The latest batch of nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced. With that comes the usual cries of “How did they get nominated?, “Looks like they got screwed again,” and “How the heck can you even call what that rock?”
The latter question tends to ignore the fact that the terms “rock and roll” and “rock music” have been malleable since the early days of the music’s development. Rock and Roll was originally a term used to describe R&B artists, and later to describe the white groups influenced by them. That’s led to a wide variety of music defined at one point or another as rock, as well as provided the core nucleus for genres evolving from rock, such as funk, punk, and rap.
This year’s sixteen nominees will no doubt cause debate by many on whether they truly deserve to be in the Rock Hall or not. Some first-time nominated artists like Nirvana, Yes, and The Replacements need no debate on whether they’re rock. Other artists, such as Linda Ronstadt and Hall and Oates, may cause some younger rock fans’ eyes to glaze over.
To be eligible for the Hall, artists have to had released their first single or album 25 years before their first year of eligibility. Nirvana, for example, released its first single, “Love Buzz,” in 1988. You can officially feel old now.
The nominees for 2016 (with notations when deemed necessary) are as follows. First-time nominees are indicated by an *.
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band - An influential 1960’s blues-rock group that at one time or another featured guitarists Mike Bloomfield and Elvin Bishop, along with Butterfield.
Chic - The band behind disco hits such as “Le Freak” and “Good Times.” Band co-founder Nile Rogers later became a celebrated producer, working with a variety of artists such as Diana Ross, David Bowie, Madonna, Steve Winwood, and Daft Punk
*Hall and Oates
LL Cool J
The Meters - A group of New Orleans musicians whose works have been sampled by rap and hip-hop artists for decades.
*Link Wray - Influential guitarist famous for the instrumental “Rumble.”
*The Zombies - British Invasion group known for the singles “She’s Not There” and “Time of the Season,” as well as the cult album Odyssey and Oracle.
Fans can vote on their favorites at rockhall.com through Dec. 10. The top five vote-getters will become part of a “fans ballot” that will be counted along with a group of voters consisting of previous inductees into the HOF, music critics, historians, and members of the music industry. The inductees will be announced in December.
Feel your favorite artist or artists got the shaft this year? Feel free to give your opinion on who should have been nominated in the comments section below.
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