N.W.A. joins quartet of 1970s hit-makers in rock hall
NEW YORK (AP) – The groundbreaking Los Angeles rap act N.W.A. will join a quartet of 1970s era FM radio rockers – Chicago, Cheap Trick, Deep Purple and Steve Miller – as 2016 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
N.W.A., led by Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, was elected after three unsuccessful nominations in a year when a movie about the group’s career, “Straight Outta Compton,” was a box-office hit. Their hard-core tales of life on the street on songs like “F– the Police” made them a provocative chart presence in the late 1980s and influenced an empire of other acts.
Both Miller and Cheap Trick made it during their first year on the ballot.
The induction ceremony for the Cleveland-based hall will be held April 8 in Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. HBO will televise highlights later in the spring.
Guitarist Miller came out of the San Francisco rock scene and became a dependable maker of pop hits like “Take the Money and Run,” “Fly Like an Eagle,” “Jet Airliner” and “Jungle Love.”
Midwestern favorites Cheap Trick succeeded with a highly amped version of Beatles-influenced melodies on hits “Surrender” and “Dream Police.”
Their “Live at Budokan” album is one of rock’s best-known live sets. Guitarist Rick Nielsen and rumpled drummer Bun E. Carlos gave them an indelible live presence.
Cheap Trick moved swiftly to capitalize on the honor, announcing Thursday they had signed a new deal with Taylor Swift’s label, Big Machine Records. The band will release its 17th studio album a week before its induction.
“Thanks to all the fans who have supported us for all these years and to the Hall of Fame members who cast their votes,” said bass player Tom Petersson. “We are excited and honored.”
The guitar riff for Deep Purple’s “Smoke on the Water” remains one of the most recognizable in rock history. Guitarist Ritchie Blackmore was a stalwart in a hard rock act that competed with Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath for the loyalty of metalheads.
Before shortening its name from the Chicago Transit Authority, Chicago was known for its jazz-rock fusion. The band had a string of pop hits including “Saturday in the Park,” “25 or 6 to 4,” “If You Leave Me Now” and “Does Anyone Really Know What Time it Is?”
The influential disco-era band Chic is becoming the Susan Lucci of music, failing to win induction in its 10th year as a nominee.
Janet Jackson, The Cars, Los Lobos and Yes were among the other nominees rejected.