The Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame announced its 2013 induction nominees on October 15, including KISS, Nirvana, N.W.A. and more. Although there's no limit to how many can be allowed into the hall by the panel of 600 voters, we at Music Times have been reading too much The Hunger Games and wondered: What if there could be only one?
Therefore we've organized the nominees into a bracket, and are giving you, the reader, the chance to vote for the artists of your choice. Is it fair? No, but it will certainly test your loyalty to your favorite acts. We'll release one quadrant a day for voting, and hopefully give you a chance to learn something about the acts along the way.
Nirvana vs. Link Wray
The "headliner," if you will, of this year's nominees has to be Nirvana. The band only released three albums of original material in its day, but it came to represent the Seattle grunge scene that exploded during the early '90s. Music Times hazards to say that the group's biggest hit, "Smells Like Teen Spirit," was the biggest song of the decade. Thanks to that and the iconic status guitarist Kurt Cobain has taken on since his death, Nirvana is highly likely to be inducted in its first nomination. It's somewhat ironic that Nirvana's up against Link Wray, a guitarist who was at the fore of the birth of punk and metal, and rough guitar in general. Wray is credited with popularizing distortion and power chords, two huge contributions to all forms of rock music. The axeman is best known for his 1958 hit "Rumble."
Deep Purple vs. Cat Stevens
Deep Purple is another classic rock act that fans have been actively promoting for induction for years. It's one of three bands that academics build the popularity of '70s heavy metal around; the other two, Led Zeppelin and Black Sabbath, have both been inducted already. Purple hit its critical peak with 1972's Machine Head. The album's "Smoke On The Water" features a riff so heavy and simple that it's the go-to song for beginning guitarists. So much so that it's been banned from our local instrument shop. Cat Stevens is on the opposite end of the heaviness spectrum, releasing a series of platinum folk album during the early '70s. "Morning Has Broken" and "Another Saturday Night" were his biggest hits in the United States, peaking at no. 6 on the charts. During 1978 he left music and went 28 years without recording another album. He's now performing again under the name Yusuf.