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2019 Rock Hall Nominees

October 10, 2018

Let me reiterate what I've been saying since 1983:

 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio is a nice, shiny tomb for Rock Music. 

 

Every year I swear I'm not going to get worked up about who gets in and who doesn't, and then the Rock Hall basically picks names out of a hat to see who's going to be inducted sending my blood pressure back up. 

 

This year is no different, but this time I'm going to make predictions not based on the music, but based on what industry pinheads think.

 

 

 

Todd Rundgren

 

Of the 15 artists on the list, Todd Rundgren is by far the most deserving. A staple of Classic Rock radio and a pioneer of New Wave music, it is unfathomable that he wasn't inducted 20 years ago. He had hits (Hello, It's Me), he had longevity, (2 dozen solo albums, half a dozen albums with Utopia), and he was a prolific producer (including Meatloaf's Bat Out of Hell and Grand Funk Railroad's We're an American Band.)

 

Should he get in? ABSOLUTELY.

 

Will he get in? Yes, I believe the Rock Hall is looking for a Classic Rock act for 1 of the 5 slots. They should still get a kick in the shins for waiting so long.

 

My favorite Rundgren song? I'm going way off the board with the song Feet Don't Fail Me Now.

 

 

Rage Against the Machine

 

No one, and I mean no one, captures the energy and angst of angry youth better than Rage Against the Machine. Their 3 albums of original material were hugely influential, not only on music, but on society itself. Tim Commerford, Zack de la Rocha, Tom Morello, and Brad Wilk were catalysts of combustible music. So combustible in fact, you can't even get them in the same room together anymore.

 

Should they get in? Absolutely. (Actually them not getting in, but burning down the Rock Hall would be more apropos.)

 

Will they get in? Yes, but not for the reason you think. I believe, that despite every song that the band ever wrote was released before the year 2000, that they will be inducted as a repudiation of Donald Trump. 

 

My favorite Rage song? Killing in the Name (Uncut Version)

 

As for the rest of the nominees? Now it gets tricky.....

Def Leppard

 

Def Leppard was an average hair metal band that had the distinction of having every single they ever released being progressively worse than the one before it. By the time Hysteria was released, they were unlistenable.

 

Should they get in? Seeing that I only liked 3 singles, all 1983 or before, out of a discography of a dozen albums and over 100 songs? No.

 

Will they get in? See that pinhead picture at the top of the article? They will get in because they are the British Version of Bon Jovi. They sold a ton of crappy albums.

 

My favorite Def Leppard song? Easy. Bringin' on the Heartbreak.

 

Radiohead

 

I think this one may be the hardest one for me. On the strength of one song and one song alone, Karma Police, they eventually belong in the Rock Hall. When you have a tenuous grip on reality and a simple piece of music tethers you to your own thoughts, that is a rarely captured state of mind.

 

Should they get in? Eh, maybe in a few years? My issue with Radiohead is that it seems like everyone thinks that they are the greatest band in the world. They're not. Don't get me wrong, they're a really good band, but...

 

Let's try this angle. There was a pitcher named Bert Blyleven who deserved to get into the Baseball Hall of Fame on the first ballot. The Baseball Writers waited 14 years to vote him in. In 14 years, he never got any better, never made any more strikeouts, never won any more games. The voters seemed to be waiting for something. And that's how I feel about Radiohead, they are on that line of greatness. If I rated the nominees of who belongs in the Rock Hall, Radiohead would be 6th out of the 15 listed. And they certainly don't deserve it over contemporaries like Nine Inch Nails, Soundgarden, or Rage Against the Machine.

 

Will they get in? I think there is a groundswell of popular support for the band. They have good singles, I liked the Kid A album (even if it was a little inaccessible) and they have continued to have quality releases throughout the years.

 

My favorite Radiohead song? Again, Karma Police.

 

Janet Jackson & Stevie Nicks

 

Both artists are getting into the Rock Hall eventually. I'm going to hedge here because one of the two is getting in this year, and the other is in the next year or two. I really believe that the Hall fishes with a big net, they don't want 5 artists from the same genre, so for the fifth slot I think they want a strong woman.

 

Will (they) get in? Janet Jackson has a dozen #1 singles, so she has the edge this year. 

 

Should (they) get in? A lukewarm yes for both. Nicks is already in with Fleetwood Mac, but she does have an impressive discography on her own.

 

Favorite song Jackson & Nicks? Favorite song by Stevie Nicks is either Gold Dust Woman with Fleetwood Mac or Stop Draggin' My Heart Around with Tom Petty. Favorite song by Jackson?

The guitar driven Black Cat.

 

 

Roxy Music

Uh, no.

 

Will they get in? No.

 

Should they get in? No.

 

No, no, no.

 

Favorite Roxy Music song? Love is the Drug.

 

John Prine

 

What were they thinking?

 

Will he get in? No

 

Should he get in? He shouldn't have even been nominated.

 

You don't even get a favorite John Prine song because I can literally name 100... no 200.... no a thousand artists who deserve a nomination more.

 

LL Cool J

 

I like LL Cool J, but.....

 

Will he get in? No.

 

Should he get in? No... You know what, I take that back. If you're going to put rappers in the Rock Hall, why not LL? Cool J's 1989 release Walking with a Panther was about as good as Run DMC's 1988 release Tougher Than Leather and Run-DMC has been in the Rock Hall for a decade.

 

Favorite LL Cool J song? Going Back to Cali. It's actually one of my favorite songs.

 

Kraftwerk 

 

They were pioneers, I know. Put them in the German Music Hall of Fame.

 

Will they get in? I hope not, but this is their 5th nomination.

 

Should they get in? No.

 

Favorite Kraftwerk song? How 'bout this? Wait a year and put German industrial heavyweights Rammstein into the Rock Hall instead. 

 

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan

 

Rufus was way, way off of my radar in the 70's and 80's.

 

Will they get in? No.

 

Should they get in? If you take the Bee Gees out.

 

The Cure

 

It's not called the College Radio Hall of Fame. 

 

Will they get in? Not this year, and probably never.

 

Should they get in? Yes. I never understood how The Cure didn't garner more mainstream success in America. The American masses were about a decade behind Europe in discovering The Cure.  

 

Favorite Cure song? Just Like Heaven.

 

MC5

 

Hugely influential, never listened to. Just like Black Flag, everyone talks about MC5 as an influence, but when is the last time you listening to their music?

 

Will they get in? No. 

 

Should they get in? I don't think so. Some people consider Kick Out the Jams the first punk song. I'm not so sure. They barely released an hours worth of original material before breaking up way back in 1972.

 

Devo

 

The longer I live, the more I appreciate what Devo was trying to say. With tongues firmly planted in their cheeks, they named their band after the concept of de-evolution.

-The idea that instead of continuing to evolve, mankind has actually begun to regress, as evidenced by the dysfunction and herd mentality of American society.

 

Will they get in? No. 

 

Should they get in? Of course. Unfortunately the herd mentality wins again when Def Leppard gets in and Devo is left out.

 

Favorite Devo song? Through Being Cool.

 

The Zombies

 

Honestly, I thought the Zombies were already in the Rock Hall.

 

Will they get in? No.

Why? Who knows.

 

Should they get in? How are the Zombies not in the Rock Hall? 

 

Seriously how did the Rock Hall miss the Zombies?

 

Let's recap, shall we? Will get in: Rundgren, Rage, Radiohead, Def Leppard, Jackson (or Nicks).

Should get in: Rundgren, Rage, The Cure, Devo, Jackson.

 

Worst Snubs in the Nomination Process? Nine Inch Nails, Weird Al Yankovic, Sonic Youth, John Frusciante (solo), Fugazi, Frampton, Dead Kennedys, Soundgarden, Wu-Tang Clan, Slade, Bone Thugs-n-Harmony, and Godflesh.

Update 12 Hours Later: Local nemesis cleveland.com wrote a similar article and didn't agree with me at all. Despite being a fan of Troy Smith's, him and I are not on the same page concerning the Rock Hall. I wanted to comment on my disagreements. Comments were shut down. I wanted to post the link so in 2 months, we could see who was better at predictions. The link didn't work.

 

So here we sit, here's the screenshot of Troy Smith's most deserving band to get in the Rock Hall along with his rankings:

2. Radiohead

3. Janet Jackson

4. Roxy Music

5. The Cure

 

One thing we agree on? Def Leppard. From Troy Smith... "it’s likely Def Leppard gets in, because voters prefer a second tier 1970s/1980s band than a top tier one from the 1990s. And that’s sad."

 

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