N.W.A. joins rock hall with 4 rockers from the 1970s

By The Canadian Press
April 11, 2016 - 11:32am

NEW YORK — Los Angeles rappers N.W.A., whose legacy gained new life with the hit movie "Straight Outta Compton," join the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame on Friday with a quartet of 1970s era rock acts.

Cheap Trick, Chicago, Deep Purple and Steve Miller are also being honoured at a ceremony in Brooklyn's Barclays Center.

N.W.A.'s rough-hewn tales of life on the streets tilted the balance toward West Coast rap in the late 1980s on songs like "F--- the Police," ''Boyz-N-The Hood" and "Straight Outta Compton."

Following the act's breakup, Dr. Dre became one of music's most in-demand producers and a billionaire with a high-tech headphone company. Ice Cube moves between music and a successful acting career.

Named for one of N.W.A.'s best-known songs, the movie "Straight Outta Compton" told the band's story and was one of the biggest box office winners of 2015.

Deep Purple's induction was hailed by heavy metal fans. Yet they enter the hall amid some hard feelings: the band's current members refused to perform with Ritchie Blackmore, the guitarist who came up with the signature riff for "Smoke on the Water."

Miller came out of a blues background in San Francisco and later became a dependable author of FM rock hits like "fly Like an Eagle," ''Jet Airliner" and "Jungle Love."

Chicago was known for a brassy, jazz-rock fusion in its early days and settled into a comfortable career penning pop hits. Among their favourites were "Saturday in the Park," ''25 or 6 to 4," ''If You Leave Me Now" and "Does Anyone Really Know What Time it Is?"

The pride of Rockford, Illinois, Cheap Trick's career soared in the late 1970s when a live album recorded before a gleeful Japanese audience added excitement to tracks like "Surrender" and "I Want You to Want Me." The band just released a new disc on the hot Big Machine label.

HBO is filming Friday's show and will air highlights later this spring.

David Bauder, The Associated Press

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