Unlike the presidential campaign, the election of the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees yielded results just about everyone can be happy with.
This week, the new class of inductees was announced to generally favorable reviews. The headliners include the influential folk rock queen Joan Baez, the late rapper Tupac Shakur, grunge gods Pearl Jam and progressive rock radio staples Journey, Yes and the Electric Light Orchestra. Disco and rock guitarist Nile Rodgers of Chic will receive the coveted Award for Musical Excellence.
That’s a fairly broad plate of sonic styles represented on that list, though it could have used a soul singer and a punk rocker to round things out. For a list that is this heavy with the sounds of ’70s and ’80s FM radio, it feels weirdly bipartisan. Acts become eligible for inclusion in the hall 25 years after their first album has been released.
If the crush of synthesizers from Yes, ELO and Journey becomes too oppressive, Tupac provides a touch of ’90s rap and Pearl Jam brings its portfolio of emotive old-school indie rock to the table. Ms. Baez, a folk rock innovator who helped introduce Bob Dylan to a larger audience in the 1960s, puts everything into perspective with one of the best voices in pop music. The massively popular Led Zeppelin has cited her songs as an influence, which may explain partly why a folkie is being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
With the exception of Tupac Shakur, who died in 1996, all of the artists will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center on April 17. It will be an opportunity for reunions of the original lineups for Yes and Journey. The resulting jam session will be interesting — and music to a lot of folks’ ears.