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the rock and roll hall of fame nominees

The nominees for the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame have been announced. Sister Rosetta Tharpe stands atop all the others, so of course, she's 15th in the fan ballots as I type this (The Meters are last), with about 1/8th the number of votes as Bon Jovi. I'd also vote for The Meters and LL Cool J ... they are also down on the fan vote list. I accept the inevitability of Radiohead, even though I don't care for them. I suppose I'd vote for Nina Simone, but not with the same enthusiasm I have for Sister Rosetta. Bon Jovi is running away with the early fan voting.

Last.fm keeps track of everything I listen to on streaming services (not including things like YouTube), and has done this since 2005. It often provides a reality check by showing me what I actually listen to, rather than what I like to say I listen to. I checked the 19 HoF nominees to see which ones I listened to the most over the years. The top five are:

The Moody Blues 
Nina Simone 
The Meters
Dire Straits
Radiohead

Sister Rosetta Tharpe, who I say is the #1 nominee this year? She's 18th out of 19, with 5 listens in the past 12 years. In fairness, I usually listen to her on YouTube. (Last place is Judas Priest, who I have listened to 3 times since 2005. For reasons unknown to me, the nominee I have listened to the most times in 2017 is The Zombies.)

If I had one vote, Sister Rosetta would get it. Here's a documentary about her:

The Meters have always been a favorite of mine, for their records under their own names, of course, but also their work as the house band for Allen Toussaint. They also appeared on one of the greatest one-shot albums of all time, The Wild Tchoupitoulas. And Ziggy Modeliste is one of the handful of best drummers in history. Here they are with "It Ain't No Use":

LL Cool J was only 17 when his first album came out (it was great). Five years later, he topped it with Mama Said Knock You Out. The greatest hits album, All World, answers any questions you might have. Here's "Mama Said Knock You Out":

My other two selections are outside of my personal canon, but I think they belong in a Hall of Fame. Nina Simone is iconic for more than her music, but her music stands on its own.

Finally, there's Radiohead. I'm of the Nick Hornby school re: this band. But "Creep" is magnificent ... all by itself, that song belongs in the Hall of Fame. And Radiohead is definitely a case of my own taste preferences being mostly irrelevant. They belong.

As for the rest of the nominees:

In my youth, I listened to a lot of Moody Blues. I'm not that young anymore. Dire Straits was a breath of fresh air when they came out, but that didn't last long. Most of the rest are largely uninteresting to me, which doesn't mean much ... I could be missing something good. The Cars were a nice band with some fine singles that made for a solid Greatest Hits album, but I don't see them as any more than that. I saw the J. Geils Band many times back in the 70s and 80s, and was never sorry, but they aren't Hall of Famers.

A Facebook group of Christgau fans has a poll going, and the top five are The Meters, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, The MC5, LL Cool J, and The Cars. (Thanks to some cheaters, Warren Zevon actually came in third.) The Moody Blues are in last place, with only one vote (The Meters have 56).

Finally, Stephen Thomas Erlewine has some predictions over on Pitchfork. He thinks the "definites" are Radiohead, Eurythmics, Moody Blues, and Nina Simone. He lists nine acts "on the bubble", and says if he had to guess, Dire Straits would make it.

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