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
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.