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Who's got the best odds of joining the Rock Hall's ranks?

A few weeks back, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced its list of nominees who are eligible for induction next year. It's filled with the usual mix of legends, leftovers, and long shots. The most surprising thing is that so many of the artists were eligible years ago (Rock Hall rules state that a performer's first record must be at least 25 years old). Who has the best chances of making the final cut when the Class of 2011 is unveiled in December? Let's take a look.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper (which was the name of the band before its frontman adopted it) have been eligible for years now. Everybody loves one or two of their songs, but their albums got increasingly blah over the years, especially after Alice became a person.

Chance of getting in: 45%

Beastie Boys

This is the trio's first year for eligibility, and they're as close to shoo-ins as anyone on this year's list. They've had a long career and made some awesome albums. Plus, they can take this year's designated hip-hop spot.

Chance of getting in: 90%

Bon Jovi

These New Jersey knuckleheads desperately want a spot. Maybe some day. But too many voters remember the '80s and the awful records they made back then. Bon Jovi think they're above their hair-band roots, but they're not completely washed out yet.

Chance of getting in: 40%

Chic

They're the disco band that even disco haters like — mainly because they came up with the killer riff that was sampled by everyone from hip-hop pioneers to Queen. But they're still a disco group, which severely damages their chances.

Chance of getting in: 50%

Neil Diamond

The much-loved singer-songwriter has been eligible forever. Eventually voters are going to break down and just let the guy in. He deserves it for a number of great songs he penned in the '60s. He doesn't deserve it for all the maudlin crap he sang in the '70s.

Chance of getting in: 55%

Donovan

Dylan bitch-slapped him in Don't Look Back, and the Scottish troubadour has been similarly treated by the rock & roll elite ever since. He's been eligible for years. If he isn't in by now, it's doubtful things will turn in his favor this year.

Chance of getting in: 35%

Dr. John

Dr. John was big in the early '70s, when people smoked a lot of pot and dug deep into his N'Awlins voodoo swamp-rock. He's regained some relevancy lately with a pair of great records about his doomed hometown. But he's a peripheral player at best.

Chance of getting in: 25%

J. Geils Band

They're a great party band and frontman Peter Wolf shows up at a lot of Rock Hall events. So they'll probably make it in someday (the HOF likes artists who play nice). But when it comes down to it, they're really just a glorified bar band.

Chance of getting in: 45%

LL Cool J

The rap pioneer made some great albums in the '80s. But everything after that sorta blows. And with the Beasties most likely taking the obligatory hip-hop spot this year, LL probably won't get much voter love.

Chance of getting in: 55%

Darlene Love

She was one of the biggest voices on Phil Spector's run of great singles. She sings one of the best Christmas songs ever. And Springsteen adores her. But she's been eligible forever, and her solo career is spotty.

Chance of getting in: 60%

Laura Nyro

Like Donovan, Nyro is a '60s pop songwriter with a wobbly career. She's written some good songs covered by others — most notably, the 5th Dimension did "Wedding Bell Blues." But her own albums aren't that popular with voters or music fans.

Chance of getting in: 30%

Donna Summer

Besides the Saturday Night Fever soundtrack, Bad Girls is the greatestdisco album ever. Summer recorded some crucial songs in the '70s that blended Euro-electro funk, old-school R&B, and discofied pop. But she's been eligible for at least a decade.

Chance of getting in: 35%

Joe Tex

Obligatory old-school soul singer with a big set of pipes and some great singles. But Tex isn't a very memorable singer and often gets shuffled away with many of his peers from the era. And he's been eligible since the Rock Hall started 25 years ago.

Chance of getting in: 15%

Tom Waits

Waits has been eligible for more than 10 years, but as his stature grows, so does his chance of getting in. His early beatnik records can be tough listens, but once he got weird on 1983's Swordfishtrombones, there was no turning back.

Chance of getting in: 65%

Chuck Willis

This R&B pioneer made some great singles in the '50s, but no one knows who he is. And he's been eligible forever. The dude could make it in on some early-influence loophole or something, but there's no way enough voters care.

Chance of getting in: 20%

Send feedback to mgallucci@clevescene.com.

More by Michael Gallucci

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