Here is the List of Nominees for the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

I have mixed feelings about the need for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame–seems pretty establishment for music that’s supposed to be about rebellion and kicking against the pricks–but, whatever. It’s still interesting to see what the old boys club that runs the voting thinks is important.

Remember that to be eligible, it has to have been at least 25 years since your debut release. These are the acts up for consideration for the class of 2o17, complete with my bits of snark.

  • Bad Brains (FANTASTIC!)
  • Chaka Khan (I know she has her fans, but…meh.)
  • Chic (100%)
  • Depeche Mode (Can’t argue.)
  • Electric Light Orchestra (Jeff Lynne has some friends in high places within the industry.)
  • J. Geils Band (Another big meh from me.)
  • Jane’s Addiction (Gotta make this happen.)
  • Janet Jackson (Hard to dispute her stature.)
  • Joan Baez (You mean she’s not already in the Hall?)
  • Joe Tex (Really?)
  • Journey (Well, “Don’t Stop Believin'” is the most-purchased download of all time…)
  • Kraftwerk (How have they been missed up until now?)
  • MC5 (Some important proto-punk contributions…)
  • Pearl Jam (Probably will get in on their year of eligibility.)
  • Steppenwolf (Another oversight that needs correcting.)
  • The Cars (One of the most commercially successful of the American New Wave bands.)
  • The Zombies (Influential Brits.)
  • Tupac Shakur (Slam dunk.)
  • Yes (Despite my feelings toward their brand of prog, I can see them making it.)

Voting works like this:

Ballots will be sent out to about 800 people (artists, writers, historians and various members of The Hall). Voting will narrow things down to five inductees based on things like “musical influence on other artists, length and depth of career and the body of work, innovation and superiority in style and technique.”

Fans can vote on who they think should be considered (NEW YORK DOLLS, DAMMIT!) and will have the top five vote-getters considered with the closed votes.

Several publications have weighed in with their picks. Billboard gives their odds:

  • Pearl Jam (even odds)
  • Tupac Shakur (even odds)
  • Electric Light Orchestra (2 to 1)
  • Janet Jackson (2 to 1)
  • Yes (3 to 1)

All the results will be made public in December. The induction event will happen in April.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

8 thoughts on “Here is the List of Nominees for the 2017 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

  • October 18, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Alan you are the best, love your blog. Still miss hearing your voice when I’m up at 35000 feet on Air Canada. Cheers and keep up the great work!

    • October 18, 2016 at 8:40 pm

      Thanks! And if I have my way, I’ll be up in the air again someday…

  • October 18, 2016 at 8:24 pm

    Alan, it seems some artists didn’t really have careers except did a promo run (movie, album, public relations exercise). Pearl Jam should get in on their consistency and depth of work. Sticking with it is Important.

  • October 19, 2016 at 11:37 am

    Would love to see Depeche Mode and Jane’s Addiction make the cut! I think DM have a real shot, based on longevity and influence. But Jane’s Addiction? I just don’t see it.

  • October 19, 2016 at 1:40 pm

    Hate the whole Idea of a hall of fame (Despite the inclusion of Rush ) I’ve skipped stopping there in favour of coming home early on 3 Motorcycle trips when friends decided they needed to go.

    Having said that Bad Brains , Pearl Jam,Kraftwerk , MC5 Joan Baez are all picks i like Depeche Mode probably too . A few in there i just don’t know enough or like enough to say but that probably means Meh

    Yes, Journey ,ELO and J Geils are Horrific picks to me . They are poster bands for bland corporate rock that i just can’t stand.

    So still hate the thing it simply shouldn’t exist IMHO.

  • October 19, 2016 at 8:56 pm

    Once again this year, as has been the case with every previous year, Joy Division has failed to be included in the Hall’s annual list of nominees. Alan, as a self-confessed Joy Division fan, I urge you to be the standard bearer not only for their own cause, but for ALL of the deserving 1980s post-punk bands (especially those from outside of the States) who have never even been acknowledged by the Hall with a nomination. As Brian Ives of put it earlier this year, “Judging by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s inductees, rock music went straight from the ’70s punk scene (the Ramones, the Clash, the Sex Pistols, Blondie, Talking Heads) to ’90s alt-rock (Nirvana, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Green Day).” Until this lingering injustice is corrected, the Hall will continue to be dead to me. (And don’t even get me started on New Order! How they are not in the Hall already is beyond me.)

    • October 19, 2016 at 9:22 pm

      Totally agree. But the Hall is run by Americans with myopia.

      • October 19, 2016 at 10:36 pm

        True (I think they are particularly blind when it comes to Canadian artists)… but the Hall HAS grudgingly opened its doors for the likes of the Clash and the Sex Pistols, so a glimmer of hope IS there. Meanwhile, I will never understand their obvious bias against (or perhaps I should say lack of interest in) post-punk bands of the 1980s from ANY country. Last but not least, if the likes of wanna-be Joy Division band Depeche Mode gets into the Hall before Joy Division itself does, I will lose any remaining respect I have for the Hall completely.


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