the industry, that's a good thing, but it has nothing to do with music IMO. I know punk and indie fans really place importance on integrity, but to me music has got to be a source of pleasure first, not a political thing. Otherwise it becomes too serious.
And Greg, yes, i've heard Warehouse, but just once. Let us say it is the one I disliked the less (especially the Mould songs). That was what I refered to when I said "boring" and I was talking about Zen Arcade when I said "agressive".
It is just a first impression, but I'm afraid they didn't give me enough for me to come to them again. but again, it is a very personal opinion. I really have a problem with punk and post-punk rock. This music is skinny, skeletal (the guitar sounds). It is more the production than the songs themselves. There are great Smiths songs, some of the HD songs are not bad, but I can't stand that sound, makes me want to hit stop. I was too much in love with the '70s and it look like they sucked all flesh and life and sensuality from the music like goules or vampires. To me music has to be sensual.
But enough blah blah now.
Exception : I really liked the song "New day Rising".

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

I like James Taylor much more than Hüsker Dü, both “Sweet Baby James” and “Fire and Rain” are in my 1970 list. I told you before, I’m bland and I’m proud!

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

I meant "vampires or ghouls" sorry, I used the French word, which is about the same

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

01. XTC: an exceptional band that counts with the distinct (but complementary) talents of songwriters and co-leaders Andy Partridge and Colin Moulding, a band that has been able to evolve from the angular pop of their first albums to the sophisticated pop on the British tradition of their later offerings.
My favourite album: Skylarking (1986).
My Top 5 Songs: Dear God (1986), Making Plans for Nigel (1979), Senses Working Overtime (1982), This Is Pop? (197 , Grass (1986).

02. BILLY BRAGG: who said that pop music should not be political? Billy Bragg reformulated the role of the protest singers in the 80s armed with an electric guitar (that kills fascists too).
My favourite album: Talking With the Taxman About Poetry (1986).
My Top 3 Songs: Levi Stubbs’ Tears (1986), New England (1983), Greetings to the New Brunette (1986).

03. THE SPECIALS: I’ve always tried to base my vote in artists that released something relevant the year before, but I’m going to break this self-imposed rule for the first time (and last?) and I’m going to look to the past. The Specials disbanded two years ago, but they’re back in my ballot and I hope that this time’s for good…

04. THE SMITHEREENS: it’s obvious (even for a synth-pop lover like me) that many people is getting tired of synthesizers at this point of the decade. Let’s listen to some classic guitar rock now, especially for you.
My favourite album: Especially for You (1986).
My Top 3 Songs: Blood and Roses (1986), In a Lonely Place (1986), Behind the Wall of Sleep (1986).

05. THE CHAMELEONS: one of the most unknown but most interesting bands from the psychedelic post-punk British scene, recently disbanded after releasing their best work.
My favourite album: Strange Times (1986).
My Top 3 Songs: Up the Down Escalator (1983), Tears (1986), Second Skin (1983).


And at the backstage:
01. RICK RUBIN: undoubtedly the producer of the moment, 1986 has seen the release of groundbreaking albums of hip hop (“Raising Hell” , metal (“Reign in Blood” and both (“Licensed to Ill” . Favourite song: RUN-D.M.C. Walk This Way (1986).
02. PETER GABRIEL, THOMAS BROOMAN and BOB HOOTON: 1986 was not only the year of rap-metal, it was also the explosion of African music outside their “ghetto”. I’m putting Gabriel at the backstage as founder of WOMAD in 1980, an organization for promoting the world music, with an annual festival in different locations from 1982. Favourite song: PETER GABRIEL Across the River (1982).
03. TODD RUNDGREN: after producing the splendid “Skylarking” form XTC it’s time to recognize the enormous value of Rundgren as a producer. Bands and artists like Janis Joplin, Badfinger, Sparks, New York Dolls, Hall & Oates, Meat Loaf, Patti Smith Group, The Tubes, The Psychedelic Furs or XTC can testify. Favourite song: NEW YORK DOLLS Looking for a Kiss (1973).

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread


I wouldn't call it "blah blah." The original intent of this game was to have discussion of the merits along with the voting.

It just goes to show you how differently people can hear music. What really drew me to The Smith's (especially) was the sound of the guitars. I love the janglyness of a song like Girl Afraid or the twangy bass on Headmaster Ritual.

I agree the production is too thin, but I think that is a casualty of the 1980s. Getting past the production, I love the general sound (i.e., the return to the bright sixties guitar sounds of The Byrds, et al).

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

yeah, that's funny. To my ears they have nothing to do with the lovely Byrds. I must have a problem with 1977-90 post punk rock (although the '80s poll partly solved it). If I look at my top 20 of the '80s, it's only roots rock or singer-songwriter (Waits, Springsteen, Orbison), metal (Iron Maiden, Guns) or rap/urban R&B (M. Jackson, Prince, Public E). Only 2 British artists (Joe Jackson, The Specials).
And about politics in music, I'm not the one who said pop shouldn't be political. It's gotta be musical first. Fela is highly political, but the music kicks ass.
"Maybe they'll hear the words when they get tired of dancing" said John Fogerty once

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

Hey, I'm really glad we've got some discussion going on alongside the voting.

I think you both know where I am on the issue of to Du or not to Du, so I won't belabor that, except to add that their evolution from 500-mph thrash-punk to Mould pop songcraft is, for me, one of the most interesting things about the band. I like it all.

But his seems an opportune moment for me to recommend, for what is probably the 167th time on this forum, Michael Azerrad's Our Band Could Be Your Life--my favorite book on rock, without exception. If you need context for American postpunk/indie in the 80s--relatively obscure music which ended up influencing almost all rock that came after it (kind of VU+20 years)--this book is your one-stop source. And there's a chapter on HD.

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. Run-DMC - The best rap group yet, and they'll hold that title for a couple of years. Their image and sound was revolutionary for hip-hop, and the best example is this year's Raising Hell.

2. Metallica - Look up metal in the dictionary, and there's a picture of Metallica. I can't say if Master of Puppets is the best metal album ever, but it's darn near the best ever (what else is there?)

3. Beastie Boys - Combine the two above, and you have the Beasties. Not quite rap, not quite rock, the three white boys from Brooklyn basically invented rap rock (along with DMC, of course).

4. Grandmaster Flash - The first great MC.

5. Paul Simon - Since S&G broke up he has had a very consistent solo career, from "Kodachrome" up to Graceland, his best album yet.

6. Van Halen - See previous years, and 1984's 1984.

7. Dire Straits - A band with a sound all their own, showing something lacking these days in rock - restraint.

8. Husker Du - Check out "Eight Miles High" on YouTube. You won't be disappointed.

9. Afrika Bambaataa - One genius Kraftwerk sample is enough for AB.

10. Bon Jovi - The guilty pleasure band of the year. "Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, we're halfway there..."

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

Sorry, Nicolas, reading again the very interesting “politics” thread I realized that it may seem that I was referring to you in my comment for Billy Bragg. But in fact it was a rhetoric question, not addressed to someone particularly. Or maybe yes, maybe I could address it to the people that think that artists are only to entertain us. Has someone seen the Neil Young-directed “Déjà vu” movie? It was significant to see, particularly at the Atlanta concert, how many people today consider intolerable that the musicians express their own opinions. I haven’t found on You Tube the Atlanta fragment but this documentary trailer showcase perfectly that today still there is no agreement about political issues in pop music.
By the way I think I’m going to write some thoughts about it for the “politics” thread. We’re living in a political world…

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. Randy Newman – 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.

2. Husker Du – For a few years they were very likely the best band in America and maybe the world, melding hardcore with hooks in startling and frequently transcendent ways.

3. Run-D.M.C. – Not the first hip-hop act, nor the greatest, but inarguably the most important and influential in terms of exposing the genre to a wider audience. And their music holds up remarkably well.

4. New York Dolls – They only made two albums, but they’re one of the all-time great bands, and their influence is incalculable.

5. Paul Simon – His reach has always slightly exceeded his grasp, but that’s mostly because no singer-songwriter has ever grasped for so much, so far beyond his perceived comfort zone. GRACELAND was his biggest risk (well…maybe writing a Broadway doo-wop musical about a psychopathic sex criminal was his BIGGEST risk, but still…), and his greatest triumph.

6. Ornette Coleman
7. Wire
8. Can
9. Love
10. Metallica

1. Nicky Hopkins
2. Rudy Van Gelder
3. Rick Rubin

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. Paul Simon - I can't even say that Grace land is all THAT great. It's a flawed, inconsistent, intermittently brilliant album. But the accumulation of his solo work, particularly with the addition of "Diamonds on the Souls of Her Shoes" takes him to the top of my list.

2. Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young)

3. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five - Don't see the drive and power of Run-DMC taking them above the importance of GF&tFF

4. Run-DMC - But they still displayed that raw drive and power. BTW, Beastie Boys don't even come close yet. Too ugly still.

5. Dinah Washington

6. The Staple Singers

7. The Grateful Dead

8. Peter Gabriel - A very nice collection of songs.

9. The Jackson 5

10. Blossom Dearie


1. Norman Granz
2. Russell Simmons and Rick Rubin - A very big year for Def Jam.
3. Gamble and Huff

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1.The SPECIALS : « especially » for their second album : they not only were a neo ska band, but influenced acts like Air in France when they added those easy listening sounds to their original punk-jamaican mix

2.the POGUES : what a great band ! exuberant, they did to Irish folk what the Spaecials had done to old time ska. But they were Irish


4.RUN DMC : with the help of Rick Rubin, they became the first major hip hop stars

5.Paul SIMON : for what he did for world music

6.MALAHTHINI : I won’t induct Simon without nominating one of his main influences, one of the great South Africans

7.Philipp GLASS




Backstage : Rick RUBIN

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. THE MOODY BLUES - Please correct me if I'm wrong, but this band probably made a blip in the late 60s on the eligibles list before disappearing, which is too bad, because they're probably the last band from that musical era that isn't inducted. A lot of bands from the Beatles onward got props for incorporating orchestras and strings, but for me nothing quite captured the sweeping majesty of classical music and cavernous sounds of orchestras in pop music like the Moody Blues. The release of their last halfway decent album in 1981, Long Distance Voyager, is a good a time as any to put them at the personal top and see how long they last.

2. 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.

3. 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.

4. 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.

5. CREAM - While I've only listened to Disraeli Gears, Cream songs from all their albums seem to pop up everywhere, on my playlists, in movies, in cover versions. To combine gritty blues (aka Crossroads) with psychadelica (Blue Condition, Sunshine of You Love others) with guitar fuzz holding it all together creates a sound that fused more experimental rock n' roll with the early Delta music pioneers, creating a close bond of musical influences across the pond.





10. LOVE

Re: HOA: 1987 voting thread

1. Eurythmics- Revenge follows in the same rock/soul vibe that made Be Yourself Tonight so successful, but it just flows better.

2. Grace Jones- She's past her prime now, but "I'm Not Perfect (But I'm Perfect for You)" is a nice single nonetheless.

3. Siouxsie and the Banshees- Yet another solid album in Tinderbox. It seems they won't make the cut.

4. Depeche Mode- With Black Celebration, the Mode showcased the fact that Some Great Reward was no fluke and that they were able to release good albums as well as killer singles.

5. Janet Jackson- Her first 2 albums were mere child's play, but with Control, Janet burst onto the scene as a worthy artist in her own right. With six classic singles, she'd prove that the charts had room for 2 Jacksons after all.

6. Donna Summer

7. Can

8. Echo and the Bunnymen

9. Joan Jett

10. Kim Wilde