So here we are again my fellow music gormandizers, it’s that time when the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame informs the world of their nominees for the honor to be placed in their esteemed institution. I admit that I say this with a wry grin because I am one of those folks who doesn’t really think it even matters all that much and I know so many folks who tend to agree with me more and more each year.
This is my third year posting some thoughts about the nominees and the eventual inductees because its perfect for the blog and lets our readers get involved a little bit in the narrative. I’ve already cited how some of the Metal music personalities of the realm are always up in arms about the process so why not join into the fray with them and bring views out to the masses. Some of you longer tenured readers are expecting my thoughts on this stuff now that I have been pontificating about music for ten years now so why disappoint. Yeah the Rock Hall is not all that Metal and I think that I will have grand children by the time we see groups like Judas Priest, Slayer and Iron Maiden being added but I digress. Let’s go over the criteria for inclusion once more for those who might not yet be aware:
The Criteria: Currently, groups or individuals are qualified for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Nominees should have demonstrable influence and significance within the history of rock and roll. Four categories are recognized: Performers, Non-Performers, Early Influences, and Sidemen (as of 2000). However, fans have no input concerning who is nominated or elected to the hall.
Now before we get to the list, let’s remember that these are only the nominees and are not automatic inducted into the Hall. Even while they might be nominated they might get passed over for someone else at the end of the day when the final vote counts. We saw that happen a few times last year where nominees were not even listed on the final ballot anymore by the time the voting came down to happening. May I have a drum roll please……..badabadabadabadabadabadabada…….batishhhhh (best I could do to make some drum sounds in text).
The 2014 Nominees Are: The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Chic, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, KISS, LL Cool J, The Meters, Nirvana, N.W.A., The Replacements, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes, and The Zombies.
Since a few of these artists are being nominated once again and I had already lined out my views in previous posts, I will be copying and pasting those thoughts. There will be a slight update to reflect my “now” view, but some of these will remain the same 🙂 My practice on these pieces is to run down the list and offer up my own music journalist thoughts about each one. I’ll let you do the same in the comments section if you like and I hope you do because some of you are rather verbose and bring some really interesting thoughts to the blog. Let’s go.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band: I’m not really up on a lot of the Blues players of the world so cannot really speak on this one. Of course with Rock and Roll really coming from the deep root of the Blues then I am okay with it. Paul Butterfield himself is deceased and passed away in 1987 so would be inducted posthumously if he gets in this time around. He was nominated in 2013 as well.
Chic: Another go round for Chic to be inducted so my words remain the same. Sure Chic was a band but they were a Disco band that called themselves a Rock band for the Disco era. A good statement for sure but really not something that merits the honorarium in my humble opinion (here comes the fire from their diehard fans). During their heyday we found songs like “Good Times” and “Le Freak” being their biggest numbers. Solid hits for sure but Rock? Not really.
Deep Purple: Hey cool, Deep Purple is on the possible list once again and isn’t that nice. Deep Purple once again up for nomination after being one of the most important bands for Rock music ever. I’m glad they are on the list because next to KISS and Rush (who made it in last year by the way), there are few bands whom I consider as that influential. Let’s see if we get them in and find Ritchie Blackmore coming out of Rock retirement for a night to bust out the classics with his band mates. That would be awesome, and this is IF they even make the final cut.
Peter Gabriel: Gabriel is already in the Hall based on his earliest work with Genesis who were inducted in 2010. His solo career however has been rather prolific thanks to the impact of songs like “Solsbury Hill”, “Sledgehammer” and let’s not forget “Red Rain”. Numerous albums with numerous hits and his influence still touches the Progressive Rock fans hearts and minds to this very day. Bands like the Musical Box do Gabriel era Genesis and bring it back to life in today’s realm and while I was mostly a casual fan of his solo work (outside of the hits of course), I do hope he gets in.
Hall & Oates: Growing up in the heyday of MTV when they showed videos I can tell you that I was very aware of what H&J were up to and I liked a lot of their songs but would never admit it to my Metal band friends back during this time. I remember even doing a sped up heavier version of “Maneater” a few times to see how it would come out. Looking back on it, it really would have worked but I digress. The band really delivered the goods to worlds of fans and their music has held up strong over the years so this is a wise choice.
KISS: Do I even need to comment here about my own musical fantastic four? I didn’t think so but let me say something anyway. KISS has been eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame since 1998 which is the required 25 years after their debut album “KISS”. As a lifelong fan I feel KISS is one of the most deserving of the honor but the lineup has changed a few times since their inception. Gone are Ace Frehley and Peter Criss while replacement members Eric Carr and Mark St. John have since passed away. To me the big live spectacle show was taken to new levels and I hold so many of their tunes as classics its not funny. Let’s keep our hopes up.
LL Cool J: While I cannot consider myself a big fan of LL, I do like some of his earlier stuff myself and think its pretty cool that Metal bands like Scatterbrain and most recently Five Finger Death Punch had offered up covers of his classic “Mama Said Knock You Out” tune but that said he is another Rap artist and while perfect for the Rap Hall, makes me say come on now for nomination in a Rock Hall. I do realize my readers might view me as closed minded and maybe in this particular area I am.
The Meters: I’ll repeat myself from last time with this one. I’m not too up on The Meters outside of knowing they are a Funk Group which just goes to show the Rock Hall wants to continually mix things up. Funk Rock is much closer to Rock Rock than not so I will abide by that.
Nirvana: Nirvana was a band that changed the way the music scene was and led us into the Grunge Years for lack of a better term. They were formed in 1987 and their album “Nevermind” is a bonafide classic from beginning to end. They have influenced more bands than they have not and in my opinion will be a shoe in for induction this year.
N.W.A.: Ah the Rap group inclusion once more. Where would the Rock Hall be without its Rap area? So I realize that this particular group changed the music scene of R&B with their incendiary brand of Gangsta Rap but again this was Hip Hop and not Rock and Roll at all. No offense to Dr. Dre, Ice Cube and the rest but come on…..will we find Bon Jovi ever being nominated to the Hip Hop Hall of Fame? I think not. Oh yes and this was my exact text from last year. Don’t hate.
The Replacements: A few of my buddies liked this Rock band a lot more than I did but I will admit they were catchy with a lot of their tunes. They inspired a variety of Alternative acts but really were not much more than a really popular underground band when it came down to it. Do they deserve the Hall? Well, maybe in a few more years but not right now. Next up.
Linda Ronstadt: Linda is an American Pop singer who had music ALL over the radio for years and kept on performing until being diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease which has prevented her from singing. She has numerous Grammy’s on her shelf and has a truly beautiful voice. I expect her to be an almost immediate induction.
Cat Stevens: Cat’s been going by the name Yusef Islam since 1977 and he is a noted Folk Rock and Psychedelic Rock singer before he became more of an educator
Link Wray: Fred Lincoln “Link” Wray Jr is a Rock guitarist and singer who came into popularity in the 1950’s according to his Wikipedia entry. Folks like Iggy Pop and Jimmy Page have cited his work as being very influential and since he had passed away in 2005, should he be inducted it will be posthumously.
Yes: Leaders of the Progressive Rock sound, we need more Prog bands in the Hall and perhaps if they get in we will see the door opening for Emerson, Lake and Palmer and dare I say Gentle Giant? Well, maybe that last one is a little too left of center for the committee to understand.
The Zombies: A classic band for sure and I think everyone who has ever listened to music knows two of the bands biggest hits such as “She’s Not There” and “Time Of The Season”. This will be the first nomination for the band since their eligibility in 1988 and I think that this is a group that needs to go in since their songs were ahead of their time back in the day. Led by Rod Argent and Colin Bluntstone they were slightly different from their peers. Some of the KISS fans reading this post might recall that one of Argent’s post Zombies songs became part of KISStory when they did “God Gave Rock and Roll To You II”.
Who do I think will get in? For the groups I am pretty sure that Nirvana will be a shoe in and maybe, just maybe we shall see Deep Purple getting the nod. Would I like to see KISS get in at long last well of course I do but I really don’t think this is going to happen. The Hall committee has made public its dislike for KISS on numerous occasions and if they changed their mind for whatever reason then I will be pleasantly surprised. I also recall Gene at a recent Sirius XM Radio interview referring to them as a joke so that could work against them. Let’s see what happens. I’m sure we will see at least one of the Rap artists inducted since that appears to be the norm nowadays. Please don’t hate me for this view, and perhaps let me know why I should be a little more loose on this opinion if you totally disagree. Do it nicely though this is a family show over here after all 🙂
What do you readers think? Let’s hear it….
Official Website: http://rockhall.com
PS: Once again there is an online fan poll that let’s you inform them on who you want to see inducted but I doubt it will hold any weight with them at the end of the day. Check it out via the link below and make your voice heard just the same.