Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees – 2014 Edition!



It’s that time of year again, kiddies!  The nominees for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame have been announced!! YES!!!

Okay, so actually none of us waits for this.  Unless you were part of a band from at least 25 years ago that has maintained some bit enduring impact.  I don’t even think I knew they released a list of nominees before just telling us who is getting inducted.  And I only know now by accident (thanks Facebook!).  Regardless of how, now I know.  And it would be irresponsible of me not to do something with this information.  So, let’s decide who gets into the R&R HOF, shall we!

First, let’s all get on the same page with this thing:  Sixteen nominees have been announced.  A body of about 600 voters will rank the nominees and vote for who they think should get in.  About 5-7 typically get inducted.  Voting ends somewhere around December.  There is no hard deadline on this because we are talking largely about musicians, here. they’ll get around to it.  Final inductees will be announced in February, followed by a big ol’ ceremony/concert in April.  But here’s where we come in!

In addition to the voting body, fans (you and me) can also vote online.  All of the fan votes are counted and the cumulative top five is submitted as one ballot representing the fan vote.  We collectively have a 1/600th say in the vote.  That’s power, baby!

I will now present the sixteen nominees in alphabetical order, with a couple of their most known songs, and brief commentary.  Then, I will tell you how I will rank them on my ballot.  And after that, I fully expect to hear from you.  Here we go!

Paul Butterfield Blues Band: “Got My Mojo Working”, “Born In Chicago” – Paul Butterfield Snooze Band.  Sorry, just not for me.  Hard core bluesies may now tell me all the reasons I’m wrong.

Chic: “Good Times”, “Le Freak” –  In the Disco genre, they were among the best of the actual bands.  Nile Rodgers was their guitarist, which helps.  But this is their 8th time on the ballot.  Ruh-roh, Raggy.

Deep Purple:  “Smoke On The Water”, “Hush”.  Early metal rockers.   Other early metal bands from their peer group are already in.  Not so sure these guys need to join them.  But if there is a song wall somewhere in the Hall’s Cleveland home, “Smoke” should be on it.

Peter Gabriel:  “Solsbury Hill”, “In Your Eyes” – He’s not in yet?  Well, technically he is, as a member of Genesis.  But he should also get in for his impact as a solo artist both in and out of the studio.

Hall & Oates:  “Sarah Smile”, “You Make My Dreams” – I could have continued listing songs for about two or three more paragraphs.  These guys lived in the top 40 for about ten years straight during the 70’s and 80’s.  They remain the biggest selling duo in history.

KISS:  “Rock & Roll All Night”, “I Was Made For Loving You” – Makeup!  Explosions! Fake blood! Tongues!  And a handful of decent party anthems.  Oh – and an accidental hit ballad.  I can’t make up my mind on these guys.  Though I’m sure KISS Nation will be heard loud and clear on the fan ballot.

LL Cool J:  “Mama Said Knock You Out”, “Goin’ Back To Cali” – I do like me some LL.  But  probably not enough to put him in my top 5 for the Hall.  Poor guy.  He just needs a little love.

The Meters:  “Cissy Strut”, “Hey Pocky A-Way” – They’ve been called a cornerstone of funk.  Largely know for working with other artists, like on Dr. John’s “Right Place, Wrong Time”.  This New Orleans band does cut a tight groove, but I don’t think they make the cut here.

N.W.A.:  “Express Yourself”, “F*** The Police” – Dr. Dre, Ice Cube, Easy-E, MC Ren, and DJ Yella.  These guys are Hip-Hop legends.  As a white suburban kid, N.W.A. didn’t connect with me.  But their influence is indisputable.  A favorite for induction this year.

Nirvana:  “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, “In Bloom” – They are the only artist on this year’s ballot in their first year of eligibility.  Also, they will get in.  In 1991, Nirvana was a game changer.  That doesn’t happen very often.

Linda Ronstadt: “You’re No Good”, “Don’t Know Much (featuring Aaron Neville)” – She’s been in the news recently since announcing that Parkinson’s is preventing her from singing anymore.  Worthy of consideration, but her legacy may be a little thin to win.

The Replacements:  “I Will Dare”, “Can’t Hardly Wait” – If this was simply a list of my favorites, they would be a slam dunk.  Hard Core roots with a pop-rock sensibility, these guys should have been way bigger than they were.  Their legacy has continued to gain relevance over time.  It’s close.

Cat Stevens: “Peace Train”, Wild World” – So many great songs  This acoustic singer-songwriter was huge in the front half of the 70’s.  He’s a personal favorite, but the objective part of me struggles to put him top five.

Link Wray: “Rumble”, “Jack The Ripper” – An important early rock & roll guitarist, I don’t feel his overall body of work and influence merits inclusion from this list.  But “Rumble” gets on to that song wall.

Yes:  “Roundabout”, “Owner of A Lonely Heart” – I was actually surprised these guys hadn’t been considered before.  Ground breakers in the progressive rock scene.  The induction of Rush last year may actually help put Yes through (though it probably should’ve been the other way around).

The Zombies: “Time of the Season”, “She’s Not There” – Influential 60’s rockers with a handful of hits.  Like The Replacements, history has exposed their impact more than their present ever did.  But is it enough?


So there are your nominees!  Remember, the composite fan ballot will only submit a top five.  So, using as much objectivity as possible, here are my top five:

1.  Nirvana

2.  Peter Gabriel

3.  Hall & Oates

4.  N.W.A.

5.  Yes

The subjective me really struggled with the objective me on this one.  Leaving The Replacements off was tough (I slotted them at number 6).  Personally, I prefer LL Cool J over N.W.A. everyday of the week.  But the objective me gets the broader impact of N.W.A. and had to rank accordingly.  And while Cat Stevens is easily one of my favorites in this batch of sixteen, I could not logically reason him anywhere near the top half of the bunch. 

So there you go!  Let me know who you think are the five most deserving nominees to receive induction into this year’s Rock & Roll Hall of Fame!




~ by themattmorrisshow on October 28, 2013.

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