WTF? Deep Purple?

I admit that I don’t pay a lot of attention to who gets inducted into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame.

As with any cluster of humans trying to determine what is good or socially relevant or important to a sport or genre or discipline, the subjectivity of said homo sapiens is always beyond puzzling to me. And, it isn’t that I don’t understand that KISS or Steve Miller were enormously popular, but neither of those artists ever put anything out as interesting or challenging as Moby Grape’s debut album, which still sounds great although the band broke up over 40 years ago meaning no group could be further from HOF consideration. (I was looking for a vid of the song Omaha and found this great and funny live bit from the Mike Douglas Show, believe it or not.)

I do, however, like watching the Hall of Fame induction concert that HBO shows after the ceremony, and when I flipped the channel on the other day to see what part of the concert was on, there was Deep Purple getting inducted.

Huh? Deep Purple, who owned two hits–Hush, and Smoke on the Water–and never released a complete album worth owning or listening to? Deep Purple over Roxy Music? Or, Yo La Tengo? Over Steve Earle, or Richard Thompson, or Mick Ronson, or Marc Bolan, or the Dolls or even fucking Turbonegro who are a lot more fun and interesting than Highway Star will ever be?

Putting Deep Purple in the Hall is like saying Mark Kotsay is HOF worthy (and, I love Kotsay, a good and steady player, but hardly one who should live in the archives among the best or most influential ever).

At this point, I am no longer interested in even seeing the live excerpts from the show, as the Hall is there with the Grammies and Oscars.

Note, it wasn’t even worth posting a Deep Purple video. We know their hits: we don’t care about the rest. Good thing the R’n’R HOF wasn’t started in the early 70’s or Up With People might have been voted in.


13 thoughts on “WTF? Deep Purple?

  1. Hmm. Mixed feelings here. On one hand, “Machine Head” is a fantastic album – not a clunker on it. I’m sure it made my all-time Top 50 when we made that list so long ago.

    On the other hand, I can’t think of another band that made one so perfect album and nothing else even remotely close. I swear, how many times have I listened to “In Rock” trying to figure out what the Deep Purple aficionados all crow about and I just don’t get it? Boring.

    So, there are certainly plenty of HoF bands that I don’t get at all, which I’d prefer to bitch about before Purple. But I’d never put Deep Purple on any sort of short list of greatest bands of all-time. “Machine Head” yes. Deep Purple no.

    Bolan is a crime, because he was such a great influence on so many, including Bowie. There are so many r ‘n’ b and country and soul, etc. rock influences in the HoF. Yet we leave out a major rock ‘n’ roll rock influence?

    And “even fucking Turbonegro” kind of offends me. The Turbs are playing just three US dates on their upcoming June tour and I am lucky enough that those dates are Boston, NYC and Philly. I’ll be at Philly on 6/27 at Underground Arts. It’s a fantastically fun venue. I know it’s Monday night, but no need to be a pussy. (And yes, post-Hank Turbonegro doesn’t hold a candle to Hank Turbonegro, but oh well – “if you can’t be with the one you love. . .”)

  2. Actually meant to compliment Turbonegro, Steve (they deserve the Hall more than Miller or Purple). I was 19 when Machine Head came out, and I still remember the first time i hear Smoke on the Water. I loved it. I bought the album. the rest put me to sleep.

  3. Yeah, Machine Head is a good album, and to me the first speed metal album although they weren’t the first to do it of course. Hush is a great song but not DEEP PURPLE as they came to be. I don’t care about the R&R HOF, I have my own.

  4. Steve Miller’s Fly Like an Eagle is a great album. Side one is great all the way through…from the Space Intro…to the title track all the way through Mercury Blues…flip it over and Side 2 continues with Take the Money and Run…Rock n Me and a nice cover of Sam Cooke’s You Send Me. Sadly…this album also consists of most of their big “hits”. The rest of their output after this album was tepid at best…wirh “Abracadabra ” won of the possibly worst hit songs of the 80’s.

    I am personally bummed that Niles Rodgers and Chic failed to get in yet again. That to me is a huge travestry. How do you let in ANY rap/hip hop acts in and keep Chic out? Answer…you don’t. Chic started Hip Hop…and without bands like the Sugarhill Gang and Grandmaster Flash (in the hall) sampling Chic…where would Hip Hop be. The list of artists who just SAMPLED Chic for the backbeat of their sound in hip hop is endless: Michael Jackson, Will Smith, Slick Rick, Beastie Boys (in the hof), De La Soul, Public Enemy (in the HOF), LL CooJ, Sir Mix a lot, Big Daddy Kane, Chubb Rock, Ice Cube, Snoop Dog…and on and on and on. They didnt just sample them a little…these artists sampled them multiple times…often on the same albums.

    This doesn’t even get into all the major producing Rodgers did in the 80’s. He basically created Madonna by creating her sound on Like a Virgin album. Hit records for Duran Duran and Bowies Let’s Dance album (his biggest seller for what it is worth). Sister Sledge’s We are Family album and Diana Ross’ Diana…both big big sellers.

    The guy was a genius and the guitar sound he created with the Bass licks of Bernard Edwards was the best of the disco era and survived as the backbeat of hip hop and the precursor of Prince. They just need to be in. Period.

  5. Disco ain’t rock n roll. Neither is hip hop. And, the point is the r’n’r HOF is bogus anyway.

    And Fly Like an Eagle is a good enough album, but not as listenable as Book of Dreams, and neither is as solid as either #5 or Brave New World.

    Thing is, The Miller Band is Al Oliver/Steve Garvey. Good, and you can make an HOF argument but they are not Joni Mitchell or the Kinks or the Ramones.


    • The post disco music of Chic and August Darnell rules. There are a lot of characters in there who mixed it up. They are heros, and why I used to like to go out at night.

      • No argument about the talent and contributions of the bands to the music world: my point is not so much who should be in or not (that is sort of specious by definition since the whole thing is kind of stupid) but that whatever else, Deep Purple does not belong.

  6. I believe all kinds of music are eligible for my R&R HOF. Whatever I like. It’s my HOF.

    Agree with Ryan on Chic. Niles Rodgers loves Roxy Music, Lawr, that alone tells you he’s worth listening to, and your listening will be rewarded. Check out the bass of Bernard Edwards on this, one of their big hits:

  7. But I disagree with Ryan completely on Steve Miller. He was a minor annoyance who became a major annoyance.

    Thinking of Niles Rodgers put me in mind of this, which some if not all of you probably hate. But this song is a masterpiece. Niles learned some of his shit from August Darnell.

  8. HOFs are fun, but like most things, they don’t mean close to what we attribute. I just know what i love (and that is a lot) and don’t really care ultimately who votes who where (Trump excluded)…

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