Our long national nightmare is over. After eight tries, legendary heavy metal act Black Sabbath will finally be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame next year, whether Ozzy Osbourne likes it or not.
They will be joined by punk pioneers the Sex Pistols, new wave icons Blondie, jazz godhead Miles Davis and southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd (see “Blondie, Miles Davis, Cat Stevens Top Rock Hall Nominees” ). The 21st annual ceremony will take place on March 13 in New York at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel.
In a 1999 letter to the Hall of Fame, Ozzy famously told the institution to “Just take our name off the list. Save the ink. Forget about us. The nomination is meaningless, because it’s not voted on by the fans. It’s voted on by the supposed elite for the industry and the media, who’ve never bought an album or concert ticket in their lives, so their vote is irrelevant to me.” He added, “Let’s face it, Black Sabbath has never been media darlings. We’re a people’s band and that suits us just fine.”
The group — bassist Geezer Butler, guitarist Tony Iommi, Osbourne and drummer Bill Ward — recently inducted into the U.K. Music Hall of Fame, has long been considered one of the cornerstones of heavy metal. Black Sabbath’s absence from the Hall of Fame has been the source of much of the criticism surrounding the way the Hall selects its honorees (see“So How Do You Get Into The Rock Hall Of Fame?” ).
Though they only managed to release one album, England’s Sex Pistols helped set the standard for punk through a series of outrageous stunts, chaotic live shows and the blistering nihilism of their single studio LP, Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols. New York’s Blondie put a pop face on the late 1970s downtown punk scene via a mix of new wave quirkiness and irresistible hooks, spinning off such classic hits as “Heart of Glass” and “Rapture,” with the latter helping to bridge the gap between punk and the emerging hip-hop scene.
Like Sabbath, Southern rock stalwarts Lynyrd Skynyrd are finally making it into the Hall, in their case on the seventh try. The group that made a three-guitar attack legendary are best known for such classic rock radio staples as “Sweet Home Alabama” and “What’s Your Name,” as well as the epic standard “Freebird,” which has become shorthand among rock fans for a show-stopping jam.
Late trumpeter Davis was one of the most celebrated, enigmatic and experimental musicians of the modern jazz era, flirting with everything from standards to fusion and rock (1970’s Bitches Brew) during his 50-year career.
A&M Records founders Herb Alpert and Jerry Moss will be inducted in the Lifetime Achievement in the Non-Performer category for their work building the label they co-founded in 1962 into one of the most successful independent labels in the world thanks to hit albums by artists including Peter Frampton, the Police, Joe Jackson, the Neville Brothers, Cat Stevens and Alpert’s group, Tijuana Brass.
Artists become eligible for the Rock Hall 25 years after the release of their first record.