Rock and Roll (582)

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.

Although Fugazi is easily one of the most important Post Hardcore bands of note, they rarely promoted themselves. They were true DIY artists who were uncompromising with their craft regardless of whether they were in the studio, on stage, or in life in general. Their lyrics were cerebral and their music was a unique Punk sound with Funk and Reggae…
Shania Twain may not be thought of us a Rock Star, but often it is hard to really peg her as a Country Star either.  Shania Twain was at her best when she ventured into Pop with a Country flavor and as such she became a massive figure in popular music.  Her success was so big that she despite not…
Many a Rock band was based on their subtlety. The Undertones were not one of those bands. If anything, they were a band that may have understood the basic ideal of Rock and Roll better than anyone as their blend of Garage Rock during the Punk Years was very much a celebration of the Rock and Roll spirit. While other…
Their have been many artists mentioned on this list flying the Progressive Rock banner on this list who appear to have little chance to be induction. Kansas is one of those groups, though when we hear from some people that they were not exactly a Progressive Rock band we don’t entirely disagree.
Although it is widely accepted that New Wave was an offshoot of Punk, and that New Wave and other Alternative forms of music in the 80’s helped factor into Grunge and 90’s Industrial there are many of those 80’s bands that don’t seem to match that timeline. This statement has never been attributed to England’s Killing Joke, whose Alternative sound…
Sometimes a song is so powerful it can completely alter the Rock landscape. Some have called the Troggs cover, Wild Thing one of those songs. Some of as at NIHOF agreed if the Troggs got into the Hall based on the strength of that song, we admit that we would have a hard time disputing their logic.
An accomplished musician who blended styles that complimented his Blue Eyed Soul vocal skills , Robert Palmer became a massive star by conquering MTV “backed” by an air band of models. At the time it drew attention to Palmer but as popular as his music became it lacked the substance of his earlier work. If the Hall looks at his…
A very polarizing band even in Progressive Rock circles, the Alan Parsons Project certainly had its share of fans who loved their science fiction based artistic brand of music. Those who disliked the Project found them pretentious and overproduced. They were however unique, and likely deserve better than to have their string of success be reduced to the opening entrance…
Their songs were played loud, fast and crisp and each song was so short it was over before you knew it. Minor Threat’s career was bit like that too, as they were not around for very long. Like Bad Brains, they were an important fixture in the Washington D.C. Punk scene, but unlike other Punk acts, they were advocates of…
Although we have Cher as a solo act is ranked significantly higher, she may have a better shot as one half of Sonny & Cher. Though often forgotten, the duo were huge stars in the 60’s and despite being left for dead by the decade’s end, they managed to resurrect their career and launch a million variety show knock offs…
This was actually our hardest one of all to figure out. Where do you rank someone who has sold millions of records, is credited with one of the most beautiful voices ever, yet has limited songwriting credits and has even more limited “Rock” credibility? With that, we present the case of the enigma that is known as Whitney Houston.
As we look over our list we are a little overwhelmed with the amount of bands that flew the Punk label. Of course when looking at the Stranglers we are not sure what genre they were officially labeled as they seem to effortlessly shift between many musical styles.
Since even the most educated Rock historians disagree on when and who started Rock and Roll, it is difficult to also pinpoint who originated various subgenres of Rock. Perhaps no other band receives credit (or partial credit depending on which Rock historian you listen to) for helping to create more Rock subgenres than the Soft Machine.
From San Francisco the Quicksilver Messenger Service did not have hit albums or really even a hit to speak of, but they did have a reputation for having an excellent live act and were one of the first “Jam” bands of note. The latter could make them a potential entrant as the style that they helped to popularize was a…
Without a doubt, the most eccentric Rock star of the Golden Age, Screamin’ Jay Hawkins was a true original. With an ominous baritone voice, stage props such as coffins and skulls, Hawkins became an underground Rock star who terrified mainstream America. Screamin’ Jay had no real hits (barring I Put a Spell on You) of note, but his main contribution…
The career of Tammi Terrell was just getting started when she literally collapsed on stage into Marvin Gaye’s arms. Terrell would pass away at the age of 24 to a brain tumor but not before she and Marvin Gaye would record some of the most beautiful love songs recorded. As Gaye is already long since in the Hall, Terrell is…
There should be little doubt that Steve Winwood has earned his place in the Hall for his work in Traffic. What has been in doubt is whether he deserves induction a second time for either his work with other bands or as a solo artist. Although Winwood achieved a lot of success during the 80’s for his solo work, it…
It is very common in pop culture for entertainers to become more popular in death. In the case of Nick Drake, he has elevated to cult status which is many levels higher than the anonymity he had when he was alive.
As the late 60’s saw America fall into turmoil, popular music was very much a reflection of those times. One exception was the Sunshine Pop sound of the Association whose rich harmonies and cheery lyrics was a perfect distraction from the outside world. This would prove to be their greatest gift and curse as despite the talent they had, they…
As the only real band of note to emerge from the 80’s Paisley Underground scene, The Bangles reached huge Pop success by the decade’s end. Most people remember them from their monster smash; Walk Like an Egyptian, but they had more Psychedelic infused Pop hits and were a much more complete band than they were perceived. A Hall induction is…