I’ve Been Thinking About This Year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations. I Have Some Problems with Them.

I’ve Been Thinking About This Year’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations. I Have Some Problems with Them.
The J. Tina Turner. Pixies. SLAYER! Dave Stewart is a wizard. Where’s Soundgarden? Geils Band has now been nominated five times. Whither Janet Jackson? Nope. Roxy Music. Who’s so keen to have them inducted? The Cure: Goth/emo/mope-rock godfathers. Annie Lennox is a goddess. Let me count the ways. Before I explain why I’m annoyed with the list, let’s understand what the purpose of this annual exercise is in the first place. Great videos. There was something about this year’s list that bugged me. While her repertoire did include R’n’B and blues with elements of pop, she’s revered for her work in jazz. The nominations are supposed to rekindle interest and discussion about these legacy artists that will lead to sales/streams of their back catalogues. Devo. And there’s more: Brian Eno. But was their influence sufficient to have their body of work enshrined this way? Or is this an example of how the Hall is running out of people to honour? Who was behind this push? She was on the nomination ballot for the last couple of years but is conspicuous by her absent this year. What else does she have to do? Where would rap and hip-hop be without him? Fantastic, brilliant performer but on the fringes of the kind of performer usually inducted. And while we’re at it, add in Iron Maiden and Motorhead. She’s considered to be one of the great songwriters of the 20th century. Take a look at this list of classic artists who are still not in the Hall–“snubs,” in other words. Slayer: C’mon! She has 25 gold, platinum and multi-platinum awards. Where the hell is Kraftwerk? It’s just if you’re going commoditized music so you can have a hall of fame, have the decency to do it right. Afrika Bambaataa: Seriously? Sonic Youth. It’s a reminder that there’s a physical space in Cleveland that needs to be fed a steady diet of tourists. It took a week to figure out why. Joy Division AND New Order. Her songs and albums have sold 100 million copies. Another find outfit in their day. I know it’s pointless to all lathered up over something this inconsequential. (Or maybe even more influential.) The fact that they haven’t made it despite four previous nominations shows the bias the Hall committee has against certain types of European acts. And with the outpouring tributes for Chris Cornell following his passing, you’d think that they’d at least receive a nomination. And Robert Smith has always had great hair. Whitney Houston, fer crissakes! It sells expensive tickets to the official ceremony in New York every April. Fine band in their day, but should they make it ahead of Soundgarden? It gives the 900 people–journalists, artists plus a plethora of label/management lobbyists, politickers, and arm-twisters, all with personal agendas–involved in the selection process something to do and a way to feel important. Dolly Parton: She’s had 110 charting singles, including 25 #1 hits. The Smiths: I want them nominated just to hear the insults Morrissey would hurl. Eurythmics? They were formed before Pearl Jam and they were inducted last year.The group was one of the founding fathers of grunge and the whole alt-rock revolution of the 90s. In the list of influential acts of the last fifty years, Kraftwerk is second only to the Beatles. Earlier this month, nineteen names were put forward for consideration for induction into the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2018. Nina Simone? I’m not opposed to her being on this list, although I do find it a bit odd.