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September 27, 2011: The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its nominees for the 2012 class. They are Beastie Boys, The Cure, Donovan, Eric B. & Rakim, Guns N’ Roses, Heart, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, Freddie King, Laura Nyro, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rufus/Chaka Khan, The Small Faces/The Faces, The Spinners, Donna Summer, and War. An act is eligible 25 years after the release of its first album or single. The nominating committee is comprised of 40 critics and music experts. Then ballots are sent to 500 critics who vote to determine at least 5 of the 15 nominees to be inducted. Those will be announced in November.
The 15 nominees have been ranked by Dave’s Music Database (number in parentheses after act). This is based on several criteria, including overall DMDB rating, rankings from Notinhalloffame.com (a website which has ranked 500 acts not yet voted into the Hall), and the act’s current induction chances as predicted by FutureRockLegends.com. Included with each act is commentary from both sites. Click on acts to link to their Rock Hall bios.
Guns N’ Roses (1) 1st nomination; first-year eligibility. NH rank: 15, FRL induction chances: 76%
“Many bands have a broad appeal and it is easy to figure out why. Guns N’ Roses exploded on the scene in the late 80’s and despite their dirty look and harsh Metal sound they became instant International Superstars; despite not subscribing to the traditional formula.” NH As FutureRockLegends.com (FRL) says, “See you in Cleveland.” F1
2. Red Hot Chili Peppers (2) 2nd nomination; eligible since 2009, NH rank: 5, FRL induction chances: 64%
“The NIHOF committee couldn’t agree on very much unanimously… [but thought] The Red Hot Chili Peppers was as almost as close to a lock to being a first ballot inductee to the Hall. We were wrong, but we don’t think their wait will be a long one.” NH They “will inevitably be inducted. It’s just a matter of when.” F1
Beastie Boys (3) 3rd nomination (2nd consecutive); eligible since 2007, NH rank: 8, FRL induction chances: 82%.
“It’s mystifying why they haven’t been inducted yet. They have some of the strongest credentials of any eligible artist.” F1 “Eventually as more Rap and Hip Hop artists become eligible for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction, we suspect that our future NIHOF lists will be populated with them. Until then, we will have to settle for the few we do have, and our next selection, The Beastie Boys seems like a great place to start in respect to the genre.” NH
The Cure (4). 1st nomination; eligible since 2003. NH rank: 13, FRL induction chances: 57%
“Interesting nomination. Certainly fills a void on recent ballots, but it seems highly unlikely they’ll be inducted this year. Also in line for this ballot slot, The Smiths and Joy Division / New Order.” F1 However, The Cure may personify “the gothic image of a band (who ironically despised that label) better than any other group on this list.” NH
Donna Summer (5). 4th nomination (3rd consecutive); eligible since 1999. NH rank: 61, FRL induction chances: 56%
“We don’t have a problem admitting that at NIHOF we don’t have any issue with (and sometimes quite enjoy) the Disco genre. We aren’t sure what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame thinks though. The Bee Gees are in, and they are constantly trying to get Chic in, but what of the woman most closely associated with Disco, Donna Summer?” NH FRL says to expect her to “be nominated again next year, because she won’t make it again.” F1
Heart (6). First nomination; eligible since 2001. NH rank: 33, FRL induction chances: 17%
“Seattle will be well represented as the Grunge era becomes Hall of Fame eligible. Until then, we think the Pacific North West has good representative in our top fifty with the Wilson sisters, A.K.A., Heart.” NH “Great to see Heart make the ballot after waiting 10 years. They recently made an appearance at the Rock Hall Museum as part of the ‘Women Who Rock’ exhibit.” F1
The Spinners (7) 1st nomination; eligible since 1986 (first year of inductions). NH Rank: 76, FRL induction chances: 8%
“The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame contains many an artist flying the Motown flag. Motown certainly became a star making label and under their label many legends were born. With that being said meet The Spinners, a band on this list who actually became stars once they left Motown.” NH FRL says “It seems likely that they will be ushered in quickly by the Voting Committee, who has probably been waiting for a chance to vote for them for years.” F1
War (8) 2nd nomination; eligible since 1996. NH rank: 57, FRL induction chances: 30%
“The United States of America has often touted itself as the ‘Melting Pot’ of the world. We will let some other website debate the validity of that statement. For now, we will simply slot the ironically named band, War as the band on our list that we think best serves the Melting Pot analogy.” NH As for getting in, there was “not a lot of traction the last time they were on the ballot. With heavy competition this year, they won’t get in.” F1
The Small Faces/The Faces (9) 1st nomination; eligible since 1991. NH rank: 59/131, FRL induction chances: 33%
The Small Faces may “very well the biggest band in England that barely made a dent in the U.S. Incidentally, this could be the biggest factor that keeps them out of the Hall.” NH As for The Faces, the Hall sometimes has an “urgency to induct [acts] based on the name(s) involved…Previous inductions of the two key members; Ron Wood (The Rolling Stones) and Rod Stewart (for his solo career)…[may create less] urgency to induct them.” NH Still, “Don’t count them out.” F1
Donovan (10). 2nd nomination (2nd consecutive); eligible since 1990. NH rank: 108, FRL induction chances: 11%
“When you have an icon in any field there always seems to be a clamoring for alternate versions of the original. Scotland’s Donovan was called by the some as the British answer to Bob Dylan. This wasn’t a very accurate description as Donovan’s musical vision certainly varied from Dylan; or any one else for that matter.” NH “Not sure there is much momentum behind him, but perhaps he fared well on last year’s ballot.” F1
Eric B. & Rakim (11). 1st nomination; first-year eligibility. NH rank: 77, FRL induction chances: 41%
“Huge in hip-hop circles” F1 and “they may have done more to further the genre of Hip Hop than anyone else on the latter half of the 1980’s.” NH Still, “to get inducted into the Rock Hall, you generally have to transcend your genre.” F1
Rufus with Chaka Khan (12). 1st nomination; eligible since 1999. NH rank: 159, FRL induction chances: 10%
“Chaka Khan’s name has been on the ‘Previously Considered’ list for years, but here she gets the nomination with her ‘70s band Rufus.” F1 “Many a band has become best known for launching a career of a lead singer who had gone on to eclipse that of his/her former group. Rufus is likely best known for introducing the world to the sultry Chaka Khan who managed to have a great career on her own. Having said that, the best way for both parties to get in to the Hall is to remember the work they did together.” NH
Joan Jett & the Blackhearts (13). 1st nomination; eligible since 2005. NH rank: 174, FRL induction chances: 16%
“We are going to play the gender card again on this selection. There are musicians who are ranked lower on this list who may have been more successful and played in much bigger venues, but it is our guess that nobody inspired more women to pick up a guitar than Joan Jett.” NH “Another focus of the ‘Women Who Rock’ exhibit. Many people wanted the Runaways to get in first, but the Rock Hall went with the more popular band.” F1
Freddie King (14). 1st nomination; eligible since 1986 (first year of inductions). NH rank: 355, FRL induction chances: 4%
“This year’s left field nomination. Never count these guys out of the voting.” F1 “Like other successful Blues…Freddie King came from the heart of the Texas and brought the Lone Star sound across the country.” NH
Laura Nyro (15). 3rd nomination (3rd consecutive); eligible since 1992. NH rank: 157, FRL induction chances: 31%
“Laura Nyro must have some strong advocates on the Nominating Committee.” F1 “Singer/Songwriters are often applauded for their lyrics as they should be. Few however, seem to be praised for their vocal skills as well. Laura Nyro was a rare talent who was that dual threat.” NH
Resources and Related Links:
- Paste magazine, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees Announced (9/27/11)
- F1 FutureRockLegends.com Early Impressions of the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominations
- FutureRockLegends.com The 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees (current induction chances and poll results)
- NH Notinhalloffame.com
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2012 Nominees Poll