After six years of eligibility, The Smiths were nominated today for induction as part of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Class of 2015, joining a list of nominees that includes Green Day, Nine Inch Nails, the late Lou Reed, Kraftwerk, Sting, and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts.
The rest of the 2015 nominees include N.W.A., Stevie Ray Vaughan, Chic, The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, The Marvelettes, The Spinners, War and Bill Withers.
To be eligible, artists must have released their first single or album in 1989 or earlier; of the 2015 nominees, only Nine Inch Nails and Green Day have been nominated in their first year of eligibility. A number of this year’s nominees, including Chic, N.W.A., Joan Jett and Kraftwerk, previously have been nominated.
It remains to be seen whether a hugely influential, but commercially “alternative,” band such as The Smiths can land in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Cure was among the 2012 nominees, but Robert Smith and Co. were not inducted and have not made the ballot since. Similarly, The Replacements were nominated this time last year for the 2014 class, but didn’t make the cut.
An even bigger question: If The Smiths are inducted, would they reunite to perform at the ceremony? That answer is almost certainly no, and perhaps presupposes that the band would even show up. It’s entirely likely we’d see Gene Simmons-like histrionics from Morrissey at the prospect of even standing onstage alongside Andy Rourke and, in particular, Mike Joyce.
The Class of 2015 will be announced later this year, with induction set for April 18 in Cleveland.
Once again this year, the public will be allowed to vote alongside artists and industry insiders via RollingStone.com. The top five acts will be labeled as a single “fan’s ballot” and will count as just one of the more than 700 ballots that ultimately will select the Class of 2015.