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
Hull said he nominated Black Sabbath, whose best-known songs include
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"
Aerosmith spent the 1970s cranking out such bluesy rock songs as "Sweet
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.