Sunday, December 04, 2016

Inductee Predictions: 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

The biggest ballot since 1990, when there were 30(!) nominees (8 inductees).  Before 1990, the Hall had a bunch of 50's/60's era legends to choose from.  The Nominee ballot was bigger.  By 1991, the standard 15 ballot appeared.  Another way of looking at it: since those early insane ballots, this 2017 one is the largest since 1997 (17 names).

But what will they do?  Stick with their 5 inductee only policy?  I'm hoping the ballot is too big and tempting for them not to add a 6th name. What about a 7th?  Too much?  Would it create a never-ending Induction Ceremony?

Looking over the nominees  there's something for everybody. Give the NomCom credit:  throughout their history, there ballots have always had diversity.  But there's room to complain. A lack of women (three), four if you count Chic.  Also, only four R&B names.  The Joe Tex nomination seems a compromise to please those who will complain that the NomCom has forgotten about early R&B/Pop/Rock era acts.

Oh, and if you're a long time Hall watcher you'll notice no 50's era acts.  Joan Baez's first record came out in 1960.  Joe Tex's came out in 1955, but he didn't break until the mid-60's.

This is why my Veterans Committee idea is still on the table.  And much needed.

The big complaint about my own picks will be that there are too many first time eligibles. I'll accept that criticism. So, I figure a dark horse or two will get in.  But voters had many new, popular acts to choose from this year.  We say it all the time:  there's always a surprise inductee.  I'm going with 6, but hoping that one of those gets slotted elsewhere, leaving an opening for a 7th.  That's right, dream big Hall followers.

1. Joan Baez - She fits two important criteria:  Baby Boomer icon, and though she's not known for her songwriting, the yearly Singer-Songwriter slot. Also, many probably thought she was already inducted.

2. Chic -  OK, here's my proposal, which has been brought up by others as well.  Why not give Chic the Musical Excellence Award?  It's not like Nile Rodgers & Bernard Edwards don't deserve it for their non-Chic and Chic era Production/Songwriting work.  This also frees up a slot for another inductee. Somebody on the NomCom must have thought of this scenario already?

3. Electric Light Orchestra -  Jeff Lynne appears to have worked with almost every Rock artist inducted in the Hall.  So, if they all returned their ballots ELO would fly in, right?  The fact that Lynne reactivated the ELO moniker for a tour and album in 2015/2016 could help.   Also, another name people thought were already inducted.

4. Journey -  Hey, the fan vote winner always gets in.  Obviously, Journey were no critical darlings.  But they are still very much a fan favorite, always touring and are on a radio/streaming device somewhere near you at all times.  Of course this same scenario didn't help Bon Jovi in 2011, but that was before the Hall embraced populist names.

5. Pearl Jam -   No further comment.

6.  2Pac - The only Rap artist nominated and he is indeed a legendary icon.  But I've got a weird feeling about this one.  At first he seemed liked a sure pick, but I've downgraded his chances since then.  Still picking him, but no shocker if he's not in on his first try.

The Rest

Bad Brains -  Every year a NomCom shocker, and this was it.  Whether they end up in the "one and done" nominee file remains to be seen.  No chance on their first try, but kudos to Tom Morello for getting them on the ballot.

Cars - 2nd time nominated.  Looking for a dark horse?  Lots of AOR/New Wave hits, which should have voters giving them a good look.

Depeche Mode - Now part of that rotating 80's English Alt/Indie Rock trio of nominees along with the Smiths and the Cure.  The latter two couldn't get in, so I'm not expecting Depeche Mode to break the trend.

J. Geils Band -  4th time nominated, and a NomCom (Little Steven) fave.  Since they were last nominated in 2011, more Classic Rock artists have gone in, which could help get them in.

Janet Jackson - 2nd time nominated.  The fact that she missed out last year, when I thought she would be an easy pick, had me struggling with this pick.

Jane's Addiction -  Although they've been eligible since 2012, no one predicted this one either.  80's Indie Rock bands don't get much respect.

Chaka Khan -  2nd time nominated solo, and once with Rufus.  The NomCom obviously likes her,  and her longevity should win over older voters.

Kraftwerk -  4th time nominated, and again a critically loved NomCom fave that could get in as more 80's/90's era acts who they influenced are inducted.  Another Dark Horse candidate?

MC5 - 2nd time nominated, last in 2003.  Talk about resurrecting a name from the past.  Punk pioneers that many voters know little about.

Steppenwolf - Not many paying attention to this surprise nomination.  Have a handful of AOR staples.   Could appeal to Boomers and Classic Rock voters.

Joe Tex - 5th time nominated.  First in 1998, last in 2011.  He's sadly too underrated and overlooked to get inducted.  But I'm always rooting for him.  BTW- Tex would be a perfect candidate for my newly minted Veterans Committee.  His first records came out in the mid-50's. and his first hit in '64.

Yes -   Here's one that stumped me, but would be no surprise if they are inducted on their 3rd try. The Prog-Rock label might hurt them.   But Yes had a few Top 40 hits and a bunch of  AOR staples, and could get lots of votes from fellow Classic Rock inductees.

Zombies - 2nd time nominated and another Steven Van Zandt fave.  Not the most well-known of the British Invasion acts, despite some great singles and one classic album.  Another name, though that could appeal to Baby Boomers.

ICYMI, my   2017 Rock Hall: Personal Picks
Which were:  Chic, Chaka Khan, ELO, Journey, Joe Tex

Add to Technorati Favorites