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Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2022: Who should be inducted?

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The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its list of nominees for the institution’s class of 2022 last week. First-time nominees among the 17 names include alt-rock icon Beck, 80s hitmakers Duran Duran, rapper and producer Eminem, country-pop legend Dolly Parton, pop superstar Lionel Richie, songstress Carly Simon and pioneering hip-hop group A Tribe Called Quest.

Artists and bands become eligible for nomination 25 years following the release of their first commercial recording.

Second-time nominees include ‘80s hitmaker Pat Benatar, Afrobeat founder Fela Kuti, ‘80s pop duo Eurythmic, and Dionne Warwick (the second-most charted female vocalist of the rock era).

Artists receiving a third nomination include English songstress Kate Bush, hard rockers Judas Priest, ‘70s glam-rockers the New York Dolls and quirky new-wave rockers Devo.

Hard rock band Rage Against The Machine received a fourth nomination while the Detroit-based proto-punk band MC5 appear on the ballot for a sixth time.

The list of 17 nominees will be whittled down to six or seven inductees that will be announced in May followed by a ceremony and concert this fall with a date and location to be announced.

Votes are cast by a body of more than 1,000 artists, including living inductees, industry members and music historians. Factors taken into account for induction include an artist’s influence, the length and depth of career, and innovation in style and technique.

A fan vote ballot can be cast from the rock hall website. Fans may vote for up to five nominees daily through April 29 at www.Vote.RockHall.com.

Who Should be Inducted?

Every list of nominees seems to inspire endless passionate debate about a given artist’s worthiness for induction into a hall of fame dedicated to rock and roll. Most music fans have an opinion about the Rock Hall itself or the induction process and I’ll give you my two cents which is about what it’s worth.

I love the idea of a Rock Hall of Fame full of singular historic artifacts related to the music. Seeing one of Jimi Hendrix’s beloved Stratocasters, a pair of Buddy Holly’s horn-rimmed specs or the suit John Lennon wore on the “Sgt. Pepper’s” cover would be an unbeatable thrill. Making the trek to Cleveland to see this stuff is near the top of my bucket list.

However, the process of how the Rock Hall inducts artists is something I’d like the powers that be to reconsider.

When you consider the list of artists yet to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, you can understand why some fans believe the rock hall has a credibility problem.

For starters, there’s the great British band Bad Company (eligible since 1999), roots-rockers Los Lobos (eligible since 2003), New Orleans funk/R&B greats The Meters (eligible since 1994), new-wave rockers The B-52s (eligible since 2004), the late rock/soul singer Joe Cocker (eligible since 1989) the late country-pop legend Patsy Cline, 70s and 80s rockers Boston and Foreigner, prog-rock legends Jethro Tull (eligible since 2003) legendary jam-band Phish (eligible since 2013), and Willie Nelson. I actually triple-checked that last one just to make sure it’s accurate, and I could have included about a hundred more names.

The staggering lineup yet to be inducted serves as ammunition for fans on social media and message boards railing about how artists such as Eminem or Dolly Parton could be considered for induction to a Rock Hall of Fame before the likes of Boston or Joe Cocker.

I propose a sweeping change to the induction process that would be fairly simple to implement and would probably go a long way toward bringing fans and the hall closer together.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should release one list of at least 20 inductees annually. Forget the nominations and forgo the popularity contest. If the ceremony is truly about honoring deserving artists just do it. By tripling the number of inductees annually, the Hall could play catch-up for several years to make up for some of the glaring omissions outlined above.

Who Will be Inducted?

I don’t have a great track record for picking the finalists that will see induction, but here’s how I predict this year’s rock hall class will go down.

Judas Priest – This British band has been rocking for more than 50 years. I believe their third nomination will be the clincher.

Rage Against the Machine - They were nominated in 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2021. This will be their year.

Eminem – The best-selling hip-hop artist of all time will be inducted with his first nomination.

Devo – They were wonderfully weird and influential. I predict Devo will be inducted and they will “Whip It” good during the ceremony this fall.

Pat Benatar - This four-time Grammy-winner has inspired countless vocalists, she’s sold more than 40 million records and will be inducted with her second nomination.

Beck – A favorite of critics and fans, Beck’s overall musicality and industry cred will make him a first-ballot inductee.

Dolly Parton – She may not be a rock and roll artist in the traditional sense but who doesn’t love Dolly and her down to Earth approach to life? She’s played by her own rules for decades and that is very rock and roll.

Last modified on Tuesday, 08 February 2022 10:26

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