The nominations for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2017 are here — and once again, fans can vote for their favorites. This year’s list is the biggest to date, with 19 nominees on the ballot. Top noms include Pearl Jam, Yes, The Zombies, Electric Light Orchestra, Jane’s Addiction, Janet Jackson, and Journey. The rest of this year’s noms, in alphabetical order, are Bad Brains, Joan Baez, The Cars, Chic, Depeche Mode, J. Geils Band, Chaka Khan, Kraftwerk, MC5, Tupac Shakur, Steppenwolf, and Joe Tex.
The top votegetters will be announced in December and inducted next April at a ceremony at Barclays Center in Brooklyn. HBO will broadcast the ceremony later in 2017.
For the fifth consecutive year, the public can vote alongside the more than 800 artists, historians, and music-industry insiders of the Rock Hall voting body. From now until December 5, fans can vote once a day for the five nominees they’d like to see inducted. The top five acts will then comprise a “fan’s ballot” that will count as one of the ballots that determine the class of 2016. Voting is available at vote.rockhall.com — so get to it!
(Care to guess which five nominees your HRAC CCO will be voting for each day? Though, come to think of it, I may rotate some of them, hmm…)
To be eligible for this year’s ballot, each nominee’s first single or album had to be released in 1991 or earlier. Some of the nominees have appeared on previous ballots, but this is the first appearance for Bad Brains, Joan Baez, Depeche Mode, Electric Light Orchestra, Jane’s Addiction, Journey, Pearl Jam, Steppenwolf, and Tupac Shakur. It’s also Pearl Jam’s and Shakur’s first year of eligibility, while Chic earned a Hall of Fame record with 11 ballot appearances. It’s the fifth time for Joe Tex, the fourth for the J. Geils Band and Kraftwerk, and the third for Yes.
The Hall of Fame has also announced the names of the individual members of each band that will be honored, the first time they’ve done so. For example, as Rolling Stone points out, Pearl Jam has had five drummers, but only current drummer Matt Cameron and founding member Dave Krusen will be inducted should they make it in. Electric Light Orchestra (a.k.a. ELO) has had many musicians in its lineup over the years, but only Jeff Lynne, Roy Wood, Bev Bevan, and Richard Tandy made the cut. The Steve Perry lineup of Journey is listed along with founding keyboardist/singer Gregg Rolie. As far as Yes goes, original singer Jon Anderson is on the ballot along with drummers Bill Bruford and Alan White, keyboardists Tony Kaye and Rick Wakeman, guitarists Steve Howe and Trevor Rabin, and bassist Chris Squire, who passed away in 2015. Keyboardist Vince Clarke left Depeche Mode after their first album Speak & Spell, but he is listed along with the rest of the band (and I’m quite cool with that, BTW).
Last year’s Hall of Fame class included Cheap Trick, Chicago, and Deep Purple, Steve Miller, and N.W.A.