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.

One of the early Blue Eyed Soul bands was Memphis, Tennessee’s The Box Tops though there were many who would not classify them in that genre. Too many, the Box Tops were simply melodic Pop songs, but to those who listened a little more to their music they found a true soulful style of Pop that still seems so disrespected…
With Nick Cave already on this list, it was originally tempting not to include Cave’s original band, but we couldn’t ignore the Post Punk output of the Birthday Party which was among the most creative music that Australia produced. Their music was inexplicably dark yet rambunctious and was beloved by critics internationally. When they broke up, Cave went on to…
Originally a Glam Rock band, it was not until Japan embraced Synth Pop that they really hit their stride. Combining exotic influences with an Electronic sound, Japan was making some interesting music that was defining the New Romantic genre. Synth Pop hasn’t seen an inductee yet and the odds of the perceived pretentious Japan likely won’t be the gate crasher…
A legend in the field of Jazz, Sonny Rollins has been referred to as one of the most important figures of that genre. His mainstream Jazz recordings have been among amongst the most consistent for any performer over the last four decades and though that consistency has made him beloved and respected. Rollins played music so effortlessly and this perception…
One of the pioneers of the Industrial genre, Throbbing Gristle may have been more interested in the visual medium than that of anything on vinyl. Deliberately strange and determined to break any taboo, they definitely made their mark on the music industry; though many listeners were perplexed as to just what that mark was.
Perhaps the most ambitious of the New Wave bands from England, Julian Cope and his band, The Teardrop Explodes captured many an imagination. Perhaps this was because their own imaginations were largely influenced by the hallucinogens they were on. The literal wild card is the eccentric yet acclaimed Julian Cope who if the Hall wishes to induct him, it would…
They may have been classified as a Noise Rock band and band members themselves have thought have themselves as Punk Rockers, but in many ways they were a precursor to the Industrial scene that was about to follow. Singing about a myriad of disturbing topics (songs about mutilation were tame for them) they delivered with a blistering guitar attack pounded…
A band that has a much longer career than most people realizes, the Bar-Kays have a diverse catalogue of music that spanned through Memphis Soul, R&B and Funk. They cut their teeth as one of the main backing bands for various artists at Stax records, but it was not long before they recorded their own material. The band overcame tragedy…
The 1960’s Chicago Soul scene saw a lot of artists emerge who had a lot of grit and Southern influence. Major Lance was a little different as his blend of Soul was exuberant and fun. In his heyday, Lance was singing songs written by the legendary Curtis Mayfield and with solid production behind him, more joyous Soul could not be…
Formed by ex-Husker Du leader, Bob Mould, Sugar followed along the same path that was blazed by the innovative Minnesota band. They did not receive the same acclaim or popularity as Husker Du did, but how could they top on of the most important Alternative bands of the 80’s? We know that if Mould ever gets in, it should be…
The Red Krayola may have been pegged as a Psychedelic band but even those who were into the Psychedelic scene would listen to the Krayola would listen to them and try to figure out what they just listened to. The main core of the Red Krayola was their leader Mayo Thomson, who may have been just as interested in deconstructing…
Although he has been classified as a British Folk star, John Martyn was an artist who easily wore many hats. Martyn was a Singer/Songwriter whose guitar skills borrowed equally from the Mississippi Delta as the plains of Scotland. An experimental artist who subtly embraced multiple genres as his career progressed, John Martyn’s talent was never in question, though for the…
Critics in England may have loved the Sophisti-Pop sound of Prefab Sprout and with their cerebral songwriting there was lot of positive elements to write about. They did sell some albums and had some hits (not in the U.S. though) but they never caught on to the masses who found them a little inaccessible. Those however who did try to…
Of the Krautrock bands, the band labeled as the most mythical (due mostly to dropping off the musical landscape for awhile) is easily Faust. Their early 70’s work has been credited with laying some of the early fabrics of Ambient and even Industrial with their Experimental work. With Faust there is the question as to whether they were more influential…
Of all the Roots-Reggae singers, Burning Spear had to the most politically conscious. Singing of the Rastafarian movement and other songs of historical context, Burning Spear may have not have been the most commercially viable, but he may have spoke for his island’s issues better than anyone else ever did. Burning Spear however is likely not going to be the…
Generally, if your musical instrument of choice is a child’s toy, you wouldn’t expect to be a musical success. Augustus Pablo bucked that belief with his electric use of the melodica and as such ushered in a new sound in Reggae. Pablo was very much an accomplished musician who was capable of utilizing other instruments to create beautiful music, but…
Prior to the ascent of Bob Marley, one of the biggest stars on Jamaican soil was that of Desmond Dekker. It is often forgotten that Dekker (and not Marley, nor recent Hall inductee Jimmy Cliff) was the first Jamaican to crack the top ten in England and the United States. As such, he may have been the first voice that…
Is there a more appropriate first name than King? King Sunny Adé was (and still is) the undisputed leader of Juju music and his infectious blend of Western music and African rhythms literally made the world take notice. Technically skilled with the guitar and lyrically gifted, King Sunny Adé may very well be the most important musician to come out…
A somewhat successful British Progressive Rock band that was best known for its twin keyboard attack, Spooky Tooth was able to gain a following on both sides of the Atlantic. Though they did put out a few albums the band really didn’t stay together long enough to have a more significant impact and the bulk of their members achieved success…
As debates continue on this list as to varying genres, the respected Jazz genre is always a befuddling one to Rock aficionados and its place within the guitar driven circle. Ornette Coleman initially bewildered many of those in the Jazz circle as his push towards Free Jazz and music based on varying emotions were not considered conventional at the time.…