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Kirk Buchner, "The Committee Chairman", is the owner and operator of the site.  Kirk can be contacted at [email protected] .
Another quick break before I get to the Top 10 newly eligible Rock Hall acts. They announced the 2018 nominees today, so a quick 11 thoughts on how the Committee did…

1. Congrats to Bon Jovi. The online vote, which you can participate in here... http://www.billboard.com/articles/columns/rock/7988959/2018-rock-hall-of-fame-nominees , is only supposed to count for one of the 450 or so votes for the Rock Hall. Whether by coincidence, a conscious choice by the voters, or most likely, finagling by the Rock Hall, every band that has won this vote (Rush, Kiss, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chicago, and Journey) has been elected. Looking at this list, the online vote is Bon Jovi’s to lose. With only Judas Priest and Dire Straits as real challengers (although I can see a scenario where the Priest takes this as well), it looks like Bon Jovi will be in.

2. I am always particularly focused on the women who get nominated, mainly because the Rock Hall does such a terrible job electing women. This year we have five, four first timers: Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nina Simone, Kate Bush, and Annie Lennox (with the Eurythmics), and a fourth timer Chaka Khan (nominated with her backing band Rufus for a second time). Now maybe I am wrong and Simone follows Joan Baez’s path from last year as an artist who has been eligible since the Rock Hall opened to get in on her first nomination, but this seems like a tough group for any of these ladies to be directly elected to the Hall. Chaka Khan seems destined to be the new Chic to me, getting n2. I am always particularly focused on the women who get nominated, mainly because the Rock Hall does such a terrible job electing women. This year we have five, four first timers: Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Nina Simone, Kate Bush, and Annie Lennox (with the Eurythmics), and a fourth timer Chaka Khan (nominated with her backing band Rufus for a second time). Now maybe I am wrong and Simone follows Joan Baez’s path from last year as an artist who has been eligible since the Rock Hall opened to get in on her first nomination, but this seems like a tough group for any of these ladies to be directly elected to the Hall. Chaka Khan seems destined to be the new Chic to me, getting nomination after nomination and never getting in.

3. That said, Sister Rosetta Tharpe will be elected to the Rock Hall in 2018. The Hall has an early influence category, which Sister Rosetta Tharpe definitely falls into as her last charting hit was in 1949. She is clearly going to be their early influence inductee this year, but for some reason the Hall puts these folks up for a full vote first from time to time. They have done it with Freddie King, The “5” Royales, and Wanda Jackson. Why they do this I have no idea. But she will be there when the names get announced.

4. But seeing Nina Simone and Kate Bush for the first time is part of a refreshing trend with the Rock Hall, which is the first time nomination of long forgotten artists. This year we have first time nominations for Simone and Tharpe (eligible since the Rock Hall opened in 1986), the Moody Blues (1990), Judas Priest (2000), Kate Bush and Dire Straits (2004), and the Eurythmics (2007) have all waited at least 10 years to get their first nod. There is a legitimate shot for three of them, the Moody Blues, Judas Priest, and Dire Straits, to get in on this first nomination.

5. They also did a good job with the acts they brought back after a while, Bon Jovi is back for the second time and first since 2011. And those who didn’t make it back in 2014 will also be well represented as three acts get their first bite at the apple since then as LL Cool J’s and The Meters get their 4th nomination and Link Wray is also back from 2014, getting his 2nd nomination.

6. That said there are some surprising omissions from last year’s ballot. Like, where the h-e-double hockey sticks is Janet Jackson? She should have been in two years ago. She would coast in on this ballot. She is going to be in some day, let’s just get it done. Also missing is Kraftwerk, who only invented an entire genre of music in techno/electronica. I understand that they are a reclusive Dutch band, but music is entirely different without them. Finally, this is the second ballot in a row that we haven’t seen Nine Inch Nails, who were nominated their first two years of eligibility. But they were probably hurt by the
presence of Rage Against the Machine.

7. I am surprised to only see two first time nominees. I am not surprised in who they are, they tried changing the rules a few years ago to make Radiohead eligible sooner, so they were getting nominated and elected as soon as they were eligible. Rage is also not a surprise with Tom Morello being on the Nominating Committee. I am quite surprised by the absence of Beck as a singer/songwriter, which to be fair is mainly because they don’t have any of those folks on the list at all this year. Even more surprising is that neither Dr. Dre or Wu Tang Clan got a nod for the Rap/R&B spot. Maybe with no real competition next year they wanted to clear the decks for LL Cool J, but those are MASSIVE acts who will be elected soon. With 19 names, it is just interesting that neither could make it.

8. So who is still out there and needs a first nomination? The list goes on and on, but off the top of my head the first five female artists: Diana Ross, Cher, Tina Turner, Carly Simon, and Patti LaBelle; five male artists: Warren Zevon, Herbie Hancock, Willie Nelson, Gil Scott-Heron, and Jim Croce; five female bands: The Runaways, the B-52s, the Go-Gos, The Bangles, and The Chiffons; five male bands: New Order, Roxy Music, Iron Maiden, The Grass Roots, and Motley Crue (all of whom have been eligible for at least 10 years).

9. So how did I do on my predictions article that was posted on Tuesday? I put up 16 names and seven of them got nominations, which seeing as there are over 1600 eligible bands is pretty decent. And to be fair, had I made 19 nominations it is likely I only would have gotten one more (The Moody Blues were my alternate for the Grass Roots for the spot on this list).

10. So who is up next year? Next year is not as strong as this year for first time eligibles. The leading candidates are probably Snoop Dogg, Sheryl Crow, Toni Braxton, Dave Matthews Band, The Roots, and the Counting Crows are probably the headliners and based on the patterns they have been on with nominations, really only Snoop has a chance of being a first time nominee. The Roots have a shot seeing as ?estlove is on the Nominating Committee, but seeing as they are now looked at as a backing band for a late night show more than for their music that might be a stretch.

11. Finally, who do I expect to be elected? Radiohead and Rage Against the Machine will be first time electees and Bon Jovi will win the online vote and will get in. Those three are easy. The next two to three are easy to determine, I’d like to think that The Moody Blues and Judas Priest will get in on their first nomination just based on how people feel about their careers and how they fit within the pantheon of music. The last spot, if there is one, will likely go to either LL Cool J, who I will pick as the 6th elected, or Dire Straits. Outside shots to the Eurythmics, the Cars, and Nina Simone.  So the class should look like this: Bon Jovi, Judas Priest, LL Cool J, Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, and The Moody Blues with Sister Rosetta Tharpe as the Early Influence inductee.






Regular contributor Spheniscus has brought us something that we are very excited to share with all of you. It won’t be long before the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces who their Finalist for the next class and our friend from Chicago by way of Boston has put together his top 40 acts in terms of their chances who enter eligibility this year.

15. Arrested Development

Founded in 1988 by rapper Speech (Todd Thomas) and turntablist Headliner (Timothy Barnwell), Arrested Development was the happy, upbeat, woke hip-hop group of the early 90s. During the birth of gangsta rap, Arrested Development’s afro-centric look into black culture stood out in a way that got them critical notice but also probably led to a limiting of their success. Honestly, they would probably have more traction if they started today rather than back when they did.

Arrested Development (who, yes, did sue FOX over the TV show of the same name) is undoubtably best remembered for their 1992 album 3 Years, 5 Months, & 2 Days in the Life of…” This album would win Album of the Year in Village Voice’s Pazz & Jop’s Critics Poll. That is an amazing award, because 1992 also featured Common’s Can I Borrow a Dollar, Ice Cube’s The Predator, Beastie Boys Check Your Head, and most amazingly Dr. Dre’s The Chronic. They would go on to win two Grammys in 1993 for Best New Artist and Best Performance by a Duo or Group and were Rolling Stone’s 1993 Band of the Year.

The success of this album is built around its first single, which hit #1 on the R&B charts in 1992, “Tennessee” a track that sampled Prince’s “Alphabet Street” without permission, but also was a deeply personal examination about what to do when your world starts falling apart. It also examines going back to your roots, regardless of how painful it might be. The lines “Where the ghost of childhood haunts me, walk the roads my forefathers walked, climb the trees my forefathers hung from ask those trees for all their wisdom they tell me my ears are so young” are some of the most powerful lines in the early 90s. “Tennessee” would be followed by two other charting songs off the same record, “People Everyday” (peaked at #8) and the slightly sappy “Mr. Wendal” (#6), a musical biopic about a homeless man for which they did donate half of the proceeds to homeless shelters. Following the success of 3 Years, 5 Months, & 2 Days they also drew the notice of Spike Lee who had them contribute “Revolution” to the Malcolm X soundtrack.

But just when things seemed to be at their peak, their sophomore album Zingalamaduni was not as successful. Where their first album was a breath of fresh air, their second seemed preachy. The group did not recover from the disappointment and went their separate ways in 1996. And while they reunited with a rotating lineup starting in 2000 and have released an additional nine albums, including two last year, they have never come close to representing the success of their first album.

Which begs the question, they seem like a one album wonder why are they this high? First, their high was pretty high. Two Grammys, album of the year, and Band of the Year from Rolling Stone doesn’t just happen to everybody. And two, while in many ways they have become a bit of a joke (except for “Tennessee”) within the hip-hop community, they are the most likely pet project band in this group for someone to fall in love with. The history of the Rock Hall and who gets elected is littered with pet projects. And just being a pet project does not mean you will get elected. For every Percy Sledge there has been a Procol Harum. For every Darlene Love a J.B.’s. But that will likely get them some consideration.

And why? Because by the standards of 2017, while their music hasn’t necessarily stood up, the sentiments of their music have. They were woke before woke was a thing. In many ways, and I understand how damning this sentence is to someone in the Hip-Hop community, they are the modern white east coast liberal’s dream. A group of black people expressing themselves about the troubles within their community. And those white east coast liberals? That is basically who makes up the nominating committee (?estlove being one of the few exceptions) and a lot of the electorate. Will they get in? I don’t think so. But if for some strange reason the Lord leads them to Cleveland would I be shocked? No. And that’s why you end up at #15 ahead of more successful acts.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VCdJyOAQYM

  1. Sublime
Sublime is the ultimate study in both how to overcome odds to make it in the music industry and also how to flame out far too soon. Bass player Eric Wilson, drummer Bud Gaugh, and guitarist Michael Happoldt grew up listening punk music together in Long Beach, California. In high school, they decided to form a punk band of their own, The Juice Bros. Somewhere along the lines they crossed paths with a UC-Santa Cruz dropout named Bradley Nowell, who introduced them to reggae and ska music. Nowell joined the band, Happoldt dropped out to become their manager, and on July 4, 1988 the band Sublime was held their first concert. A concert so epic that it allegedly sparked a riot in Harbor Peninsula, a neighboring town. Seven arrests later a legend was born.

Sublime’s sound was an interesting mashup of punk, reggae, ska, surf rock, metal, and even a touch of hip hop and rap. Despite their growing underground following, the coalescence of all of these influences into one sound left venues doubtful about booking the band. So how do you find a place to play when no one will book you? You create your own production company. That company? Skunk Records, run by Happoldt. The weird sounding band Sublime? Not interested. The Skunk Records recording artists Sublime? A lot more palatable. They began to play lots of venues around Southern California with other ska bands, including fellow first time eligible (and yet to be seen on the list) No Doubt.

It was under the Skunk Records label that they recorded their first album, 1992’s 40oz. to Freedom. It was a track off of this album “Date Rape” that first got airplay for them in Southern California in late 1991. Despite being a homemade record, the album would eventually go 2x platinum. Not a bad way to break into an industry that was not really interested in letting you in in the first place. Their second album, 1994’s Robbin’ the Hood would go gold, but it was their third album, their self-titled Sublime album released on MCA Records in 1996 that would make them international superstars.

Unfortunately, Nowell would not live to see that fame. Sublime was on the original Sno-Core Tour and performed in San Francisco as part of that tour on May 24th, 1996. The next day, just over a week after he got married, Nowell would be found dead of a heroin overdose in his hotel room. Sublime had also finished recording their magnum opus (if a third wave ska band could have such a thing) just a few weeks before. Sublime (the album) would go platinum 6x over. Single “What I Got” would hit #1 on the Alt Rock charts. Follow ups “Santeria” and “Wrong Way” would both go to #3 on the same chart and “Doin’ Time” would hit #28. “April 29, 1992” about the Los Angeles riots would also get heavy airplay across the country.

There would be no follow up. While there were several posthumous compilation albums, the surviving members of the band had no interest in continuing to tour under the Sublime name. Wilson, Gaugh, and Happolt would start a new band, the Long Beach Dub Allstars where they would continue to play together until 2002. In 2009, Wilson and Gaugh tried to perform again under the Sublime name, replacing Nowell with Rome Ramirez, but were blocked from doing so by Nowell’s estate. Eventually they settled on the Sublime with Rome name. They have released two albums so far to moderate success.

So why is a band that has only three albums, no Top 40 hits, and a lead singer who died before they ever got famous end up at #14? Because they were originals. They were the forefathers of both the third wave of ska, also called “ska punk”, which includes bands like No Doubt, the Mighty Mighty Bosstones, and Reel Big Fish, and of reggae fusion. And their influence on music in the 90s is evident. The death of Bradley Nowell is widely considered to be one of the greatest losses to music in the decade. Short time span plus huge shadow tends to garner votes notice. Honestly, I originally had these guys much higher at #6 on my list. But after doing the research I was forced to move them back. The short time frame plus the huge names still to come make it likely that they could get lost in the first year shuffle and once lost it is sometimes hard to get found again. But hey, they got a Dalmatian and the 14th spot on this list.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0Uc3ZrmhDN4

  1. Hootie & the Blowfish
In the fall of 1986 a new freshman arrived at the University of South Carolina with a penchant for singing in the shower. A fellow freshman with a penchant for playing guitar overheard his classmate, was impressed, and (hopefully out of the bathroom), told him they should jam together. And so they did, performing as the Wolf Brothers, the singer Darius Rucker and the guitarist Mark Bryan would begin a partnership that would bring them to the top of the music world. They would pick up guitarist Dean Felber and ministry student Brantley Smith on drums and rename the band after a couple of their friends from school. Thus Hootie and the Blowfish was born.

They played together through college at which point Smith left to pursue music ministry and was replaced on drums by former Gamecocks soccer player Jim Sonefeld. They continued after college, playing clubs around Columbia and releasing their own EPs in 1991 and 1992. It is this second EP, Kootchypop, (which contained “Hold My Hand” and “Only Want to Be with You”) that was repressed and released in 1993, that their eligibility for this year’s Hall class is based on. They were signed to Atlantic records in 1993 and released their debut album in 1994, Cracked Rear View. And what a debut it was.

Cracked Rear View, which in my opinion is what their eligibility should be based on (meaning they’d be eligible in two years), is one of the fastest selling debut albums of all time. It was the top selling album of 1995 and went platinum 16x over. Let me repeat that… 16x over. To put that in perspective, Janis Joplin has only sold 15.5 million albums total. Hootie did that with their debut album, plus 500,000 records. It is the 14th bestselling album of all time. It would have four top 20 hits on the Billboard chart, “Only Wanna Be with You” (#6), “Let Her Cry” (#9), “Hold My Hand (#10), and “Time” (#14). They would also win the Grammys for Best Pop Performance by a Group or Duo for “Let Her Cry” as well as Best New Artist in 1996 on the strength of this album.

They would hit the charts again with “I Go Blind” (#13) off the Friends soundtrack, before releasing their follow up album Fairweather Johnson in 1996. This was not as favorably received. In a 2010 article, Pitchfork Media was included on the Top Career Killing Albums of the 1990s. Although for a career killing album, it still debuted at #1 and went platinum 3x over. It also gave them two more top 40 hits, “The Old Man and Me (When I Get to Heaven)” (#13) and Tucker’s Town (#38). And their following album 1998’s Musical Chairs would also go platinum with only minor hit “I Will Wait” to support it. They would go on to release two more albums before breaking up in 2008 so Rucker could pursue a solo career in country music. Whenever my career ends, I hope it fail as well as they did.

Hootie stood out as a blues/rock/pop fusion band in a sea of grunge when they came out. Their success was at the highest of highs and their lows, while really not that low, made them seem like they were a less successful band than they actually were. But the 14th best selling album of all-time, seven top 40 hits, two Grammys, and honestly Darius Rucker’s success as a country artist are all factors working in their favor. Ultimately, I don’t think Hootie will ever get in (although you have to wonder if they had a less ridiculous name if their career would be seen in a different light), but they reached heights that no other college band that started in a bathroom ever has. And Darius Rucker got to make a music video with his idol Dan Marino. So they’ve got that going for them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ln6WQqRDrCo

  1. Rage Against the Machine
I first covered Rage Against the Machine last year as I had heard they were eligible, but didn’t believe they should have been since even though they were formed in 1991 they didn't release either their first single or first album until 1992. But they did create a 12 song demo tape in 1991, which is unusually long for a demo, and was the basis for them potentially being eligible last year. They are definitely eligible now, so here they are again.

The band itself was founded when guitarist Tom Morello was getting disillusioned with his original group Lock Up. The drummer of Lock Up, Jon Knox, realized Morello wanted to leave and encouraged two of his friends, bass player Tom Commerford and singer/rapper Zach de la Rocha, to jam with Morello. They picked up drummer Brad Wilk, who had previously unsuccessfully auditioned for Lock Up and named themselves after a song that La Rocha had written for his previous group Inside Out.

They were pretty much instantly successful as a group. They released only four albums as a unit, but each has gone at least platinum. Their debut album was the self-titled "Rage Against the Machine" and had the same name and continued many of the same songs as their 12 song demo tape. It went triple platinum on the strength of "Killing in the Name" which went platinum in its own right as a single.

This album and the combination of hard rock and rap that it put out there, launched RATM to being Hard Rock Gods. "Rage Against the Machine" is also #368 on Rolling Stones' top 500 albums of all time. They followed it up with 1996's "Evil Empire" featuring "Bulls on Parade" and the Grammy Award winning "Tire Me". They won a second Grammy for "Guerilla Radio" off of 1999's "The Battle of Los Angeles" and then had a series of strange events that led to the break up of the band. These included storming the New York Stock Exchange during a music video shoot causing the riot doors to close, Commeford's spending the night in jail after scaling the scaffolding over the stage at the 2000 Grammy Awards when Limp Bizkit won best Hard Rock Band, and (although this is more a badge of honor than anything), having ALL of their songs deemed "Lyrically Questionable" by the 2001 Clear Channel Memorandum after 9/11.

While La Rocha went off to a solo career and some collaborations with Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor, Morello, Wilk, and Commerford picked up Soundgarden's Chris Cornell and went on to commercial success as Audioslave, And while they have reunited many times over the years, as a overtly left-leaning band this has happened particularly for Liberal causes and events, they haven't put out any new music since 2001. Although they claim they have never truly broken up. Even as Morello, Wilk, and Commerford have picked up Chuck D of Public Enemy and B-Real of Cypress Hill to create a new super group called Prophets of Rage.

Regardless, their odds of being nominated are rather high, but you’ll notice not as high as last year when I had them at #3. Why? Because honestly, I covered them last year and there are 11 new acts I see as having a legitimate shot at getting in the Hall someday. Tom Morello is one of the 24-28 members (depending on who you believe) of the Rock Hall's Nominating Committee. And while the only thing better than knowing someone on the Committee is being on the Committee yourself. And while this year’s crop is much stronger than last year, they still probably have the fourth or fifth best chance, which is where they should be on the list.

So I expect Rage to be nominated at some point soon, but again I want to focus on the bands definitely eligible for the first time this year. So while you are pondering my inconsistencies on the list, please enjoy the video that I think best describes the band's political theory 2000's "Testify" directed by Michael Moore. This is the video they were recording when they stormed the NYSE and the comment at the end seems appropriate for the political climate this year as well.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3dvbM6Pias

  1. Common
And the first of those with a legitimate shot of making the Hall, which I am defining as having more than 10% of making it at some point, is Common. Born Lonnie Lynn Rashid in Chicago, Illinois in March 1972, to a professional basketball playing father and a doctor of education mother, Common (formerly known as Common Sense) to has become kind of the dean of the University of Hip Hop (if you could imagine such a thing). He is certainly the most decorated hip hop artist ever. He is 3/4s of the way to an EGOT, something only 12 people in history have done, as he has won an Oscar, a Primetime Emmy, and three Grammys. He also has won a Golden Globe, a Critic’s Choice Award, two NAACP Image Awards, two BET Awards, and four BET Hip Hop Awards among many others. And he is only 45.

Common debuted in 1992 with his first album Can I Borrow a Dollar? It is the first of three albums (including 1994’s Resurrection and 1997’s One Day It Will All Make Sense, which featured collaborations with Lauryn Hill, Cee-Lo Green, Erykah Badu, Q-Tip, and De La Soul among others) of his that gathered critical acclaim but little in the way of record sales. He started writing and collaborating with many of the artists above in a hip hop collective in New York, called the Soulquarians. The Soulquarians are in many ways a who’s who of late 90’s early 2000’s hip hop, with ?uestlove helming the group and Erykah Badu, Bilal, Mos Def, Q-Tip, Talib Kweli, J Dilla, and D’Angelo (among others as members).

One Day, which eschewed gangsta rap, was enough to catch the ear of a major label, MCA, and his first major label release 2000’s Like Water for Chocolate, produced and created through his collaborations the Soulquarians, went gold. The first single from this album “The Light” was his first to hit the top 50 on the Billboard chart. He followed this up with his first acting credit in 2002’s Brown Sugar and contributed his greatest hit, a collaboration with Badu called “Love of My Life (an Ode to Hip Hop)”, to the soundtrack. “Love of My Life hit #1 on the R&B charts and #9 on the Billboard charts. Unfortunately his 2002 solo effort Electric Circus, despite its critical acclaim, was not able to capitalize off of this success.

He would move to Los Angeles with J Dilla, rooming with him until Dilla died of Lupus in 2006. During this time he started collaborating with Kanye West, appearing on his 2004 3x platinum album The College Drop-Out on “Get Em High” (with fellow Soulquarium Talib Kweli). He signed with West’s label GOOD Music and his next two albums would both go Gold, 2005’s Be and 2007’s Finding Forever. It would be his collaboration with John Legend “Glory” from the soundtrack of the 2013 movie Selma is what would win him both a Grammy for Best Song Written for Visual Media and an Academy Award for Best Original Song.

So Common is a legend in the industry in many ways with many friends in the industry. And he is the only Hip Hop artist who has ever approached an EGOT. Even if he has never had a single one of his eleven albums platinum and only three go gold. When it comes to the Hall however, ?uestlove is on the Nominating Committee, wields a ton of influence (it is said that he single handedly got Hall and Oates elected to the Hall) and likely to be there for a long time. That makes it more likely that all the Soulquarians will have a leg up when they have a chance to be nominated. While the presence of both Dr. Dre and Wu Tang Clan this year seems to put Common third on the list (and the thrice nominated LL Cool J is still out there as well), his stature within the Hip Hop community and his list of awards bodes well for him if and when he ever gets the nomination.

Here is my favorite of his videos, which probably could have served as Taraji P. Henson’s “Empire” audition, “Testify” off of his 2005 Be album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CZRH68Ib1Ko

We love days like this.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced today with some serious shockers, so let’s get right to it!

The 19 nominees are:

Bon Jovi: Bon Jovi is nominated for the second time and poses a serious threat to advance all the way this yesr. Don’t be surprised if they win the fan vote.

The Cars: This is the third nominee in a row for the group.

Depeche Mode. Nominated for the second year in a row, should they get in they would be the first 80’s alternative band to get inducted.

Dire Straits. This is the first nomination for Dire Straits and they should get a lot of support on the fan vote.

The Eurythmics. Another first time nominee, Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart churned out some of the most enduring songs in the 80’s.

The J. Geils Band. This is the fifth nomination for the band and the first following the death of J. Geils.

Judas Priest. This is the first time they have been nominated, and they are the Heavy Metal nominee this year. This bodes well for other forgotten metal acts.

Kate Bush. A nice surprise here, as this first time nominee was very large on the British scene.

Link Wray. The inventor of the power chord receives his second nomination. His first was in 2014.

LL Cool J. LL Cool J is nominated for the fourth time and are the hip hop nominee for this year.

MC5. MC5 secures their third nomination ever, and their second in a row.

The Meters. The fourth nomination for the Meters, who saw their first in 1997.

The Moody Blues. This might generate the biggest sigh of relief from their fanbase. They have been eligible since 1989 and has a significant online presence pushing for this induction.

Nina Simone. Another nice surprise here. This is the first nomination for Nina Simone since being eligible in 1983.

Radiohead: In their first year of eligibility, Radiohead is no surprise showing up as a nominee. There is little reason to think that they won’t get in immediately.

Rage Against the Machine: RATM is a first ballot inductee too, though it might be a little surprising that other first ballot eligible acts, Wu-Tang Clan and Beck were not chosen.

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan. Chaka Khan was nominated as a solo last year and frankly there is a better chance for her nominated with her original group.

Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Huh? While she was a gospel star in the 30’s and 40’s and influential in the American Rock and Roll canon, this seems like an Early Influence inductee and is very out of place here.

The Zombies. This will be the third crack for the Zombies.

Hmmmmm.

While there will be many happy to see the Moody Blues and Judas Priest finally get a chance there will be (as there always is) upset fans over the fact that their favorite act were not chosen as a nominee. This is certainly a diverse group and frankly we need some time to digest this.

We know all of you have some opinions and we would love to hear it.
Not all Hall of Famers are created equal.

While there are many busts in Canton’s Pro Football Hall of Fame only a select few got there on their first try, and let’s face it; those are the ones we gravitate to the most when we visit the Holy Grail of Professional Football accomplishments.

If you look at the past eight classes there have only been 13 first ballot inductees; Larry Allen (2013), Derrick Brooks (2014), Marshall Faulk (2011), Brett Favre (2016), Walter Jones (2014), Jonathan Ogden (2013), Jerry Rice (2010), Deion Sanders (2011), Warren Sapp (2013), Junior Seau (2015), Emmitt Smith (2010), Jason Taylor (2017) and LaDainian Tomlinson (2017) and a lot of talented players have had to wait longer than anticipated.

This includes Terrell Owens, who despite being second all-time in receiving yards has been passed over, likely due to being a divisive presence in numerous NFL locker rooms and his off field shenanigans. The discussion of Owens naturally leads to the newly eligible wide receiver, Randy Moss.

Moss is behind T.O. at third overall in Receiving Yards and like Owens Randy Moss has had his share of poor behavior in and out of the game, though his transition to the media makes him a far more “likable” candidate and one who may leapfrog Owens in the pecking order. Moss is joined by two other strong first ballot candidates, Ray Lewis and Brian Urlacher, both of which should get in, though only Lewis seems like a lock to get suited for a blazer next year.

According to MyTopSportsbooks.com, there are only two sure-fire inductees in the 2018 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class: Ray Lewis and Randy Moss. With Moss and Owens on the ballot, the committee is unlikely to put them both in, which could spell another disappointment for the acerbic T.O.   Urlacher, could find himself following last year’s debut candidate, Brain Dawkins who is now in his second year of eligibility. If Dawkins did not get in on his first try, it should be expected that the former Chicago Bear will have a bit of a wait.

The Semi-Finalists will be announced in approximately one month’s time.