Like I usually do, this year I'm predicting 6 inductees. The length of the ceremony might have the Hall thinking of keeping it to five. But I'll go with 6 (7 if you count one of the names being moved to another category). The Hall has loaded the ballot with a bunch of popular acts. To induct only 5 would be criminal. Even 6 inductees is too low. The last time 7 were inducted was 2004 (plus one non-performer). We all want them to go big this year. Most anticipated ballot result ever?
Listed in alphabetical order:
1. Cheap Trick
- They don't have the rabid fan base of Rush, KISS and Alice Cooper. They don't even have a long line of Top 40 hits like Hall &Oates , so getting in on their first try might not happen. But they are as well-loved as any of the other nominated Classic Rockers.
2. Chicago -
Part of that group of artists that everyone wonders if they'll ever get a nomination. Then when it occurs, gets inducted right away. Happened with Neil Diamond, Hall & Oates, Linda Ronstadt. etc. Like those names, Chicago has the good old longevity factor working for them. What they never had was much critical respect. Who will win out? I'm thinking, like Hall & Oates, that a long run of familiar hits will get them in.
3. Deep Purple
- Deep Purple or Yes. Yes or Steve Miller. Steve Miller or the Cars. Add Cheap Trick to the mix, and this other Classic Rock slot is up for grabs and is bound to give you one big headache. So, after going back and forth since last month, I'm settling on Deep Purple. Not grand formula, just a hunch.
4. Janet Jackson -
HBO wants a big name, so here it is. But beyond that, she had a ton of hits and made some great albums. Only a Top 40 bias could keep her out.
- Come on! It has to happen this year. A big summer with a hit biopic, cover of Rolling Stone
and tons of publicity. Not sure this is a lock as some voters treat Hip Hop the same way they do Disco. If N.W.A. can't get in now, then they are destined to become a longtime nominee (i.e. Chic) that languishes on the ballot.
- Okay, I know what people are going to say. Favoritism, sentimentality, etc. The one act on this ballot I want to see inducted, and I pick them. But I don't think this choice is too much of a stretch, even if Chic was my first choice for this slot. Oh, and the Spinners are the oldest nominee on the ballot, so maybe that will put them over.
(BTW- If they only induct 5, then the Spinners would be my cut).
- First time nominated and they have a legitimate shot. Fondly remembered with lots of hits.
- What if both Chic and the J.B.'s get the Musical Excellence nod this year? Nile Rodgers deserves it on his own, but what harm could be done giving it to the rest of Chic?
- Everyone expects them to get in under the Musical Excellence moniker. Might the Hall surprise us and not do it?
10. Chaka Khan
- She's a Soul legend, but the Hall has not been kind to 70's R&B acts. Many from that era have never been nominated, and those that are (Chic, Spinners) get rejected. Chaka says she deserves induction. She's right. But she may have to wait a little longer.
11. Los Lobos
- Have to give the NomCom credit for this nod. Always a critical favorite, they're still active some 30 years later. But enough for a first time induction?
12. Steve Miller
- Here's one set up perfectly for the Baby Boomer's. Which is why he's a strong dark horse. Started out as an FM album artist. Then in the mid-70's began charting with hit singles. Now he's a heritage act, who makes a great living playing his back catalog on arena tours. We'll see if the Boomer's come through for him.
13. Nine Inch Nails
- Yep, they've got the 90's to themselves. And few seem to give them much hope on a loaded ballot. Trent Reznor has even made a name for himself outside of NIN. A surprise pick?
- Back for a second time, and this year's 80's alt-rock nominee. They are and remain hugely influential. But these types of 80's Indie Rock acts (i.e. Replacements, Cure) seem to be a tough sell to voters.
- See Deep Purple comments above, with a hint of anti-Prog sentiment thrown in.
Last note: Will there be a surprise inductee? I like surprises when it comes to the Rock Hall. Chaka, Los Lobos, Nine Inch Nails?
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