Ozzy Osbourne might not give a *%#@ about whether or not the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducts Black Sabbath, but that didn’t stop the hall’s nominating committee from putting the heavy metal pioneers on the final ballot for the sixth time.
Joining Sabbath on the ballot, which was sent out to the 1,000 or so voting members of the Hall of Fame last week, are six first-timers and eight returning acts. The Police, Swedish popsters ABBA and politically charged rockers the Clash make their first appearances, as do Elvis Costello & the Attractions, Chic and Steve Winwood.
Returning to the ballot for at least the second time are AC/DC, Southern rockers Lynyrd Skynyrd, punks the Sex Pistols and the Patti Smith Group, Detroit radicals the MC5, electronic pioneers Kraftwerk, blue-eyed soul singers the Righteous Brothers and R&B vocal group the Dells.
Upon his group’s past nominations, Osbourne has stated that he thought the Hall of Fame voting was a farce because it wasn’t done by fans (see “Ozzy Tells Rock Hall to Forget About Black Sabbath” ). The selection process begins in spring when the nominating committee — made up of around 60 artists, label executives, journalists, lawyers and publicists — meets to brainstorm potential nominees. The committee also is responsible for selecting the final inductees based on voter ballots.
Artists become eligible for the Hall of Fame 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria includes “the influence and significance of the artist’s contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll,” according to the organization. In addition to performers, the hall also honors “early influences,” “sidemen/woman” and “non-musician” inductees each year, chosen by the nominating committee without voter input.
Voters this year are asked to rank their top eight choices from the 15 nominees; the number of annual inductees varies each year from five to eight. The class of 2002 ushered in six inductees, including the Ramones, Talking Heads and Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (see “Kurt Loder Weighs In On The Rock Hall Of Fame: Still No Sabbath, AC/DC” . Ballots are due October 18 and the inductees are typically announced in December or January. The induction ceremony takes place each year in the spring.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum is located in Cleveland, Ohio.