The 2008 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees Press Release

September 27, 2007

For Immediate Release:


(New York) -- The nominations for 2008 induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced today. The nine nominees are: Afrika Bambaataa, Beastie Boys, Chic, Leonard Cohen, The Dave Clark Five, Madonna, John Mellencamp, Donna Summer and The Ventures. Ballots with these nominees will be sent to over 500 voters who will choose the acts for inclusion into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for this year. Five new inductees will be honored at the annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony on March 10, 2008 at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York.

To be eligible for nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an act must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. This year's nominees had to release their first single no later than 1982.

Afrika Bambaataabegan DJing at block parties in the Bronx in 1977 with the help of Universal Zulu Nation, an organization he founded to help pull Bronx youth away from gangs. Bambaataa's stunning knowledge of obscure funk grooves and his turntable skills earned him the nickname "Master of Records." As his parties grew, so did his Zulu Nation "“ which soon encompassed the Bronx's finest rappers, break dancers and graffiti artists. In 1982, Bambaataa released the Kraftwerk-sampling hit single "Planet Rock" which spawned an entirely new genre of music: electro funk. In 1984, he teamed up with former Sex Pistol John Lydon for "World Destruction" one of the earliest examples of rap fusing with rock and roll.

The Beastie Boys began as a hardcore punk band in 1982, but soon jumped to the city's vibrant rap scene. Their Rick Rubin-produced album, Licensed to Ill, was a masterful collage of classic rock samples, pop culture references and bratty attitude. Its fifth single, "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party)" became an MTV staple and the party anthem of the 1980s. The Beasties' follow up, 1989's Paul's Boutique was a critically loved masterwork of sampling. In the 1990s, they became elder statesmen of the genre, scoring monster hits ("Sabotage", "Intergalatic") while speaking out about social and political issues such as the Tibetan Freedom Concerts. In 2007, the Beasties released The Mix-Up, a post-punk instrumental album further showcasing their boundless originality.

Chic was a pioneering New York jazz-funk group led by Nile Rodgers on guitar, Bernard Edwards on bass and Tony Thompson on drums. Chic brought refined musicianship and rhythmic innovation to 1970s disco, and also laid the foundation for hip hop, with their song "Good Times" providing the music for the groundbreaking hit "Rapper's Delight." Chic created some of the disco era's classic songs such as "Dance, Dance, Dance (Yowsah, Yowsah, Yowsah)" and "Le Freak." Rodgers and Edwards went on to write and produce some of the '80s' biggest pop songs for Madonna, David Bowie, Mick Jagger, Diana Ross, Sister Sledge, and others.

With the 1966 release of In My Life by Judy Collins, containing Leonard Cohen's "Suzanne" and "Dress Rehearsal Rag," Cohen became a folk rock icon of the singer songwriter movement. Already an acclaimed poet and novelist in his native Canada, Cohen moved to New York in 1967 and released his classic album Songs of Leonard Cohen on Columbia Records. Its music launched Leonard Cohen into the highest and most influential echelon of songwriters. Cohen's elegiac work is widely used in film and covered by artists from Jeff Buckley to Bono to Bob Dylan to R.E.M. As Kurt Cobain said, "Give me a Leonard Cohen afterworld so I can sigh eternally."

One of the most successful British Invasion bands of the Sixties, The Dave Clark Five topped the UK charts in 1965 with their iconic pop song "Glad All Over." Thundering production set the DC5 apart. Their slick melodic sensibility masked their boom factor: The DC5 were the loudest group in the U.K. until the advent of The Who. Drummer, songwriter and manager Dave Clark provided a perfect foundation for Mike Smith's soulful vocals. Reaching the Top Forty 17 times in just three years, with more appearances on the Ed Sullivan show than the Beatles or the Rolling Stones, the DC5 were an enormous pop phenomenon before disbanding in 1970. The Dave Clark Five have sold more than 50 million records worldwide to date.

Doors opened wide for Madonna Louise Ciccone in 1982, after five years as a singer and dancer on New York City's competitive club circuit. She signed with Sire Records (her label for the next 14 years) where her idiosyncratic persona exploded onto turntables, dance floors and airwaves and captured the imagination of the first generation of MTV viewers. She went on to become the top female star of the 1980s with seven #1 hits, three #1 albums and seventeen top ten hits in that decade. In addition to molding her public image, Madonna is a meticulous studio craftsperson and completely uninhibited stage performer. From her first #1, 1984's "Like A Virgin" (produced by Nile Rogers of Chic) to her most recent two year Confessions campaign, Madonna remains one of the most ferociously original artists in music today.

Over the course of his career, John Mellencamp has become a symbol of the hopes, struggles and passions of America's heartland. As a songwriter, many of his efforts have transcended "hit" status ("Hurts So Good," "Pink Houses," "I Need A Lover") and have entered the cultural vernacular. Mellencamp's musical heart is in his ballads and rock numbers rooted in late 50s and early 60s rock and roll. His music describes the American experience; the hopes and fears of the common everyman. As co-founder of Farm Aid, Indiana's favorite son gives voice to issues that might otherwise be ignored, from our disappearing farmlands to the role of race and class in America.

Raised in the church, rooted in gospel, LaDonna Andrea Gaines would become Donna Summer, the undisputed "Queen of Disco." In 1975, "Love To Love You Baby" began a long-term association with Munich-based songwriters and producers Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte. Summer made history from 1979-1980 as the only artist ever to have three consecutive multi disc albums all hit #1: Live and More, Bad Girls and On The Radio. Her first U.S. recorded LP, the self-titled Donna Summer, produced by Quincy Jones in 1982 featured Bruce Springsteen and other notable rock contributors. "She Works Hard For The Money" kept Summer at the top of the charts in 1983, followed by the top 10 hit "This Time I Know It's Real" in 1989. Endless covers and sampling of her music proves that Summers' contribution remains compelling and classic.

From Seattle, The Ventures defined instrumental guitar rock in the 1960s. Their hits bookended the decade, from 1960's "Walk Don't Run" to 1969's "Hawaii Five-O." Nokie Edwards' twang-guitar and the crisp rhythm of Don Wilson, bassist Bob Bogle and drummer Mel Taylor gave every Ventures album their trademark bent note sound. Long admired by other bands like the Beatles (and especially George Harrison), Stephen Stills, Joe Walsh, Aerosmith, and others, The Ventures hit the Billboard chart nearly three dozen times in the 1960s. The transparent stereo mixes enabled guitarists to isolate and learn every riff, an idea that fueled 1965's essential instruction LP Play Guitar With The Ventures. Founders of surf rock, The Ventures inspired a classic line of Mosrite guitars and have maintained a flourishing touring and recording career for decades, especially in Europe and Japan.

Five new members will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The five inductees will be announced in January, 2008, and the induction ceremony will take place on March 10, 2008. All inductees are ultimately represented in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum, in Cleveland, Ohio. The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is a nonprofit organization that exists to educate visitors, fans and scholars from around the world about the history and continuing significance of rock and roll music. It carries out this mission both through its operation of a world-class museum that collects, preserves, exhibits and interprets this art form and through its library and archives as well as its educational programs.

Future Rock Legends is not affiliated with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.