Future Rock Legends Predicts the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees

The majority of the 800+ member Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Voting Committee is comprised of the 449 living inductees. The average inductee / voter is a white male about 69 years old (Don Henley, Ron Wood, Iggy Pop, Elton John and Sammy Hagar all fit this profile). The rest of the Voting Committee is a mostly anonymous group of artists, historians and members of the music industry. Presumably, this group is slightly younger and more diverse than the inductees, but that is just speculation based on the small number of voters who have been discovered.

In recent years it has been difficult for “younger” artists who aren’t transcendent first ballot-types to get inducted. Titans of the 80s and 90s such as Nine Inch Nails, the Cure, the Replacements, the Smiths, Janet Jackson and LL Cool J have all made appearances on the ballot, but haven’t been welcomed into the Rock Hall yet. Voters have been far more likely to induct their peers of the 1960s than their musical progeny.

Future Rock Legends predicts the five inductees of the Rock Hall class of 2017 will be:

  • Pearl Jam - A true first ballot Hall of Famer. This has been a foregone conclusion for over 20 years, back when Eddie Vedder performed with the Doors on the Rock Hall stage.
  • Electric Light Orchestra - Jeff Lynne is the only member of the Traveling Wilburys who isn’t in the Hall of Fame, but only because E.L.O. had never been nominated until this year. Given his career and the respect he holds in the industry, he should coast into Cleveland now that he’s finally been given the opportunity.
  • Joan Baez - Like Cat Stevens and Leonard Cohen before her, Baez will likely be inducted after finally debuting on the ballot (eligible for 31 years!). Also if Baez gets in, there’s the potential to get a certain Nobel laureate back to the induction ceremony.
  • Journey - Sure, the fan poll winner has been inducted every time, but that doesn’t mean that it is guaranteed. However, Journey fits in nicely with last year’s AOR-friendly class and should have enough megahits to get the nod. Fans hoping for a Steve Perry reunion at the induction ceremony should remember the Rock Hall has an abysmal record negotiating these things.
  • Chic - The Rock Hall nominated 19 artists this year, the most since 1990. We’re guessing that Chic could benefit from a diluted ballot, where it will only takes about 1/3 of the voters to get an artist into the top five.

A quick note about some of the other artists on the ballot... Tupac is one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Artists, but like Nine Inch Nails, the generation gap might be too big to overcome this year... The Rock Hall voters have previously rejected Kraftwerk, Janet Jackson, MC5, The Cars, Yes, The Zombies, Chaka Khan, Joe Tex and The J. Geils Band. Given that they gravitate towards the fresher names on the ballot, it will be tough for one of these artists to get over the top... It’s truly remarkable that Bad Brains was nominated this year, but don’t expect to see them back on the ballot anytime soon... If there happen to be six performer inductees, we’ll predict the J. Geils Band will slip in... By pulling artists off of the Performer ballot and inducting them in other categories (Freddie King, Wanda Jackson), the Rock Hall has previously demonstrated their lack of respect for the process. Keep an eye out for what they might do in the other categories this year.

For ten years we have been conducting our own unofficial poll here which, unlike the official Rock Hall poll, requires voters to select five artists on their ballot. The results (after 2166 ballots):

  1. Kraftwerk 41%
  2. Depeche Mode 41%
  3. E.L.O. 38%
  4. Pearl Jam 37%
  5. Janet Jackson 35%
  6. MC5 31%
  7. Bad Brains 31%
  8. The Cars 30%
  9. Chic 29%
  10. 2Pac 28%
  11. Yes 28%
  12. Joan Baez 24%
  13. Journey 24%
  14. The Zombies 20%
  15. Jane’s Addiction 13%
  16. Steppenwolf 13%
  17. Chaka Khan 13%
  18. Joe Tex 12%
  19. The J. Geils Band 11%

For the record, the top five in the official Rock Hall fan poll were Journey, E.L.O., Yes, Pearl Jam and The Cars.

The Rock Hall Induction Ceremony will take place on Friday, April 7 at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

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