The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame had been inducting artists for twenty years by 2006, the first year examined in the five-year period under review here. For each of these five years, the Hall inducted five artists for a total of twenty-five, the fewest number for any five-year period to date. Yet of those twenty-five artists, only nine are clearly Hall of Fame-quality while nine clearly are not, with the remaining seven Hall of Fame-worthy acts although cases should be made for each. Once again, we see the Hall of Fame making inductions with a lack of discernment.
In Part 1
of this series, I evaluate the first five years' worth of inductees, which include the founding artists at the beginning of the Rock Era (circa 1955 to the present) while outlining the baselines for the audit process including the Defining Factors—innovation, influence, popularity, crossover appeal, and legacy—used to evaluate each artist. Part 2
examines the next five years' worth of artists, including some of the biggest acts of the 1960s and 1970s, while exploring the "legacy" Defining Factor in greater detail. More artists from the 1960s and 1970s are examined in Part 3
, which also examines the continuing "backfilling" by the Hall of earlier artists along with a fuller discussion of my "small Hall" preference. The most recent audit in Part 4
finds the Hall inducting artists from the late-1970s—the birth of modern rock—while examining the role of "talent" in the overall assessment of the artists. One artist examined in Part 4, Percy Sledge, is clearly a marginal talent whose induction had engendered skepticism in even the most casual of music fans. Unfortunately, that lack of sound judgment by the Hall continues in this period.