Is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame finally getting some new ideas? Could be, from a look at the 16 nominees announced today, which represent a diverse and worthy cross section of rock.
Rush grabs its first nomination 14 years after first becoming eligible and years of their fans griping over their exclusion and lobbying the Hall. “We are honored to be among the nominees for this year’s Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame,” the band said in a statement posted to Facebook. “We are especially thrilled for the many, many dedicated RUSH fans to whom this nomination is so very important.”
Also from the hard rock/classic rock sphere: Heart, Deep Purple and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts picked up nods. Procol Harum is bidding to be this year’s Faces/Small Faces inductee (i.e., a relatively minor British Invasion band that benefits from the committee’s apparent affinity for anything to do with the late ’60s). Songwriter/Disney soundtrack guy Randy Newman gets a nod, as do Donna Summer and Nile Rodgers’ Chic from the world of disco. On the blues front, we get Albert King and Chicago’s first great white bluesman, Paul Butterfield. In the wake of the Beastie Boys’ induction last year, hip-hop looks to N.W.A. and Public Enemy to win some hardware this year. The Meters and the Marvelettes anchor the soul genre. And in perhaps the most interesting nomination goes to seminal German electronica pioneers Kraftwerk, who may be benefitting from current interest in artists like Skrillex and Deadmau5.
Notably absent from the nominees list: perennial snub KISS.
Fans will vote for the first time this year (on RollingStone.com) to compile a “fans’ ballot.” But before you get too excited, know that the fans’ choices will only count for one of the “more than 600” ballots that determine the five inductees.