Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Personal Picks: 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

15 nominees this year.

Below are my Personal picks, listed in alphabetical order.  Most of the 15 nominees could get a Yes vote from me in other years.

Can only vote for 5, which has always been an impossible task. Because the Hall usually inducts 6,  I've listed a bonus vote, after my Top 5.

And after each of my picks, I recommend some of their best recordings.

Again, these are my Personal choices, not predictions.

Top 5

Janet Jackson -  Back on the ballot for a 3rd time, after being snubbed last year.  A world tour and a Billboard Icon award have put her accomplishments back in the public eye. Could be a winner of the fan vote, if her fans show up at the polls.
1.  Control
2.  Rhythm Nation 1814
3.  Number Ones
4.  Janet
5.  Velvet Rope

John Prine - This year's surprise nominee.  Somebody else said it already, he's a "National Treasure".  Along with Gram Parsons, he's one of the Fathers of Americana music.  Prine is simply one of the greatest singer/songwriters of his generation.
1.  John Prine - s/t
2.  Missing Years
3.  Great Days: John Prine Anthology
4.  Sweet Revenge
5.  Tree of Forgiveness

LL Cool J - His acting career diluted his recording career.  I've been saying that from his first nomination in 2010 (now on his 5th try).  That's too bad because from the mid-80's to mid-90's he was Rap's greatest male star.
1.  Mama Said Knock You Out
2.  All World: Greatest Hits
3.  Radio
4.  MTV Unplugged 1991 Performance of "Mama Said Knock You Out"
5.  Walking Like A Panther

Roxy Music - Finally nominated.  Glam Rock, Art-Rock, New Romantics.  Bryan Ferry & Co. were great at whatever genre they touched.  Also had big influence on the New Wave movement of the early 80's.
1.  Siren
2.  Avalon
3.  Best of 
4.  Roxy Music - s/t
5.  Country Life

Rufus with Chaka Khan -   No other way to say this: but Chaka Khan has one of the most powerful voices you'll ever hear.  And with and without Rufus she put out a bunch of classic hits.  (5th nomination: 3 as group, 2 as solo Chaka)

1. Very Best of Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
2.  Best of Chaka Khan (solo)
3.  Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
4.  Rufusized
5.  I'm Every Woman (solo)

Bonus Pick 

Todd Rundgren - A Musical Excellence pick?  He's got all the credentials.  Producer, solo performer, Utopia, Nazz, Music Video pioneer.

1.  Something/Anything?
2.  Very Best of
3.  "We're An American Band"  - Grand Funk (Producer)
4.  New York Dolls - s/t   (Producer)
5.  Straight Up - Badfinger (Producer)

The Rest

Cure - 2nd nomination (last in 2012).  It wasn't all Gloom-Rock.  Robert Smith wrote some of the most poppiest Alternative songs of the 80's.

Def Leppard - As long as they had Mutt Lange they were making the hookiest Pop/Metal in that genre's world.  Hysteria is still pretty great.

Devo - They had the look and the sound that was just perfect for the burgeoning New Wave movement of the early 80's.

Kraftwerk - Influenced EDM, Rap music and a host of Rock acts that wanted to dabble in electronic dance sounds.  5th time nominated.  And, yes, I always feel bad that they keep missing my Top 5.

MC5 -  Their music sounds more relevant than it has since the 60's/early 70's. 4th nomination

Radiohead - Last year's shoo-in, turned out to be the shocking snub of 2018.  For me, I've always been mixed on them.  Love "Creep", "High and Dry", and some others.  But was never a big fan.

Rage Against the Machine - Never really warmed to their revolution.  Kind of like Tom Morello's post RATM years better.   2nd nomination.

Stevie Nicks - Was her solo career Rock Hall worthy?  No. And yes I do love "Edge of Seventeen" , "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around" and "Stand Back".

Zombies - One of the last British Invasion bands that has a chance at induction. Every home should have a copy of Odessey and Oracle.  With S. Van Zandt's surprise announcement of a Singles category at last year's ceremony, there's a sense that if they don't get in as an artist, "Time of the Season" would get in as a Single (if the category comes back). 4th nomination.

Outside of the Zombies, there are no pre-1964 era acts nominated. So here's my updated post on whether the Rock Hall needs a Veterans Committee. Rock Hall Veterans Committee And how it should be set up.  
That post has been updated for 2019 inductions:

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