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On Monday Sept. 22nd, the nominees for possible induction into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame were announced. The inductees will be announced in January 2009, with the ceremony scheduled to take place on April 4th, 2009.
Over the years, I have had a love/hate relationship with the RRHOF. I understand that's it's next to impossible to have everyone agree with who should be/shouldn't be in the RRHOF. However, there are some things that piss me off about the nomination process:
1. The passing over of well-deserving older artists in favor of fairly recent "name" acts. Although artists such as Queen and Talking Heads are worthy of being inducted, there's no way they should have gotten in before acts like The Dells or The Dave Clark Five.
2. With the exception of Pink Floyd, the bias the nominating committee shows towards progressive rock. Although I am not a big fan of the genre, I think that at the very least acts such as Yes and The Moody Blues are worthy of consideration.
3. Accomplished R&B acts from the 60s and 70s who haven't even been nominated. Labelle/Patti Labelle, The Spinners, The Chi-Lites, and The Stylistics are just a few of the artists who haven't even made the ballot. Again, we can debate whether or not these acts belong in the RRHOF. However, I think they should at least get on the ballot.
Last year I wrote a post about the RRHOF that included a 2001 letter by a former RRHOF board member that was sent to Fox News. You can click here to read the post.
Because of the evolution of the music, one of the debates about the RRHOF that has gained steam over the last few years is which artists are considered rock and roll. Here are a few of the definitions of "rock and roll" that I found:
The American Heritage College Dictionary: A form of popular music arising from and incorporating a variety of musical styles, esp. rhythm and blues, country music, and gospel.
Dictionary.com: A genre of popular music originating in the 1950s; a blend of black rhythm-and-blues with white country-and-western; "rock is a generic term for the range of styles that evolved out of rock'n'roll."
Merriam-Webster's Online Dictionary: Popular music usually played on electronically amplified instruments and characterized by a persistent heavily accented beat, repetition of simple phrases, and often country, folk, and blues elements.
Because I belong to the school of thought that rock and roll is an umbrella term encompassing a variety of musical styles, I don't have a problem with artists such as Bob Marley, The Bee Gees, Isaac Hayes, and Madonna being enshrined in the RRHOF. However, I sometimes wish The Hall would change its name to something like "The Popular Music Hall of Fame" so that people could shut the hell up about "what is and isn't rock and roll" and concentrate on whether or not a recording act's artistic merits and influence make them worthy of induction.
Below in alphabetical order are the 2009 nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Of these nine artists, only five will be inducted. Following each artist are my thoughts on who should/will get inducted. For the 4 that I feel shouldn't be inducted in 2009, it's not that I don't think they are worthy. I just feel that the other 5 should go in ahead of them. If you are curious as to why I feel that an artist will or won't be among the five to be inducted, feel free to ask me about them in the comments section.
Jeff Beck- Should and will get in.
Chic- Shouldn't and won't get in.
Wanda Jackson- Shouldn't, but will get in.
Little Anthony & the Imperials- Shouldn't and won't get in
Metallica- Should and will get in
Run-DMC- Should and will get in
The Stooges- Shouldn't and won't get in
War- Should and will get in
Bobby Womack- Should, but won't get in.
Let the debates begin...
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