N.W.A: N.W.A is way more culturally important than LL Cool J, but the Rock Hall’s passion for treacle, and fear of danger, may shun West Coast rap pioneers N.W.A again. Prove me wrong. 15:1
Deep Purple: Did Deep Purple matter? Yes: “Smoke on the Water” is a rite of passage for every budding bassist. Will the British proto-metal band gain induction? Odds are against it. Their popularity remains mired in the memories of an avid (mostly male) fanbase -- though anyone who's heard "Machinehead" understands their influence. 16:1
The Paul Butterfield Blues Band: Their second nomination in as many years, the important Chicago blues rock band helped spawn harder acid-rock sounds after making a dent in San Francisco. So on paper, the Butterfield Band has certainly earned its place. The problem: few hits, and the harmonica isn't the most sexy instrument. 18:1
Link Wray: This is the primal guitarist’s first nomination. Best known for his menacing instrumental “Rumble,” which some argue is the first punk-rock song, Wray’s way with guitar distortion and tone helped guide the instrument in wild new directions. Despite its lack of lyrics, the song was banned in some places due to the degenerate nature of its sound. That alone earns him induction, even if it’s unlikely to happen on his first try. 20:1
Chic. This is Chic’s eighth nomination since 2003, and if they can’t do it this year all bets are off. After all, co-founder/guitarist Nile Rodgers was propelled to prominence once again in 2013 through his work on Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories.” Whether that cosign helps them sneak in this year is less certain. After all, it’s not like the Rock Hall has too much tolerance for either disco or electronic dance music. (Evidence: The seminal German group Kraftwerk, nominated last year but not inducted, fell off the ballot, and remain outside the gates.) 24:1
The Replacements. A band whose best work came out before they signed to a major label, the Replacements created great punk-rock songs and on some nights were the best rock band on the planet. But they never achieved fame similar to their critical acclaim, a truth that will hinder their chances. That said, their return to the limelight this year may positively affect their chances. Though a long shot, any band who built from scratch the songs “Androgynous,” “I Will Dare” and “Color Me Impressed” can’t be counted out. 25:1
The Meters. The tight New Orleans instrumental funk band has been nominated two other times. Alas, outside the serious soul and funk communities, where they’re rightfully considered one of the funkiest instrumental guitar bands, the group is less known. Ziggy Modeliste’s rhythms have been sampled to death, though, and the group’s highlights have certainly withstood the test of time. The band, though, remains unlikely to enter the imaginary room this year. 37:1
These oversights need to be rectified in order for the Rock Hall to be considered a legitimate curator: Slayer. Motorhead. X. Sonic Youth. DEVO. Black Flag. The Pixies. Boogie Down Productions. The Smiths. The Smiths. The Smiths.