Long ago, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts professed their love for rock ‘n’ roll. It’s time to see if the feeling runs both ways.
The iconic rock act is on the list of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees for the 2012 class released Tuesday. Women who rock feature prominently among first-time nominees. Joining Jett, whose “I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll” remains a classic rock standard 30 years after its release, are sister act Heart and Rufus with Chaka Khan.
They’re joined by Guns ‘N Roses, hip-hop pioneers Eric B. & Rakim, glum glam Goths The Cure and The Small Faces/The Faces, which includes Rod Stewart. Bluesman Freddie King and The Spinners are also first-time nominees on the ballot for the hall’s 2012 class.
Previous nominees up again include The Beastie Boys, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Donna Summer, Laura Nyro, Donovan and War, and its an eclectic group, running from lush British folk to classic early beats and bone-crushing power rock.
An act must have released its first single or album 25 years ago to qualify for induction. More than 500 voters will determine who makes the hall. New members will be inducted at a ceremony at the hall of fame in Cleveland on April 14.
Guns ‘N Roses is the headliner of the first-timers group. The L.A. bad boys were easily the largest hard rock act of the 1980s and early ‘90s, featuring siren-voiced lead singer Axl Rose and Slash playing muscled riffs on lead guitar. GnR’s “Appetite for Destruction” was a game-changing album and they went on to sell more than 100 million albums. Their iconic hits like “Welcome to the Jungle” and “Paradise City” remain radio staples.
The leather-clad and tough-as-nails Jett was an early icon for women rockers. A founding member of the all-female The Runaways, she went on to become a chart-topping success after forming the Blackhearts in 1982.
Heart similarly made an indelible mark on the rock scene of the 1970s and ‘80s. Among the first women to front an aggressive rock band, singer Ann Wilson and her sister, guitarist Nancy Wilson, cut some of the era’s most memorable songs, from “Barracuda” to “Magic Man,” and inspired a generation of women along the way.
Then a teen, Khan burst on the scene with the Chicago-based Rufus in the 1970s. She defied easy categorization, moving easily between R&B, rock and disco before going onto an enviable solo career.