Saturday, November 11, 2017

Getting a grasp on 2018's nominees' merits.

After much deliberation, it is now time to look at our nominees and see them in terms of their merits.  We all have our favorites, but when we're truly honest, do they actually deserve enshrinement?  And how does one measure an artist's merit?  Well, by now, folks are relatively familiar with what I have called the four I's.  They stand like pillars to hold up an artist's merit.

This year, however, I'm introducing a fifth I.  It's something I've toyed with doing for awhile, but held off on.  And it's a different I word and idea.  Instead of thinking of my four I's like pillars, think of them more like fingers on the hand.  Influence is the index finger because it points the way for other acts to come.  Impact is the middle finger because it's the longest and usually the most noticeable.  And if you're a music snob, and a nominated act pretty much only has Impact in their favor, their nomination can seem obscene.  Innovation is the ring finger because while it seems weakest, for some people it's longer than the index, and it's very noticeable if it's missing.  Intangibles is the pinky because it's shortest and is on the end usually.  This fifth I is the thumb.  It's the thumb because it is opposable.  Whereas the other four I's are the pro factors for an artist, this is the con factor, why some might be opposed to their nomination and possible induction.  Because while you can hold onto something with the four fingers, having that thumb really helps you get a grip on an artist's nomination.

So this year, we have five I's: Innovation, Influence, Impact, Intangibles, and Issues.  Where and when did they break new ground, who followed in their footsteps, how big were they, what else is there that gives depth, and why might some be opposed to their nomination?  Will I regret this?  We'll see.

Influence: Hugely influential as a guitarist and as a singer, still noteworthy today.  From blues, to rock and roll, and even modern gospel.
Innovation: Her live performances included daring licks that some consider proto-rock and roll.
Impact: A few hits on the R&B charts and supposedly a pair on what was the Pop charts at the time.  Album charts weren't a thing back then really; albums barely were.  Additionally, her version of "Silent Night" still remains one of the all-time classic recorded versions of that beloved hymn.
Intangibles: People who hadn't even heard of her five years ago are claiming her as an egregious snub.  Once they discover her, they're hooked.
Issues: Her studio recordings are very clearly gospel, and she predates the general conventions of rock and roll history by a decade or so.

Influence: She commands immense respect from musicians of all styles, races, and genders, with numerous covers of her material and singers attempting to emulate her style.
Impact: A couple handfuls of hits scattered over a few decades, plus another handful of songs considered to be classics despite not charting.  Despite being steeped in jazz, which has always been an album-preferring format, only ten charted albums on the Billboard 200, only two getting into the upper half.
Innovation: Jazz is one of those styles where it's always inventive while never being anything new under the sun.  So, to measure Nina's merits here shows her contributions to be both immense and infinitesimal.  Schrodinger would love this.
Intangibles: She isn't just jazz.  She could sing blues, gospel, broadway, and a few of her songs could even be arguably considered soul.  Extremely versatile.
Issues: While flirting with soul, which is very much recognized as part of rock and roll, the vast body of her work really isn't so recognized.  While the definition of rock and roll isn't engraved in marble, various people with varying definitions widely agree that she's the nominee who is "the least rock and roll."

Influence: Hip-hop music grew out of block parties and was largely borne of DJ culture.  LL Cool J is a seminal figure for what made it an emcee’s game.
Impact: The man’s had a steady stream of hit singles in both the R&B and pop scenes.  A respectable album chart showing, too.  Plus, with his acting career, he also has a substantial name recognition factor.  Most commercially successful R&B act on the ballot.
Innovation: His innovation and influence pretty much complement each other to the point of blurring the lines.  In addition to virtually obsolescing the DJ from rap music, he helped make it a solo braggadocio show, replacing rap outfits.  Additionally, he’s recognized for both making rap more accessible in smaller bites (shorter songs, meaning more likely radio play) and for creating the bridge of R&B stylings that we still see today in non-rap R&B music.
Intangibles: LL Cool J didn't just make it an emcee's game, his image is also what helped make rap the game for the ladies' man.
Issues: Between his acting career eating up more of his time later in his career, and the embarrassment of "Accidental Racist," which he contributed to, his most recent flavor is sour.

Innovation: They're widely considered among the inventors of prog rock, if not the band that really invented it.
Influence: All prog rock.  Maybe not all of them took direct cues from the Moody Blues, but every prog band after them owes them a huge debt.
Impact: One of the featured characteristics of prog is difficulty finding acceptance in the mainstream world.  Not for these guys.  They are the highest ranked albums' artist on this list, and in the top five singles' acts among the nominees.
Intangibles: They are capable of great stylistic diversity, which is something not seen with every nominee or inductee that comes along.
Issues: Prog has never garnered a lot of critical respect, and while some don't care about critics, there's a reason they are able to do what they do, and their opinions have weight.

Innovation: Since this isn't my strongest area, I'll defer to the expertise of others, but my research shows incredible combinations of elements of metal, rap, punk, and even reggae.  Apparently they're considered among the pioneers of Nu Metal, or at least brought it as close to mainstream as can be while not being called sellouts.
Influence: Because they resonated with underground circles, this is harder to measure, but there are a lot of rock bands that took their lead from them.
Impact: A few hits on the pop and rock charts, with charting albums.
Intangibles: A very politically charged outfit, they brought their message strong and hard.
Issues: It's sometimes hard to grasp their message because you can't always discern what Zach De La Rocha is saying.  Additionally, they received a blow to their ego and perhaps their credibility when former vice-presidential nominee Paul Ryan called them his favorite band of all time.

Influence: Among the chief torch-bearers of the ethereal rock sound, their influence is still felt when listening to non-mainstream rock.
Innovation: While they didn't invent the ethereal rock sound, what they did with it is unique and easily identifiable to them.
Impact: About as big with the general public as a band can be without being lowest common denominator.  A respectable number of hit songs and albums.
Intangibles: With songs like "Creep," "No Surprises," "Idioteque," and "Knives Out;" Radiohead might be the second most versatile nominee on this year's ballot in terms of their musical stylings, second only to Nina Simone.
Issues: Thom Yorke's voice does not sit well with everyone; additionally, their love/hate relationship with their own fame has caused a few hiatuses that make them occasionally inconsistent.  Also, not everyone is that fond or respectful of their most recent works.

Innovation: One of the front runners of new wave music, they helped define an entire movement in the music world.
Influence: Again, one of the front runners of new wave.  They influenced a lot of the new wave and even synth-pop and synth-rock acts of the '80's. 
Impact: A very commercially successful group with a string of Top 40 hits.
Intangibles: This was a band that seemed to have something for everyone, including critics, who also had a lot of good things to say about them.
Issues: I'm drawing a blank on this one, actually.  Maybe Ric Ocasek's going solo kept them from realizing their full potential.

Influence: Their level of influence is right up there with Motorhead (sorry, I'm not going to pull up special characters to give you the umlaut, you know where it goes), and a noticeable but not too wide distance behind Black Sabbath.
Innovation: Not the first metal act, but being from metal's first decade, they had a huge say in what metal would be and how it would be identified.
Impact: Only one hit single, but with over a dozen charted albums, they have a respectable catalog filled with songs that fans love to extol and debate over.
Intangibles: They're among the highest-touted snubs among hard rock aficionados and dilettantes, most notably Eddie Trunk.
Issues: Because they weren't as commercial as many other acts, and because they weren't Black Sabbath, Judas Priest are sometimes held in lower esteem.

Influence: As one of biggest names of that synth-driven style that could be known by any number of names, they fit in as an influence to many acts that came after in the decade or two that followed.
Impact: A noticeable string of charted hits and non-charted classics, as well as hit albums to note.  They were big in both the Album and Modern Rock Tracks charts, as well as the Dance charts.
Innovation: Not super innovative, but the fact that they were all-synthesized may speak a word or two in this category.
Intangibles: This is a group that even the most hardcore of rockists wouldn't complain too much about if they got inducted, which is not inconsequential.
Issues: While everyone may enjoy a song or two from them, their overall style is not for everyone, and may not sit well in discussion circles.

Impact: A solid run of pop hits and even some dance chart hits, and a handful of charted albums that sold reasonably well.  
Influence: With Annie Lennox at the helm, Eurythmics were highly influential to female musicians to come, as well as dance music acts.
Innovation: A lot of the synth-rock acts came up together around the same time, so who pioneered what is hard to say, but Eurythmics were definitely unique in their dominant pulsations prevalent in their songs.
Intangibles: Annie Lennox is a solid figure for feminism, not just for her image, but very much in the duo's music.
Issues: Not everyone is onboard with the legitimacy of synth-pop, plus Annie Lennox's solo career may appeal to Small Hall folks who may wish to wait for Lennox to be nominated solo.

Influence: Pretty much the entire reason this man is on the ballot.  The importance of the power chord as heard on "Rumble" is hard to overstate.  His style of playing on that record and the subsequent ones has influenced myriads of guitarists.
Innovation: Not the premiere rock and roll guitarist, but his style did help shape the sub-genre of surf rock, which is significant.
Impact: “Rumble” is about on par with Les Paul’s “Nola” among cornerstones of guitar music.  From the charts, not much of a showing: one album and four singles.
Intangibles: In 2012, the Hall inducted six groups that they had previously only inducted the frontman.  In the event of a Link Wray induction, the Ray Men really should be included, but you’d be hard pressed to find anyone who thinks it’s a major oversight either.
Issues: He's often dismissed as a one-trick pony, and even when he's not dismissed, he has trouble getting enough clamor and attention competing with others who had many more hits.

Innovation: Maybe my ears are off, but I swear I hear infusions of Celtic music in many of her songs.  Anyone else hear it, and is there any other major artist and/or Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame nominee that can say that they combined Celtic influences consistently in their music?  Maybe not the most famous songs, but when you listen to her albums.  Maybe it's just me.  Either way, she's incredibly unique to the point where you have to acknowledge it as innovative.
Impact: She's significantly successful in the United Kingdom, and has a noticeable amount of album' chart success in the United States, though not many hit singles.
Influence: I'm not too familiar with who all cites her as an influence, but between her solidarity as a successful songstress as well as an abstract thinker, she's had to have influenced some serious artistry.
Intangibles: She is probably the most artistic act on the ballot, and by that, I mean highbrow art.
Issues: While it's a poor excuse to exclude her, her sporadic output and promotional reticence, including a refusal to tour, does marginally inhibit her ability to reach larger audiences, combined with a style that is too highbrow for most commercial outlets, it makes her nomination unusual to say the least.

13. THE MC5
Innovation: Possibly the first to intentionally and regularly use distortion as a key component of their sound, they are also credited as one of the pioneers of punk rock.
Influence: Tremendously so, again, especially in the worlds of punk and hard rock.
Impact: One hit single, two charted albums, both of which at one point were on Rolling Stone's list of most important albums of all time.
Intangibles: They're a strong example of attitude that some say is more important than the actual music when defining "rock and roll."  On top of that, given the breadth of artists, including Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Inductees that have come out of the Great Lake State, simply the fact that they came from Michigan, especially from Detroit, almost kind of adds an extra layer of credibility to them, much as being British in the '60s might also be considered a bonus.
Issues: Between a limited commercial run, and often incomprehensible lyrics due to the use of distortion, they might not pass a few people's bars for "Unquestionable musical excellence."

Impact: In its own right Rufus struck big a few times with great and funky R&B songs like “Ain’t Nobody”, “Once You Get Started”, and of course, “Tell Me Something Good.”  
Innovation:  The sounds they made with their rhythm section were seldom, if ever, heard before, and their insistence on vocal harmonies with funk in a way that even Sly And The Family Stone didn’t do as consistently makes their sound something somewhat new and creative.
Influence:  Really helped bring funk to the disco scene, which was later carried on by the GAP Band and Chic.
Intangibles: In his Top Pop Singles books, Joel Whitburn lists Rufus under the letter K as part of Chaka Khan.  However, in his R&B singles, Disco/Dance tracks, and Hot Albums books, Whitburn lists Rufus as a separate entity from solo Chaka Khan.  That, and the fact that many of the singles from the group did in fact credit “Rufus And Chaka Khan”, inducting them under this identity actually still leaves the door open for a separate, second, and solo induction for Chaka Khan.  And that might not be a bad idea.
Issues: The sinking feeling that only either the group Rufus or solo Chaka Khan will get inducted should inspire voters to vote for this act, but often works counter, refusing to vote for either until the Rock Hall offers more clarity, perhaps by nominating both entities on the same ballot.

Impact: They're the biggest singles' act of the entire ballot, and in the top three albums' acts.  Their song, "Livin' On A Prayer" has been called the song that most epitomized the 1980s by VH1.
Influence: Not the biggest, but as one of the most successful hair-metal acts, they were undoubtedly influential upon a lot of one- and two-hit wonder acts that tried to duplicate their success.
Innovation: Virtually nil, though some credit them for the popularization of the talk box beyond mere gimmickry.
Intangibles: Bon Jovi is one the few hair-metal acts that survived and retained some relevance after Nirvana practically destroyed the sub-genre with "Smells Like Teen Spirit," and Bon Jovi managed to do it the longest and strongest.
Issues: They are considered the schlockiest act on the ballot, being compared to Journey in terms of who's a lower common denominator.  Additionally, the aging rocker factor is hitting Bon Jovi like a ton of bricks, as they've done some decidedly country outings, including that abominable duet with Jennifer Nettles.

Impact: Despite only having seven hits on the pop charts (including the Bubbling Under), their big three are really well remembered, and so powerfully symbolic of the ‘60s that it overshadows the short-lived life of the group.  Also, with an album in Rolling Stone’s upper fifth of Top 500 albums of all-time, it’s a critical respect thing, too.
Innovation: When you first hear them, it’s almost indescribable.  It’s moody and haunting, but not really blues, or even jazz, though there may be elements of those styles in there.  But it’s unique, and infectious.
Influence: Somewhat limited, perhaps due to their short-lived run as a group, but every now and then, some hint of their style creeps up, the most well-known of which might be the Guess Who’s “Undun.”
Intangibles: Being a 60’s British Invasion group always means something, not just because of the way the British Invasion collectively shook up the musical landscape, but also because of the music itself of each outfit.  The Zombies have a high general populace approval overall.
Issues: They were very short-lived and are as much being derided as a pet pick of Little Steven as they are being hailed as a Hall-worthy act from the 60s.

Influence: They helped carry on the New Orleans sound, and bring it into the ‘70s and beyond.
Impact: A couple handfuls of hits in the singles charts, and they had a few hit albums too.
Innovation: A little bit, alongside Sly And The Family Stone and the JB’s, helping shape and update the sound of funk.
Intangibles: Two of the members of the Meters were named Neville… as in the Neville Brothers, who have also been looked at as potential candidates.  Perhaps the Hall wants this group in first, then have two more members of the Clyde McPhatter Club.
Issues: Considered by some to be too minor.  As a band that did a lot of session work, some of their songs sound like backing tracks that never had vocals added.

Impact: A noticeable run of both hit albums and hit singles.
Influence: Not a whole lot of citation, but their style of blues-rock likely created some ripples.
Innovation: Not much here either, though perhaps a uniqueness and diversity of sound could be argued.
Intangibles: An electrifying live act.  Considering how many acts sound great on record but are duds on tour, or those whose tours are the true and sole reason to be excited about an act, the fact that they're a band that has great stage presence and that most people like at least one studio recording by them is not something to overlook entirely. 
Issues: It's no secret they're a pet act of Jann S. Wenner, and many believe that without his seal of approval, this band wouldn't even be in the discussion.

Impact: A small but respectable string of hits and other well-remembered classics.  Their first album is pretty well lauded to boot.
Innovation: Not a lot, but it's worth noting that they're one of the few really big acts of the time that you could hear infusions of country and some folk in their guitar-rock sound.
Influence: Marginal, but Mark Knopfler himself is pretty well-respected as a musician.  I do, however, wonder if maybe they were an influence on Tom Petty's solo career.
Intangibles: Hey, did you know Mark Knopfler got a dinosaur named after him?  Apparently, the scientists who named it were listening to a lot of Dire Straits when they discovered several remains of the creatures and realized they discovered a new dinosaur.   Masiakasaurus knopfleri.  It just adds to their overall coolness factor.
Issues: Outside of their three major hits, their music is largely unknown and very different, so if you only know, "Sultans Of Swing," "Money For Nothing," and "Walk Of Life," you probably don't really know Dire Straits, and many would say there's little to their case beyond those three songs.

So that is how this year's nominees measure up, according to my metrics.  For devotees of acts that didn't rank nearly as high as you'd like, always remember: getting nominated is a huge distinction in itself.  It's like reading a roll call of those who graduated with a grade point average of 3.0 or higher.  Even if you're at the bottom of that list, you're still considered much more accomplished than those whose names weren't read at all.  Coming soon, the ranking of nominees by personal tastes.


  1. Well done as always--I couldn't even attempt something like this. Side note: if the Cars have issues, it would be that the last album, "Door to Door" was an off note artistically and a commercial clunker, and although they were a live draw in their club days, their live shows after their first major tour have a lasting rep as being stiff and boring. Never saw them live, but I hear it from my partner like every day.

    1. Good to know! Always learning something. And yeah, this is a bit time consuming. I work a blue-collar job, and the last two times I tried to take a day to work on this, I either had electrical issues with my laptop, or the wifi was out and we had trouble rebooting it. Luckily, once I get started, I pick up steam. Most of this was written (or C&P'd) yesterday.

  2. Red Hot Chili Peppers and Faith No More probably pioneered nu-metal more than Rage Against the Machine (not to mention the Aerosmith/Run-DMC, Beastie Boys/Slayer, and Public Enemy/Anthrax collaborations), but on the other hand, RHCP were probably too slow to be "metal", and FNM were more cult. RATM might qualify as the first to enter the mainstream who were completely self-contained. No chance they'd be nominated if Tom Morello wasn't on the committee though. That's a genre you don't think they'd want to acknowledge much if they don't acknowledge rap or metal much.

    Kate Bush would seem to be a main influence on any of the more quieter/low-key/ethereal female singer songwriters of the '90s like Tori Amos, P.J. Harvey, Sarah McLachlan, and so on, but probably less of one on the more in your face, punk or pop oriented types like Liz Phair, Alanis Morissette, or Sheryl Crow... Amos would be the most direct descendant I think.

    1. Agreed that Tori Amos is a direct descendant of Kate Bush. Also some more modern artists like Florence and The Machine and St. Vincent show a lot of Kate Bush influence.

  3. Florence Welch has been candid about Bush's influence on her (might be a good one to induct her if it comes down to it), and whether they've publicly connected the dots or not Lady Gaga, Bjork and even Madonna owe her. Aside from ethereality, she was crafting her own image, standing up to the business and doing things on her own terms before any of them.

  4. You put together a pretty good list, but I still can never get behind Radiohead being anywhere but #1. This is without a doubt the most important act since Nirvana. The Bends, OK Computer, Kid A, In Rainbows, whateverthefuckthelastonewascalled...these guys have put together a forward thinking, completely original discography that has been consistently of a high caliber and anybody in the rock world since the 90s that cares even remotely about rock as art has dug their stuff.

    1. Kanye West is the only other act I can think of that gives them a run for their money for similar reasons. He could prove to be more important in the long run.

    2. Well, much of what you list here has a lot to do with the factor of "unquestionable music excellence," which can be described objectively to a slight degree, in terms of being artistic, but otherwise, what you describe is largely subjective, and falls under personal taste, imo.

  5. The big issue with The Cars isn't one album that isn't very good. (100s of artists/bands have suffered that blow). It's that they weren't a very good live band. "Stiff and boring" is an apt term. The one time I saw them was in 1979, they had at least a couple top 20 hits already, and they played a theater (later a "PAC") in Morristown, NJ. Cheap Trick opened for them. Cheap Trick were at their peak, and blew away The Cars at all levels: Not just in general performance quality, but in comparable quality of songs, band interactions, audience connection, and even interest in doing a live show. To this day I recall thinking that The Cars seemed like a cover band of themselves playing a pickup bar, barely able to warm up to their audience, never mind seeming to need to take energy from the audience to warm up to and put energy into the performance of their own hits.
    I'm at least happy that they aren't being considered for the Hall until after Cheap Trick's induction.

    Also I'd have to say that The Cars were not very influential so much as they smoothed for general pop audiences and mainstreamed a rougher sound. And I acknowledge their production skills. But with so many unacknowledged, unnominated, much more creative producer-songwriter-performers still out there - Todd Rundgren leaps to mind, XTC, not yet eligible under their own names: Michael Franti and Linda Perry, and so many Hip Hop producer-songwriter-performers soon eligible (OutKast, etc), I think The Cars' popularity because they were good at letting their record company wrap a New Wave label over their modern pop makes them even more "schlockiest" than Journey and Bon Jovi. (At least Jon Bongiovi's good works for local communities mitigates the "schlock".)

    While I'm commenting: Other major bands with Celtic influence: Jethro Tull. Steeleye Span.
    I agree with the comment about Kate Bush's immense influence on the artists mentioned. Not sure, but I believe Gaga has acknowledged it. Watching Bush's Saturday Night Live performance from the late 70s(?) recently made me realize how much Bush preceded many kinds of performance and stagecraft, similar to Bowie, but rooted differently.

    I hear Dire Straits similarly to how I hear Steely Dan. Not AS important as the Dan, but wonderfully well composed songs, beautifully recorded (I think their albums were recognized for engineering excellence) and with touches of jazzy improv. You may not recall how much "Money For Nothing" had multiple impacts, primarily for the "I want my MTV" chorus capturing the zeitgeist of the moment, but also for the "little faggot" lyric stirring controversy. As an out gay man myself, I was not offended by the line: It was clear it was a persona. (And I had to ask a boss of mine to not over reprimand a coworker (not even a friend) for singing along to the lyric on the radio.) (And when I saw DS play a concert in the 90s, "faggot" was missing.) It was a big deal for a long time, creating or contributing to conversations about artistic freedom vs political correctness, appearing in an era when Gay folks were coming out as if we were rare delicate flowers, unlike the current entitled to be oneself era. Those are "intangibles" with an awful lot of "impact".

    1. Have to disagree about Cars being schlockier. And no, Bon Jovi's good work does not mitigate the fact that their music is the lowest common denominator, at least among those on this ballot.

      As far as MFN, true, I was only a toddler when it came out, but studying it, that song was one of many that blend into whole mess that was the congressional hearings of that era. That's not to take away from the achievement of Gay folks coming out bravely at the time, but Dire Straits' entire body of work isn't quite so affiliated with that movement as other artists.

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  7. Comments Pt. 2:
    The Zombies were "short-lived"? Like, compared to Dire Straits? (Choosing someone who I've established I respect, so you see I mean to compare favorably, not denigrate, anyone.) Just checked myself on their (pretty good) respective Wikipedia pages, and "short-lived" seems like an odd choice to only saddle The Zombies with. Also regarding longevity, just a few years ago they played a live summer festival sponsored by a local *NJ county government*, where the band pulled out unfamiliar songs before a largely general audience, who were more than politely receptive. The Zombies are one of the few bands I've ever seen playing an oldies circuit that pulled out new music - and under-exposed music. And Rod Argent, man, had a respectable career leading Argent too. In fact, if nothing else, the Rock Hall's tradition of acknowledging artists who recorded Rock and Roll anthems gives extra weight to inclusion of The Moody Blues for "I'm Just A Singer (In A Rock and Roll Band)" and of The Zombies for Argent's "God Gave Rock and Roll To You".

    BTW, in the Rock Hall fan vote, 90% of the time mine were for Judas Priest, The MC5, Moody Blues, The Meters, and The Zombies. Because they have been trailing so far behind in the vote, I'd occasionally replace The Meters with Kate Bush or J. Geils.

    PS: Add Brian Eno and Laurie Anderson to the list of unacknowledged, unnominated, worthy of consideration for the Rock Hall, much more creative and influential than The Cars, producer-songwriter-performers still out there.

    PPS: I'm a self-acknowledged Radiohead hater. One of the very few bands I can't resist actively using (wasting) my time to rail against. Preceding and simultaneously with the New Wave, I was a fan of or appreciated numerous great, under-appreciated "progressive" and "experimental" artists and bands who Radiohead fans seem never to have listened to heard of before they heard Radiohead, from the just aforementioned Brian Eno to Be Bop Deluxe. I just don't conclude that the ability of Radiohead fans to simply be ignorant of these many groundbreakers who did everything before Radiohead did is reason enough to credit the band with being "important" nor particularly "original". (Not counting how I am among those who also can't stand the singing.) . I know, I'm very much swimming against a huge tide here. But Radiohead's dismal showing in the current Rock Hall fan vote maybe gives me hope that the band's fans just don't care whether they're in the Hall - and maybe the official voters might reflect that (at least this year). There is a weird kind of memory lapse that their fans suffer from, and an equally weird conformity to their fans all hearing their recordings as art that I can only interpret as massive mob delusion. The fans refuse to hear nor even consider Radiohead in the same context as dozens of "progressive rock" bands those fans despise. But every time I attempt to hear Radiohead I think of all the criminally unpopular bands that tried what they did first. They're a band who've gotten credit for happening to produce decades-old sounds and styles coincidentally when an audience is receptive to them and needed a mythic band to fill an empty space in their lives. It's just wrong to credit them with so much originality.

  8. Comments, PT 3
    It's important to me to add: For all my complaining about The Cars and Radiohead, I would be *fine* if all 19 nominees were inducted. Especially considering that I could easily come up with a list of 20 more I think are worthy of induction.
    I wish all the nominees ever nominated would just be inducted already.
    This winnowing down from nominees to inductees process has some promotional function, I guess, but frankly it's disrespectful bullshit.
    For all I dislike certain bands, I'm fully aware that millions of people have a different experience than I do, and being a gatekeeper to the Hall is absurd.
    I may not have a fan's level of respect for the same music which others are fans of, but I respect that that relationship exists, that music by bands that I don't care for impacts their fans that deeply.
    I wish I had functioned as a gatekeeper as a critic and reviewer, by speaking up about and lifting up music as it's produced or in some retrospective context. I won't contradict that a band has had an actual impact on their fans.
    (I'm obviously NOT among those who prefer a "small hall".)
    I felt this was necessary to add, as I'm commenting at this blog for the first time (a google search brought me here, never mind for what) and I don't mean to disrespect anyone else's opinions. Just want to add my own strongly stated ones.

    1. Well, for the first time, you sure had a lot to say, but that's totally cool! The one thing I wanted to add though: when I talk about the Zombies being short-lived, I mean they broke up before they could realize their full potential. In fact, when "Time Of The Season" charted in '69 and was tied to the hippie movement... the Zombies were already disbanded by that time, and had been long enough for the popularity of that song to be considered surprising. Whatever reunions they've had and touring playing the old songs... I don't count that. Their 2015 album "Still Got That Hunger" is a reunion effort, but that doesn't mean the band has a long, rich history. And Argent is Argent, not the Zombies. Argent can be nominated for the Hall at a later date, though I'd never vote for them. But the works of the band Argent are not subsumed under an induction or nomination of the Zombies, unless jointly nominated like Small/Faces were.

  9. Wow, both the most deserving and the least deserving are getting in this year!