The 2013 Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Ballot
Long After Dark is very aware of the contradictions and backwards politics of the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame. The debate of who should get in and who should not, as is the case when the similar debate crosses over into sports, does, however always make for fun discussion points. One week after the 2012 class was inducted, it is natural to look towards next year’s ballot, which will include several first-time marquee names and the same annual list of mind-boggling snubs. Here are some the likely candidates for induction next year:
Traveling Wilburys – The supergroup consisting of George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison, and Jeff Lynne cut two albums (only one with Orbison). Of the two, the first was the most memorable, yielding an incredible series of hits from what may be the best record ever cut by a supergroup: “Handle With Care,” “End of the Line,” and “Congratulations.” At least you know their songwriting was good.
Brian Wilson – Wilson, who was already inducted as a member of the Beach Boys, is up for candidacy as a solo artist for the first time. While his Beach Boys creations were the most important part of his career, I can’t imagine how he doesn’t get in.
Tracy Chapman – Another shoe-in, the singer-songwriter has crafted three records that charted within the top ten, including her #1 self-titled debut in 1988. Chapman has also managed several collaborations some of the biggest names in blues, including B.B. King, Eric Clapton, and Buddy Guy.
Mudhoney – The first grunge band to hit it big, it would be appropriate that Mudhoney be inducted before its most critical influence: Nirvana.
Soundgarden – Chris Cornell and Co. are in the midst of their long-delayed reunion, which has already included several tour dates. Their first album since 1996 has been in the rumor mill for quite some time and should be released in the near future. This reunion will come just in time for what is a very likely election as the first of Seattle’s Big Three.
Pixies – The alternative band from Boston cut four full-length records between 1988 and 1991, including the platinum-selling Doolittle, and should be among the first in a wave of great alt rock bands from the late 80’s/early 90’s that will be up for induction over the next few years.
Fugazi – Speaking of influential rock bands, Fugazi is one of several interesting niche bands that will appear on the ballot. One of the defining bands of the Washington, D.C. hardcore era, their status will reveal how the voters will sway towards the other groups.
And the Usual Suspects:
Joan Jett and The Blackhearts – Joan Jett remains one of the coolest women to ever grace a stage or recording studio. Whether she is elected into the Hall of Fame with The Blackhearts or The Runaways, Jett deserves her inclusion among the greats as much as anyone. I have no idea how she’s been passed over already.
Rush – The fact that the Canadian trio have yet to be elected into the Hall of Fame is the museum’s biggest sham.
Hall & Oates – The most successful pop duo in the history of contemporary music, Daryl Hall & John Oates cut an incredible list of hit singles: “Rich Girl,” “Maneater,” “Out of Touch,” “You Make My Dreams Come True,” “Sara Smile,” and “Privates Eyes,” to name just a few. The Philly rock and soul duo should probably have been inducted a very, very long time ago.
Todd Rundgren – Like Rush and Hall & Oates, Rundgren probably should have been inducted a long time ago on the merits of his highly influential career as both a musician and producer.
KISS – Polarizing argument has been made both for and against KISS, but the bottom line is that a lot of people have enjoyed their dually influential and fun music for a long period of time.