The Rock Hall noms popped up on my email feed recently. While I was pleased with many picks on last year’s ballot, I’m unclear which five to pick this time. Here’s music from each nominee. The top five finishers in the popular tally collectively receive a vote.
Beck (first-time nominee) – worthy, and I have a couple of his albums thanks to a certain party, but I’ll not vote for him because he’s newer to the music scene than some of the other nominees.
Pat Benatar – I don’t think I have any of her albums. Actually, I was won over by this CBS Sunday Morning interview that highlighted both her accomplishments and her “I don’t care” attitude. It’s also a love story with Neil Giraldo, dubbed Rock’s Romeo and Juliet, except that they’re very much alive and well.
Kate Bush – surely I don’t know enough about her body of work, though I own one of her albums.
DEVO – I voted for them last year, and I’m doing it again, at least in part because of the subsequent body of work of the brothers Mothersbaugh, Mark and Bob. I have at least four of their albums.
Duran Duran (first-time nominee) – worthy, I suppose, though I own none of their music.
Eminem (first-time nominee, first-year eligible) – clearly worthy, though I own none of his music; too new to pick. But he’ll probably get in.
Eurythmics – an easy yes, for them and for Annie Lennox’s solo stuff too, which I own, and maybe for her art.
Judas Priest – not my cuppa, but I hear they’re good.
Who the heck was Fela Kuti?
Fela Kuti – a massive international star. “Fela Aníkúlápó Kuti also known as Abami Eda, was a Nigerian multi-instrumentalist, bandleader, composer, political activist, and Pan-Africanist.” He “died on 3 August 1997, in Lagos, at the age of 58, from complications related to AIDS.” I may not have heard of him before 2009 or so, when Fela! the musical was on Broadway. Last year, his fan base came out to vote and he ended up second in the fan vote to Tima Turner.
MC5 – I like them, have one or two of their albums.
New York Dolls – ditto.
Dolly Parton (first-time nominee) – damn, I’m hoping that she gets picked for musical excellence for her impact on the industry, for which she is utterly worthy. I bought the complete Trio albums just last year.
Rage Against The Machine – significant, not just musically, but socially; have none of their work.
Lionel Richie (first-time nominee) – I ended up voting for him, as a member of the Commodores and as a songwriter; if he got picked in the musical excellence category, that’d be fine by me. I have a Commodores’ greatest hits CD.
Carly Simon (first-time nominee) – yeah, yeah, not rock, which is true of at half of the nominees. I’m a big fan, and I have maybe a half dozen albums.
A Tribe Called Quest (first-time nominee) – Hugely significant, though I don’t own their music.
Dionne Warwick – I love her body of work and have at least two of her albums.
The easy picks for me were Benatar, DEVO, and Eurythmics. EVERYBODY else except Beck, Bush, Eminem, and Judas Priest were on my “I’d consider them.” Ultimately, I picked Richie and rotated the fifth vote.
YOU can vote for your favorites here daily until April 29th.