The Rock Hall has announced their Nominees for the Class of 2014. They are many repeat nominees so we shall see if the second..or third…or fourth time is the charm.
Using My Morning Jacket’s “Wordless Chorus” lyrics of “We Are The Innovators, They are The Imitators”, I will let you know who I think should go admitted it to the Hall.
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The Paul Butterfield Blues Band– IMITATORS This was my opinion last year and it hasn’t changed. Great musicians that were a springboard for many more innovative acts
Chic–IMITATORS. Another band with another attempt to get in. They actually might get in this year because of Nile Rogers contributions to Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” which just proves what I said last year. Nile Rogers “deserves to be in the Rock Hall for his production work alone”.
Peter Gabriel–INNOVATORS Hard to believe he’s not in the Hall already (he kind of is as Genesis was inducted in 2010). Peter Gabriel’s solo records in the 70’s, video work in the 80’s, creation of WOMAD, Real World record label and dynamic stage shows to this day should easily get him into the Hall.
Hall & Oates–IMITATORS It’s hard to deny those 34 chart hits including six number 1 songs but this was a singles band. I challenge you to come up with the title of three of their albums and they were not known as a strong concert performer. They deserve an award for crafting catchy songs but I don’t think they should be in the Hall.
KISS–INNOVATORS Whatever you think of them, there’s no denying that they built the model for creating a product and selling it well past its expiration date. From 1974-1977, KISS created a legacy built on well crafted hard rock songs based on good times. They created the KISS Army and put on a memorable stage show. They’ve lived well off those 4 years ever since. It’s the members of the KISS Army that will get KISS into the Rock Hall through the Rock Hall Fan Ballot It’s also a great opportunity to play 45 minutes of classic Paul Stanley stage banter.
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LL Cool J–IMITATORS He was probably Hip Hop’s first heart throb and he created a number of memorable songs but it pales when compared to RUN DMC and Public Enemy. There were more innovative hip hop acts from the 80s that should get in (see N.W.A.)
The Meters-IMITATORS Session players that teamed up with Dr. John and created many tracks that hip hop picked up on to sample but they didn’t get in last year nor will they now.
Nirvana–INNOVATORS The only sure bet this year. They famously unseated Michael Jackson from the #1 spot on the album charts in 1992 and killed the hair band scene. The music industry has now fragmented, but their legacy lives on as artists still strive for the honesty and legitimacy Nirvana presented with their records and shows.
N.W.A.-INNOVATORS I guess the Rock Hall has space for only one hip hop band per year. N.W. A. was nominated last year but only Public Enemy got in. It’s time to recognize the significance of the Los Angeles hip hop scene. They turned hip hop on its ear with Straight Outta Compton. This year should be their year.
The Replacements– INNOVATORS It would be appropos if these Minneapolis punk rockers would be skipped over to get in to the Rock Hall. As they famously sang in “Bastards of Young “God, what a mess, on the ladder of success,Where you take one step and miss the whole first rung” but it would be a huge mistake to omit these “bastards”. Great albums, memorable shows but nary one hit album. They influenced too many bands to mention and their marketing plan was the complete opposite of KISS (no marketing plan) which makes them more rock and roll than anybody on this list.
Linda Ronstadt–INNOVATORS I’m so happy so she got nominated and I think with the release of her autobiography the timing may be right for her to get in. Sure she didn’t write her own songs but she could choose the best material and interpret it to make it her own. Try listening to Gary White’s “Long Long Time” and not believe this is something deeply personal to Linda. If Patti Smith and Debbie Harry represented the female rockers in the 70s, Linda represented the West.
Cat Stevens–IMITATORS He was passed over in 2006 but I wouldn’t be surprised if he got in now as sentiment to his folk rock songs have inspired the likes of Jack Johnson and Amos Lee. Still, his songs while carrying the universal theme of peace seem to be of the 70s and have not aged particular well
Link Wray–INNOVATORS He deserves to get in just for the amazing influence to inspire other musicians with his song “Rumble”. Nothing like it came before and it inspired, punk, metal, blues and every hybrid in between.
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Yes–IMITATORS Sure Roundabout is still epic but being able to play in time signatures that are not 4/4 should not automatically get you into the Hall. Rush got in last year with a rabid fan following. Yes, does not have as loyal a following and some of the so-called classics the band created in the 70s now sound bloated.
The Zombies–IMITATORS The band has made some of my favorite songs of all time, including most likely my favorite of all time “This Will Be Our Year” but I don’t think a few songs are enough to get in.
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The inductees will be announced in December. The induction ceremony will be in April.
Vote for your favorites be clicking on the photo.