Rock and Roll (591)

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.

It rarely fails. As new genres emerge there seems to a need to anoint a pair of songwriters as the new Lennon and McCartney. New Wave did so with the pair of Chris Difford and Glenn Tillbrook; better known as the creative unit behind Squeeze.
Critically despised? Check! Played very little today on Classic Rock stations? Check! Sold out arenas in their day? Check! Sold a lot of platinum records? Check! Confused? Meet the Hard Rock enigma known as Grand Funk Railroad.
If you excuse the pun, Bone Thugs-N-Harmony was easily the most melodic of the big name rap stars of the Mid-90s, which allowed the Gangsta Rap influenced group to combine that with pop sensibilities.  The result was number one albums and a rewriting of what deep Hip Hop could sound like.  This allowed this group to be a unique combination…
With the music world looking for Alternative superstars, the table was set for the Offspring’s brand of Punk, Pop and Metal to be a hit. They came across like overnight sensations (they weren’t) and their 1994 album, Smash, remains the best selling independent album in history. They would become known for their sarcastic and fun lyrics and always rooted their…
When the idea for a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was first conceived many bands likely came to mind right away. Some artists who performed in the same era probably received no consideration at all as they were dismissed as juvenile and fluff. Some of those bands may very well fit that bubblegum image but others upon time have…
Although none of the members of the NIHOF committee were alive when Ben E. King achieved his greatest success, we were among the millions that rediscovered him with the re-release of his signature song, “Stand by Me”. Those that found him again, found one of the smoothest voices of and most sophisticated voices of all time.
In a previous entry we mentioned that Metallica’s entry to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame we questioned whether this could be the catalyst to induct Slayer as the second member of the “Big Four of Thrash Metal”. We still think they have the best shot of the remaining four, but if they look towards innovation than Anthrax may…
What if your greatest hit was barely a reflection of your body of work? This could be the case for Los Lobos, whose cover of La Bamba was by far their largest hit, but was a poor representation of what this band was really about.
The Ska/Pop hybrid that No Doubt created in the mid 90’s found a huge following and made Gwen Stefani the Debbie Harry of her era.  No Doubt managed to gain both an Alternative and Pop following, though their future efforts were primarily danceable Pop.  Stefani is the key here, as her solo career skyrocketed and though it was not necessarily…
There are some bands that seem poised to break through the stratosphere but for whatever reason just can’t. The Cult seems to be one of those bands that while although they were very successful; they just seemed to fall short of what many thought they could have been.
Although Alice in Chains has been pegged primarily as a Grunge band, of the slew of Seattle bands AIC may have been the one that drew more from the Heavy Metal set than the rest.  They were very successful, charting often despite gloomy material and a dirty Post Punk sound. Equally adept at acoustic performances, AIC was a favorite among…
Like Nick Drake before him, Elliott Smith made a living making introspective and often morose songs.  Smith touched many a soul by digging inside of his own.  Sadly, as much as he sang of his depression, he was unable to control it and like so many artists he died young although it is still uncertain whether it was suicide (though likely).  As…
With the 2009 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction of Metallica many eyes looked to the other members of the “Big Four of Thrash Metal”. Does this pave the way for their induction? Time will tell, but the odds are that if any of the other bands in that elite group get in, Slayer is probably the group with…
We can’t even begin to tell you how shocked we were that Jimmy Cliff recently got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It isn’t that we don’t think that Cliff should have been inducted; but we really saw no evidence that the Hall would ever induct a second Reggae star (after Bob Marley). The question now is will…
As this list is peppered with acclaimed guitarists, there can be an argument made that few were on the level of Rory Gallagher. The Irishman was an avid student of the American Blues and was able to take that style of music to dimensions not previously looked at. Gallagher did not really try to penetrate the American market, but he…
The Chemical Brothers were amongst the first to pioneer the Big Beat genre and push the boundaries of what people thought Electronic music should be.  The genius of what they did was take the Dance music phenomenon and alter it to appeal to the Rock and Rap set.  This allowed them to reach a huge audience (they were among the…
Sometimes its fun to look back at the early days of MTV and see which of the stars survived and which haven’t. Depending on who you ask, you might get a different answer as to whether Cyndi Lauper “survived” or not.
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.
We continue our list with a Doo Wop group that practically predates Rock and Roll. Because of that fact, we once again had the struggle whether this was a group that belonged in the Roots and Influences category. Considering that they are not yet in, we have to wonder if the Hall of Fame committee is confused too.
In earlier entries (Jan & Dean and Hall & Oates) we spoke of how successful those duos were. If we were add to a third into the discussion of the most successful duo on this list it would have to be the English pair of Roland Orzabal and Kurt Smith, best known to audiences as Tears for Fears