The list of new nominees is in ...
Listed alphabetically (which is the way the voting ballot appears) you've got this year's "WHO?!?!?" artist kicking things off, BAD BRAINS ... (it seems like every year, without fail, the committee has to come up with at least one artist that virtually nobody in the whole world has ever heard of before ... under the pretense of their mission statement to honor those who had the greatest impact on advancing rock and roll as an art form ... so this year it's BAD BRAINS, who charted exactly ZERO times but I'm sure is among your own personal favorites ... and whose contribution to the overall scheme of rock and roll is second to none. (Right ... yeah, THESE guys belong up there with Elvis, The Beatles and Chuck Berry!)
They are followed by CHAKA KHAN (who was also on the ballot last year but didn't earn enough votes to make the cut ... still, it's always nice to see one of our Local Heroes honored) ...
CHIC (up for their 11th nomination ... seriously, isn't there a limit as to how many times the same artist can be nominated?!?! And if not, shouldn't there be?!?!?) If you're going to be THIS persistent in telling us how worthy they are, just put them in already, for God's sake! They made the ballot in 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2011, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016 and 2017!!! Or, better still, if you've failed to gain induction after three times on the ballot, take them off the list ... and let some of these other deserving and denied artists finally get their chance for recognition!!!
DEPECHE MODE ... kind of cult-favorite I guess ... but at least you've likely heard of them ... and they DID have a couple of hit records over the years, making this a BIG year for synth / electro-pop this year in that KRAFTWERK was also finally nominated ... (oops, there goes the alphabet!!!)
The most exciting and long-overlooked, deserving and denied artist on the list this year has to be ELECTRIC LIGHT ORCHESTRA, who has recently been reformed by leader JEFF LYNNE. Also nominated are THE J. GEILS BAND, JANE'S ADDICTION, JOURNEY (now THAT was a nice surprise) and the aforementioned KRAFTWERK (who enjoyed their fifteen minutes of fame back in 1975 when "Autobahn" was all over the radio.) To be fair, they have continued to release new music ever since ... and to a very loyal audience ... but they're a bit off the mainstream, well-beaten path when it comes to most rock and roll music fans. (That being said, I played the heck out of my "Autobahn" album when I bought it back in '75!)
JANET JACKSON is back on the ballot this year ... and it was nice to see JOAN BAEZ finally recognized (and almost as puzzling as seeing JOE TEX nominated again!) Yep, we've blown this alphabet idea completely to bits!
The obvious choices this year, according to the rock critics anyway, are PEARL JAM and TUPAC SHAKUR, both first time eligibles and nominees.
MC5 is back on the list (they, too, have a very loyal Midwest following) ... and we're thrilled to see THE CARS, THE ZOMBIES and YES finally get the nod. (Actually all three have been nominated before ... in fact, truth be told, I had to look it up because I could have sworn THE ZOMBIES got in a couple of years ago ... but evidently not!)
I'm not quite sure how STEPPENWOLF beat THE GUESS WHO to the finish line ... sure, they had one huge "anthem" hit ... but so did The Kingsmen and Chubby Checker! Technically, much as I love them, it's a little baffling, too, how ELO beat THE MOODY BLUES to the ballot box ... but I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth ... especially after so many classic artists being overlooked for so long.
If you go here: https://vote.rockhall.com/ ... you can vote for your five favorites ... and you can vote as often as you like ... but only once a day.
I immediately cast my five votes as soon as the nominees were announced ... ELO, THE CARS, YES, THE ZOMBIES and JOURNEY are all one vote richer thanks to The Forgotten Hits Ballot ... but hey, you guys vote for who you want!
The list of new Rock And Roll Hall of Fame Nominees is out ...
Is this the first year that fans are able to vote?
My vote = Electric Light Orchestra + Steppenwolf + Zombies.
No, the fans have been able to vote for several years now ... ever since 2012 ... and don't stop at three ... you're actually allowed to vote for FIVE of your favorites ... once a day for as long as the polls are open ... but honestly, the votes don't count for much.
When all is said and done, after ALL of the fan votes have been tabulated, that selected winner receives ONE vote on an equal par with the regular voting committee of approximately 600 "experts". (It almost doesn't seem worth it!)
But I'd still pick ANY Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame Nominee over Hillary or The Donald! So I'll be voting often. (kk)