Here we go again...
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame today announced artists who will be eligible for induction in 2012. These nominees will be presented to voting members and typically 5 acts are chosen for induction.
Recent years offered up some pretty schmaltzy inductee choices that allowed Madonna and Abba, hardly rock and roll, to sneak in the doors of the Cleveland based hall.
Let's take a look at the list while providing some very high level comments. For a full description of the nominees "accomplishment" look here at the official press release.
- Beastie Boys
- The Cure
- Eric B. & Rakim
- Guns 'N Roses
- Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
- Freddie King
- Laura Nyro
- Red Hot Chili Peppers
- Rufus and Chaka Khan
- The Small Faces/The Faces
- The Spinners
- Donna Summer
Overall this is a terrific list of some truly worthy nominees. Not only are many real rock and roll, several were hugely influential which is generally the primary yardstick the RRHOF applies to induction.
Four shoe ins here.
Guns 'N Roses. If you need an explanation here, I really don't know what to say. "Appetite for Destruction" is one of the finest debut albums in Rock and Roll history containing several songs that will be in eternal rotation wherever rock music is played - I am thinking Hell. I think all these guys were on heroin at some point - not a requirement for induction, but it helps...
Beastie Boys. "License to Ill" a watershed for rap and marked the crossover from rock to rap and arguably helped further bring hip-hop to the mainstream. The Rock and Roll Hall already acknowledged the migration of R&B and Soul to rap with Run-D.M.C and Grandmaster Flash. These guys were trend setters and "you gotta fight for your right to party" is hip-hop that rocks!
Heart. OK, they may have damaged their reputation with their 80's output of future karaoke hits.Don't hold that against them. No one can argue that these two Seattle-based chicks rocked better and harder than any other female led band... except The Pretenders. Put on "Magic Man" or "Barracuda" - with that great original band, speak for themselves.
Freddie King. Clapton, Beck, Stevie Ray Vaughn and literally hundreds of other blues-based players were influenced by this wonderfully fluid and soulful player. The RRHOF write up says King is part of the "DNA of the blues" and they are spot on. Just listen to "Hideaway" or the "The Stumble" - despite sounding incredibly simliar - the whole blues riff thing is all there. Such a shame he died so young.
After those acts I am not sure who gets in. Going down the list.
The Cure. Dudes who wore makeup, not so great. But they are one of the few new wave bands whose songs still sound great today. Too lightweight for the hall. This nomination makes some hall-haters put on thier mascara.
Donovan. Those 60's hits were groovy beyond belief. Always sound great wherever they pop up today. Never in the league of Dylan or other singer songwriters of that era in terms of influence, but he sold a ton of records and was at the center of all the action hanging with Beatles and Stones. Plus, he is such a nice guy no one will want to deny his entry and hurt his feelings. May be the best chance for the fifth nominee.
Eric B. & Rakim. Ask any hip hop aficionado, these guys are dope. If the Hall wants to one day let in Jay-Z these guys have to get it. Long shot for 2012.
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. Because the voters are afraid Joan will kick all thier asses if she doesn't get in, she stands a chance. The music though - "Bad Reputation!"
Laura Nyro. Hit maker for Three Dog Night and The 5th Dimension? Is that Rock and Roll? Alert - David Geffen "discovered" her. That may get her in.
Red Hot Chili Peppers. These guys rock, but apparently not enough as they have been passed over before.
Rufus with Chaka Kahn. Chaka Kahn may be the greatest name in the history of female singers. Not sure that the Stevie Wonder penned "Tell Me Something Good" is enough to qualify. Rufus was the launching pad for "the worlds most recorded drummer" JR Robinson however...
The Small Faces/The Faces. If one song qualifies an act for the hall, not sure "Stay with Me" is good enough. It's a good song but I prefer "I Love Rock and Roll."
The Spinners. These guys might have a better chance at being number 5 than Donovan. More hits, and maybe even better songs. Plus, the O'Jays induction might have cleared the way.
Donna Summer. I have gone on and on about why she should be in. Passed over several years now, maybe this will be her year? Perhaps the disco affiliation is too much. Opening the door for KC and the Sunshine Band getting in and the massive global vomiting that would ensue, might hurt her chances.
War. The variety and range of their tunes is incredible. Influential for sure. Maybe next year.
So there you go.
And of course the snubs remain that piss all the RRHOF haters off. KISS, Chicago, Moody Blues, Rush, Frampton, Journey, Boston, Jethro Tull, and on and on... You're never gonna please everyone.
All in all, a pretty good and deserving list.