My Predictions for the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class

Wow, this is the first post I’ve made on my blog all year!  I’ve been spending most of the year working and playing video games, so I’ve been away for awhile, but with Rock Hall season upon us, it’s time for me to make my return to the blogosphere!  Not to mention, I have other music-related blogs in mind to make, so I’m hoping to be on here more frequently than I’ve been throughout the year.

Anyways, enough of the small talk.  Let’s get to the reason why you’re reading this blog, my predictions on the next Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class of course!  As is becoming the norm, I’m really late to the party, even later than usual.  Part of it is just general laziness, while the other part is me liking to see whom all of the other Rock Hall watchers and pundits are predicting.  Plus, I like to read as much information online as possible for hints at who those on the Nominating Committee will be pushing for.  I, of course, want to get as many predictions correct as possible, right?

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Remaking the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pt. 3: 2006-2016

After a few months with Christmas season coming and going, I finally have enough time to unveil the conclusion to my grand project of remaking the 30 year history of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  In two previous blog entries, I remade the list of nominees and inducted artists of the Rock Hall through the years 1986-2005.  I changed the format of the Hall by nominating 30 artists each year and choosing 10 for induction.  Once an artist gets nominated, they essentially stay on the ballot each year until receiving induction.  Meaning each year, 10 new artists joins the ballot.  With this format, I’ve managed to get the majority of worthy artists inducted into the Hall and inducted within a few years of being eligible, while doing a solid job of telling a truly chronologically accurate account of the history of rock and roll through the yearly inductees.  Obviously it’s not perfect as not every single notable artist is inducted, and some artists did have to wait a bit longer, but it’s certainly a vast improvement from the real HOF.  In the third and final part of this 3 series blog, I will highlight the last decade of the Hall, a decade where alternative rock, hair metal, new wave, and rap music came to the forefront of music and thus started becoming eligible for the Rock Hall.  This decade is arguably the most controversial in the Hall’s history as it was at this point that social media came to dominate the world landscape and brought to light many of the negative practices of the Hall itself.  The lack of acknowledgement for MTV-era music, and the lack of acknowledgment of massively popular 70’s classic rock bands, and then in a turn-about the arguable over-saturation of those types of artists in the second half of the decade.  Back-door politics and deals that threatened to undermine the integrity of the Rock Hall.  Thus this will probably be the most interesting part of my 3 part project/blog as this will be the toughest to fix.  But I feel I’m up to the challenge and managed to make the Hall even better than I did in the previous two decades.

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My Predictions for the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

It’s finally here.  Within the next 30 hours, we will know which artists will be joining the icons of music in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame come 2017.  The inductees are set to be announced at 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday morning, via a live announcement on Sirius XM.  This has been quite the season for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, as the Hall unleashed it’s biggest ballot of nominees since the early days of the HOF.  There’s something for everyone on this ballot.  If you love the 90’s, you’ve got Pearl Jam and 2Pac to go for, if you love alternative rock and punk, there’s Jane’s Addiction, the MC5, and Bad Brains, if you love classic rock, you have long time snubbed acts like Journey, Electric Light Orchestra, the Cars, Yes, Steppenwolf, the J. Geils Band, and the Zombies to root for.  If you love pop and dance music you’ve got Janet Jackson.  If you love 60’s folk you’ve got Joan Baez.  If you love classic 60’s and 70’s R&B there’s Joe Tex, Chic, and Chaka Khan, if you love electronic music, there’s Kraftwerk and Depeche Mode.  The Hall of Fame in recent years have provided for some really strong, diverse ballots of artists for the voters to choose from.  The Hall has added some new blood to the Nominating Committee in recent years including Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine, Questlove of the Roots, and as of this year, Dave Grohl of Nirvana and the Foo Fighters, and it has shown.  The Hall this year has also added more younger, diversity-minded music critics and journalists to the Voting Committee (hopefully that will include bloggers such as myself in the coming years, one can dream, right?!) to try to give non-classic rock acts more of a chance of getting voted upon.

The reason for this is because the recent groups of inductees have been classic rock-heavy, which is the result of the major bulk of the Voting Committee being the very inducted artists in the HOF who are more likely to vote for artists that influenced them or their peers, and because the majority of the current living inductees are classic rock artists from the 1960’s and 1970’s, they’re more likely to continue to vote for their long-time snubbed peers, rather than more innovative originators that went unnoticed in their time (ala Kraftwerk, Big Star, etc.), or younger artists that came after them and were of genres that artists from the 60’s/70’s era or rock just never got and never will (ala artists of genres like rap, disco, punk and alternative rock, metal, grunge, electronica, and dance-pop).  The fact that Chic has been nominated a record 11 times and still hasn’t been voted in is a direct result of this, as many of the 60’s/70’s rock artists hated disco music in their time and still do to this day (much like the Rolling Stone crowd holding a 40 year grudge against the Monkees for being a “fake” band).  The nearly all white, male 2016 class (including Chicago, Deep Purple, Steve Miller, and Cheap Trick) was very alarming for many people who want more diverse classes (be it genres, races, and/or genders), including the HOF foundation itself, and thus the Hall has tried to make the Voting Committee more diverse to give other artists more of a chance of being voted in.

Will it effect who gets in?  Will we have a more diverse class this year compared to last?  We’ll find out on Tuesday morning.

As diverse as the ballot is though, and with how much change has come across the Hall foundation in the last year after embarrassing fan protests, and Steve Miller’s public tirade against the Hall, surprisingly enough, the predictions coming from many of the Hall’s followers online has been pretty, well….safe and predictable.  Just about everyone has predicted Pearl Jam, Joan Beaz, Journey, and ELO, while the fifth and final inductee has been the one different for many of the more noted bloggers on the HOF.  Some have predicted Chic, some have predicted 2Pac, some have predicted Yes, some have predicted Janet Jackson.  Those expecting a left-field shocker of an inductee have predicted the J. Geils Band, and more recently Kraftwerk.  Another interesting development is that a number of the new younger, more social media-savvy critics and journalists added to the Voting Committee are posting their ballots online, and almost all of them have included Chic and/or Kraftwerk on their ballots, which is exactly what the HOF foundation was hoping for in adding these people to the Voting Committee.  So whereas before most wouldn’t expect acts like Chic and Kraftwerk to be able to stand a change against major pop culture icons like Janet Jackson, Pearl Jam, and/or 2Pac, or typical old styled favorites like Joan Baez or the J. Geils Band, or major popular classic rock acts like Journey, ELO, and Yes, with this younger, more diverse presence on the Voting Committee, anything seems possible now.

Since the fan vote was implemented for the 2013 class, every year the winner of the fan poll has been inducted with Rush in 2013, KISS in 2014, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble in 2015, and Chicago last year (errrr this year).  Journey won the fan poll this year, so that’s why many are predicting Journey to win out, but some are already starting to think that an upset might occur and Journey could become the first fan poll winner to not make it in, beings they don’t have the momentum or critical acclaim that the other previous acts have.  Though Rush, KISS, and Chicago were by no means ever critic darlings, Journey was probably even more hated by critics than those acts.  So who knows.  Then there’s the prospect of the Hall finally voting for more than 5 inductees or more.  The 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015 classes had 6 inductees which was a drastic improvement over the disastrous 2005-2011 run of 5 inductees per class, but then the Hall went back to 5 inductees for the 2016 class and as of now has stated will do so again for the 2017 class.  But with having the biggest ballot of nominees in over 25 years, many of us just can’t fathom how the Hall can only choose 5 inductees.  Surely they’ll have more, right?  We’ll find out Tuesday.

Usually by now, I have my final predictions set, but I’m really not sure who’s gonna make it.  I’ve read just about everyone’s predictions and they all make sense.  On the surface this seems like such an easy year to make predictions as the aforementioned Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, and Joan Baez sure do seem like sure things.  Pearl Jam, are freakin’ Pearl Jam. Of course they’ll go in right away.  Right?  ELO are long-time snubbed and their leader Jeff Lynne is one of the most respected musicians of the 70’s classic rock era.  The royalty of the rock world loves him as he collaborated with so many like Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and all of the Beatles.  Everyone loves ELO and Jeff Lynne.  They’re a sure-thing.  Right?  Journey won the fan poll.  That should mean they’re a lock.  Right?  Joan Baez is a long-time snubbed act who was one of the figureheads of 60’s folk music and basically spawned Bob Dylan (the greatest songwriter of all-time to many people) upon the music world.  And she was at the forefront of the political movement of music in the 1960’s, the time in history when music was more important than any other time in history.  And she’s still a political activist, even as she hits her upper 70’s.  She’s exactly the type of artists that Hall voters have always went for throughout it’s 30 year existence.  There’s no doubt, she’s going in.  Right?  It’s hard to say any of those four won’t make it.

But you also have Tupac Shakur, probably the biggest single icon in the history of rap music, and probably one of the 2-3 most iconic single figures in American music over the last 30 years.  Surely he’s going in right away.  Right?  Then there’s Janet Jackson, after Madonna, probably the most iconic female artists in the modern era of music, who’s also one of the most commercially successful artists in music history of any era.  With a younger element to the Voting Committee who will be more willing to embrace R&B, pop and dance music, her chances increase ten-fold.  Surely, she’ll make it in.  Right?  Then there’s Chic who have been nominated 11 times, more than any artist in the history of the Hall, who just about everyone by now thinks should be in.  Even people that don’t like them are sick of seeing them on the ballot.  And most of the ballots that have been made public have them checked off.  Surely they’ll make it in, right?  Then there’s the Cars, one of the most popular classic rock bands who also fit well with the 1980’s.  Just about any classic rock fan and alternative, electronic, new wave of the 1980’s fan will have them checked off.  That could be enough to get them in.  Right?   Then there’s Kraftwerk, the most important and influential band not yet in the Rock Hall who basically invented electronic music and paved the way for the way music is recorded and sounds today.  They could very much benefit from the younger presence on the Voting Committee, and they have appeared on all of the ballots made public in recent weeks.  They Could surprise everyone and make it in.  Right?  Then there’s the J. Geils Band who are, IMO, one of the least qualified acts on the ballot, but who are a prime example of the old-school politics of the HOF voting committee, where being friends or well liked by the most powerful members of the Nominating Committee and/or Voting Committee was enough to get you in.  Things have changed though, so the J. Geils Band should definitely not make it in.  Right?  Or will they surprise everyone and will the old-school ways of the Hall prevail and we get our surprise inductee?  Then there’s Yes, a very popular prog rock band who has now been nominated 3 times and many feel deserve in.  Can they make it in?  And then there’s the Zombies who have enjoyed a critical and commercial resurgence in recent years as many younger artists and music fans have come to see how great and overlooked the Zombies were at their peak, and who were also apart one of the most beloved eras in rock music history, the mid 1960’s British Invasion an era which pretty much always guaranteed an inductee if they had a presence on the Nominating Ballot.

And then there’s Chaka Khan, Depeche Mode, Jane’s Addiction, Steppenwolf, the MC5, Joe Tex, and Bad Brains who round out the ballot, and IMO have very little chance of making it, but even they all have cases on their side for why they could make it.  Except Joe Tex and Bad Brains, they’re just not gonna make it.  Then again, almost every year there’s an act that makes the final cut that no one sees coming, so it could be any one of those acts.  Even Tex and Bad Brains.  Ehhhh, probably not those two.

With that said, if you pay attention to small details to what you read, yes I did just highlight the exact order of my predictions for the 19 artists and their chances of making it.  So my final 5 predictions are indeed the first 5 artists I talked about.  Pearl Jam, Electric Light Orchestra, Journey, Joan Baez, and Tupac Shakur.  The rest of the order I talked about the artists, is my exact order of ranking.  Again my final list reads like this….

Ranking the 19 Nominees In The Order of Their Chances of Making It…

My Final 5 Predictions

1. Pearl Jam
2. Electric Light Orchestra
3. Journey
4. Joan Baez
5. Tupac Shakur

The Next Artists (If the Hall Increases the Inductees)

6. Janet Jackson
7. Chic
8. The Cars

The Surprise Inductees

9. Kraftwerk
10. The J. Geils Band
11. Yes
12. The Zombies
13. Chaka Khan
14. Depeche Mode
15. Jane’s Addiction
16. Steppenwolf

No Chance in Hell, Right?

17. The MC5
18. Joe Tex
19. Bad Brains

So that will do it for me on my predictions.  Pretty safe and predictable, but a sure thing.  Right?

Let me know your thoughts and comments.  About 28 more hours before we find out the inductees!  Yay!!!!!

 

Remaking the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, Pt. 2: 1996-2005

A few weeks ago I posted the first of three parts of my project of remaking the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  I appreciated all of the feedback to the first part which was mostly positive with some other interesting points brought up.  However, realistically, that was the easy part as the first decade of the Hall of Fame honestly didn’t have much wrong with it, as again pretty much everyone inducted were no brainers, and the Hall after the first couple of years found a great format as far as amount of inductees per year goes.  However, with the second part, this is where it’s about to get interesting.  In this part, you’re going to begin seeing many artists inducted in my re-made Hall of Fame that either took 10-20 years in real life to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, or even worse, still haven’t been inducted.  This is the part where you’re really  going to see the positive effect my inducting 10 acts per year has on the induction process.

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My Thoughts on the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

So on October 18, the long, national nightmare of followers of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was finally over.  The nominees for the 2017 class of the Hall of Fame were announced, and like every year, there were plenty of surprises thrown at us.  In the months leading up to October 18, many Rock and Roll Hall of Fame aficionados, along with myself, went through our yearly ritual of trying to analyze and predict what direction the Hall of Fame was gonna go with for the following year’s class, and also which artists would make up the nominees list for the 2017 class.  There were two things we all knew to expect.  1. Pearl Jam and 2Pac will be nominated; 2. Expect the unexpected.  Every year, we think we have the Hall of Fame down to a science and hope we’ll get it completely right.  And every year, the Hall always throws us curveballs and makes us have to re-think how we analyze the HOF and the Nominating Committee, and sure enough this year was no exception.

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Remaking the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Introduction

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of the most controversial, but fascinating institutions in American pop culture.  Every year a slate of artists from the last 60 years of music are considered for the illustrious honor of joining the likes of the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Led Zeppelin, Stevie Wonder, Michael Jackson, and Nirvana in the Hallowed Hall of Fame, and even less are ultimately chosen.  In the meantime, hundreds of legendary and popular acts are passed over, much to the dismay of hardcore and passionate music fans across the globe.  In the early years of the HOF, there wasn’t much controversy, as in the beginning, only artists from the 1950’s and early 1960’s were even eligible, so there really wasn’t much to complain about as the inductees for the most part were no brainers.  As the heavyweights of the British Invasion, Motown, and the late 60’s hippie-era American rock groups became eligible, again little controversy was generated as all of these acts being inducted were no-brainers for the most part.

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My Predictions for the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

It’s early September.  Fall begins in about a week.  School started for most children almost a month ago.  Football season started a week ago.  My birthday is in two days.  Lots of stuff going on.  So what else is coming up?  While, it’s “Christmas time” for enthusiasts and “budding-experts” of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as it’s about the time that the Nominating Committee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame meets to discuss their chosen artists they want to see be nominated for the next class of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame!  I’m among the last of my fellow Rock Hall enthusiasts to get around to making their predictions, but at long last, I’ve finally gotten around to it.

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My Thoughts on the 2016 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

September-December is always my favorite time of the year for many reasons.  Weather wise, those are my two favorite seasons.  Football and basketball seasons start.  My birthday is on September 15.  Christmas, my favorite holiday, takes place in December.  Peak season takes place at Amazon (where I work), which is the time of the year I make the most money.  But most importantly of all, September-December is Rock and Roll Hall of Fame season!

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