Thursday, 23 October 2008

The Rock Hall Backlog Part 5: Discrepant artists between lists of the "previously considered"

The last stage of assessing the Rock Hall backlog is to look at those artists previously considered by the Nominating Committee who have not made the ballot.

Before I look at individual artists, I will note a discovery that Future Rock Hall's two lists of artists of this type do not match. Although there was three years between them, most of the artists on the newer list but not the older were already eligible in 2004/2005. Since no artist first eligible in 2004/2005 or even 2003/2004 was on the older list, we will only consider discrepancies amongst artists already eligible in 2002/2003 - which means they had to have released a record in or before 1977. The full list of discrepancies arranged by date of eligibility is:

- The Five Keys
- Lee Andrews and the Hearts
- Jack Scott
- Pat Boone
- Johnny Burnette and the Rock N Roll Trio
- Patsy Cline
- Paul Anka
- Cliff Richard & the Shadows
- Johnny Hallyday
- Judy Collins
- Lee Dorsey
- Manfred Mann
- Tim Hardin
- Love
- The Monkees
- Big Brother & the Holding Company
- Procol Harum
- Ten Years After
- Blood, Sweat & Tears
- Iron Butterfly
- Blind Faith
- Nick Drake
- Linda Ronstadt
- The Faces
- solo Mick Jagger
- Fela
- solo Ringo Starr
- solo Tina Turner
- Bad Company
- Grace Jones
- Peter Tosh
- Cheap Trick
- The Jam
- Teddy Pendergrass

Neil of Future Rock Hall says artists are never officially discarded by the Nominating Committee after being discussed. He does suggest that it is rare but not unknown for artists to be discussed after being initially rejected (Chaka Khan appears to have been reconsidered during the 2007/2008 discussion).

However, it is tough to see most of the artists above ever being inducted. Pat Boone and Iron Butterfly both make Blender's 50 Worst Artists, only Love and Lee Dorsey (Ride Your Pony) can be found on best-albums lists I have read, and only Manfred Mann is a major artist on classic rock radio.

Unless Anthony DeCurtis is desperate to get Judy Collins in, I cannot personally see any artist above eligible before Love being well-enough known even amongst aging Boomers to gain the necessary votes to reach the ballot. Love would be one of the few cult groups to get in if they do, but they would probably need a few ballots to get enough votes not having the reputation as a songwriter Cohen does.

The Monkees may be interesting: I have imagined they have been discussed for the first time recently despite Jann Wenner's avowed opposition, but it is also possible Wenner has influence enough to prevent them getting widespread votes amongst the Committee.

Nick Drake would be interesting as the Hall appears even less sympathetic to pastoral/psych folk than to heavy metal or progressive rock.

I have in the past predicted solo Tina Turner would reach the ballot in either this year or 2009/2010. I still do not rule this out because her massive comeback album Private Dancer might put her in the spotlight of judges who know the 1980s better than some of the present Nominating Committee seems to.

Fela and Peter Tosh are both remote possibilities never spoken of by most Rock Hall observers, but if inducted they would be the only "world music" artists except Bob Marley to get in. Both might well appeal to much of the Committee with their political activism.

Cheap Trick and The Jam are the leading "power pop" candidates. Though this is a genre I generally detest, it has respectability among critics. Cheap Trick's movement - in reverse from popular trends - from grunge-like heavy rock to big power ballads may divide perception if they do reach the ballot.

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