Cleveland is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, so it should be no surprise that the city has had some great music come out of it.
Who are the greatest? That’s too controversial a topic and one we won’t touch with a ten-foot pole!
We can, however, shine a spotlight on five of Cleveland’s most notable artists. We’re sure you already love a few (or all) of them:
Joe Walsh, the “Clown Prince of Rock,” is one of the most popular guitarists of all time, due in no small part to his major role in the success of one of the most successful rock groups of all time, The Eagles.
He joined the group with the landmark record “Hotel California” and contributed to its legendary guitar solo, then went on to spend years helping them maintain their place as one of the biggest musical acts in the history of the world.
Nine Inch Nails
They’re one of the biggest and most influential acts in the world (though “they’re” really means “Trent Reznor”), filling stadiums, selling millions of records, and redefining alternative rock into a dark, angst-filled collage of industrial sounds.
And it all began in Cleveland all the way back in 1988. When they are inevitably inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, they’ll be coming home.
The Dead Boys
You may not think of Cleveland as a punk rock Mecca, but they were home to The Dead Boys, a pioneering group of punks whose scorching track “Sonic Reducer” is now well known thanks to covers by acts like Pearl Jam.
They were a rowdy, sometimes violent act who helped define what punk is all about and helped influence the political punk of the late 1970s and early 1980s.
While the East Coast and West Coast continue their rap rivalry, here in Cleveland we have Bone Thugs-N-Harmony, a raucous but harmonious hip hop act who mixed edgy street commentary with spirituality, mysticism, and movie-like imagery.
They were one of the great innovators of 1990s rap and help pave the way for the more experimental sounds and subject matter that came later.
One of the great American folk singers, Tracy Chapman was born in Cleveland and launched her massive music career here. Singles like “Fast Car” are among the best known in the world.
Chapman has won a shelf full of Grammy Awards and loads of other accolades, all while singing about social issues, the human condition, and even simple subjects like love. Today, she is one of the most respected songwriters out there – and it all started in Cleveland.