Thursday, December 14, 2017

Two 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Acts

The 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class was announced yesterday. It includes the Moody Blues and Nina Simone.

Back in the day, I was into the Moodies. But in listening to them more recently, I find their lyrics, which play for profundity, embarrassingly pretentious. They belong in the Hall, I believe, because, through their use of symphonic flavorings, they helped show how rock and roll's pallet could be expanded.

Two other bands in the class, I think, have produced enduring work without any pretense. They just created good songs: Dire Straits and the Cars. Very different bands, they managed great sounds without seeming to take themselves too seriously.

Here's the Cars' Drive, a pop-rock ballad. The lead singer is the late Benjamin Orr, the bassist. Lead singing was usually handled by Ric Ocasek.

I suppose that most people would say that Dire Straits' best LP was Brothers in Arms. I agree. Guitarist and songwriter Mark Knopfler created a varied collection of tunes on this one. This one, Ride Across the River, is one of my favorites. It's kind of an ambient piece without being, you know, boring.

[I'm the pastor of Living Water Lutheran Church in Centerville, Ohio.]

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