Yesterday, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the artists that are up for induction this year. This is just the list of 15 finalists, which will be on the ballot that's being sent to the voters. Over 600 people vote, and they each select five names. The final list of inductees will be announced later this year, and the official ceremony is set for April 18th in Los Angeles.
This year's list includes: Heart, Joan Jett and the Blackhearts, Chic, Donna Summer, Kraftwerk, Randy Newman, Albert King and The Paul Butterfield Blues Band. All of them were nominated in previous years, but didn't make the cut. The list of first-time nominees includes: Deep Purple, Rush, Procol Harum, The Marvelettes, The Meters, and rappers N.W.A., and Public Enemy.
Some of those artists have been eligible before, but just never made the ballot. However, this was the first year of eligibility for N.W.A. and Public Enemy. As always, there's some debate as to whether rap groups are a fit in the Rock Hall, but it's a CRIME that N.W.A. and Public Enemy were nominated in their FIRST YEAR of eligibility, while Deep Purple and Rush are JUST NOW getting their due, after being eligible for well over a decade. Deep Purple has been eligible for 19 years, and Rush has been for 14. (It's bizarre. Whether you like them or not, Deep Purple and Rush deserved to be first ballot inductees, but it took them FOREVER just to get nominated.)
Other artists that became eligible this year but did NOT get on the ballot include: Jane's Addiction, Goo Goo Dolls, The Pixies and Henry Rollins. Not to mention these late-'80s and early-'90s POWERHOUSES: George Michael, Boy George, Gloria Estefan, The Proclaimers, DJ Jazzy Jeff & the Fresh Prince, M.C Hammer, Milli Vanilli, Rick Astley, and BOTH Tiffany and Debbie Gibson. (You can find a full, unofficial list at FutureRockLegends.com.)
Some other "snubs" who were eligible before this year include: Bon Jovi, Boston, the Cars, J. Geils Band, Soundgarden, Yes, KISS, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, the Smiths, Sonic Youth, Joy Division, Depeche Mode, Jethro Tull, Journey, Motorhead, Blue Oyster Cult, Electric Light Orchestra, Pantera, Motley Crue, Ozzy Osbourne (solo), the New York Dolls, the Jesus and Mary Chain, Roxy Music, and Hall & Oates!!! (And many, many more. You can browse the unofficial list of all the eligible artists, along with the years they became eligible, here.)
To be eligible for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, an act has to have released its first recorded output at least 25 years prior to the year in which it was nominated. That means anyone nominated now, in 2012, has to have released something in 1987 or earlier. But remember, the people from this list who make it into the Rock Hall will be the Class of 2013.
For more information on this year's nominees, hit up RockHall.com
By the way, this year they're including a FAN VOTE, which is happening at RollingStone.com from now through December 3rd. But you won't have THAT MUCH say. The top five fan favorites will make up ONE BALLOT, and again, there will be over 600 in all.