Early Impressions of the 2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame unveiled their 2014 nominees yesterday. Here are some early impressions of the ballot:
  • Future Rock Legends is dedicated to uncovering the next generation’s hall of fame, so we have had this year circled on our calendar for a long time. Nirvana, one of the few remaining first ballot lock of all locks, became eligible this year and promptly gets nominated, and will be inducted easily.
  • With the year Nile Rodgers is having, it was clear that Chic was going to get another chance at induction. Eight nominations is enough, and Chic will get in.
  • After last year’s induction ceremony, it became evident that the Rock Hall is on a populist streak. That continues this year with the return nominations of Kiss and Deep Purple.
  • We can’t emphasize this enough, but with the involvement of HBO, there seems to be the desire to not just broadcast an induction ceremony, but to create the music event of the year. So, Nirvana won’t be the only induction ceremony headliner. There will be another artist sure to get people talking (thinking Kiss, unless Paul or Gene sabotages it).
  • Another one of those headliners could be Peter Gabriel. Even though he was inducted just a few years ago with Genesis, he is better known for his solo career. Gabriel missed the induction ceremony that night, so now he has another chance to properly honored.
  • Anyone who still cries any time a hip hop artist shows up on the ballot really needs to get over it at this point. LL Cool J and N.W.A are on the ballot this year, and both are deserving. Seems fitting for LL to be inducted in New York, but N.W.A has more support. It’s unlikely both will be inducted from a competitive ballot this year.
  • In recent weeks, two Nominating Committee members, Questlove and Roy Trakin, publicly supported Hall & Oates, so it’s not a huge surprise to see them on the ballot, even though it has taken them 16 years to be nominated.
  • There was also momentum in the air for a Linda Ronstadt nomination and she lands on the ballot for the first time after 19 years without a nomination. Ronstadt’s nomination also serves as another example of the Nominating Committee listening after a Hall of Famer (in this case the Eagles) makes a public stink about a snubbed artist.
  • Speaking of women, Ronstadt is the lone female name on the ballot this year, and one of only three or four women who could be inducted as performers (Chic has the only female members of nominated groups). That won’t help the percentages.
  • The Rock Hall has said there will be one or two inductees in the non-performer categories.
  • We’re not sure what the future holds for the Rock Hall if political campaigns start having success with getting artists on the ballot, but prog fans can rejoice for a second year in a row with the Yes nomination.
  • Did Steven Van Zandt shift his focus away from Procol Harum to the Zombies?
  • The Rock Hall found it’s way back to the 50’s to find the influential guitarist Link Wray, who was way overdue to be recognized.
  • The Replacements cap a reunion tour with a nomination to the Rock Hall, but may have trouble getting inducted in a crowded field.
  • That’s true for returning nominees the Meters, Paul Butterfield Blues Band and Cat Stevens. Of the three, Stevens probably has the best odds of getting in this year.
  • The Rock Hall went with 16 nominees this year, instead of the usual 15. A larger ballot is a good thing. Hopefully they will induct more than five or six.
  • The official fan vote is back again. Even though it’s basically a symbolic gesture, it’s nice to keep fans included. Just wish their poll was better (like ours!).
  • With a strong group of nominees, it’s very likely that there will only be one or two artists who appear on more than 50% of the voters’ ballots, even though the Rock Hall still claims you need to have more than 50% of the vote to be inducted. It’s just not true.
  • A year ago, we predicted that with the success public induction ceremonies, that this could be the end of the Waldorf-Astoria events. That seems to be the case, since this year’s ceremony will be in New York and open to the public. They shouldn’t have any trouble selling out whichever venue they hold the ceremony in, unlike this past year.
We’ll have much more to come in the days ahead. Follow us on Twitter or Facebook for the latest.
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