My Opinion on the 2019 Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

It’s that time of the year again. Classic rock fans have been talking about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s list of nominees. Fifteen acts have been nominated for next year’s induction ceremony. It’s only right that I give my unfiltered opinions as a classic rock blogger.
The list is an interesting and diverse one. So without further ado, it’s time for me to go through all of them and give you my opinions. At the end, I’ll give you my five picks. Let’s go!

Def Leppard:

First one on the list are British heavy metal band Def Leppard. They were formed in 1977 in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, England and were an important band in the new wave of British Heavy Metal movement. Their most famous song is “Pour Some Sugar On Me”. They released their first album in 1980, so they’re definitely eligible for nomination and it’s their first nomination.

Their name was originally supposed to be Deaf Leopard, but that kind of got modified like “Lead Zeppelin” did.

I like metal, but I only really listen to early metal, like 70s stuff. I don’t know enough about the 80s. I know I’d like the new wave of British heavy metal, but I’m still stuck in the 70s. Maybe I gotta move up the blog post series on metal. I think my readers will like that more than the classical influences in rock post.

I’m not sure if I would pick them.

Devo:

New wave band from Akron, Ohio formed in 1973 made up of the Mothersbaugh brothers, Casale brothers, and Alan Myers. Millennials like me would definitely know the Mothersbaughs because they did the music for Rugrats. Their best known song is the 1980 quirky classic and MTV staple “Whip It”. They were written off as a joke band, but they are actually pretty influential.

Their name comes from the concept of de-evolution, well I’m totally feeling that now with how the world is, but that’s enough of that topic. The concept of de-evolution was referenced in their 1977 single “Jocko Homo”.

David Bowie and Iggy Pop helped them get a record deal with Warner Music Group.

I wouldn’t be upset if Devo got inducted, but I wouldn’t say they are my first choice.

Janet Jackson:

Singer, songwriter, dancer, and baby of the Jackson family. She began her career on the show The Jacksons and from there got fame and appeared on shows like Good Times and Fame. She has sold over 100 million records, making her one of the best-selling musicians. Her biggest hits include “Nasty,” “When I Think of You,” “Control,” “Rhythm Nation,” and “If.” She was most successful in the 80s, 90s, and early 2000s.

I like a few of her songs like “Nasty” and “If.” She’s not a rock musician, but it seems like the direction the Rock Hall is going in is more popular music and based on her music and influence, she wouldn’t be a bad choice, but definitely not my first choice.

John Prine:

Country folk singer-songwriter. I actually don’t know anything about him, but from doing a little research I found out Kris Kristofferson discovered him and he started releasing albums in the early 70s.

I’m not too informed about him, so I can’t really comment.

Kraftwerk:

One of the first big electronic acts and very influential to electronic and techno musicians. They were formed in Düsselfdorf in 1970 and were well known for albums like Autobahn, Radio-Activity, Trans-Europe Express, The Man-Machine, and Computer World.

Electronic music had some sort of influence on rock – especially new wave and synthpop: like the use of synthesisers and drum machines. Modern psychedelia also incorporates electronic sounds. Other genres like hip hop and EDM were definitely inspired by electronic music.

I’d definitely include Kraftwerk in my top picks. They’re electronic music pioneers.

LL Cool J:

Hip hop musician best known for his music in the late 80s and early 90s, so a tiny bit before my time, but not an era or genre I know much about.

He grew up in Queens and his childhood was

heartbreaking. His father shot his mother and grandfather, when LL was only 4 years old. At the age of 9 he started rapping. His family were very supportive and his grandfather bought him turntables, an audio mixer, and an amp. He sent his demos to Def Jam records and got signed. His stage name means Ladies Love Cool James.

He released his first single, “I Need a Beat” in 1984 when he was 16. He had a few crossover hits in the late 80s, like “I Need Love,” “Going Back to Cali,” and “I’m That Type of Guy.”

I’m not a huge fan of rap generally and I’d prefer if rock acts were inducted instead. LL Cool J wouldn’t be one of my top picks, but I see how he’s influential.

MC5:

Kick out the jams motherfucker! MC5 were formed in Detroit and their style of music ranges from punk to hard rock to garage rock. Their biggest influences were R&B, blues, and surf rock. They were anti-establishment, loud, and rebellious – now that’s rock and roll. They performed at anti-war protests and were connected to the White Panthers, a left wing group of white allies to the Black Panthers.

Their debut live album, Kick Out the Jams, is a memorable and iconic one, famously panned by Lester Bangs, before he came around and changed his opinion. A Detroit department store chain called Hudson’s refused to carry the album because of the obscenity, so the MC5 clapped back with their own full page ad saying “Stick Alive with the MC5 and Fuck Hudson’s.” If that’s not badass, I don’t know what is.

I also like their 1970 album, Back in the USA. It’s a totally different sound from their debut, but I like versatility. You’ll also find some protest songs on there. It’s good proto-punk.

The answer for me is easy, yes, I would want to see them be inducted.

Radiohead:

I don’t know enough about them, but everyone I know likes them. I don’t listen to enough modern rock. Has it really been that long since they released their first album? Are Radiohead classic rock? The song “Creep” is good. Please give me an idiot’s guide to their music.

I wouldn’t be upset if they got in, but it’s scary how fast time goes by. I hope we can get more overlooked bands from the 60s and 70s in the Rock Hall.

Rage Against the Machine:

I don’t listen to them. I don’t have enough information to give you an informed opinion.

Roxy Music:

A lot of people I knew on Tumblr loved them. I’m into glam rock, so I think I would like their music. I really need to get into their music. They’re one of the few classic rock bands I haven’t listened to that much.

Bryan Ferry formed the band in 1970 in England. Other members include Graham Simpson, Phil Manzanera, Andy Mackay, Paul Thompson, Brian Eno, Eddie Jobson, and John Gustafson. They were active until 1976, then took a break for a couple of years, and picked up again in 1978 and continued until 1983. Ferry and Eno were the most famous members of the band and had successful solo careers.

They weren’t just a glam rock band, but also did some punk, new wave, and art rock. They were more successful in the UK than the US, but their 1982 final album, Avalon went platinum in the US.

I’d be happy to see Roxy Music being inducted into the Rock Hall and I think I’d call them one of my first choices.

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan:

Funk band who backed singer Chaka Khan. One of the best known funk acts. I haven’t listened to them that much and I wasn’t sure if I knew their music, but once I heard “Tell Me Something Good,” then I was like oh yeah I know that song.

As I’m listening to them, I’m thinking I’d be happy if they were inducted. I wasn’t sure if they would be a top pick for me, but I think they would be high up on my list.

Stevie Nicks:

If you don’t know who Stevie Nicks is… I don’t know what to tell you. She was already inducted as a member of Fleetwood Mac, but this time she’s nominated as a solo artist. I live for her music. She’s a queen. Please induct her!

The Cure:

80s new wave band. I really don’t listen to them, but I know a lot of people who love them. I know I should get into their music. I’m not against their music, just that it took me a while to get into 80s music. My 60s/70s snob phase went on a little too long. I would be happy if they were inducted.

The Zombies:

Why are they not in the Rock Hall yet? Will this finally be their year? Odyssey and Oracle is a classic. The Zombies are everything. Induct them already. They more than deserve it.

Yes, they’re absolutely my top pick here. Make my year Rock Hall and induct The Zombies please!

Todd Rundgren:

Love his albums Something/Anything? and A Wizard/A True Star. He’s quirky and very talented, playing almost all of the instruments on Something/Anything? except for a few tracks on side 4. He’s a huge inspiration to one of my favourite modern acts, The Lemon Twigs. He’s truly an artist, and isn’t afraid to experiment and innovate. He also produced albums for Badfinger, Grand Funk Railroad, New York Dolls, Meat Loaf, and XTC. Absolutely deserves to be inducted.

So to conclude: Who would be my five picks if I were voting and I have to rank them?

  1. The Zombies
  2. Stevie Nicks
  3. Todd Rundgren
  4. Kraftwerk
  5. Roxy Music

MC5 and Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan as really close honourable mentions.

There are other acts I wouldn’t be upset about, but these are my top 5 picks. Who are your top 5 picks and which classic rock acts do you think deserve to be in the Rock Hall? Have your say in the comments section!

 

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