KISS or NIRVANA, If You Could Only Pick One for the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame, Who Would It Be?
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Hall and Oates
LL Cool J
The Paul Butterfield Band
Yes, I realize there are always artists on the ballot that aren't necessarily "rock n' roll. Can we move on please?
This years's ballot is a mixed bag of artists who, in their own right, deserve to get in. Three notable hard rock acts have a very good chance of getting the nod.
Deep Purple, KISS, and Nirvana could join hard rock hall of famers Metallica, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Guns n' Roses, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Rush, and The Ramones.
Out of the 16 nominees, only artists receiving 50% of the vote gain induction. Each year 5-7 artists are selected.
If we are to assume that Deep Purple and Cat Stevens are "shoe ins" this year, and voters will try to diversify their ballot by electing N.W.A. and Linda Ronstadt, that leaves only one spot left.
Peter Gabriel is logical choice, but he's already in with Genesis. The Zombies are a nice choice (and Zombies are all the rage right now) but they only had a few good songs and their cultural impact was small. The only two obvious choices left are KISS and Nirvana, but you can only pick one.
I went on Twitter (@JimmyFromPhilly
) and asked: "If you had 1 vote for #RocknRollHallofFame and you had to choose between… KISS or NIRVANA, who'd u pick?"
Here are some responses from qualified, smart people:
For me personally, KISS has always been more about the gimmick and less about the music. Don't get me wrong, KISS has some good songs. "Hard Luck Woman", "Beth", and "Rock n Roll All Night" are A+ songs, followed by a lot of B songs ("Shout it out Loud", "Cold Gin", "Detroit, RockCity") and then an avalanche of C to D material ("Love it Loud", "Strutter", "Heavens on Fire").
KISS has a 40 year music catalog and over 20 albums, you'd expect them to have an impressive list of songs, but they don't.
I also feel, that the make up persona was a way of confessing, "hey, we aren't as good as Sabbath or Zeppelin, but check out how cool we look!" It's distracting!
Through theatrics and an impressive live show, KISS has certainly made their mark on pop culture.
If there was a Halloween or marketing hall of fame, they would be a first ballot selection for sure.
For me, it's hard to consider them based on KISS coffins and "Let's Put The X In Sex" alone.
When you ask people to choose between KISS and Nirvana the knee jerk reaction is overwhelmingly KISS, but I ask you, would you rather be stuck on an island with KISS' greatest hits album Smashes, Trashes and Hits or Nirvana's Nevermind album? A-HA!
Nirvana's main man Kurt Cobain crafted his music from pop-punk influencers, such as Iggy Pop, Sex Pistols, and The Beatles (all in the Hall of Fame).
Nirvana's music stared a revolution. After years of stale, "Cherry Pie/"Unskinny Bop" Hair Metal fluff, the youth of America (and around the world) were ready to embrace this new, gritty, angst driven kind of sound.
Nirvana's existence was short, but not only did Nirvana give us three great albums but also introduced us to an amazing drummer named Dave Grohl and he didn't have to dress like a cat.
One person told me Nirvana shouldn't be considered because their career and Cobain's life was brief, and KISS had longevity to which I replied, "then let's throw out, Morrison, Hendrix, and Joplin."
I think Nirvana is a first ballot Hall of Famer and even though KISS deserves to get in one day, they may prove to be the Susan Lucci of rock.
Look, there's a very good chance they BOTH get in, but if you ask me who I would select, I'll be casting my vote for HALL and OATES!