Thursday, October 9, 2014

YOU'RE GOING TO GET WHAT YOU DESERVE: The 2015 ballot for the Non-Country Popular Music of the 1950s and Beyond Hall of Fame includes five first-time nominees: Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, the Smiths, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Bill Withers, and Sting, the first two in their rookie year of eligibility. (First albums: 1989.)

Joining them on the ballot are returning nominees N.W.A., Lou Reed, the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Kraftwerk, Chic, Joan Jett & the Blackhearts, the Marvelettes, the Spinners, War, and Bill Withers.

[Among the excluded: The Cure, New Order, Sonic Youth, Warren Zevon, Bon Jovi, anything metal or prog, and every woman who played post-WWII non-country popular music not named Joan Jett or in Chic, such as, um, Janet Jackson (if you're nasty), who has never been on the ballot despite being eligible since 2007.]

Do we have a Doodle ballot?  Of course.  

[My tentative ballot: NIN, SRV, NWA, Lou Reed, Kraftwerk. On the fence on Sting and the Smiths.]


  1. Not a terribly inspiring ballot, IMHO. I go with Kraftwerk (more as an influencer than for their actual work), NIN (a band I don't particularly LIKE, but you can't deny the sales and importance of), Green Day (which really established a new pop-punk thing in the 90s that's continued to reverberate today), NWA, and Lou Reed (again, mostly as an influencer, and I'm not 110% sold he deserves induction solo since Velvet Underground is already in). I like Sting a lot, but I'm not sure if the solo work, standing alone, gets him there. The Smiths is going to be fun because of the dueling hate statements that will come out.

  2. Adam C.11:16 AM

    Agree with Matt - it's quite an uninspiring ballot, and it has me wondering whether there is a rule requiring a minimum number of inductees. If so, I'm betting this is the year it'll be trotted out. Voted for Green Day, NIN, NWA, Lou (who I think is one of the clearest cases for solo induction among those remaining with split eligibility), and SRV (overdue), but I didn't feel particularly strongly about the bands, in contrast to the soloists. And I just don't know Kraftwerk enough to vote for them, although I understand the influence argument.
    The next few years look pretty lean too in terms of new eligibles, as we get into the acts that debuted from 1990 forward - most from that era just don't have the longevity or, frankly, the talent. Pearl Jam is probably as close to a mortal lock as there is (2016), and it would be great to see PJ Harvey (2016), Liz Phair and Aimee Mann (both 2018) all get in, though induction of even one of that trio would floor me. Beck? RATM? Daft Punk? I think you'll see the Hall mostly addressing past omissions for the foreseeable future.

  3. Nigel from Cameroon11:18 AM

    Here's a story on SRV's long and irrational wait for the call from the Hall:

    Worth the read.

  4. Joseph Finn11:23 AM

    Maybe not a great ballot but certainly a solid one. For me:

    Joan Jett & The Blackhearts

    I leave off Lou Reed and Sting because I don't care that much about inducting solo acts that are already in as part of a group. NIN, welcome to the Hall of Very Good. Spinners and and Bill Withers, if you get in I won't complain at all but I'm not that excited about. Green Day, I feel like I should have an opinion but somehow don't. Smiths...sigh; I don't understand the appeal.

    No nomination for Sonic Youth and Warren Zevon is simply nuts.

    And finally, the Hall is still too stodgy to admit Weird Al belongs.

  5. Adam B.11:38 AM

    Also not on the ballot: The Replacements, The Pixies.

  6. Adam C.12:39 PM

    Yes, these are some of the past omissions they should be considering over the next 4-5 years.

  7. Adam B.1:37 PM

    This would all be easier if the Hall would open its Influencers wing to modern artists. If you put Minor Threat and Husker Du in the Hall, I'm much more comfortable with Green Day too.

  8. Jordan2:03 PM

    I agree that they should open up the influencers wing, but let's not undersell Green Day's popularity. This might be Keltner territory, but they've sold as many albums Aretha, Bob Marley and the Police. Given their current popularity/output, they should end up passing the Doors, REM and Van Halen in the not too distant future.

  9. Adam B.2:15 PM

    I have no problem with Green Day ultimately getting in, but the Hall has a weird thing about first-timers. RHCP and Van Halen didn't get in the first time.

  10. Joseph Finn5:22 PM

    Both of whom I can see arguments for even if they're not my thing.

  11. Joseph Finn5:37 PM

    What, I'm still the only person who voted for The Marvelettes? I'm honestly surprised by that.

  12. Jordan5:49 PM

    I look at it the same way as the baseball hall. Either you're in or your not. I guess you could say, well not yet, but they might still produce enough to swing me, but if you're producing at that level 25 years later, it shouldn't be an issue. I get if you're one of those guys who is like, "well, Babe Ruth wasn't unanimous so no one should be," but voting against someone (RHCP!?) only because it's their first year makes no sense to me.

  13. Adam B.6:53 PM

    Look, I'd have put them in first year. Green Day ... I need to think about. American Idiot helps. And I do think we hold contemporary bands to higher standards -- early rockers like Del Shannon and Richie Valens only needed 1-2 hits for induction.

  14. The Pathetic Earthling6:59 PM

    I'd love an influencers wing, as it would give Blue Oyster Cult a place.

  15. I'll second the Weird Al.

  16. Adam C.9:07 AM

    Well, Valens also had the whole died-too-soon thing.