The 2017 inductees also see Pearl Jam inducted in their first year of eligibility – and Chic spurned for the 11th time
Classic rock, west coast hip-hop, prog, grunge, folk and symphonic Black Country pop are all represented among the 2017 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, who were announced on Tuesday.
Tupac Shakur, who was murdered in September 1996, represents hip-hop. He is joined by Electric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, Journey, Pearl Jam and Yes. Nile Rodgers is to be given the award for musical excellence. Pearl Jam have been inducted in their first year of eligibility, while Shakur is only the sixth hip-hop artist to be honoured. Rodgers’ group, Chic, were spurned a record 11th time.
Journey – who have been resurgent in recent years thanks to the revival of affection for Don’t Stop Believin’ – pronounced themselves “humbled to be included”, while Yes offered a fuller statement of their delight.
“What an honour this is for us and all involved with the history of this band,” said guitarist Steve Howe. “We thank all the Yes fans who have been so passionate over the decades, and helped us to keep the flag flying. It is the fans who have constantly demanded our inclusion. They have been heard.”
“We look forward to accepting this esteemed award next spring in honour of our fallen brother, Chris Squire, who would have been delighted to see his musical vision finally receive such recognition,” said drummer Alan White.
Given Yes’s complicated personnel history, precisely who should have been inducted might have been a point of discussion. The Hall of Fame has played it safe and inducted the lineup that made the album Union in 1991. Or, strictly, the two lineups, since Union was made by a combination of the Yes lineup at the time and the group of departed members Anderson Bruford Wakeman Howe, with the two not recording together. So the members to be inducted are: Howe, White, the late Chris Squire, Jon Anderson, Bill Bruford, Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman and Trevor Rabin.
The artists will be inducted at the 32nd annual ceremony, to be held at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn on 7 April.