Chicago, Yes, the Cars, Deep Purple, Miller Leading the Rock Hall Fan Vote; Who We Would Pick

We're only about fifteen hours into the fan voting on the nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and there are already clear cut leaders.

Fifteen artists were nominated earlier today for possible inclusion in the hall with five eventually getting the nod and the fans are adamant about their five choices.

Chicago leads the list with 15.91% of the vote (866,000 count) but Yes is just slightly behind at 15.56% followed by the Cars (15.44%), Deep Purple (15.35%) and Steve Miller (15.16%).

Then there are the also rans, with Janet Jackson being the only one even close with 9.78%. None of the other nine nominees have more than 3%.

As of 6:05 PM:
  1. Chicago 15.91% (866083 votes)
  2. Yes 15.56% (847078 votes)
  3. The Cars 15.44% (840491 votes)
  4. Deep Purple 15.35% (835526 votes)
  5. Steve Miller 15.16% (825680 votes)
  6. Janet Jackson 9.78% (532524 votes)
  7. Chaka Khan 2.90% (157862 votes)
  8. The Smiths 2.29% (124460 votes)
  9. Cheap Trick 2.00% (108662 votes)
  10. N.W.A 1.37% (74531 votes)
  11. The Spinners 1.33% (72213 votes)
  12. Chic 1.02% (55589 votes)
  13. Nine Inch Nails 0.90% (49146 votes)
  14. Los Lobos 0.58% (31333 votes)
  15. The J.B.'s 0.44% (23721 votes)
The fans are given one vote as if they were any of the other voting members.

Here at VVN, we went through the list and selected our five choices as if we were voting members (we're not) and ranked the rest as to their worthiness in future years.  Our choices:
  • Chicago
  • Chic
  • Yes
  • N.W.A.
  • Deep Purple
Forget the 80's easy listening stuff, the first seven Chicago albums were the epitome of jazz rock. Yes, Blood, Sweat and Tears beat them to the initial punch (as did, to some extent, the Buckinghams) but it was Chicago who established the style and gave the genre it's most impressive music.

It's also time for Chic to get in although it would probably be a much easier choice if the nomination was just Nile Rodgers. The Chic sound was some of the most sophisticated to come out of the disco years and Rodgers took that sound and molded it to such artists as David Bowie, Madonna and Duran Duran. 

We've been championing art/progressive rock artists for inclusion in the hall for a number of years. It is a crime that artists like the Moody Blues, Yes, King Crimson and Emerson, Lake and Palmer are not already members. It looks like the nominating committee prefers Yes out of those four, handing them their second nomination in so many years. Beyond the fact that the band recorded some of the most iconic albums of the genre, the group should also be honored for the career contributions and influence by the individual members like Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Tony Kaye, Rick Wakeman and Alan White. 

N.W.A. is the most controversial of our picks but, once again, it is the contributions of the individual members as much as the original group that demands their inclusion. N.W.A. only recorded two albums but they are two of the most important of the rap/hip-hop genre. Now include the influence and work of Dr. Dre and Ice Cube on the genre as a whole and the ongoing work by DJ Yella, MC Ren, Arabian Prince and the late Eazy-E and there is an important body of work that can't be ignored. 

Deep Purple. What can we say. They should have been included years ago.

As far as the rest of the field, we think that Nine Inch Nails, the Smiths, Steve Miller, the Spinners and the Cars most definitely merit inclusion in the hall, just not in a year that has so many worthy candidates. Miller and the Cars are no brainers. The Spinners are one of the best and most enduring groups to come out of 70's soul. The Smiths have influenced more artists than any of the other five at this level and Nine Inch Nails' were the very pinnacle of industrial rock. 

Someday down the road, it would be nice to Janet Jackson and Los Lobos in. Jackson is an undeniable hitmaker but much of her cannon has a similar sound. Los Lobos are the undeniable leaders in Latin rock and should be recognized but, when you have areas like art/progressive rock and much of metal still unrepresented, the priority for Latin rock must wait. 

In our opinion, neither Cheap Trick or Chaka Khan are worthy candidates at this time. Cheap Trick was more of a rock follower than a leader and to have Khan in the hall before Patti LaBelle would be a travesty.

Finally, the JB's. Yes, they deserve to be in but not this way. Like Yes and N.W.A., it is hard to ignore a band that produced such talents as Bootsy Collins, Bobby Byrd, Fred Wesley and Maceo Parker but they shouldn't have been nominated with headlining names. The JB's should go in as a backing group like the the Famous Flames, the Midnighters, the Miracles, the Comets, the Crickets and the E-Street Band.


David Bouck said...

You're kidding, right? Cheap Trick a "follower"? It verges on blasphemy to not regard CT as a seminal influence to the "power pop" genre (along with Big Star, but that's another story...) Once again Rolling Stone is letting it's biases cloud its judgement...

David R. Bouck (A subscriber to RS for decades...)

Webb Rowan said...

Well the fans have spoken haven't they? While I wouldn't switch off the radio if Chaka Khan comes on when I’m working on my car financing numbers, I have to admit that the 3 top choices are deserved of their spot!

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