The 2015 Nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame are IN! What an exciting, eclectic group we have to work with this year. There are some total surprises, and some predictable inclusions, and a very clear breakdown of who should be in and who will get in… unfortunately there isn’t much overlap. Here is the entire rundown:
The Remedied Snubs:
The Smiths’ nomination for the Hall of Fame is an incredible victory. The Smiths, who only existed for half a decade, are one of the most important alternative rock groups to ever come out of the UK. They’re kind of the dark horse on the ballot, as some of the fellow nominees are drawing a little more attention. As unlikely as it is that they’ll make it in, I would never count them out.
It has been over 20 years since The Spinners became eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame …and they are still hanging out on the ballot. Unlike some of this year’s other longterm benched nominees, though, this is only their second nod. The “Hallelujah” here is that they haven’t been lost in the shuffle of new acts being pushed through.
STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN
Now this is the true “Hallelujah” moment on this year’s ballot. Heralded as one of the greatest guitarists of all time, Stevie was a modern blues hero with all of the backing you could hope for. There has been such a call to arms to see him inducted that, in a similar way to Rush and KISS’ inductions, he will get pushed in right away. I think he’s a shoe-in.
This is not War’s first nomination for Hall of Fame induction, and unfortunately, it probably won’t be their last. These funk gods have a reasonably stacked catalog full of memorable songs that have helped shape rock and roll, and it’s a testament to their greatness that they even found their way back onto the ballot. Many of their peers sadly have not.
Yes, this is Bill Withers’ first nomination. Let that sink in for a minute. With hits like “Lean On Me,” “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and “Use Me,” this soulful, bluesy vocalist has been more than qualified for induction for over almost 20 years! It’s incredibly unfortunate that he’s most likely going to get edged out because of numbers, but at least it’s a step in the right direction.
The Reoccurring Cast:
(AKA: “Induct Them Already!”)
THE PAUL BUTTERFIELD BLUES BAND
This is a group (more of a a collective, really) that doesn’t have the public backing to really conjure up a rally to get them in, but music historians and enthusiasts alike know just how important the Paul Butterfield Blues Band truly is to the history of rock and roll. They should have been inducted 20-some years ago, in all honesty.
Oh let’s just get it over with! Chic undeniably deserves to be in the Hall of Fame for countless reasons, but there’s clearly something that’s been holding them back year after year (after year.) This is their EIGHTH consecutive and NINTH overall nomination. How is it that they never get their due? This has got to be their year. It’s just torture otherwise!
When talking about the lineage of rock and roll, the fact that Kraftwerk hasn’t gotten past a nomination is backwards. They were the original electro-rockers, and everyone who found themselves at the top of the charts from the 80s through today owes them a debt of gratitude. It’s relieving they haven’t been forgotten about, but it’s time to induct them.
The Marvelettes have never been properly placed on the pedestal they deserve. They were Motown’s proper girl group before we even knew who The Supremes were. With hits like “Please Mr. Postman” under their belt, it’s just totally unfair that all of their peers have long since been welcomed into the hall, but that even their successors have been, too.
This is Lou Reed’s year. Having just passed away, it’s almost a no brainer that he will be (rightfully) pushed right on through. Despite already being inducted as a member of the Velvet Underground, this iconic pioneer deserves an acknowledgement for his solo work. This is only his third nod, but it has sincerely been a long time coming.
(AKA: “Not Quite Yet.”)
Ok, we get it. Green Day is one of the most iconic, important, lauded acts of their generation. Clearly they are great, and clearly they have a spot reserved for them in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. This is their first year of eligibility, and while many see them as an intense frontrunner, it wouldn’t be right for them to overstep some acts who have been patiently waiting.
JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS
Joan Jett and her Blackhearts are undeniably a great band. They deserve an eventual spot in the Hall, but, for right now, their induction would just seem a bit lukewarm compared to their fellow nominees. It just wouldn’t be right for them to overstep some acts who have clearly had more impact, importance, and longevity, at least for the time being.
It seems as though the Hall of Fame’s intense rush mission to give hip hop had a prominent place in the sea of inductees (some of us didn’t need convincing,) has died down a bit. Keeping in mind the broader spectrum of rock music, and the fact that many of hip hop’s formative leaders are still seeking induction, N.W.A. might have to sit out a bit longer.
NINE INCH NAILS
No one can argue with the importance of Nine Inch Nails. Their sound was a cure ball so desperate injected into an otherwise routine genre that has left an impact still felt today. This, however, is their first year of eligibility, and in the essence of giving some more tenured acts a chance to finally be inducted, it’s probably respectable to let them sit this one out.
I guess this makes sense. Sting was certainly a compelling, successful solo artist outside of his career with The Police (previously inducted, obviously.) Compared to some of his fellow nominees, though, it just wouldn’t be right to give him a slot this go around. It’s certainly something that should happen eventually, but not for right now.
- GREEN DAY
- JOAN JETT & THE BLACKHEARTS
- NINE INCH NAILS
- LOU REED
- STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN
THE IDEAL INDUCTEES:
- LOU REED
- THE SMITHS
- STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN
- BILL WITHERS