The announcement came down late yesterday afternoon that Nirvana, KISS, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, and Linda Ronstadt will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is their best class in a long time with five acts getting in long after they should have and one of my favorite bands of all-time getting their nod in their first chance of eligibility. With No Kurt Cobain and a Parkinson’s stricken and thus unable to sing anymore, Linda Ronstadt involved, I expect few dry eyes during the ceremony. For my Twisted Mixtape Tuesday playlist for my friends Jen and Kristi aka @jenkehl and @findingninee, I’ll feature tunes from the six acts. They aren’t necessarily my favorite songs from them but ones that would make a great mixtape.
The First Cut Is The Deepest – Cat Stevens. Yes, Steven Georgiou aka Cat Stevens aka Yusuf Islam he wrote this, not Rod Stewart. The ultimate emo anthem of lost first love came from the British coffee-house scene of the mid 1960s. The lyrics are outstanding and the chorus is universal.
Blue Bayou – Linda Ronstadt. Roy Orbison’s song was thought to be untouchable. Then came Linda. She turned it into her signature song with that amazing voice, huge heart, and country rock arrangement. This is what talent sounds like.
Red Rain – Peter Gabriel. The composition is terrific and Gabriel’s restrained vocal lifts the lyrics. It shows his artistic prowess and his ability to make melodic pop songs with great depth.
Rich Girl – Hall and Oates. I’m including this one because as an 8-year-old I got to walk around singing/saying the word “bitch” and it was considered art. Written about an ex-boyfriend of Daryl Hall’s then girlfriend, Sara Allen, they changed the lyrics from rich boy to rich girl and made one heck of a torchy pop tune.
Nothing To Lose – KISS. Before they became the gross grand poohbahs of pop grandiosity, KISS was your basic, straight ahead, hard-working, gritty, kick-ass New York City rock and roll band. I miss them this way. Nothing To Lose is from their self-titled debut album and the first single they ever released. It still works. And almost makes me want to put on makeup.
You Know You’re Right – Nirvana. One of Kurt’s last known compositions, recorded just before his death and unreleased until 2002. It went through 4 different titles, was performed as You’ve Got No Right by his wife’s band, Hole, and shows all of Nirvana’s angst-driven power.
I’ll be writing a column for my other site, Raised On The Radio http://www.raisedontheradio.com on Thursday of this week about the rock hall inductees. Expect lots of words and other videos of their other songs. Maybe Gene Simmons will read it, print it out, and sell it for $500 a pop.
Stuff your stockings with my books:
The Ballad of Helene Troy, an underdog story about a female musician in New York City, and Soul To Body, about an ex-1990s guitar player trying to raise his teenage daughter after the death of his wife, her mother, are available, digitally, on Amazon.com for your kindles, and in paperback from Lulu.com