The nominations for the 2011 inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced yesterday. 15 have entered, only five to seven will continue on into the Hall. Who’s got the best odds?
To be eligible for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an artist must have released their first record 25 years prior to the year of induction. These 15 nominees will be voted on by a selection of 500 rock experts. Here are this year’s nominees, in order of their chances of being inducted into the Hall in March 2011.
THE LONG SHOTS
There is precedent for disco being represented in the Hall (Really, Abba?) but when your top hit is more famous as a sample than a song, it’s going to be hard to get in.
Nyro, a prolific songwriter who scored hits for Peter, Paul and Mary, Barbra Streisand and Three Dog Night should probably be more well-known than she is. She may be inducted in the nonperformers category, but NewsFeed can’t see her winning the experts’ votes as a performer.
Tex is potentially the victim of timing here; his strung of success from the mid-’60s to the early ’70s overlapped with so many other soul/funk pioneers’ that his career has been eclipsed a bit.
THE MAYBE “IT’S THEIR YEAR”S
J. Geils Band
Sure, it’s an awesome riff. But do one-hit wonders belong in the Hall?
As with Joe Tex, the success of Willis’ contemporaries may overshadow his own fame, but before his untimely death at age 30 Willis was one of the first singer/songwriters to make the crossover from R&B to the pop charts.
New Orleans musician Dr. John may be a regional artist, but that might work in his favor right now — could he get some symbolic votes from this being New Orleans’ year? Plus, he’s got the influential TIME bloc all locked up.
LL Cool J
It’s easy to forget after Deep Blue Sea and NCIS: Los Angeles, but “I Need Love” is sweet and “Mama Said Knock You Out” has one of the best opening lines in hip hop. Still, NewsFeed gets the sense that — like perennial HoF bridesmaids Kiss — Cool James is more liked than respected among the rock elite.
One of the most powerful lead vocalists from Phil Spector’s stable of girl groups, Love can belt with the best of them. NewsFeed (and, we assume, many voters) has has a soft spot in our heart for her because of her Christmas songs, including the SNL classic “Christmastime for the Jews.”
Every other rock star who went on the infamous trip to India to visit the Maharishi Mahesh Yogi is in the Hall already, so why not Donovan? He taught John Lennon how to finger-pick! And if that’s not enough, he recorded “Hurdy Gurdy Man,” which is probably the scariest song NewsFeed has ever heard.
Were Tom Waits inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, he would probably have the worst voice of anyone in there. Though Waits doesn’t have the hit singles that most of other competitors do, he’s one of music’s best storytellers, and so for that should find himself a place in the Hall.
With a career spanning funk (“Love to Love You Baby”), disco (“Last Dance”) and New Wave (“She Works Hard for the Money”), Summer is probably the most accomplished female artist up for induction this year.
Is he rock and roll? Of course not. But such strict definitions have long since been retired by the Hall. But he’s a great songwriter (Didja know he wrote “I’m A Believer”?) and tireless performer whose music reaches out — touching me, touching you.
The Hall loves hard rock (again, with the exception of Kiss, apparently) and it loves influential artists. How is Alice Cooper not in already?
Genre-busting artists with a career spanning several successful decades? Yeah, that’ll do.
A chart-topping rock band who’ve aged into a tastefully bland middle age: These guys were made for the Hall.
Readers: What do you think? Who of these artists deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?