As any dutiful reader of TMT will attest to, Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame isn’t exactly an authoritative look at rock’s (or for that matter, music’s) greatest or most influential artists. Personally, when I peruse its list of inductees, I’m not so much impressed by its thoroughness as I am utterly bored by how generic and expected it all seems. Go ahead, naysayers, call me an elitist, but I challenge you to explain how U2 earn an induction, while Sonic Youth and Joy Division/New Order remain shunned. The hall has been accused of classic rock favoritism in the past, but the good news is, they’ve just unveiled their list of nominees for the Class of 2013, and it includes a few noteworthy deviations from the norm.
Continuing the trend set by the induction of Grandmaster Flash in 2007, Run D.M.C. in 2009, and Beastie Boys this past April, pioneering rap groups N.W.A. and Public Enemy have both received nominations (this also being the first year that they were eligible). Additionally, in a surprising (though not unappreciated) nod to fans of electronic music, Kraftwerk were also named as potentials. The board is kind of stretching the definition of “rock” here, in my opinion, but Kraft’s earliest werk is definitely in that arena, so they probably took that into consideration. No complaints here.
The other nominees include progressive rock legends Rush, Donna Summer, Randy Newman, Deep Purple, funk outfit The Meters, Heart, Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Marvelettes, Procol Harum, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, and blues guitarist/singer Albert King. The top five receiving the most votes from the board (which is supposedly comprised of artists, historians, and members of the music industry) will go on to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on April 18, 2013, at the Nokia Theater L.A. Live, in Los Angeles.
Also! For the first time, fans will have some (minimal) input on who actually gets inducted. Surf on over to Rolling Stone and vote in the online poll. The top five vote-getters will comprise a “fan’s ballot” that will then be included among the more than 600 ballots used to determine the Class of 2013. Currently, Rush unsurprisingly have the most votes, followed by four other acts that aren’t Kraftwerk. Shenanigans!
• Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: http://rockhall.com