Clash, Costello Make Rock Hall


The Police, AC/DC also among induction class of 2003
Posted Nov 7, 2002 at 12:00am
After the Ramones and Talking Heads pried open the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's door for punk and New Wave, their ranks continue to swell. The Clash, Elvis Costello and the Attractions, and the Police will be inducted into the Hall next year, along with proto-hard rockers AC/DC, and blue-eyed soul hit-makers the Righteous Brothers.

The Police formed as a trio in London in 1977, and the lineup remained unchanged through 1986, when the band officially called it quits, following a hiatus. Singer/bassist Sting, drummer Stewart Copeland and guitarist Andy Summers released their first album, Outlandos d'Amour, in 1978 and would record four more including what would be their swan song, 1983's Synchronicity. Their style, which blended elements of punk, pop, jazz and reggae, earned them nine Top Forty singles, and three of their albums broke into the Top Ten, including the chart-topping Synchronicity. After Sting's successful first solo album, Dream of the Blue Turtles, was released in 1985, the band only came together for a few dates on an Amnesty International tour, before going their separate ways.

Just weeks after Police drummer Stewart Copeland told Rolling Stone that a reunion seemed, "very, very unlikely," due to the success of Sting's solo career, the band might be pushed into a one-off return. Earlier this year, the Talking Heads, another estranged new wave band, buried the hatchet and took the stage together to perform several of their hits at their Rock Hall induction.

Though a recent compilation was issued as The Best of Sting and the Police, Copeland said he wasn't rankled about the separation of star and band. "I think the Police achieved enough so that I don't need to be too sensitive," he said. "I like getting to all those fans Sting has earned by hard work over the last twenty years. I like having Police music exposed to those people. I hear so much snide stuff about Sting. Most of it I hear just because people think they can ingratiate themselves with me by slagging Sting, and I can't tell you how wrong that is. It would do them good to hear some of Sting's own stuff, which I think is great. I'm still susceptible to his harmonic sensibilities, his poetry and every other aspect of it, and, even if he plays with other musicians who wouldn't have done the same thing with the material that I would have done, I still like the material.

While no member of the Clash has enjoyed the same solo success as Sting, the band still remains on ice as the four founding members don't feel they have anything new to say musically. "I think everyone drifts away," Joe Strummer told Rolling Stone of the group's demise. "We asked ourselves to do a lot. I counted sixteen sides of long-playing vinyl in five years and a thousand gigs and it's too much. We just had to break up, for the sake of sanity, really. Obviously, it's a question that will forever keep popping up. But you have to ask yourself, 'Would it turn out good music? Would it be worthwhile in terms of making a brilliant record? Obviously, financially, we'd be set up for life. But as long as I can keep grinding away and doing really interesting things, I feel I'm vindicating what I'm doing."

The primary incarnation of the group -- singer/guitarist Strummer, guitarist Mick Jones, bassist Paul Simonon and drummer Nicky "Topper" Headon -- was in place by 1977, the year the band recorded and released their self-titled debut in the U.K., though it wasn't picked up in the U.S. until 1979, and in an altered format. Like the Police, the Clash were stylistically inclusive with their roots in punk that they channeled through a working-class political stance. The band released their most enduring album, London Calling in 1980. The album reached as high as Number Twenty-seven in the U.S. and gave the Clash their first charting single with "Train in Vain" (Number Twenty-three). Though the lineup was beginning to unravel, the group's 1982 album, Combat Rock, was their biggest seller and yielded a Number Eight single with "Rock the Casbah." Jones was kicked out of the band in 1983 and within two years the band broke up.

Unlike the Clash and Police, AC/DC remain active, despite a body count. Formed by guitarist sibs Angus and Malcolm Young in Sydney, Australia, in 1973, the group's first recording lineup took shape when they added vocalist Bon Scott a year later. AC/DC released their first album, High Voltage in 1976. The band's first commercial success came with 1979's Highway to Hell, but after the album's release, Scott died after choking on his own vomit after a drinking binge. Singer Brian Johnson replaced him, and in 1980 the group released its best-known recording, Back in Black which climbed as high as Number Four and has sold more than 13 million records. Though the band's lineup has changed over the years, the principle trio of Young, Young and Johnson remains intact to this day. In 2000, the band released Stiff Upper Lip, and last year AC/DC was declared the fifth best-selling band in America, with more than 63 million copies of its album sold.

Championed and produced by Brinsley Schwarz bassist/Stiff Records producer Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello released his first album, My Aim Is True in 1977, before taking on the Attractions (keyboardist Steve Nieve, bassist Bruce Thomas, and drummer Pete Thomas) for his second record, This Year's Model a year later. Costello and Co. fused punk's fury with a heart-on-sleeve vulnerability and became critics darlings, and even managed to muster some chart success in the U.S. (My Aim reached Number Thirty-two and Model Number Thirty). Costello would go on to incorporate country music, soul and other genres into his own style, recording prolifically through the Eighties, sometimes with the Attractions, occasionally without. After 1986's Blood and Chocolate, he put the band on ice, reuniting with the group again in 1994 on Brutal Youth.

The Righteous Brothers -- Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield -- formed in Los Angeles in 1962. Purveyors of what was dubbed "blue-eyed soul," the duo signed with Phil Spector's Philles Records in 1964, where they recorded their signature song, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling," which became a Number One pop song. Ten more Top Forty singles followed, including "Unchained Melody," "(You're My) Soul and Inspiration" and "Rock and Roll Heaven." A re-release of "Unchained Melody" sold more than a million copies after its inclusion in the film Ghost in 1990. The duo remains active and have tour dates lined up into 2003.

The Rock Hall induction will be held in New York City on March 10th and will air on VH1.

Written by ANDREW DANSBY for RollingStone.com News

Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

Guns N' Roses' Slash and Duff McKagan Reunite to Play AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" — Video (9/21/2015)
Former Guns N’ Roses bandmates Slash and Duff McKagan reunited onstage a few days ago to perform “It’s So Easy” and “Paradise City.” As you can see below, they also played AC/DC's “Highway to Hell.” The mini-reunion took place at a charity show...
Andy Summers' Top 10 Guitar Moments with The Police (7/14/2015)
As a result of their world-conquering commercial success, it's easy to consider the Police—Sting, Andy Summers and Stewart Copeland—mere "hit makers." But stopping there would undermine a truly phenomenal—and musically progressive—body of work ...
Andy Summers Reflects on His Years with the Police and His Most Trusted Guitars (10/13/2015)
Early on in his new documentary film, Can’t Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police, guitarist Andy Summers talks about needing a sense of closure on the band that brought him massive fame in the Eighties. Before imploding from internal tensions...
Amazon Releases Amazon Acoustics with Train, Michelle Branch, Surfer Blood, Toyko Police Club and More (7/31/2015)
Amazon today announced the availability of Amazon Acoustics, a collection of over 30 original acoustic recordings available exclusively for streaming on Prime Music and purchase on Amazon. Established and up-and-coming artists can be heard acou...
AC/DC Perform "Baptism by Fire" at Coachella — Video (4/18/2015)
Below, feast your eyes on some recently posted high-quality video of AC/DC performing "Baptism by Fire," a new track from 2014's Rock Or Bust, at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival last weekend (April 10). The clip, which was posted b...
AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" — Classical Guitar Performance by Ash Wainman — Video (4/13/2015)
Here's a new one that was posted to YouTube over the weekend. It's a fingerstyle classical-guitar performance of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" by U.K. guitarist Ash Wainman. Some of you might remember Luca Stricagnoli's recent acoustic guitar arrangem...
AC/DC Perform "Back in Black" and "For Those About to Rock" at Coachella — Video (4/13/2015)
On April 10, AC/DC performed a two-hour, 20-song set at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in Indio, California. It was the band's first show in six years. As we're reported, they've undergone some personnel changes since their last sh...
Andy Summers Documentary, 'Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police,' Opens Today — Video (3/20/2015)
Can't Stand Losing You: Surviving the Police, a new documentary based on Police guitarist Andy Summers’ memoir, One Train Later, opens today, March 20, in New York City. The feature-length film features Summers, Sting and Stewart Copeland and te...
AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" — Acoustic Guitar Arrangement by Luca Stricagnoli — Video (3/9/2015)
The guys (and girls?) at Candyrat Records have come up with another good one. Check out this new acoustic-guitar arrangement and performance of AC/DC's "Thunderstruck" by Italian guitarist Luca Stricagnoli. Stricagnoli, 23, began studying classi...
AC/DC Announce North American 'Rock or Bust' Tour Dates (2/11/2015)
Earlier today, AC/DC announced North American dates for their Rock or Bust World Tour. The North American dates kick off August 22 in Foxborough, Massachusetts, at Gillette Stadium and run through September 28 in Los Angeles at Dodger Stadium. Y...
AC/DC Perform "Rock or Bust" at Grammy Awards; Tenacious D Win Best Metal Performance — Video (2/9/2015)
The 57th annual Grammy Awards took place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles last night. As always, there were some surprises—not to mention some respectable results. Here are a few examples. Tenacious D took home the Best Metal Performance awa...
AC/DC's Angus Young Discusses Malcolm's Dementia and Their Hard-Hitting New Album, 'Rock or Bust' (12/11/2014)
This is an excerpt from the all-new January 2015 issue of Guitar World. For the rest of this story, plus features on the Allman Brothers, Smashing Pumpkins and At The Gates, not to mention gear reviews, lessons and tabs, pick up the January 2015...
AC/DC Drummer Phil Rudd Charged with "Procuring a Murder" (11/5/2014)
Phil Rudd, AC/DC's 60-year-old drummer, has reportedly been charged by New Zealand police with "procuring a murder." According to Stuff.co.nz, which reports that Rudd allegedly tried to have two men killed, the charges were brought after police ...
Stream AC/DC's New Song, "Play Ball" (10/7/2014)
AC/DC have released the track list for their new album, Rock Or Bust, which will be released December 2. You can check it out below. The 11-song collection is the band's first studio release since 2008's Black Ice. It includes the song "Play Bal...
AC/DC's Malcolm Young has Dementia, Family Confirms (10/2/2014)
Although rumors have been circulating for several weeks, it has been confirmed that founding AC/DC rhythm guitarist Malcolm Young has dementia. The family of the 61-year-old guitarist confirmed the sad news in an official statement, according to...
AC/DC's Malcolm Young Reportedly in Care for Dementia in Australia (9/26/2014)
Australia's Sydney Morning Herald is reporting that former AC/DC guitarist Malcolm Young has dementia and is being treated in a nursing home in Sydney. The facility is believed to be Lulworth House in Elizabeth Bay. "If you were in the room wit...