Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, Sex Pistols Voted into Rock Hall of Fame
Lynyrd Skynyrd, Black Sabbath, and the Sex Pistols highlight this year’s inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Sabbath Enter Rock Hall (Rolling Stone)
After years of eligibility, Black Sabbath, the Sex Pistols and Lynyrd Skynyrd will finally be inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
A major force in the development of heavy metal, Black Sabbath broke through in 1970 with their self-titled debut. Although critically lambasted, the Birmingham, England, fourpiece went on to move a million records in its first year out in the States — followed by a string of top-selling albums and the band’s only U.S. hit single, 1972’s “Iron Man.” In 1979 frontman Ozzy Osbourne left the group to pursue a solo career — recently capped with his MTV reality show, The Osbournes.
Formed in Jacksonville, Florida, in 1965, Lynyrd Skynyrd became the essential Southern rock band, with hits “Sweet Home Alabama” and the 1973 classic “Free Bird,” a tribute to the recently deceased Duane Allman. The hard-rocking, bluesy group went on to achieve seven Top Twenty pop albums during the Seventies. After singer Ronnie VanZant’s sudden death in a 1977 plane crash, the band split up, but the remaining members reunited in 1991 and toured and recorded for much of the Nineties. (Guitarist Allen Collins became paralyzed in a 1986 car accident, and died of related health complications in 1990.)
Together for just two years in the mid-Seventies, English fourpiece the Sex Pistols were among the loudest, most visible pioneers of punk. Led by Johnny Rotten and styled (safety pins and all) by infamous manager Malcolm McLaren, the Pistols’ aggressive, confrontational rock was embodied by their singles “Anarchy in the U.K.” and “God Save the Queen.” Bassist Sid Vicious became the de facto face of punk with his street swagger and his tragic overdose at age twenty-one — after the mysterious stabbing death of his girlfriend at New York’s famed Chelsea Hotel — in 1979.
The Sex Pistols are the hardest of these to justify, just given their short tenure. Still, as the piece notes, they are the face of the short-lived punk movement. And the arguably less influential Ramones are already in.
Update: The Hall voters are repeating their pattern of alternating excellent classes with horrible ones. Take a look at the recent inductees in the Performers category:
Earth, Wind & Fire
Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers
Elvis Costello & the Attractions
Maybe they should induct fewer people in each class? Or have fewer classes?
A couple years ago, I had a contest for improving the Hall through subtraction. I hereby renew the contest in the comments to this post.