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.

How much chance does a band have to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame if they are best known for wearing funny hats? To many, Devo was just a one hit wonder who looked like they wore garbage bags and had flower pots on their heads. Of course, their fans knew they were much more.
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…
You didn’t think we were done with the Germans did you? We return to the “Fatherland” where we have a band (unlike our number one choice, Kraftwerk) that had true international success and is considered one of the top acts to come out of Continental Europe. We wonder if we are going to hear from some of their fans that…
It seems that every musical genre has a representative that is dubbed the “thinking man’s” band. Some have bestowed that label for the Post Punk/New Wave set to XTC. In retrospect, that may be an accurate description for this English group.
If you are a baseball fan you might remember the sad tale of Bill Buckner whose solid career was completely overshadowed by the ground ball that dribbled through his legs that cost the Boston Red Sox the World Series in 1986. It is a very melodramatic analogy but a couple of us at NIHOF wondered aloud if Mr. Roboto may…
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.
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.
If you had more hits than the Beatles and the Rolling Stones combined you would think that you may be a lock for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. However, in the muddled case of Cliff Richard & the Shadows, this was a chart distinction held in Great Britain and not Stateside.
For a country with such a small population, the rich musical history of Ireland is an extensive one. Our first representative from the Emerald Isle is the Hard Rock band, Thin Lizzy; though it may surprise some casual fans that Thin Lizzy was even Irish.
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.
Previous entries discussed the maligned genre of “Arena Rock” which although produced many successful acts has become synonymous with soulless music devoid of any true Rock and Roll spirit. That description always seemed harsh as any band who could sell out an arena has some merit too them. Anyways, we will let some other website debate that. One of the…
As you may have noticed, this list is peppered with performers who are already in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for their work in other bands. Carole King is already in the Hall, but for her work as a songwriter. Ironically, the fact that she is already in may be the very factor that prevents her from getting…
One of the most important bands of the BritPop era, Suede was a pivotal reason that the British music scene moved back towards guitar driven songs as opposed to the heavily distorted shoegazing sound that dominated British Alternative in the years previous. Suede was one of those few bands that lived up to the hype that the critics bestowed on…
A lot of people have criticized the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for its perceived bias towards Punk Rock. There may be something to that, but at the present the wave of West Coast Punk Rockers have no inductee. X would be our best guess, but if Black Flag were to be that representative, it would not be a…
The early 90’s brought a lot of attention to the Pacific Northwest music scene, and there were many who thought it came out of nowhere. The reality was that Alternative music in its various forms was alive and well and if anyone was the early champion of the state of Washington it might very well be the Sonics.
There have been many who have fans and critics who have felt that Rancid was the second coming of the Clash.  That is high praise and big shoes to fill but it is easy to see how there were parallels between the two bands.
During the early 60’s many music fans were divided musically into either the Beatles camp or the Rolling Stones camp and they despised the other fans. Nowadays, that seems a little silly, but it wasn’t that long ago that a couple of us at NIHOF remembered that the Metal community had fans divided into the Metallica and Megadeth camps as…
As the Rap stars begin to become eligible for the Rock and Roll of Fame, they face the same debate that stars from other genres do: that of whether popularity should supersede art. LL Cool J could be the first of the Rap stars to fall strongly on the popularity side of the equation, as though he did sell a…
As the New Wave genre brought a lot of androgynous looking men in to the forefront, there was one group that seemed to take the same idea only with a female lead singer who certainly had a unique androgynous appeal. Of course, that look may have gotten them their first taste of attention, but the Eurythmics proved they had the…