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Who should get in, who will get in - Rock HOF 2017

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Who should get in, who will get in - Rock HOF 2017 (AP file photo)

Examining the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2017 nominees

Nominees for the 2017 class of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced last week. Of the 19 nominees selected by a 29-member nominating committee (including such notables as Robbie Robertson, Paul Shaffer and Steve Van Zandt), only five will make the cut. Who should be inducted and who ultimately will be inducted are questions that can (and often do) spark passionate debate.

(* = first-time nominees)

The nominees for 2017 are Bad Brains*, Chaka Khan, Chic, Depeche Mode*, Electric Light Orchestra*, J.Geils Band, Jane's Addiction*, Janet Jackson, Joan Baez*, Joe Tex, Journey*, Kraftwerk, MC5, Pearl Jam*, Steppenwolf*, The Cars, The Zombies, Tupac Shakur* and Yes.

To be nominated, an artist or band must have issued their first single or album at least 25 years prior to nomination.

Without delving into the subject of the worthiness of some of this year's nominees, consider the following partial list of artists and bands, long eligible for induction, who continue to be snubbed by The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

The B-52's, Bad Company, Big Star, Bon Jovi, The Cure, Def Leppard, Devo, Dick Dale, Dire Straits, The Doobie Brothers, Duran Duran, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Eurythmics, Foreigner, Gram Parsons, The Guess Who, Harry Nilsson, Husker Du, INXS, The Jam, Jethro Tull, Jim Croce, Johnny Burnette, Joy Division, Judas Priest, King Crimson, Link Wray, Love, Mary Wells, The Monkees, The Moody Blues, Motley Crue, Motorhead, My Bloody Valentine, New York Dolls, Nick Drake, Ozzy Osbourne, Pat Benatar, Pavement, Peter, Paul & Mary, Phish, The Pixies, Procol Harum, Raspberries, Replacements, The Runaways, Smashing Pumpkins, The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, Sparks, The Specials, The Spinners, Stone Roses, T.Rex, Television, Thin Lizzy, Three Dog Night, Tommy James & The Shondells, War, Warren Zevon, 'Weird Al' Yankovic, Whitney Houston, X, XTC.

I know, right? How is it possible that most of the above names have never even been nominated?

It seems that The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction process needs some serious fine-tuning. Because the ceremony itself has turned into more of a spectacle for HBO (they air the proceedings in the days following the ceremony, usually held in April) than an event to honor artists worthy of admission, a strict limit has been imposed on the number of inductees allowed in each year. Because of time constraints and the producer's desire to emphasize the live performance aspect of the ceremony, only five names make the cut, making the induction process even tighter and more restrictive.

Of the 19 nominees on this year's list, which artists should be inducted? Considering that only five will make it, I've chosen the following:

Electric Light Orchestra. Jeff Lynne and company successfully combined stunning song-craft with elements of rock, classical, pop and even opera and presented it with unfailingly majestic production that resulted in 13 hit albums and 20 top 40 hits in the US. The fact that Lynne has recently revived ELO and released a great album to boot ('Alone in the Universe') would make for a timely induction.

Journey. Clearly, induction into the rock hall is not a popularity contest. Otherwise, these guys would have been inducted 16 years ago. Simply put Journey deserves to be there. With worldwide sales approaching 100 million records, Journey is one of the most successful American rock bands of all time.

The Zombies. Sure, they only had three hits and the biggest ('Time of The Season') hit number one after the group had ceased to exist, but consider that the album containing that hit ('Odessey and Oracle') continues to awe and inspire new generations of listeners. Nearly 50 years after it was recorded, the four surviving Zombies brought it to U.S. audiences last year. Since the band reformed in 1990, they have released four wonderful albums and continue to tour, sounding every bit as good as they did in the 1960s.

The Cars. Forty years after forming in Boston, The Cars are still an FM radio staple - for good reason. During the band's original life (1976-88) they issued five excellent albums, one not-bad record ('Door to Door') and stopped before they could suck. With the late Benjamin Orr's sonorous lead vocals, Elliot Easton's tasty and melodic guitars and Ric Ocasek's songwriting and production, The Cars have given us a wealth of classic material. The 2011 reunion album 'Move Like This' is better than you remember.

Yes. They are one of the most inventive, influential and musically stunning bands ever. Yes should have been inducted into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 22 years ago when they first became eligible.

As far as who will get in? Based on lists of nominees versus actual inductions from previous years, I predict the following five will ultimately be selected and announced in December.

Chic They combined elements of rock, funk, soul and disco. Plus, the Hall of Fame loves head-Chic Nile Rodgers.

Pearl Jam Pearl Jam absolutely deserves to be there and I think they're shoo-ins for first-ballot success.

Tupac Shakur The rapper and producer has been gone for 20 years. A critical darling, Tupac will almost certainly be inducted.

Journey They can't continue to shut Journey out. Then again, looking at that list of worthy artists yet to be inducted

J. Geils Band They'll celebrate their 50th anniversary next year. The big question is: Will J. Geils actually be allowed back into the band for the ceremony?

Want to have your say? Visit www.RockHall.com before Dec. 5 and participate in the induction selection process. The top five artists selected by the public will comprise a fan's ballot to be tallied along with the other ballots, most of which are decided by industry veterans. Inductees will be announced later in December for next April's ceremony.

Last modified on Wednesday, 26 October 2016 12:22

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