Early Impressions of the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced their 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame nominees at midnight (EDT) last night. Here are some early impressions about the ballot:
  • This is one of the strongest ballots in years. All of the nominees are defendable choices and the Nominating Committee deserves credit for finally acknowledging some of its blind spots.
  • HBO will be broadcasting the 2013 Induction Ceremony again, this time from Los Angeles. More thoughts on this later, but this is important.
  • The Rock Hall is making a symbolic gesture towards the public by allowing the fans to vote for the first time. An online poll is being conducted, and the results will be sent in as the “fans’ ballot” and added to the other 600 ballots. Expect Rush fans to dominate this one (you can see voting percentages here). Credit Eddie Trunk for getting Joel Peresman to consider adding a fan element to the voting. (The Trunk/Peresman interview is a must read.)
  • ZOMG! Rush has finally been nominated!
  • ZOMG! Deep Purple too!
  • Seriously though, Deep Purple has had the highest fan approval on this website for years (currently 94%). This is a long overdue nomination to say the least. Rush have the most vocal fans on the internet, so this will should pacify them for the moment. Having recent inductees such as Slash and Metallica publicly champion Deep Purple and Rush likely had an effect on the Nominating Committee because the NomCom actually does respect the views of other Hall of Famers. That is how you get people nominated.
  • As nearly everyone expected, Donna Summer returns to the ballot, this time posthumously.
  • Public Enemy and N.W.A were the only names on the ballot of the newly eligible artists. Public Enemy was a lock to be nominated (and likely inducted). N.W.A less so, but certainly worthy of a nomination.
  • Heart and Joan Jett & the Blackhearts return to the ballot after seeing their first nomination last year. Both will be fan favorites to be inducted.
  • Kraftwerk makes its triumphant return to the ballot in a year where EDM has been in the headlines constantly.
  • Randy Newman also returns to the ballot after an 8 year absence. This time though, the induction ceremony is in Los Angeles. It’s not hard to imagine Newman belting out “I Love L.A.” to close out the show. Interesting.
  • Albert King’s nomination feels all too reminiscent of the Freddie King debacle from last year. Freddie King was nominated as a performer, but then inducted as an Early Influence, making a mockery of the process. Look for it to happen again.
  • Chic is back on the ballot for a seventh time. Is there still a “seven year rule”?
  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band is also nominated a second time, after the public support from Jann Wenner and Paul Shaffer.
  • The Meters hadn’t been nominated since 1997, but they are back to compete in a very strong field.
  • The Marvelettes of “Please Mr. Postman” fame are up for their first nomination. They were the only artist that wasn’t on the vital “Previously Considered” list, so it’s a surprise to see them jump straight to the ballot.
  • Procol Harum are your 1960s rockers this year.
  • So what is there to complain about? Well, you can go read the comments on the Rock Hall’s Facebook page if you really want to know. It’s turning into a YouTube-comments-section level of discourse over there. Ugly.
  • Following the deaths of Whitney Houston and Davy Jones, many people thought those artists would finally be nominated. Didn’t happen this year.
  • So, how did we do in our predictions? We correctly predicted seven out of the fifteen nominees. In the comments section, Casper has the breakdown. Congrats to Greg F. who also predicted seven, the highest we have seen anywhere on the internet.
  • Vote in our poll! The votes don’t count, but they are pretty decent predictor of who will actually be inducted in April. Our poll is also the only one out there which provides results in a meaningful way, listed as a percentage of ballots, not total votes.
  • The Rock Hall doesn’t list how many inductees there will be this year, but it’s a safe bet there will be more than five, even though voting is restricted to just five names.

Here is the ballot in order by the number of times nominated, including this year (thanks again, Casper):

  • Chic - 7 (2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013)
  • Donna Summer - 5 (2008, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013)
  • The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - 2 (2006, 2013)
  • Heart - 2 (2012, 2013)
  • Joan Jett & The BlackHearts - 2 (2012, 2013)
  • Kraftwerk - 2 (2002, 2013)
  • The Meters - 2 (1997, 2013)
  • Randy Newman - 2 (2005, 2013)
  • Deep Purple, Public Enemy, Albert King, The Marvelettes, N.W.A., Procol Harum, Rush - 1 (2013)

Much more to come….

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