So the latest list of Nominees for the 2012 class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland has been announced, and it's pretty good. In fact, I'll say it's probably the best list as a whole that I can remember seeing. Ever. But I won't set my hopes too high just yet. The results of these lists tend to be disappointing.
The complete list for 2012 consists of:
Eric B. & Rakim
Guns 'N Roses
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Rufus with Chaka Khan
The Small Faces/The Faces
The punk representation is pretty high, especially if you consider older releases. I mean, sure, I haven't cared about anything to come from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Cure or the Beastie Boys for literally decades, but notice they contributed to the punk scene in the early days and it's something to get excited about.
Classic Chili Peppers tunes like "Fight Like A Brave" and "True Men Don't Kill Coyotes" were essentials in the mid to late '80s, as was every pre-'90s Cure album. And the Beasties? Forget about it! If the only thing they ever put out was Licensed To Ill, that would work, but they made great hardcore back in the day.
I'll even admit a guilty pleasure that I'm not at all guilty to admit - no matter how many of my diminishing punk rock points it scratches away.
Guns 'N Roses.
Appetite For Destruction is an album that spanned the gap between punk and hard rock, and while it leaned heavier to the trashy side, I will always dig it. The band had punk in its roots, most notably Duff McKagan who'd, done time with the Fastbacks, the Fartz, and the Neurotic Outsiders - with Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols.
But the best band on the list of nominees is Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. The Blackhearts have been a rock and roll workhorse for decades, delivering music guaranteed to blow minds and eardrums. Factor in Jett having essentially paved the way for Riot Grrrl with the Runaways, and she's not only the punkest name on the list, she's the best name on the list.
But I won't get excited about any of this, because the Rock Hall is fickle. How many tries did it take the Stooges to get in?
It took one of the greatest rock acts of all time eight tries to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It was created for them, and it took eight tries to get in.
In honor of the nominees, I've put together a playlist of my favorite songs by the bands who made it. I didn't limit myself to the bands mentioned above, I went above and beyond by choosing classic tunes by bands that aren't punk acts and other projects from some of the nominees.
The 2012 Nominee List for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts - "I Love Rock and Roll" - What more can be said about this song? The first track from her 1981 album of the same name, her first with the Blackhearts. You know this song. You love this song. (Listen/Download)
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts - "Do You Wanna Touch Me (Oh Yeah)" - A cover of the Gary Glitter classic, Jett's version is decidedly less creepy, especially with Glitter's legal problems. This one is from 1982's Bad Reputation. (Listen/Download)
The Runaways - "Cherry Bomb" - From Joan Jett's first band, this song came out in 1976. Recorded while the band was a bunch of teenagers, they helped pave the way for girls in rock - most notably Riot Grrrls. (Listen/Download)
The Red Hot Chili Peppers - "True Men Don't Kill Coyotes" - The first song on their 1984 self-titled debut (As well as the song they made their first video for - you can see it here), this song set the tone for a funky punk band that would be solid in the skate scene for years. (Listen/Download)
The Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Fight Like A Brave" - Another punk club classic, this one from 1987's The Uplift Mofo Party Plan, it's a fun funky song that actually details Chili Peppers frontman Anthony Kiedis' struggle with, and ultimate victory over, heroin addiction. (Listen/Download)
The Beastie Boys - "Egg Raid On Mojo" - While they're best known for fat beats and funky rhymes, the Beasties had their early roots in hardcore, as is evidenced by this classic, originally from 1982's Polly Wog Stew, and now available on Some Old Bulls**t. (Listen/Download)
The Beastie Boys - "Transit Cop" - Another classic from the Polly Wog Stew era, hearing this does nothing to hint at where the Beasties would go. All I hear is great, fast old school hardcore. (Listen/Download)
The Cure - "Grinding Halt" - Taken from 1980's Boys Don't Cry, "Grinding Halt" is one of the most underrated punk songs ever. I've always wondered why every hardcore band doesn't have a brutal version of this tune in their set list. (Listen/Download)
The Cure - "10:15 Saturday Night" - Another tune from Boys Don't Cry, it just shows how underrated the earlier punk sounds of this band really are. (Listen/Download)
Guns N' Roses - "Mr. Brownstone" - One for the guilty pleasures list that you really shouldn't feel too guilty about, just like you need not feel guilty about having 1987's Appetite For Destruction in your record collection. (Listen/Download)
Guns N' Roses - "Raw Power" - On 1993's The Spaghetti Incident?, Guns N' Roses covered punk and glam tunes, paying tribute to bands that influenced them, like the Stooges, as evidenced in this power cover of "Raw Power." (Listen/Download)
The Fartz - "Dead Soldier" - A notorious band from the Seattle scene, the Fartz, which for a time featured Duff McKagan, were known for loud, fast, snotty punk rock and for getting banned from venues for the damage they left in their wake. One listen to 1990's "Dead Soldier" (from You, We See You Crawling and I think you'll understand how they managed to whip their fans into a frenzy. (Listen/Download)
Donovan - "Season Of The Witch" - Another nonpunk track with massive punk cred, Donovan's "Season Of The Witch" is an early dark psychedelic tune from 1966 that has been covered by countless bands and cited as an influence by even more, including scores of punk bands. (Listen/Download)
War - "Low Rider" - Come on, it's "Low Rider." (Listen/Download)
The punk songs you should know, and some not-so-punk tunes that you can still get away with liking