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Nirvana, Hall and Oates among nominees for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

(CNN) — “Teen Spirit” and “Good Times” may be coming to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — sealed with a KISS.

Grunge groundbreakers Nirvana, disco dynamos Chic and the costume-clad, Gene Simmons-led pop metal band KISS are among 16 nominees up for election in the museum’s Class of 2014. The deep selection also includes ’70s and ’80s hitmakers Hall and Oates; college radio heroes the Replacements; New Orleans funkmeisters the Meters; sweet-voiced Linda Ronstadt; and pioneering gangsta rappers N.W.A.

Completing the list: the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel, LL Cool J, Cat Stevens, Link Wray, Yes and the Zombies.

nirvanaThe list spans more than six decades of rock and pop history and includes both major pop successes — Chic, Hall and Oates, Gabriel, Ronstadt and Yes all hit No. 1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 singles chart — and influential players.

Wray, for example, had just two Top 40 singles, “Rumble” and “Raw-Hide,” but his dirty, heavily distorted sound proved a precursor for every power-chording shredder who’s ever picked up a guitar.

“The musical equivalent of football’s forearm shiver,” critic Dave Marsh wrote of “Rumble” in “The Heart of Rock and Soul,” his compendium of 1,001 great singles. “Short. Nasty. Potentially lethal.”

And N.W.A., which put out just three studio albums in its short career, made them count. The blunt “F*** Tha Police,” off the second album “Straight Outta Compton,” became a cause celebre upon its release in 1988 — even the FBI was concerned enough to send letters to the group’s record company — and “Niggaz4Life,” the group’s final record, hit No. 1.

“In many ways the most notorious group in the history of rap,” writes Allmusic.com’s Stephen Thomas Erlewine. Members Ice Cube, Eazy-E and Dr. Dre all went on to even bigger things, with Dr. Dre, in particular, becoming perhaps the most notable producer in hip-hop history.

Rock fans may be particularly invested in the fates of Nirvana, which kicked off the grunge era with its classic 1991 album “Nevermind,” and KISS, which — despite mixed critical notices during its 1970s heyday — built a roaring fan base called the “KISS Army” on the backs of incessant touring, pyrotechnic stage shows and several hit albums. As the Rock Hall says in a press release, “Few bands short of the Beatles inspired more kids to pick up the guitar than KISS.”

But the other nominees shouldn’t be overlooked. Chic, known for such hits as “Le Freak” and “Good Times,” was perhaps the best of the disco groups, and its leaders — guitarist Nile Rodgers, bassist Bernard Edwards and drummer Tony Thompson — moved smoothly into the ’80s thanks to their sleek studio work. The group’s sound is still prominent: Rodgers recently popped up on the Chic-like Daft Punk single “Get Lucky.”

And the Replacements managed to combine affecting songwriting — usually courtesy of Paul Westerberg — with passionate (if occasionally shambling) performances, such as those heard on the songs “I Will Dare,” “Unsatisfied” and “Can’t Hardly Wait.” Besides, the hall may need to find a place for a band that titled an album, “Sorry Ma, Forgot to Take Out the Trash.”

Voting will be open to fans. Beginning continues through December 10, people can cast ballots at the Rock Hall, Rolling Stone and USA Today. Visit http://www.rockhall.com/vote, http://www.rollingstone.com and http://www.usatoday.com to cast ballots. The top five vote-getters will be listed on a “fans’ ballot” that will be tallied along with the other ballots for the Class of 2014. The inductees are chosen by a secret ballot of 600 voters, a group that includes previous inductees, music industry veterans, historians and critics.

All eligible nominees released their first single or album at least 25 years before the year of nomination.

Last year’s class included Rush, Randy Newman, Public Enemy, Donna Summer and Quincy Jones.

The 29th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony will be held in April 2014 in New York. The ceremony will be broadcast on HBO.

(HBO, like CNN, is a unit of Time Warner.)

22 comments

  • mick1982

    How can that whole story be written with paragraphs on Nirvana, N.W.A. Kiss and even some sentences on Link Wray BUT nothing written explaining who Deep Purple, Peter Gabriel or YES is? Like YES is possibly the biggest Prog Rock bands of all time. That's Prog "Rock" like as in "Rock & Roll Hall of Fame" Give me a break

  • Alex

    No E.L.O.? KISS & Nirvana more deserving? Ridiculous!!! ELO frontman Jeff Lynne more talented than all these guys put together!!! Even Chicago or Styx would have been better.

    • Glen

      I'm with you on that. Jeff Lynne has worked did the Beatles Anthology, worked w/ George Harrison,Paul McCartney,Ringo Starr,Roy Orbison,Bob Dylan,Tom Petty,Joe Walsh,Dave Edmunds,Del Shannon and many others. He was in Traveling Wilburys and helped produce and wrote for the above listed people that are in the Hall already. E.L.O. may have not had a #1 hit but they had a slew of radio hits. The only excuse that I can think of is that Jeff doesn't try to make the gossip rags or act like he's all that.

  • Dee

    When I looked at the list of who's not in the Hall of Fame, I was shocked. Steppenwolf, Moody Blues, Doobie Brothers, Jethro Tull, Steve Miller Band, and others. They all deserve it more than Nirvana.

    • jeff

      I agree with you Dee. The groups you mentioned all had huge success and, for example, the Moody Blues and JethroTull had great musicians who played many different instruments and had great producing. I have not been able to support the R & R Hall of Fame.

  • pETEY

    i agree with the list this year except for the rappers and disco bands. if we are going to do that lets induct country stars while we are at it.

  • Joninva

    Yeah, I remember really "Rocking" to Sarah Smile (sarcasm off now). What is it with everything being wussified? It's Rock and Roll Hall of Fame – not pop, not disco, not rap, not country, not electronica. Just Rock and Roll.

    If they want to encapsulate all the genres then just call it Music Hall of Fame and be done with it.

  • Jim Morrison

    Are you kidding me!Kurt "Sh_t Stain" the 2nd biggest loser in the History of Music next to Jerry "The Sh_t Stain" Garcia up for the R&RHOF!What joke this is!I know all the needle junkies that worship that drug addict loser are going to shoot a extra bag of dope to celebrate it!
    Then there's even "S.S. Sh_t Stain"!He does R A P = Retard Attempting Poetry!
    Whom ever it is that decides whom it is that get nominated for the R&RHOF are complete morons!
    They don't seem to understand what Rock & Roll manes and are willing to nominate some "Skid Mark On The Underwear Of Life" just because he stuffed a gun in his c_ck s_cker and puller the trigger and did nothing more than that to become some sort of "Cult Hero" to all the other "Skid Mark On The Underwear Of Life" drug addict losers like him!

  • lindyzroom

    Comparing Hall and Oates, and Nirvana to the true geniuses that have garnered previous accolade and well deserved awards is just wrong. Just like those who want a "Kardashian" handprint on walk of fame.

  • I CARE

    They have left way to many groups out for to long off this list. So of these being nominated are jumping the line before many great acts. I don't always follow this but KISS and Hall and Oats had paid there dues and should have been inducted already along with others not mentioned. Makes me wonder what kind of award this really is!

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