Like your favorite WWF Smackdown cage match set to a classic rock 4/4, 13 enter the ring as nominees and only 1 leaves as an inductee. Actually, scratch that. In a last minute vote before the results were announced, Music Club decided to admit 2 inductees this time around. The Katniss and Peeta of a musical hunger games. Please excuse the mixed metaphors.
Only The Good Die Young. Arcade Fire, then Elliot Smith, then The Replacements, then Pavement, then Wilco were each ejected by the other more seasoned veterans. No one had them as #1 on their ballots, but instead in the lower reaches of most ballots, even in the ballots of the members that nominated them.
Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me. The first real heartbreak took place when the only solo female artist in the competition and the first artist who actually ranked #1 on one of the ballots were both thrown from the ring. Steely Dan and Tina Turner tied for 6th place raining buckets of disappointment on their nominating member. Our condolences. Steely Dan had the unusual distinction of ranking not just a #1 vote, but also a #13. Curious.
Surrender. The last artist to not make the top 5 is a favorite to many, but obviously not favorite enough. Tom Waits shuffled quietly from the ring, bourbon and hat in hand. Satisfied in the knowledge he had 3 of his songs entered into the Dedications theme that night.
Don’t Fear The Reaper. The Final 5 stood center ring. Johnny Cash was ranked #1 in one of the seven ballots cast. Led Zeppelin was, too. But that was not enough for them to come out on top. Johnny was here once before, losing last last time to Bruce Springsteen. This time he couldn't even make it into the top 3. They ended up tied for 4th place with the upper echelon of 3 officially consisting of The Beatles, James Brown, and Bob Dylan. I am embarrassed to say that they were my nominations. I have the ballots to prove that I did not tamper with results. Still... it's awkward.
We Are The Champions. James Brown was the one artist in the top 5 to not be ranked #1 by a single member, but he had the benefit of being in the top 5 of five separate ballots. That went a long way to keeping him around almost to the end. In the end, though, it was Bob Dylan at #2, and The Beatles, in a pretty resounding victory, took the coveted #1 spot. The Fab 4 had ranked #1 on three different ballots, so it was kind of a done deal from the very beginning.
But, see, it all seems a little anti-climactic. Doesn't it? No arguing like last time. No drunken denouncements of one artist in comparison to another. Nobody locking themselves in the bathroom and refusing to come out until everyone voted for Three Dog Night. This time it was all quiet voting in the privacy of our own homes. Boring. Where is the drama? Next time I insist we get drama. Not just the kind of drama where I get letters telling me the list of nominees is unacceptable. I want to see arm wrestling. I want to hear cries of anguish that someone would seriously consider Madonna in any way Merle Haggard's equal. That pang of disgust you just felt when you read that? I want more of that. And if you agreed with that statement, it's time you to make a stand.
How should the next nomination process take place? Feel free to send in your suggestions. Make it interesting. Make it count. You have time, because we're not doing this again for a long time.
Stil, congratulations go to The Beatles and Bob Dylan. It's time these two underdogs finally got the recognition they had been so rudely denied in the past.