It’s always interesting to see who the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame nominating committee chooses each year for potential entrants into the next year’s class of inductees. This year’s 9-artist selection (of which 5 will be chosen) offers some surprises.

Metallica and Run-DMC were widely considered shoo-ins. Metallica basically popularized metal (as in the all-black, cut off T-shirts and dirty tight jeans with mullets kind of metal) for a mainstream audience and have remained relevant through their entire quarter-century in existence. Run-DMC, are, well, Run-DMC. They revolutionized hip-hop, took it from a fad into an art form. There’s no doubt that these guys, however little time their star burned, deserve a place here. I’d say those are the only two acts whose inductions are assured.

Run-DMC's iconic 1986 album "Raising Hell".


It gets dicey with the other 7 nominees. Two of them are behind my time and I can’t say I really know a hell of a lot about: Wanda Jackson and Little Anthony & the Imperials. I actually had to look up Jackson’s Wikipedia entry to gain a little more insight on who she is, and she’s fairly influential in terms of early rock ‘n roll. The potential induction of Little Anthony & the Imperials might be stretching it a bit. Their influence is debatable, especially considering Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers and The Four Seasons are both inducted. Add in The Temptations and The Four Tops, and I’d say that the Hall is most likely done with vocal groups altogether. In all likelihood, Jackson gets in, The Imperials do not.

The other five nominees are Jeff Beck, Chic, Iggy & the Stooges, War, and Bobby Womack. Iggy Pop, who is a critical favorite and deserves tons of credit for putting glam rock on the map (not to mention being one of rock’s all time great live performers) will get his just due this year. From there it gets a little blurry. Jeff Beck, fantastic guitarist and everything, just doesn’t stand out enough to get inducted. Chic is disco, and the critical bias against the genre might prevent their induction although the band boasted three instrumental MVPs: guitarist Nile Rodgers, drummer Tony Thompson, and Bernard Edwards, who, after Larry Graham, is probably the best bass player in music history. War, grrovaliciousness aside, are a bit on the anonymous side, while Womack, a fantastic soul singer, might not be well-known enough to pop into the Hall. So…who will it be?? My gut tells me that Chic will get in because they’re the only repeat nominee out of the four.

The bigger argument comes with artists and bands that have not yet been inducted, despite being eligible. This list includes Kiss, Rush, Daryl Hall and John Oates, Chicago, Genesis, Heart, Cheap Trick, Depeche Mode, The Doobie Brothers, Lou Reed, Barry White, Donna Summer, The Beastie Boys, Janet Jackson, Peter Gabriel, Stevie Ray Vaughan, and a handful of others. I don’t think anyone would argue that all the artists mentioned have been highly influential. I don’t think anyone would disagree that all of the aforementioned artists (with the possible exception of Hall & Oates and Barry White) boast at least one classic album.

I’d argue that any of the artists in the previous paragraph were more influential than War. It makes me wonder exactly what the voting process is and whether political machinations and not purely artistic criteria are taken into consideration during the voting process.

Who’s missing from the HOF that should be there in YOUR opinion??