The legendary grunge trio led by late singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain blew up the rock and roll world in the early 1990s, becoming one of the most important bands of their, or any other, era.
So it makes sense that they are among the first-time nominees for 2014 induction into the hall, for which artists become eligible 25 years after the release of their debut single or album. They join a list of veteran acts who are also up for the honor for the first time, including former Genesis leader and solo star Peter Gabriel, “You’re No Good” singer Linda Ronstadt, prog rock icons Yes and rock and soul duo Hall & Oates.
Despite releasing just three full-length studio albums in their seven-year career, Nirvana stand as one of the most influential and important rock bands of the modern era thanks to landmark hits such as “Smells Like Teen Spirit” from their 1991 breakthrough album, Nevermind. Led by intense frontman Cobain, the group led a charge of loud, fuzzed-out bands from the northwest who took back the mantle of rock and roll, introducing a bit of creative chaos into a staid music scene.
Also making the list were notoriously shambolic 1980s Minneapolis rock band the Replacements, who released a string of classic albums including Let It Be and Pleased to Meet Me, but never scored the commercial success they seemed destined for.
Once again, the public will also be given a chance to take part in the selection process, with voting open through December 10. The top five artists selected by fans will make it onto a fans’ ballot, which will make up a single vote in the 2014 induction process.
This year’s hopefuls include 16 acts in all, ranging from hip-hop veterans LL Cool J and N.W.A., to soft rock singer Cat Stevens, “Smoke on the Water” band Deep Purple, 1960s blues revivalists the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, greasepaint rockers Kiss, power chord originator Link Wray, New Orleans funk band the Meters and psychedelic act the Zombies.
Another band that is on the roster again, but whose chances might be increased this year is “Le Freak” disco funk act Chic, whose Nile Rodgers has had an unexpected late-career resurgence thanks to his work with Daft Punk and Avicii.