The 2007 inductees were announced today (the birthday of Elvis Presley, appropriately)...
* R.E.M. - the classic "college rock" band and one of the top American pop rock bands ever (along with the Beach Boys, CCR, and Nirvana)...love their stuff; "losing My Religion" is one of the greatest love songs ever recorded, and songs like "Fall on Me" and "Orange Crush" powerfully dealt with social issues...a great band well deserving of induction...in the past 25 years, only U2 and Nirvana can compare in terms of importance
* Van Halen - the best "pop metal" band ever with the ever-changing cast of singers...I gotta think that Diamond Dave is a lock for inclusion, and Sammy Hagar should also be included...let's hope they can all get along for the ceremony
* Patti Smith - the "queen of punk"...I'm not really a big fan, but I know that artists like U2 really like her stuff...maybe Bono will induct her
* Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five - the first big hip hop artist, this induction paves the way for Run-DMC, Public Enemy, and, probably, NWA
* The Ronettes - a Phil Spector 1960s girl group (led by his then-wife Ronnie Spector), they recorded maybe the best record ever made, "Be My Baby" (probably only "Good Vibrations" is on par or greater)...I'm surprised by this induction, since Phil is already in the Hall and he really masterminded this group, but I'm happy, since they did cut that classic, which has influenced every musician who's made a record since