The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have announced their nominations for 2010 inductees. According to their website, “Five of the twelve nominees will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To be eligible for nomination into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an act must have released its first single or album at least 25 years prior to the year of nomination. This year’s nominees had to release their first single no later than 1984.”
While I don’t agree with The Sex Pistols’ assessment that the “Hall of Fame is a piss stain,” I, and many others, have questioned many of the inclusions and exclusions made over the years. Ever since the first class in 1986 inducted artists like James Brown and Ray Charles, it was obvious the voters weren’t restricting themselves to players of rock and roll, but rather people who impacted popular music. Not everyone can be as talented and unique as Aretha Franklin or The Beatles, so some artists have gotten in just for being involved with hit songs. However, a Hall of Fame should be reserved for the truly great and historic or else there’s no reason for it. Might as well just have a list with every musician on it.
The 2010 nominees are listed below, but some wouldn’t make it to the El Bicho Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:
ABBA – the Swedish pop group had a great number of pop hits around the world in the 1970s, but I don’t know a single person who owns an album that isn’t a greatest hits package. More than welcome in the Pop Music Hall of Fame.
The Chantels – while I appreciate they were one of the first black girl groups, their output was limited and I bet you nine out of ten people can’t name any of their singles off the top of their head.
Jimmy Cliff – I am surprised he isn’t listed as an influence, but I am fine with Jimmy, whose work on the soundtrack to The Harder They Come brought reggae to the world. No Jimmy Cliff, possibly no induction for The Police.
Genesis – If the Hall is going to let in every doo-wop and Motown group, then eventually they will be opening their doors to prog rock. Genesis seems a good first entry from the Peter Gabriel-led theatrics to creators of rock and pop hits through the decades.
The Hollies – Sorry, but no. Any band could have created “Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress.”
KISS – Though better known for their theatrics, few musicians are as iconic and have fans as devoted. Their music and lyrics are as simple and straightforward as inductees Chuck Berry and AC/DC.
LL Cool J – With rap entering the Hall, an argument can be made for LL who was one of the first to bring rap to the pop world, so he can go in my Pop Music Hall of Fame.
Darlene Love – In the sideman category as a back-up singer, okay. As a performer, I don’t see it.
Laura Nyro – The singer-songwriter had a unique style that influenced artists like inductees Elton John and Joni Mitchell, and her songs were covered by many people. Some credit “Emmie” as being the first lesbian pop song.
Red Hot Chili Peppers – Their punk/funk/rock fusion makes them a no-brainer.
The Stooges – How these guys weren’t first ballot is unfathomable. They deserve just as much credit for being an influence on punk rock as Pete Townshend.
Donna Summer – While she had a good amount of hits, my initial reaction to pop/disco is put it in the Pop Music Hall of Fame. However, considering the bond between sex and rock and roll, she gets my vote just for her vocals on "Love To Love You Baby," possibly the sexiest ever recorded.
According to their website, “Ballots will be sent to more than 500 voters, who will select artists to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at the 25th Annual Induction Ceremony on March 15, 2010 at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City.” The inductees will be announced in January.