The time has come for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame to induct its new members.
There are 19 nominees this year, ranging from The Cars to LL Cool J. According to the official website, nine of these acts have been previously nominated. Fans are allowed to vote for five nominees at a time, and the current standings have Jon Bon Jovi in the lead.
As a lifelong music enthusiast, I have some fairly strong opinions about who should be inducted this year. Rage Against the Machine, Bon Jovi, Radiohead, Judas Priest and Nina Simone are without a doubt the most deserving. I’ll break it down and explain what their contributions have meant to the world of rock.
Rage Against the Machine: Aptly named, this band exemplifies the nature of protest, protest against the government to be specific. In the 1990s, bands like Rage helped to express the feelings of the American youth under the Clinton Administration. With such hits as “Testify” and “Renegades of Funk,” the group gave voice to the frustration and disenchantment of the nation’s youth. Tom Morello, the band’s guitarist, has gone on to work with several other groups since the start of Rage’s hiatus, including Audioslave and Prophets of Rage.
Jon Bon Jovi: If you live in America and have never heard a single Bon Jovi song, I don’t believe you. Some people may recognize the theme song to the TV show “Deadliest Catch” as being Bon Jovi’s hit song “Wanted Dead or Alive.” Others may regularly belt out “Livin’ On a Prayer” at their local karaoke bar every week. In any case, Bon Jovi is an American rock staple. Whether we like it or not, Bon Jovi is an iconic musician and deserves this recognition.
Radiohead: Radiohead is more than just a reference from a Katy Perry breakup song. They are one of the most-remembered bands from the 1990s. Although the group is mostly known by their song, “Creep”, they have many other songs with high notoriety. Thom Yorke, the band’s vocalist, has worked with many talented musicians. He also formed a band for charity called Atoms for Peace. The group also included Flea, the bass player for the Red Hot Chili Peppers, who is already a member of the Hall of Fame.
Judas Priest: This year is the first year Judas Priest that has been nominated, despite their first eligible year being in 1999. One of their most recognizable and enduring hits is “Breaking the Law.” They are one of the most prolific metal bands of all time, influencing former inductees such as Pearl Jam, who were inducted in 2017. It only makes sense that Judas Priest be inducted as well.
Nina Simone: The High Priestess of Soul, a nickname Simone has continually earned, helped to inspire the African-American population in the 1960s. While she was first eligible in 1983, 2018 is the first year she has been nominated. Her work is still widely celebrated by the Rhythm and Blues community today, and Kanye West has helped keep her voice alive through frequent sampling of her music. One of her major hits was “I Wish I Knew How It Would Feel To Be Free”, which is featured on her 1967 album, “Nina Simone Sings The Blues.”
Induction into the Hall is an extremely limited honor every year, but many talented musicians have been fortunate enough to go through the ceremony. Who do you think should be nominated in the coming years? Every year more and more people become eligible. Maybe next year, your favorite band could be nominated and inducted.