Rock and Roll (567)

Music.  It has the ability to bring people together.  It can stir up hidden emotions.  It can cause you to get up and physically move.  It can help you through your work day.  It separates generations.  We could describe it for page after page in terms both specific and vague but music simply means different things to different people.  Likely, many of these things were on the mind of the builders of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio, a tribute to those who built up the genre of Rock and Roll.

Their intentions certainly seemed clear enough.  Their website states that “The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame honors the legendary performers, producers, songwriters, disc jockeys and others who have made rock and roll the force that it is in our culture”.  For our purposes, we are going to focus on the performer section of the Hall.  That being said, the first rule of eligibility is very simple.  Once an artist has gone twenty five years after the release of their first record, they become eligible.  After that it becomes a little murky.  The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame states that “criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll”.  Influence and significance is certainly open to interpretation.  For that matter, so is Rock and Roll.  When Bill Haley sang Rock around the Clock over sixty years ago was he describing a sound, a look or maybe just an attitude?  Did the songwriters just like the word “rock”?  The origin of Rock music is so difficult to pinpoint its subsequent evolution is just as equally hard to chart.

With these vague parameters we at Not in Hall of Fame put our own committee together and came up with the top 250 artists whom we feel deserve consideration for enshrinement in Cleveland.  Are we right?  Are we wrong?   We know two things for sure; the first is that while compiling this list we felt we could make a viable case for multiple artists to be in our number one slot, the second was that it was a blast coming up with it.  Let us know what you think and based on who gets inducted, who becomes newly eligible, your opinions and how our own perceptions change, we will see how we rank them in the following year.    

Until then, Keep on Rockin’ in the Free World!

Sincerely,

 

The Not in Hall of Fame Rock and Roll Committee.

When the Wu-Tang Clan arrived in 1993, they rewrote the book on how Rap was to be done.  As a collection of MC’s, Wu-Tang became stars immediately and their collection of rappers would become the equivalent of a Rapping All Star Team. 
Some of the artists on this list seemingly exploded out of the gate with an album that told you that they had the potential to be something special. In looking back at Depeche Mode, none of us in the NIHOF committee really thought that the band that gave us “Just Can’t Get Enough” would be a band that would have…
The NIHOF Committee knew that we had would be placing many artists that achieved limited commercial success. Yet when we looked at Big Star, we just couldn’t figure out why they never did hit the mainstream. Had they achieved more than just critical acclaim, they would likely be in the Hall already.
There are a few performers in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame who got in on the strength of one album, or in the rare case only ever made one album. Link Wray is the only one on this list that we feel comfortable pushing for induction based on just one song. Seriously, the influence of his instrumental song,…
When Beck’s first hit, “Loser” first came out, a lot of people (some of us included) wanted to pigeon hole him as a novelty act.  Once we kept listening to him, many of us wanted to re-label him as a musical genius.
Our next act is a band that will likely be beat out for induction by other 90’s Alternative acts, despite having a sound that wasn’t really like the bands they are often lumped with. Of course, it is really hard to categorize Sonic Youth with any other band, they were just that unique.
In earlier selections the NIHOF committee debated the merits of artists who never had success commercially be it because they were ahead of their time or just did not receive support from their label. In the case of Captain Beefheart there likely was no point in time (past, present or future) in which he could have been a commercial success.…
Trent Reznor (Basically, the only official member of Nine Inch Nails) never laid claim to creating the Industrial genre. We will say however, that this is the man that popularized it and gave it just enough if a pop sensibility to make it popular in the early to mid 90’s. As this was the decade where everything “Alternative” was given…
At some point the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will have to address the Brit Pop phenomenon of the 1990’s.  Although Oasis is most likely to get that nod from the Hall (should it ever come and based on the way the Hall has treated the British heavyweight from the 1980’s), Blur could be the band that gets it…
Many of the musicians on this list create a polarizing opinion as to their “validity”. In the latter half of the 1960’s, there likely was no group that separated fans as much the Monkees did. Their bubblegum image and status as a corporate creation were labels that they couldn’t shake, and despite the fun solid music they made they were…
Do we even bother to raise the Progressive Rock question in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anymore? As this list continues we find yet another band of the aforementioned genre who may be wondering what they have to be considered Hall eligible. Certainly, the fans of Emerson, Lake & Palmer are wondering the same thing.
One of our committee members asked why it was that whenever they think of our next selection they are constantly reminded of Michael Douglas reading in a paper in the jungle that they broke up while rescuing Kathleen Turner in Romancing the Stone. Gordon Gecko aside, the Doobie Brothers are of course known for much more than that 80’s Pop…
There has been a lot of debate as to whether Hip Hop belongs in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To us at NIHOF, we believe it does belong and with the past inductions of Grandmaster Flash and Run D.M.C. it is clear that the Rap question has been answered. Had we launched this site two years ago, Run D.M.C.…
Some bands just have an iconic status without really trying to. From the unique way that lead singer Lemmy sings upright into the microphone, the umlaut over the second letter ö and their biker look, Motörhead may be more recognizable visually than audibly by those whom are unfamiliar with the British rockers. Of course, fans of Motörhead could never confuse…
As shown by our earlier and later inclusions we don’t have a problem listing artists (in varying capacities) twice. Already on this list as a member of Roxy Music, Brian Eno would probably be in our top five should we ever get around to listing producers but for now we will settle for a solid top fifty rank for his…
Welcome to the first true heavyweight entry of the Grunge question.  The question is not whether a Grunge associated act will get in; because one will.  The question is how many, and does the Hall have a quota.  With Soundgarden now eligible, we are fascinated to see what will happen.
The Singer/Songwriter movement of the 70’s produced many great artists. Although, our next selection, Warren Zevon is primarily known for just one song “Werewolves of London” my many people, a deeper look at his career shows a man who was among the most respected of his genre.
We find that with our next selection that some things just don’t translate; even if it is in the same language. The music of The Jam fits that description, because as huge as they were in their native England, they just couldn’t find a substantial audience in North America.
There is no rule in music that says that you have to be a commercial success to make a difference. Hüsker Dü fits that category as they were considered influential by countless bands though they themselves never really broke past cult status.
The Progressive Rock question returns again with an act that could have had the biggest hit of the genre in “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. That song may not only have been Progressive Rock’s biggest hit; it may have been the first real one too.