The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
by Justin Farrar | December 20, 2011
On December 7, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2012 inductees. They include Donovan, Beastie Boys, Guns N' Roses, Laura Nyro, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Small Faces/Faces. Every year it seems as if this announcement precipitates a slew of criticism, invective and derision about the induction process, as well as the alleged backroom politics governing the Rock Hall itself. Back in June I unleashed some of my own in a post titled The 20 Greatest Rockers Snubbed by the Rock Hall.
I could reprise many of my talking points here, but alas, that would be some broken record sh*t. The only gripe I would like to bring up concerning this specific crop is the coupling of The Small Faces and The Faces. Despite shared personnel (Ronnie Lane, Ian McLagen and Kenney Jones), they were two completely different outfits with respective legacies that stand on their own. The Small Faces, fronted by the late howler Steve Marriott, specialized in amphetamine-fueled, Mod-approved rhythm and blues, with The Faces, meanwhile, featured both Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, and between the years 1970 and '73 rivaled The Stones in terms of fusing sloppy boogie and American country-folk charm. Funny thing is, the Small Faces are the more accomplished group, but I believe that wouldn't have been the case had Rod Stewart decided to record his best material from the solo albums Gasoline Alley, Every Picture Tells a Story and Never a Dull Moment with The Faces instead. From what I understand, this was a source of irritation for his bandmates. Nevertheless, both groups deserve separate inductions.
In addition to selections from the inductees, the playlist below contains tracks from this year's award recipients. Freddie King is being inducted as an Early Influence: the electric blues icon inspired nearly every rock "guitar god" who went on to make the cover of Rolling Stone, particularly Eric Clapton. The Award for Musical Excellence goes to a trio of engineer/producer types: Cosimo Matassa, who helped pioneer early rock 'n' roll and New Orleans rhythm and blues; Tom Dowd, an innovator of multitrack recording and sculptor of the Southern soul sound; and Glyn Johns, who worked with just about every awesome British Invasion band in the 1960s and early '70s, as well as folk-rock legends Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris and Fairport Convention.