AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:
Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its annual class of nominees. In total, there are 16 bands and artists up for induction and we're going to tick through a few in a not-so-veiled attempt to play some rock on our airways, starting with a 1990s mainstay, Nirvana. We'll take our teenage angst in flannel please.
(SOUNDBITE FROM SONG, 'SMELLS LIKE TEEN SPIRIT')
NIRVANA: (Singing) Well the lights out, it's less dangerous. Here we are now, entertain us...
CORNISH: Next up, the Replacements, the underground indie band never had a number one hit, but their influence on alternative rock lives on today in bands such as Green Day, Fallout Boy and the Hold Steady.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, 'ALEX CHILTON')
THE REPLACEMENTS: (Singing) Children by the million sing for Alex Chilton when he comes 'round. I'm in love. What's that song?
CORNISH: Folk singer Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, makes the list once again. In the 1970s, his music captured a sense of yearning for direction in uncertain times.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, 'WILD WORLD')
CAT STEVENS: (Singing) Oh, baby, baby, it's a wild world. It's hard to get by just upon a smile.
CORNISH: Singer Linda Ronstadt is a first-time Rock Hall nominee. Her strength? Reaching into country music and turning it into rock. Bands would never describe her as no good.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, 'YOU'RE NO GOOD')
LINDA RONSTADT: (Singing) You're no good, you're no good, you're no good. Baby, you're no good.
CORNISH: Moving onto LL Cool J, born James Todd Smith, part rapper, part R&B artist, all around entertainer, he can now add repeat Rock Hall nominee to his resume.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, 'MAMA SAID KNOCK YOU OUT')
LL COOL J: (Rapping) With the funky brown, I'm going to knock you out. Mama said knock you out. I'm going to knock you out. Mama said knock you out.
CORNISH: And Peter Gabriel's no stranger to the Hall of Fame. In 2010, his band Genesis was inducted. But this year, he's nominated for his solo work, think "Sledgehammer," "In Your Eyes," and "Solsbury Hill."
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, 'SOLSBURY HILL')
PETER GABRIEL: (Singing) Climbing up on Solsbury Hill, I could see the city light. Wind was blowing, time stood still. Eagle flew out of the night.
CORNISH: Finally, in the category of most makeup and highest heels, the band Kiss.
(SOUNDBITE OF SONG, 'I WANNA ROCK AND ROLL ALL NIGHT')
KISS: (Singing) I want to rock and roll all night and party every day.
CORNISH: Other Hall of Fame nominees this year include Hall & Oates, The Meters, NWA and The Zombies. For a complete list, check out the Two-Way blog at our website, NPR.org. And the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will announce its list of inductees in December. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.