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HOA: 1997 voting thread

If you hear strange thumping electronic music, it might be because it's 1997. Must be time for a new election, then.

Submit a ranked list of your ten most deserving artists. 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 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, June 7, at 6:00 pm US Central time (midnight GMT). Yep, that's right--see the "important announcement" if you haven't already.

Voting is now open--for two weeks! Have at it.

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

01. GORAN BREGOVIC: now that finally is coming to an end the war that bled the Balkans it could be nice to induct Bregovic, the living proof of a possible peaceful ethnic synthesis in former Yugoslavia (he was born in Sarajevo, son of a catholic Croatian and an orthodox Bosnian, with Jewish background and married to a Muslim Bosnian). And his music is too a fresh mixture of traditional Balkan music, gypsy styles, classical music, pop and even electronica.
My favourite album: Underground (1995).
My Top 5 Songs: Mesecina (1995), Ausencia (featuring Cesaria Évora, 1995), In the Death Car (featuring Iggy Pop, 1993), ELO Hi (Canto Nero) (featuring Ofra Haza, 1994), Kalasnjikov (1995).

02. BELLE AND SEBASTIAN: this music combo coming from Glasgow is taking back the sweet sound of 60s soft-pop bands as Free Design and the delicate vocal phrasing of obscure 70s singer-songwriters as Nick Drake. And with fabulous and refreshing results.
My favourite album: If You’re Feeling Sinister (1996).
My favourite song: Like Dylan in the Movies (1996), The State I Am In (1996), Get Me Away From Here, I’m Dying (1996).

03. SUEDE: the quintessential NME hype band (well, Oasis too), but in this case with many reasons that justifies the acclaim, especially an own sound and image (the next step on the evolution of 70s glam-rock and 80s brit-pop of The Smiths) and a splendid amount of the most important thing in a pop band, great songs.
My favourite album: Coming Up (1996).
My favourite song: Beautiful Ones (1996), The Drowners (1992), The Wild Ones (1994).

04. BECK: the stylistic melting pot that Beck displays in his albums is absolutely fascinating mainly due to the apparently effortless way in which he delivers it. Pedal steels with scratch, blues-slide guitars with samples, psychedelic beats with funk Fender Rhodes. And why not?
My favourite album: Odelay (1996).
My favourite song: Loser (1993), Devil’s Haircut (1996), Sissyneck (1996).

05. THE DIVINE COMEDY: yes, Nicolas, I’ll jump on this gladly. Neil Hannon is the brilliant follower of some music traditions so dear to me as the 60s baroque-pop or the 80s sophisti-pop. But not in a too-bland-too-soft way, he may croon as Sinatra (or Walker) but his sound is undoubtedly 90s.
My favourite album: Casanova (1996).
My favourite song: Becoming More Like Alfie (1996), Tonight We Fly (1994), Songs of Love (1996).


And another special edition of the backstage wing (today: Bob Dylan's muses)
(yes, I know, it's a quite stupid choice for this, I though initially about doing a special about the groupies, a specimen you can usually find at the backstages, but first of all I didn't want to seem sexist and secondly you can't find the name of the groupies on the pop history books, so I've changed it for "muses"):
01. SARA LOWNDES: Dylan’s first wife was the muse behind many Dylan songs that showed to the world a flaming love for her in songs like "Forever Young" (1974) for instance. But not only love, she was able to inspire mystery ("Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands", 1966), longing ("If You See Her Say Hello", 1975) or even endless hate ("Idiot Wind", 1975) too. She even was so conscious of her role as a muse that during the divorce proceedings she asked to be paid, showing as a proof the following verse of "Sara": "Staying up for day at the Chelsea Hotel / Writing 'Sad-Eyed Lady of the Lowlands' for you". Money ruins everything… Favourite song: BOB DYLAN Sara (1976).
02. EDIE SEDGWICK: her glamorous yet self-destructive behaviour inspired some Dylan songs, "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat", "Just Like a Woman" and most notably "Like a Rolling Stone". And not only was Dylan inspiration, everybody knows that she was The Velvet’s "Femme Fatale" too. Favourite song: BOB DYLAN Like a Rolling Stone (1965).
03. SUZE ROTOLO: Dylan's girlfriend during the Greenwich Village folkie days was the inspiration of many songs of the early Dylan period, not hiding problems ("Ballad in Plain D", 1964) or longings ("One Too Many Mornings", 1964). Favourite song: BOB DYLAN Boots of Spanish Leather (1964).
And, of course, although Dylan was a married man then, he was having at night these Visions of Johanna that "kept him up past the dawn". Visions of infidelity with… Joan Baez maybe?

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

Very nice backstage analysis. There are so many great, poetic lines in "Sara."

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

Many thanks, Paul. "Sara" is a wonderful song, one of the best album closers ever (IMHO).

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

1. THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS - Still my number one. Funny, catchy and brilliant.

2. DANIEL JOHNSTON - Everything a pop star shouldn't be, yet one of the best anyway.

3. LOVE - Fantastic melodies, great voice.

4. SUEDE - One of the best things to happen to glam ever.

5. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - Trippy music. Feed your head with surrealistic pillow, and your stereo will never be the same.

10. BECK

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

1. The DIVINE COMEDY : They made their most commercial and most-acclaimed album this year, with a little twist toward crooning and over-the –top (but brilliant) arrangements
3. Serge GAINSBOURG : There is another non-anglo artist who could get in
4. BECK : he'll be inducted this year and he deserves it.
5. A TRIBE CALLED QUEST : my favorite cool rap act

6. Alvin YOUNGBLOOD HART : he'll never be inducted but spotlight on this great modern bluesman

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

Remember, kids—you still have four more days to get your ballots in for the extry-special extended 1997 election.

1. JESUS AND MARY CHAIN. Now officially an oversight. We’re entering a roughly three-year fallow period, with not many big-time new names becoming eligible, so I still have high hopes.
2. NINE INCH NAILS. This year’s eligibles list sees a massive influx of people who sound a hell of a lot like Trent.
3. DE LA SOUL. See Mary Chain comment, above.
4. BECK. Admire more than like…but like a good deal.
5. LIZ PHAIR. In 1997, people were already suggesting that she wasn’t living up to her potential…
9. CAN. No, I’m not just throwing Moonbeam a bone here. This is kind of a symbolic vote. We’re entering a period where, in real life, I mostly lost track of music, and the dominant genre at this time is electronica (not that I dislike electronica—it’s just a coincidence). So before I even start thinking of including Can-influenced acts—most of whom I only learned about in hindsight—on my ballot, I’d rather just vote for, well, Can themselves. (Can were also, by the way, massively influential on The Best Band in the World, 1995-present.)

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

This time I'm trying a bit of gambling, as I was alone in some of my previous choices (which seems rather pointless). So here's a few helping hands...

1. Eurythmics – Don't give up now, Moonbeam!

2. Ennio Morricone – And don't think I'm giving up on Ennio!

3. Goran Bregovic - Fits well here with Morricone. But Honorio, you forgot the most heartbreaking song of them all: Ederlezi

4. Janis Joplin – I'm moving her up a bit if that's what's needed.

5. Peter Gabriel - I'd still rather see Genesis in the hall, but PG is the obvious substitute.

6. Wire - Mysterious punk!

7. ABBA – C'mon guys, vote! It's all right if you need to use the term "guilty pleasure".

8. Suede - They would have topped my list if I had actually made this list in the beginning of 1997.

9. Tim Buckley - Based solely on "Happy Sad", I think he is more deserving than his son.

10. The Sisters of Mercy - A heads up that you have two chances to vote for them in the moderately acclaimed poll this week.

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

Yes, Henrik, I agree. “Ederlezi” should be on my list, probably at #2 after “Mesecina”. But, since I posted the you tube link for that song on the 1993 voting thread I chose to give a chance to other wonderful songs as the precious “Ausencia”.

And I agree with you too about Suede. At the beginning of 1997 they were undoubtedly my favourite band (although they were substituted soon after for – obviously – Radiohead). Here they come the beautiful ones, the beautiful ones...

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

01. DJ Shadow : Endtroducing is not only one of the few album which have revolutionnized music and not have been topped since, it is also just a bloody great album, one of my favourite ever.

02. Red Hot Chili Peppers : talking about favourite albums, BSSM is my "madeleine de Proust" and the summit of a very decent discography

03. Rage Against the Machine : Tom Morelle is God (sort of)

04. Elliott Smith : next year he will top my list and not leave the first place until he will be inducted, however his 2 first albums were great pieces of pop with already some masterpieces including Christian Brothers and the White Lady Loves You More

05. Supergrass : my favourite brit-pop act, more fun than any of their competitors

06. The Chemical Brothers : my feet can not resist Setting Sun or Leave Home any second (that comment won't change during the coming years, only the list of songs will grow longer and longer)

07. Violent Femmes : why can't they get just one vote, why can't they get just one vote, I get it has something to with luck but they waited there all life for just one

08. De La Soul
09.La Mano Negra
10. Weezer

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

1. Beck – Anyone who’d thought he was a one-off or a novelty had to change their tune after the explosively creative and madly entertaining ODELAY. He’s made deeper and richer records since, but he’d deserve this spot even if he’d never recorded anything else.

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

3. Ornette Coleman – A true visionary who, unlike far too many of his contemporaries, lasted long enough to become a living legend. Long overdue for induction!

4. Love – As we start to enter the homestretch of this HOA exercise it’s time to try to elevate our favorite overlooked cult heroes into the pantheon, Arthur Lee (R.I.P.) and his ramshackle band of fellow late 60s L.A. weirdos being a prime example.

5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers – T.P.’s been around for over 30 years for a reason, and he deserves recognition – as do guitarist Mike Campbell and keyboard maestro Benmont Tench, who’ve been with him since before the beginning and are two of the greatest collaborators anyone could hope for.

6. Nine Inch Nails
7. Peter Gabriel
8. Wire
9. Can
10. Sonny Rollins

1. Nicky Hopkins
2. Robert Christgau – It suddenly hit me like a thunderbolt what an injustice it is that the Grand Old Man of American Rock Criticism isn’t in our little Hall. In a lot of ways, this site wouldn’t exist without Christgau, who created the Village Voice Pazz & Jop poll (the template for all other EOY lists) and whose pithy-but-heady Consumer Guide capsule reviews still haven’t lost a step after 40 years.
3. Michel Gondry

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

harold, I'm with you on Tom Petty and Mike campbell (well, for next time)

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

One of my favorite albums outside the AM top-3000 is released this year: Imperial Teen's Seasick. I am putting you all on notice. I will vote for them after 2002's On, and will thereafter fail to sway a damn one of you.

I am sympathetic to the Tom Petty argument. He is a hit machine, and did it the right way. I don't feel like I can put him above anyone else here, but I could see myself losing steam on voting for Phair and Weezer

1. Beck - A vital and lasting artist. As worthy of entry as nearly any other artist currently in the HOA. I have no issue with his inclusion this year. There is no doubt of his importance after just two albums.

2. A Tribe Called Quest

3. Crosby, Stills, Nash (& Young) - I have been thinking about them a lot lately, having just seen the BBC/PBS doc on Neil Young, and particularly in the context of comparing their vocal wonder with that of the Beach Boys... and what the difference between the two has meant for the current wave of acts like Fleet Foxes, Grizly Bear, PandaBear/Animal Collective. I've got more listening and thinking to do before getting it all down, but my initial thoughts are that these acts might grab me more if they were to follow CSNY as a model for laying down harmonies onto wax/computer bytes rather than the Beach Boys.

4. They Might Be Giants

5. Stereolab - Thier best album is relased next year, but it follows on the wonderful advances they made on this year's Emperor Tomato Ketchup. With a solid prior discography, and a unique, compellingly distinctive sound, Stereolab are worthy entrants into the Hall.

6. Peter Gabriel

7. The Grateful Dead

8. Liz Phair

9. Tricky - Nearly God and Pre-Millenium Tension are not up to Maxinquaye's level, but worthy releases nonetheless.

10. Weezer - I am really struggling with whether they deserve entry. But I can't deny that I really enjoy their first two albums.

It's not time yet for Michel Gondry, even though he released his second greatest work of all time (behind Eternal Sunshine...), Cibo Matto's "Sugar Water."

1. Chris Lombardi/Gerald Cosloy -- Principals of Matador Records - Not as strong a year for them, but they released Jon Spencer B.E.'s Now I Got Worry, Yo La Tengo's compilation Genius + Love, Guided By Voices' Under the Bushes Under the Stars, R.L. Burnside's A Ass Pocket of Whiskey, Cat Power's What Would the Community Think.
2. David Fincher - Defined the big budget music video language of the late 80's and early 90's.
3. Stephen Sondheim - The only truly great and innovative songwriter for the theater in the past thirty-five years.

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

I will not lose hope, Henrik! It's just been a rough few weeks.

1. Eurythmics- Now it's serious. 20 points will be hard to ignore, and the HOA could use a great synth pop group with a penchant for soul and colorful experimentation. Synthesizers were designed for them to use, in my opinion. They are the apex.

2. Siouxsie and the Banshees- As much as I'd like to elevate some others beyond them, I simply can't. Their sheer mastery and diversity is almost unfathomable.

3. Can- Great post by schleuse, and not much else to say. They helped me see music through different eyes and hear it through different ears, and that has to count for a lot.

4. Janis Joplin- She gets a bump, because although I love Janet Jackson a million times more, she'll have opportunities for me to praise her more later as The Velvet Rope and All for You are added to her canon. Plus, Janis Joplin probably belongs more.

5. Janet Jackson- Rarely has a pop artist been able to make me smile as much as Janet, and her music has never failed to comfort and encourage me. Sometimes, it's just that simple.

6. Grace Jones

7. Donna Summer

8. Aerosmith

9. Joan Jett

10. Kim Wilde

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

1. Beck - Odelay! Beck will make it in a landslide this year, as he should. I'd bet he'd have Bob Dylan's number 1 vote.

2. A Tribe Called Quest - Bumping these guys up this year, so as to no longer split the rap vote.

3. Nas - Illmatic is my favortie rap album, and although the rest of his catalogue isn't as fantastic, It Was Written is still a fine piece of work.

4. The Notorious B.I.G - The greatest rapper of all time. Will be #1 next year.

5. The Wu-Tang Clan - I think what's happened is that all of the rock acts I like from the 90s have made it in, so now I'm on my rap acts.

6. DJ Shadow
7. De La Soul
8. Liz Phair
9. Eagles
10. Van Halen

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

1. Suede - the debut was good, but dog man star was really a masterpiece
2. Nas - can't believe SR is the only one voting for him - nas bear witness
3. Wu-Tang Clan - see above
4. Notorious B.I.G. - see above
5. Gang Starr - pretty much the best beats ever
6. Ice Cube
7. Mobb Deep
8. Kool Keith (Dr. Octagon)
9. The Blue Nile
10. Jackson Browne


1. Robert Christgau - good idea. my fav. critic
2. Marley Marl
3. Daniel Lanois

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

1. Beck - What more is there to say? The slacker songwriter and genre-bending studio wizard grabs the top spot with Odelay! Points for originality (for Beck, not my crowd-following vote strategem).

2. Soundgarden

3. Jeff Buckley

4. 2Pac - Underneath the gangsta outside lies the most introspective, emotional rapper ever to rock a mike. He could rap about anything with both skill and passion.

5. Rage Against the Machine

6. Red Hot Chili Peppers

7. Weezer - I always seem to forget somebody, and it was Cuomo and Co. last year. Doesn't do justice to their memorable grunge-pop.

8. Biggie Smalls - The titan of East Coast Rap.

9. A Tribe Called Quest - We need more hip-hop in the HOA.

10. Nas

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

1. A Tribe Called Quest
2. Jane's Addiction
3. Ornette Coleman
4. Herbie Hancock
5. Iggy Pop
6. Can
7. De La Soul
8. Red Hot Chili Peppers
9. Motorhead
10. Peter Gabriel

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

SR, Greg : Wu Tang are already inducted, I would have voted for them otherwise ^^

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

splendid! i'd forgotten. in that case, let's bump up ice cube, one of the best narrative rappers, and also one of the most incendiary, and everyone else, and add Warren Zevon at #10. thanks nassim.

Re: HOA: 1997 voting thread

1. JANIS JOPLIN - Sadly, not the last of the great artists from the 60s whose induction is way overdue.
2. EAGLES - There are quite a lot of hidden gems among their songs. Underrated, even though they've topped the eligibles list the last years and probably will for years to come.
3. DEEP PURPLE - The members of the classic line-up were each among the true masters of their instruments. Laid the foundation for hardrock.
4. JEFFERSON AIRPLANE - Among my personal psychedelic heroes. Truely hallucinating.
5. PETER GABRIEL - He's a genius, a chameleon. Used to be one of the leading figures in progressive rock, now turned into one of the biggest promotors of world music.