The nominees for the 2018 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class have been announced and Radiohead, Rage Against the Machine, LL Cool J, and Kate Bush are among the early favorites for inclusion. In what looks to be a strong group, there are also nominations for Judas Priest, Depeche Mode, the Cars, Bon Jovi, the Zombies, Dire Straits, Eurythmics, J. Geils Band, MC5, the Meters, the Moody Blues, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Nina Simone, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, and Link Wray.
The shortlist will be whittled down to a final class of five in December after votes are submitted by a group of historians and industry folk. For the sixth year running, a fan vote will determine one of those five spots.
To be eligible for inclusion, an artist or band must have released their first single or album at least 25 years ago, so 1992 was this year's cut-off. Radiohead put out "Creep" in May '92 and Rage Against the Machine's self-titled debut came out later that year, so this is the first opportunity for either band to make the Hall. It would be a shock if Radiohead didn't make it in on reputation alone. Rage Against the Machine would probably have made it in anyway, but global political chaos doesn't hurt their odds.
That part is easy, but there are some more pressing questions. How is this Kate Bush's first time on the ballot, given that she's been eligible for 14 years? Why have seminal acts the Cars, MC5, and The Zombies—all on the ballot for the third time—not been inducted already? Do we really have to nominate Rufus and Chaka Khan as a package deal (again)?
There are some typically bizarre omissions too. This would have been a good time to honor Motörhead; Nine Inch Nails continue to be overlooked; Devo, Whitney Houston, Slayer, Nick Cave, Television, and Sonic Youth are all snubbed again and they all have at least as good a claim to a place in the canon as, say, Eurythmics.
It leaves us with the feeling—the same one we have every year—that this all basically arbitrary. Anyway, there are lots of good reasons to visit Cleveland that don't include the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Did you know that they built a massive chandelier in the middle of the city a few years back? Really classes the joint up.
Alex Robert Ross tells everyone about that chandelier. Follow him on Twitter.