Thursday, 2 October 2008

The Rock Hall Backlog Part 2: Artists with more than two previous ballot appearances

Now that I have looked at the few artists listed as "Previously Considered: No" who might be seen as serious candidates in the future, I will look at the actual Rock Hall backlog in four stages as noted in my previous post, starting with artists with more than two previous ballot appearances.

Artists on the Rock Hall backlog with more than two previous ballot appearances include:

1) The Stooges: Critically acclaimed as one of the most important bands in rock history, the Stooges were first eligible in 1994/1995 and are on their seventh ballot.

Their influence on the late 1970s "punk revolution" and later hardcore is undeniable, and many critics I respect see them as close to the most important band in rock history. Their failure to gain commercial success (The Stooges made #106 on Billboard, but Fun House never dented the Top 200 and Raw Power only made #182) seems still to make them unknown to a large proportion of voters, especially those associated with record companies.

Still, back on the ballot after a year's absence, it is hard to see the Stooges not being in by 2011/2012. If they do get in this year, I imagine the Nominating Committee turning their attention to the MC5, the New York Dolls and even Captain Beefheart and trying to force them through in exactly the same way.

2) Chic: First eligible in 2002/2003, Chic have been on the past four ballots but those in the know are far from certain that they will get in on this ballot.

If Chic do not get in on this ballot, it is hard for me to believe the Nominating Committee won't keep nominating them until they get in. Unless they are not in by 2011/2012 (three more ballots after this year) Chic's induction is a practical certainty.

3) Gram Parsons Briefly a member of inductees The Byrds, Gram Parsons was nominated as a solo artist in 2001/2002, 2003/2004 and 2004/2005 without success. His second band the Flying Burrito Brothers has also been considered, and there is a possibility that the nominating Committee has given up on getting him in as a solo artist. For this reason, despite his supposed "critical favouritism", Parsons is not likely a high priority in clearing the backlog.

4) Joe Tex Less known to people of my age than The Stooges, Gram Parsons or Chic, Tex had hit singles with "Hold What You've Got", "I Want To (Do Everything For You)" and " You Better Get It". In doing so, he became the first Southern Soul singer to reach the Pop charts on any scale.

Eligible as far back as 1990/1991, Tex made the ballot in 1997/1998, 2006/2007 and 2007/2008. With the bias in the Hall towards 1950s, 1960s and 1970s black music, if War get in as I strongly suspect, unless the Hall Nominating Committee tries someone like Barry White, Tex will probably be back on the ballot in 2009/2010 with more chance of induction than before.

Tex's association with Atlantic Records, as some Rock Hall critics have noted, furthers the suggestion I imagine some have already articulated that there is serious bias among the Rock Hall's Nominating Committee.

Overall, Tex looks like a certain induction in the next three ballots, unless, like Parsons, they have "given up" on him.

5) Ben E. King: A very unlikely candidate, since he was last on the ballot in 1987/1988 and, depsite having written the standards "Stand By Me" and "Spanish Harlem", it's hard to see the Nominating Committee run so low on candidates that they turn to him. The most years between a first ballot appearance and an actual induction is fifteen years for Gene Pitney, first eligible in 1986/1987 but only inducted in 2001/2002.

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