I don’t think many of us doubted that one of the 2016 nominees for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a shoo-in. That would happen to be the iconic and legendary band Chicago. (We previously reported on Chicago’s nomination along with other great acts like Deep Purple, Cheap Trick, Steve Miller and The Cars and you can read that blog here). Indeed, from the record number of votes—and there still are about two months to go—one can argue that point for several of the inductees.
By the way, that number of votes is more than, get this, 145 million. (Still think music fans are not passionate about their favorite groups?). The staggering number of 145 million votes represents more than double of the number of votes that were cast during the entire two-month window last year. Also think about this; last year’s winner of the fan vote was Stevie Ray Vaughan with just over 18 million (31 percent). Five of this year’s acts have more than that already. This is definitely an exceptional class and sitting at the head of it is Chicago led by Robert Lamm.
Editor’s Note: The fan ballot goes along with the other 800 ballots cast by artists and music historians. Look for the announcement of the Class of 2016 in early December.
Why the greater numbers? In my opinion it’s twofold; first, the inductees are, quite frankly, groups that should have been in the Hall quite a while ago. So, the selections are great. Second, major media outlets like Rolling Stone and Huffington Post have been pushing the ballot….hard. Add in some sizzle on social media outlets and there you go. As of the time of this posting here’s a look at the voting results:
- Chicago 23.52% (37,363,361 votes)
- The Cars 16.19% (25,722,974 votes)
- Yes 16.17% (25,690,850 votes)
- Steve Miller 15.97% (25,372,786 votes)
- Deep Purple 15.95% (25,337,600 votes)
- Janet Jackson 5.91% (9,389,623 votes)
- Cheap Trick 1.28% (2,039,939 votes)
- The Spinners 1.25% (1,992,405 votes)
- Chaka Khan 1.14% (1,806,449 votes)
- Chic 0.83% (1,311,178 votes)
- The J.B.’s 0.58% (925,356 votes)
- N.W.A 0.39% (626,171 votes)
- Nine Inch Nails 0.31% (489,028 votes)
- The Smiths 0.27% (431,437 votes)
- Los Lobos 0.23% (360,242 votes)
Returning to Chicago, perhaps the landslide number of votes are redemption in the sense that fans are basically willing the band into the Hall regardless of what anyone else thinks. I will say it here and it’s no stretch whatsoever: That band has to be—and will be—inducted into the Hall….period. That has to mean something to Lamm and crew despite the way overdue honoring of the historic group. Anything short of induction would be an invitation to a travesty and no one wants that. There are certainly 37 million or so people who do want the band inducted and that has to account for something doesn’t it?
That makes me feel good because every time I hear any of their hits, from 25 Or 6 To 4 all the way to Hard To Say I’m Sorry it reminds me that there are very, very few bands which have tracked hits throughout various stages in people’s lives. If that’s not worthy of induction in the Hall then nothing is.
Ken “K Bo” Biedzynski, Editor