Queen, Aerosmith, Lovin' Spoonful Nominated For Rock Hall

Others under consideration include Eric Clapton, Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt, O'Jays, Black Sabbath.

Queen have a chance to become official rock 'n' roll royalty, and Aerosmith

could be walking that way to Cleveland. The two hard-rock bands are among

the 15 acts on this year's ballot for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Also nominated for the first time this year are Eric Clapton and Lou Reed

as solo artists — both are already in the hall, as members of Cream

and the Velvet Underground, respectively — along with '60s pop-rock

band the Lovin' Spoonful, '70s soul band the O'Jays and singer/songwriters

James Taylor and Bonnie Raitt.

They're joined on the ballot by '50s rocker Ritchie Valens, known for the

song "La Bamba" (RealAudio

excerpt), doo-wop groups the Moonglows and the Flamingos, rock

bands Black Sabbath and Steely Dan, who had a hit with "Rikki Don't Lose

That Number" (RealAudio

excerpt), R&B group Earth, Wind and Fire and soul singer Solomon

Burke. All of those artists have been nominated before but have failed

to win enough votes for induction.

Artists become eligible for the hall of fame 25 years after their first

album is released.

Nearly 800 voters will choose this year's inductees from among the 15 on

the ballot. Each voter is allowed to name up to eight acts, in order of

preference. The inductees, who'll officially enter the hall in 2000, will

be announced in November, according to Elizabeth Freund, a spokesperson

for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.

Robert Hull, a voter and the executive producer of Time-Life Music in

Alexandria, Va., said Black Sabbath, known for their heavy guitar sound,

would be his first choice.

"They have influenced just about any band you can think of in the 1990s,"

said Hull, who also was a member of the hall's nominating committee this

year.

Hull said he nominated Black Sabbath, whose best-known songs include

"Paranoid" (RealAudio

excerpt of live version) and "Iron Man," and the Lovin' Spoonful,

known for such pop hits as "Do You Believe in Magic" (RealAudio

excerpt) and "Summer in the City." Around 90 people were on the

nominating committee this year, Hull said.

Queen, which blended the operatic bravado of singer Freddie Mercury (who

died of AIDS in 1991) with Brian May's soaring guitars, recorded such

hard-rock classics as "We Will Rock You" and "Bohemian Rhapsody"

(RealAudio

excerpt).

Aerosmith spent the 1970s cranking out such bluesy rock songs as "Sweet

Emotion" (RealAudio

excerpt), but became even bigger stars in the 1980s and '90s

thanks to the pop ballads "Angel" and "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing," a

#1 hit in 1998.

Both Queen and Aerosmith released their self-titled debuts in 1973, which

means they would have been eligible for the hall a year ago.

Raitt, currently on tour with Jackson Browne, Bruce Hornsby and Shawn

Colvin, was taken by surprise when told of her nomination Tuesday in

Boise, Idaho, according to tour spokesperson Lindajo Loftus.

"She didn't even know," Loftus said.

Raitt recently appeared onstage with one of 1999's inductees, Bruce

Springsteen. The 1999 class, which was voted on in 1998, also included

ex-Beatle Paul McCartney and rock piano man Billy Joel.