Wednesday, September 29, 2010

2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ballot

If you want all kinds of analysis on the 2011 Nominees go to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame of the Future - News, Analysis, Voting & More - Future Rock Legends

Below are my ranked picks for 2011.

1. Donna Summer - Crafted some of the greatest singles in the late 70's/early 80's in any genre. She was Disco's biggest name during this period, even though her records became more R&B as she began topping the charts. And her albums weren't bad either. But Disco has been a hard sell to voters. Chic have been nominated 5X to no avail. This is Summer's 3rd time nominated. Maybe 3X lucky?

2. Neil Diamond - Pure chutzpah. That was Diamond. He wore you out with his Concerts and Records that you either loved him or hated him as some critics still do. But if you combine his songwriting, legendary concerts and the greatest of his records, then it's hard to imagine a Hall of Fame without him.

3. Chic - Now on their 6th year on the ballot. Ann Powers took my line, from her blog, that I've used about them in year's past. Not just a great Disco band, but a great band. And very influential to all dance artists that came after them.

4. Alice Cooper - Cooper's early records were so great, and his later ones not, that sometimes it's hard to believe how important a role he played in taking Rock and performance and making it sell. Yeah, all of his stage stuff seems tame now, but in the early 70's it was everything to a new generation of post 60's adolescents.

5. Dr. John - Outside of the Neville Brothers, the most recognizable New Orleans icon from the 70's until today. A great Rock character. The type of long-running artist that usually goes in first time nominated.

6. Joe Tex - His 4th nomination, and still not so familiar with many non-R&B fans. Tex had many hits from the mid-60's to early 70's. Dave Marsh, a NomCom member, wrote his bio on the page and calls him one of the most underrated Soul singers on his generation. Like Marsh said, he had one of the first Southern Soul crossover hits, and Rapped on many of his records. Still, as great as he was, it may not be enough to convince voters.

7. Bon Jovi - Loved by fans throughout the world, but hated by just as many critics. I don't think they will get in first time, but I wouldn't be surprised if their long-standing popularity puts them over.

8. LL Cool J - TV and Movie roles have muted his impact on Hip Hop. But he was the biggest solo Rap act from the 80's/early 90's.

9. Beastie Boys - Some voters might have trouble seeing beyond their initial frat-boy party phase. But that was only on their first 2 albums. But what albums! Groundbreaking hip-hop.
I never thought they should be first ballot material, and they didn't get in right away. Now in their 2nd year on the ballot

10. Donovan - Hippy Dippy Summer of Love Psychedelic Man. Donovan's fey Folk has proven more endurable than many thought. But even after waiting forever to get nominated, I'm not sold just yet.

11. Tom Waits - Longtime Crit Fave. He's now the singer-songwriter the Hall wants in. But Randy Newman should get in before him.

12. Chuck Willis - This year's 50's act will have many wondering who he is. Willis was a Blues/R&B singer and excellent songwriter who died at age 30 in 1958. Maybe not the most influential R&B artist to be nominated from the 50's, but this is his 5th nom, so the Hall wants him in there.

13. J. Geils Band - Until they had their biggest success with Freeze Frame, they were mostly known for their legendary concerts. But I think they come up short.

14. Laura Nyro - I know some are claiming her as a big influence, and I like some of her records and think she was a great songwriter. But she's 2nd level Hall material.

15. Darlene Love - 3rd time a charm? Love's 3rd nomination, and I still think she comes up short as a Hall of Famer, despite my love for many of her Spector records and of course "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)". For the record, I didn't support the Ronettes either.

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