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Headbanger's Anthem: AC/DC's "Highway to Hell" Celebrates 35th Anniversary

Monday, August 4: 2 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

AC/DC Highway to Hell Album Cover Art 1979 original

A guitarist in schoolboy knickers, a singer who must have gargled with glass shards, and a penchant for tales of non-stop debauchery made AC/DC the late 70s archetypal heavy metal band. Brothers Angus and Malcolm Young generated bulldozing guitar, with their early records produced by third sibling, George (former member of popsters the Easybeats, who had a hit in 1966 with "Friday on my Mind").

Released in the first week of August 1979, AC/DC’s Highway to Hell was a major turning point for the group. Though the group's fifth album, it was the band’s first collaboration with producer Robert “Mutt” Lange, who brought a keen focus to AC/DC’s energetic sound.

With the album's release, AC/DC crept into the U.S. mainstream on the strength of "Highway to Hell," the thunderous opening to the album of the same name. The song didn't endear them to religious right-wingers, who posited that AC/DC's name was shorthand for "anti Christ/Devil's children."  Nor did it help when California's "Night Stalker" serial killer Richard Ramirez, expressed his admiration for the group.

WATCH: AC/DC Perform "Highway to Hell" live at the ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, History of Rock and Roll, Rock's Greatest Guitar Players, Inductee, Hall of Fame

New York Times vs. New York Mag: Beyoncé "Fashion Icon" Debate Heats Up

Thursday, July 31: 2:54 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

Last week, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, unveiled a brand new exhibit featuring iconic fashions from Beyoncé's blockbuster career. From the white cotton tank-top with stones, J Brand Denim shorts and red Stuart Weitzman patent leather sling-back pumps from the "Crazy In Love" video all the way to the Rubin Singer leather and lace body suit, skirt and jacket from her 2013 Super Bowl performance, Beyoncé's fashions stands among a rock and roll pantheon in the Museum's Legends of Rock section, positioned beside the likes of David Bowie, James Brown, the Supremes, the Who and ZZ Top – artists who've made bold sartorial statements throughout their careers. Those unforgettable style cues – Bowie's Ziggy costumes, James Brown's jumpsuits, the Supremes' matching dresses, the Who's Mod sensibilities, the beards of ZZ Top – are arguably as recognizable as the music each created. At the very least, the fashion and the music is inextricably linked. So, is Beyoncé a fashion icon? New York Times fashion critic Vanessa Friedman doesn't think so.

In a July 31, 2014, New York Times article titled "Beyoncé, a Legend of Rock, but Not Fashion," Friedman ...


continue Categories: Hall of Fame, Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Shining Star"

Wednesday, July 23: 1 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

In black music of the Seventies, Earth Wind & Fire were the Beatles to Parliament-Funkadelic's Rolling Stones. There's no better example of EW&F's positive vibration and spiritual uplift than this million-selling Number One Pop/R&B hit from 1975, written by group members Maurice White, Larry Dunn and Philip Bailey. "Shining Star" was one of a brace of EW&F songs recorded for the soundtrack of That's The Way of the World, a racially charted music biz drama starring Harvey Keitel. The film didn't do much at the box office, but the Earth Wind & Fire LP of the same name became a massive hit that topped both the Pop and R&B album charts. "Shining Star" – a flawless fusion of funk rhythms, rock guitar, and the sanctified singing of White and Bailey – won the Grammy Award for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocals.

Recently, Verdine White and Ralph Johnson of Earth, Wind & Fire visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, Ohio, and talked with the Rock Hall about what it means to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and be recognized ...


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Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll: "Bye Bye Love" and "All I Have To Do Is Dream"

Thursday, July 10: 9 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

"Bye Bye Love" galvanized not one but three creative teams. Don and Phil Everly were floundering prior to this first hit single. "Bye Bye Love" was also the biggest hit to date for husband-and- wife songwriters Boudleaux and Felice Bryant. Last but not least, the pairing of the Bryants with the Everlys yielded a string of rock and roll pearls. The record's enormous success-Top Five on Billboard's country, pop, and R&B charts-followed a series of hurdles. Cadence, the Everlys' label, had rejected them once before but was giving the brothers a second chance. The Bryants' tune had been rejected by numerous artists before the Everlys got hold of it. Perhaps Don Everly's own guitar introduction made a difference; the brothers' close vocal harmonies were certainly new to a non-country audience. Not even a cover version by Webb Pierce-at that time the kiss of death for a country song's original recording-could slow the Everlys' million sales, as "Bye Bye Love" leapt across musical borderlines. The brothers went from tent shows to The Ed Sullivan Show; the era's top vocal duo was off and running.

The Everlys' third hit was their first ballad single.  If their ...


continue Categories: Inductee, Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll

Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll: "Dance to the Music" and "Thank You Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin"

Thursday, June 19: 3:35 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Sly and the Family Stone's "Dance to the Music" is a Song That Shaped Rock and Roll.

Preaching a gospel of tolerance set against a heady genre-blending groove, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Sly and the Family Stone were the integrated multi-gender Pied Pipers of the Woodstock generation. The group's message – and inimitable synthesizing of rock, soul, R&B, funk and psychedelia into a danceable music – helped bring diverse audiences together, with their greatest triumph coming at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. During their unforgettable nighttime set, leader Sly Stone initiated a fevered call-and-response with the audience of 400,000–plus during an electrifying version of “I Want to Take You Higher.” Voters around the world ranked that moment as one of the greatest festival moments of all time, and it is included in the Rock Hall's feature exhibit, Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience.

The group connected with the rising counterculture by means of songs that addressed issues of personal pride and liberation in the context of driving, insistent and sunny-tempered music that fused rock and soul, creating a template for 70s funk. As proof that they were reaching a rainbow coalition among the young, Sly and the Family Stone dominated the late 60s charts with such essential singles as “Dance to ...


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Five Memorable Moments from the 2014 Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival

Wednesday, June 18: 12 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
The 13th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival took place June 12-15, 2014 in Manchester, Tennessee

It was a weekend of sing-alongs, raves, rappers and rockers. More than 80,000 music fans made a pilgrimage to Manchester, Tennessee for the 13th annual Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival. A diverse lineup boasted EDM artists like Zedd and Skrillex next to classic soulsters like Lionel Richie and Bobby Womack, proving that music festivals allow acts to perform for both new and old audiences. Here are five of the top music moments (in no particular order) from the 2014 Bonnarro Music & Arts Festival.

SLIDESHOW: THE 2014 BONNAROO MUSIC & ARTS FESTIVAL

1. Elder statesmen of Rock Meet the New School: Skrillex & Friends SuperJam

Sonny Moore AKA Skrillex pulled out all the stops for his SuperJam. A few of the highlights included Janelle Monea taking the stage to perform Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin'" and the 1965 James Brown classic "I Feel Good," and later Cage the Elephant's Matt Shultz fronting the Doors' "Break On Through (To The Otherside)" alongside the iconic group's guitarist and songwriter Robby Krieger

2. Jack White Covers Zeppelin, Electrifying Stage with Mix of New and Old

Just four days after the release of White's second solo studio album Lazaretto, the Nashville resident ...


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Festival Six Pack: Performers at 2014 Bonnaroo and In Rock Hall

Monday, June 16: 12:02 p.m.
Posted by Rock Hall

This summer as rock and roll fans gather at musical festivals around the globe, the Rock Hall is celebrating the the greatest music festivals in history, the biggest and baddest music festivals of today and the fans who make Common Ground: The Music Festival Experience.

From June 12-15, the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival takes over Manchester, Tennessee, with a host of performances from some of the biggest names in music. Among the headlining acts and performers at Bonnaroo this year are a number of artists who also feature in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cleveland, Ohio, including four Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees.


Mickey Hart:

Percussionist Mickey Hart was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994 with his bandmates in the Grateful Dead. When Hart visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in 2012, he shared stories about the first time he ever saw the Grateful Dead live and the San Francisco scene in the 60s. Pictured below is his illuminated signature in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio.




Bobby Womack:

Bobby Womack was born in Cleveland, where he and his ...


continue Categories: Inside the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Exhibit, The Grateful Dead, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Rolling Stones, The Greatest Festivals in Rock and Roll History, Inductee, Hall of Fame

Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." 30th Anniversary

Wednesday, June 11: 7 a.m.
Posted by Rock Hall
Bruce Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." turns 30

Released in June 1984, Born in the U.S.A. remains among the best-selling albums in rock and roll history, with seven Top 10 hits that sent 1999 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee Bruce Springsteen's rock stardom into the stratosphere. Its narrative tone had much in common with 1982's stark, somber and critically lauded Nebraska, with many of the songs that comprised Born in the U.S.A. beginning life in the same sessions that produced that album. The root influences of blues, American folk songs and the new cinematic style of directors such as Martin Scorsese and Terrence Malick brought a darker and more introspective view to the characters. “I’m on Fire,” for example, was a song of desire, compulsion and personal struggle that became a Top 10 hit in 1985, despite its intense subject matter.

However, Born in the U.S.A. also traded in more nostalgic storytelling and tongue-in-cheek humor on tracks like "Glory Days" and "Dancing in the Dark" – all of which proved especially resonant with audiences around the country. Thanks in no small part to 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees the E Street Band, the arrangements were ...


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