Nirvana will get in. Everybody knows that.
But who will join them when the Class of 2014 is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? There's certainly no shortage of worthy candidates.
The Rock Hall announced its latest batch of nominees on Wednesday, and the 16 acts include Nirvana, KISS, N.W.A., YES, LL Cool J, Linda Ronstadt and the Replacements.
Now, it's the job of the Hall's 600 voters to determine which of the acts deserve to be enshrined next to Elvis Presley, the Beatles, Chuck Berry, Pink Floyd, the Beastie Boys and all the other legends in Cleveland. The winners will be announced in December, with the induction ceremony to follow in April in New York City.
Not all of the 16 will make it, of course. Last year, the Hall inducted six performers -- including Rush, Public Enemy and Donna Summer -- and two producers. (In order to be eligible, an act must have released its first single or album 25 years before nomination.)
Here are the six performance acts that should make it in 2014:
Nirvana: The single most significant rock band of the last 25 years is an absolute lock for induction. It would be an ridiculous shocker, one that the Hall simply couldn't recover from, if Nirvana's name isn't called in its first year of eligibility.
N.W.A.: The band should have been inducted at the 2013 ceremony, which was held in N.W.A.'s old stamping ground of Los Angeles. Its influence on hip-hop and popular culture, as well as the work its core members would go on to do as solo artists, demands that N.W.A. be inducted in 2014.
KISS: How much longer can the Hall deny admission to these costumed characters? They are as much a part of rock history as Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and Metallica. (Granted, KISS hasn't produced the quality of work that those others have -- but those KISS lunchboxes sure rocked!) The wait stops here, to the delight of the always passionate KISS Army.
Linda Ronstadt: She's been overlooked for years, but it seems like the time is right to recognize Ronstadt for her longevity, influence and smash records from the '70s and early '80s. Plus, it's high time that the Hall add more women to its ranks.
Chic: The disco-dance band is bound to get into the Hall one of these years -- for its incredible collection of hit singles in the '70s as well as for Nile Rodgers' genius production work. I like its chances in 2014, given that voters might want to add some disco to an inductee mix that is already strong with rock and rap.
Link Wray: The sixth spot is a bit of a crap shoot, and I'm about as sure of this pick as I am that my Oakland A's will win the 2014 World Series. Yet, I think the 2014 inductees will be heavy on big names like KISS and Nirvana, which will open the door to "open the door" for a true innovator and pioneer like the late guitarist whose 1958 instrumental hit "Rumble" inspired many rock axemen.
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