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Posts Tagged ‘#RockHallProspects’

With the 2018 ceremony behind us now, I thought this might be a good time to revisit the Rock Hall Prospects project– where I rank the 100 most deserving artists for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The original ranking completed in early 2016 can be seen here, and the 2017 update is here.

Since then, all five members of the Class of 2018 were on my list, creating some vacancies. At the same time, we have a new crop of eligible acts who were passed over this year. (My “prospects” do not include artists who will be eligible for the first time during the 2019 ceremony, such as Beck and Outkast.)

In the last year, I’ve reconsidered a few things and I’ve made some changes. Joy Division/New Order makes its first appearance on the list– this is a group I have been dismissive of in the past, and while I wouldn’t listen to them of my own volition, I can better appreciate their influence on indie and alternative. Other artists appearing for the first time on this year’s update include Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, No Doubt, Mary J. Blige, Wu Tang Clan, TLC, They Might Be Giants, and The Jesus and Mary Chain. This helps reorient the list toward more recent artists and overcome the 70s-centric orientation of most Rock Hall discussions. Look– if the Baby Boomers can put in The Mamas and the Papas- an interesting, iconic but ultimately limited group- why can’t those of us who grew up in the 90s put in No Doubt, a group of roughly similar stature?

And some artists were dropped off as well. Moody Blues, Dire Straits, Nina Simone, The Cars, and Bon Jovi were all inducted, of course. Those who were dumped outright from the list include Gram Parsons (a critical darling, and as such his influence on country-rock is seriously overstated), Ben E. King, Megadeth, Salt N Pepa, Peter Tosh, and a couple of others.

And so, our 2018 update to the Rock Hall prospects.

  1. Kraftwerk
  2. Janet Jackson 
  3. Carole King
  4. Radiohead
  5. Judas Priest
  6. The Smiths
  7. The Spinners
  8. The Cure
  9. Eurythmics
  10. L. L. Cool J
  11. Kate Bush
  12. Mariah Carey
  13. Duran Duran 
  14. Jethro Tull
  15. Nine Inch Nails
  16. Smashing Pumpkins
  17. Weird Al Yankovic
  18. Rage Against the Machine
  19. The Zombies
  20. Tina Turner
  21. The Pixies
  22. Willie Nelson
  23. Iron Maiden
  24. T. Rex
  25. Dick Dale
  26. Brian Eno
  27. Chic
  28. Whitney Houston
  29. Depeche Mode
  30. Sonic Youth
  31. Dead Kennedys
  32. A Tribe Called Quest
  33. War
  34. Pat Benatar
  35. Motorhead
  36. The Replacements
  37. Warren Zevon
  38. Big Mama Thornton
  39. Jane’s Addiction
  40. The Guess Who
  41. Roxy Music
  42. Devo
  43. Phil Collins
  44. The Monkees
  45. Sting
  46. PJ Harvey
  47. De La Soul
  48. The Commodores
  49. Black Flag
  50. Johnny Burnette & the Rock and Roll Trio
  51. The B-52s
  52. Eric B. & Rakim
  53. Indigo Girls
  54. Big Star
  55. TLC
  56. Three Dog Night
  57. Bjork
  58. Ozzy Osbourne
  59. The Doobie Brothers
  60. Johnny Winter
  61. MC5
  62. Link Wray
  63. Alice in Chains
  64. Phish
  65. Billy Ward & His Dominoes
  66. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  67. Fugazi/Minor Threat
  68. The Jam
  69. Joy Division/New Order
  70. Dionne Warwick
  71. The Flaming Lips
  72. Jimmy Buffett
  73. Peter, Paul & Mary
  74. Rufus/Chaka Khan
  75. Todd Rundgren
  76. The Clovers
  77. The Shadows
  78. Emmylou Harris
  79. Soundgarden
  80. Moby
  81. The Pogues
  82. Kool & the Gang
  83. Bad Brains
  84. Chuck Willis
  85. Wu Tang Clan
  86. Mary Wells
  87. New York Dolls
  88. Fela Kuti
  89. Tori Amos
  90. Mary J. Blige
  91. Kris Kristofferson
  92. Os Mutantes
  93. Lucinda Williams
  94. The Jesus and Mary Chain
  95. No Doubt
  96. The Shangri-Las
  97. Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  98. D.C. Talk
  99. Toots & the Maytals
  100. They Might Be Giants
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While we wait for the Nominating Committee to have their annual meeting, I thought I might revise the list of 100 Rock Hall Prospects that I sketched out in January of last year. Since then, four acts on the list have been inducted (Joan Baez, Journey, Electric Light Orchestra, and Yes), lots of new acts became eligible, and my own tastes and judgment have changed (hopefully evolved).

So, here is the new list. Please bear in mind that these are all artists who have been passed over at least once, so Class of 2018 eligibles like Radiohead or Rage Against the Machine will not appear on the list.

  1. Kraftwerk
  2. Janet Jackson
  3. The Moody Blues
  4. Nina Simone
  5. Judas Priest
  6. The Smiths
  7. Carole King
  8. The Spinners
  9. Dire Straits
  10. The Cure
  11. The Cars
  12. Eurythmics
  13. L. L. Cool J.
  14. Kate Bush
  15. Mariah Carey
  16. Nine Inch Nails
  17. The Zombies
  18. T. Rex
  19. Tina Turner
  20. Sonic Youth
  21. Willie Nelson
  22. Dick Dale
  23. Brian Eno
  24. Jethro Tull
  25. Whitney Houston
  26. Depeche Mode
  27. Smashing Pumpkins
  28. Iron Maiden
  29. Weird Al Yankovic
  30. Pixies
  31. Dead Kennedys
  32. Pat Benatar
  33. Emmylou Harris
  34. Motorhead
  35. Big Mama Thornton
  36. War
  37. The Guess Who
  38. Roxy Music
  39. A Tribe Called Quest
  40. Jane’s Addiction
  41. Devo
  42. Salt N Pepa
  43. Phil Collins
  44. Sting
  45. The Monkees
  46. PJ Harvey
  47. Duran Duran
  48. Black Flag
  49. Warren Zevon
  50. Peter Tosh
  51. The Replacements
  52. The Commodores
  53. Johnny Burnette & the Rock ‘N Roll Trio
  54. The B-52s
  55. Eric B. & Rakim
  56. Indigo Girls
  57. Big Star
  58. Three Dog Night
  59. Ozzy Osbourne
  60. Johnny Winter
  61. Link Wray
  62. The Doobie Brothers
  63. MC5
  64. Alice in Chains
  65. Phish
  66. Chic
  67. Billy Ward & His Dominoes
  68. Fugazi/Minor Threat
  69. Dionne Warwick
  70. Bjork
  71. The Flaming Lips
  72. Peter, Paul & Mary
  73. Rufus/Chaka Khan
  74. Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  75. The Clovers
  76. De La Soul
  77. Blur
  78. Jimmy Buffett
  79. The Shadows
  80. Bad Brains
  81. Ben E. King
  82. Lucinda Williams
  83. Gram Parsons
  84. Soundgarden
  85. Moby
  86. Emerson, Lake & Palmer
  87. The Pogues
  88. The Jam
  89. Bon Jovi
  90. Megadeth
  91. Tori Amos
  92. Mary Wells
  93. Chuck Willis
  94. Kris Kristofferson
  95. Teddy Pendergrass/Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
  96. Toots and the Maytals
  97. The Shangri-Las
  98. New York Dolls
  99. Os Mutantes
  100. Fela Kuti

At this point, I might add that some artists on my original list were phased out. DC Talk, Husker Du, Dan Fogelberg, Slayer, Can, and Procol Harum. Afrika Bambaataa got removed in the light of pederasty charges. Los Lobos got kicked out because they didn’t do “La Bamba” when I saw them perform last year.

A couple similar artists switched places: Emmylou Harris, I think, should get the nod over Gram Parsons. I recently read Kill Your Idols, a collection of essays taking the piss out of allegedly classic albums, and their demolition of Grevious Angel won me over. I also switched A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, with ATCQ now being ranked higher.

Some artists trended downward since last time: Chic (due to Nile Rogers’s Excellence Award), Peter Paul & Mary (Baez’s induction accomplished the same point- acknowledging folk’s role in politicizing rock music), Iron Maiden (#11 was way, way too high) Duran Duran, and Ben E. King. Artists who moved up include Nina Simone (who breaks into the Top Ten), and Nine Inch Nails, among others. Kraftwerk has wrested the #1 spot from Moody Blues after some careful deliberation.

The sharp-eyed may notice several new additions: The Jam, Toots & the Maytals, Tori Amos, Lucinda Williams, Os Mutantes, The Shangri-Las, Kris Kristofferson, Bad Brains, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Blur, Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds, and PJ Harvey have all debuted.

So, this is where things stand for the summer of 2017. As always, your commentary and your critiques are valued.

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