CLEVELAND, Ohio – The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2019 will be announced this week, meaning music fans can spend the next several days debating what the voters were smoking when they put [insert artist’s name here] in.
The annual Induction Ceremony will take place at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. on March 29. In case you need a reminder, here are this year’s nominees:
· Def Leppard
· Janet Jackson
· John Prine
· LL Cool J
· Rage Against the Machine
· Roxy Music
· Rufus featuring Chaka Khan
· Stevie Nicks
· The Cure
· The Zombies
· Todd Rundgren
We’ve spent the past few days trying to ignore our own personal bias and analyzing recent trends that might tell us who the voters will opt to induct in March. Given that this year’s ballot dropped from 19 nominees to 15, we anticipate just five inductees. Here are the names we think will be called, in order of how confident we are in their chances.
When talking about Stevie Nicks’ nomination with fanboys and fangirls, I keep hearing the same thing. “It’s Stevie friggin’ Nicks!” I honestly think the majority of people saying that don’t realize she’s already in the Rock Hall with Fleetwood Mac (or they don’t care) and that her solo career is lacking in terms of worthiness. It doesn’t matter. Nicks has this mystique that voters drool over and she offers the best options in terms of big name, modern star to induct her. If so, Nicks would be the first woman to be inducted twice.
The previous winners of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Fan Vote – Rush, KISS, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chicago, Journey and Bon Jovi – have ALL earned induction that year. Supposedly, it’s just a coincidence. But it’s also the best predictor we have for induction. Def Leppard dominated this year’s Fan Vote. They might be the weakest of all the winners. But they’re almost assuredly in.
If you look at the past three years of Inductions, how do you not predict Rundgren will get in. That doesn’t mean he belongs over, say, The Cure, MC5 or Kraftwerk. But Rundgren fits the mold of who the voters prefer. His career peaked during the same decade as other borderline acts like Dire Straits, Yes, Journey, ELO, and Steve Miller.
The top three acts we’re pretty confident about, in terms of their chances (Even if we wouldn’t have voted for any of them). It gets interesting after that. We kept asking ourselves who is this year’s The Moody Blues or Cheap Trick, a band that has sat near the top of many people’s list of snubs and fits the mold of someone voters would embrace. We almost went with Radiohead here, but we’re starting to think the band’s chances might go the way of Nine Inch Nails. That leaves us with Roxy Music. Many fans and voters have talked about how big of a snub Roxy has been. Let’s see if they checked that box.
There’s a very good chance Stevie Nicks will take votes away from Janet Jackson (god forbid voters put in more than one woman). That’s what happened with Joan Baez two years ago. But we’ve also found ourselves wondering who this year’s Nina Simone, Tupac Shakur or N.W.A. is. The Rock Hall craves diversity and putting in a bunch of white musicians doesn’t look great. LL Cool J and Chaka Khan are nominated, but those ships seem to have sailed to wherever Chic has landed. Janet Jackson is sitting right there for the taking. She did well in the Fan Vote and should draw attention from voters who threw their support towards Simone and N.W.A.