The latest roll call of the 2014 nominees for The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was announced earlier this week, and as usual, the list is full of some names that are questionable, and ultimately some that are long overdue for possible inclusion in the triangular edifice, like Kiss, Deep Purple, and Yes.
Nirvana seems to be the forerunner here and the absolute shoe-in to the Hall. The defunct grunge trio, which disbanded almost 20 years ago after the death of their front man, flanneled-laden Kurt Cobain, was on the apex of the entire Grunge sound movement which shot large bullet holes through the hair metal and pop music that permeated radios and CD players coast to coast when it first burst onto the scene in the early 1990s. More than just a success story, Nirvana opened an entire new lifestyle for teens in subdivisions, urban societies and pretty much every other demographic with their hard edged, yet simplistic post punk attack.
England’s Deep Purple, who have been criminally ignored by the Hall and critics for years now, also seems to finally be poised for an induction. The band, which has gone through various changes through the years and still exists in a slightly truncated form, showcased a kind of mixture of rock, blues, jazz, and early embryonic forms of heavy metal. After scores of amazing albums, especially the ones released in the early 1970s, like In Rock, Fireball, and Machine Head, the latter of which sports their signature tune and song that millions of budding guitar players attempt to play on their guitars, “Smoke on the Water,” Deep Purple seems to be on the precipice to finally get their due.
Also on the list is the quirky, innovative original musical figurehead Peter Gabriel, who foraged a career first in Genesis and then on his own with memorable and popular hits like “Sledgehammer” and “Big Time,” both of which also showed a penchant for flair and creatively artistic visuals in its video presentations.
And then there’s the party-in-perpetuity quartet Kiss, another band which has a fan base that still stretches to the ends of the Earth and beyond. There has been much critical opinion by many zealots of the band that they have not been inducted in the Hall sooner; maybe there will finally be closure for the Kiss Army this time around.
Other artists of note on the ballot include the 1960’s psychedelic pop group The Zombies, female warbler Linda Ronstadt, the legendary post punkers The Replacements, the progressive rock unit Yes, and decidedly not rock, but still cool figures like folky with an edge Cat Stevens, the blue-eyed soul duo Hall and Oates, and hip hop/rap artists LL Cool J and N.W.A.
Fans can vote as well for their favorites, at www.rockhall.com. The top five ballots will be selected on a “fan ballot” that will be tallied along with the others to make the final picks for the 2014 inductees.
The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in April 2014 in New York City and aired in May on HBO.
Should be another interesting, controversial, provocative, and polarizing time when the inductees get confirmed and the floodgate of opinions rear their heads again. And, if I may digress with an open note to the Hall: Can we please get Marc Bolan and T-Rex on the ballot already?
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2014 nominees
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band
Hall and Oates
LL Cool J
Who do you guys think should make it into the Hall in 2014?