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.

You would think that if you were at one time the biggest star on the Motown label, you would be a lock for Rock and Roll Hall of Fame spot. With Mary Wells, we find that is not necessarily the case.
We severely doubt that there will be anytime soon where music fans will debate the validity of Rap music especially in terms of its placement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To those who raise that vocal inquiry, we can only imagine the reaction should the Proto Rap pioneer, Gil Scott-Heron get in.
If you were to ask many music fans in 1990 or 1991 which band truly defined “Alternative” many would point to Jane’s Addiction. With a funky hybrid of Metal, Punk and Folk the provocative band took the music world by storm in the late 80’s.
Our introduction to our Rock and Roll list depicted the ever changing face of what Rock and Roll is or was. There are artists on this list with whom we expect to hear a roaring cry that they are not “Rock and Roll”. We doubt we will hear that with Steppenwolf.
We remember a bit from Wayne’s World where Wayne Campbell discussed how in the 70’s the Fleetwood Mac album, Rumors (in another bit he inputted Frampton Comes Alive) was shipped to every house. He very well could have inputted Boston’s debut album which likely was found in most turntables in suburbia. No joke, that album really was that big.
They say that in some cases the sum is greater than its parts. In terms of rock bands this is often true. But what if the parts still did other things after it left the sum? Okay, that was convoluted, but with The Guess Who, we think that this statement holds some water.
Regardless of the genre, Southern California is a hotbed for musical inspiration. Punk is no exception, as our next selection is the region’s undisputed king of their early Punk scene, X.
An earlier entry discusses the importance of the Go-Go’s who were able to make history by being the first all female band who performed all their own instruments and wrote their own songs who went to number one. As important as that feat was, there have been many who have pointed to the Runaways as being the more important all…
Again we find ourselves with a band that achieved great success on the charts yet were not darlings of the critics. Yet as successful as Three Dog Night were in the early 70’s, they are barely known by today’s generation. Funny, they were not always so anonymous.
The next choice generated more debate from us in terms of their genre and not so much in terms of the band itself. Mötley Crüe was one of the many Metal bands to come out of L.A., but they were likely the band most closely associated with Hair Metal, and the debate we had is just how worthy that genre…
A true alternative to the Gangsta and Hardcore Rap sounds, A Tribe Called Quest was a breath of fresh air compared to the posturing of their Hip Hop peers.  Their music was a blend of Jazz and Rap combined with some of the best philosophical lyrics of the 90’s.  A true Alternative star, they held their own at Lollapalooza and…
You would think that a band that numerous hits and constant radio airplay in the mid and late 60’s and early 70’s would be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, as we go through this list we find that this is not necessary the rule. In the case of Paul Revere & the Raiders, one has to…
Usually when collaborations break up one party becomes more successful than the other. There may be no case of wider musical disparity than when George Michael and Andrew Ridgely dissolved Wham.
If “Don’t Fear the Reaper” comes on the radio, can you hear that song without thinking “More Cowbell”? Many in the current generation can’t, which is a bit of a shame as The Blue Oyster Cult deserves to be remembered for more than that Saturday Night Live skit.
As the leaders of the Lo-Fi movement in the 1990’s, Pavement developed a sizable cult following and were consistently among the top of critic’s “best of” lists during that decade. They have been called the definition of Independent Rock in the 90’s and it is easy to understand why when listening to their music. Their cryptic lyrics, penchant for feedback…
When people first heard Alanis it was as a teeny-bop pop princess in the early 1990’s, though that was predominantly only in Canada.When the rest of the world heard Alanis, she brought back her last name (Morissette) and delivered one of the most successful albums of all-time and became the voice of millions of women.
We hate using an American Idol reference but how many times does Simon and company tell the contestants after they nailed a performance that “they made the song their own”. Somehow, this just seemed like the right quote for Joe Cocker.
A common thread on this list is musicians who are ahead of their time. We can’t help but think there may be no other band on this list that defines that opening sentence better than the New York Dolls, who not only helped define a sound but a look as well.
There are many people who first heard of Kool & the Gang form the monster hit, Celebration in 1980. After that, the band churned out multiple hits of the softer R&B vibe that generated them much success. However, like a few other artists on this list we can’t help but feel that we are discussing two different careers as the…
If there is a Mecca in the British music industry it would have to be Manchester. It is there where we have our next entrant; The Buzzcocks. Although they did not have the same impact as the Sex Pistols, a band they opened for, their influence in the Punk world may be almost as important.