The 2012 inductees for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have been announced, and it’s the most star-studded group of inductees to emerge in the last few years, featuring The Beastie Boys, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Guns ‘n Roses. Other inductees include ‘60s era favorite Donovan (whose daughter, actress Ione Skye, is Ad-Rock from The Beastie Boys’ ex-wife…small world) and pop/soul singer-songwriter Laura Nyro. The Beasties become the third hip-hop act to enter the Hall, following Run-DMC and Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five, while all three headline acts remain solid recording and touring draws, even if in the case of Guns ‘n Roses, the touring lineup is essentially a GNR touring band with Axl Rose as the lead singer. Of course, all eyes are already on a potential reunion of the Gunners, whose members have had a notoriously fractious history. Will Axl, Slash, Duff and the rest get it together for the ceremony? How many Chili Peppers guitarists will be able to fit on the stage during the acceptance speech? Stay tuned-as the HOF ceremony takes place in March.
Will Katy Perry wind up in the HOF in 20 or so years? Doubtful, but she is on the way to crushing a chart record that’s stood strong for nearly a quarter-century. With “The One That Got Away” resting comfortably in Billboard’s Top Ten, Katy’s record label, EMI, has dropped the price on Perry’s latest single to 69 cents in order to entice strong enough sales to send the track to #1. If it winds up going all the way, “The One That Got Away” will become the sixth #1 single from Perry’s Teenage Dream album, breaking a record set by Michael Jackson back in 1988, when “Dirty Diana” became the fifth chart-topper from Bad. While chart purists might scream dirty pool, it’s not the first time a record company has used questionable strategies to send a song to #1 on the singles chart. Of course, pre-Soundscan, charts were essentially based on the honor system, and record companies were in constant conversations with record stores that reported to Billboard, promising everything from concert tickets to gold and platinum plaques to store staff that gave some extra reporting love to their titles. Once Soundscan hit in the early Nineties, it became commonplace for record companies to ship stores tons of free cassette and CD singles, which were then suggested to be sold to customers at a price point of 99 cents or even 49 cents, in the hopes that the lowered prices would increase chart position. So, while slashing the price at iTunes might be something new (and could set a dangerous precedent,) it’s certainly just a continuation of something that’s been an industry standard for decades.