Rock and Roll (588)

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.

Do we even bother to raise the Progressive Rock question in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame anymore? As this list continues we find yet another band of the aforementioned genre who may be wondering what they have to be considered Hall eligible. Certainly, the fans of Emerson, Lake & Palmer are wondering the same thing.
The NIHOF Committee knew that we had would be placing many artists that achieved limited commercial success. Yet when we looked at Big Star, we just couldn’t figure out why they never did hit the mainstream. Had they achieved more than just critical acclaim, they would likely be in the Hall already.
Our next act is a band that will likely be beat out for induction by other 90’s Alternative acts, despite having a sound that wasn’t really like the bands they are often lumped with. Of course, it is really hard to categorize Sonic Youth with any other band, they were just that unique.
Many of the musicians on this list create a polarizing opinion as to their “validity”. In the latter half of the 1960’s, there likely was no group that separated fans as much the Monkees did. Their bubblegum image and status as a corporate creation were labels that they couldn’t shake, and despite the fun solid music they made they were…
In earlier selections the NIHOF committee debated the merits of artists who never had success commercially be it because they were ahead of their time or just did not receive support from their label. In the case of Captain Beefheart there likely was no point in time (past, present or future) in which he could have been a commercial success.…
At some point the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame will have to address the Brit Pop phenomenon of the 1990’s.  Although Oasis is most likely to get that nod from the Hall (should it ever come and based on the way the Hall has treated the British heavyweight from the 1980’s), Blur could be the band that gets it…
Some bands just have an iconic status without really trying to. From the unique way that lead singer Lemmy sings upright into the microphone, the umlaut over the second letter ö and their biker look, Motörhead may be more recognizable visually than audibly by those whom are unfamiliar with the British rockers. Of course, fans of Motörhead could never confuse…
Welcome to the first true heavyweight entry of the Grunge question.  The question is not whether a Grunge associated act will get in; because one will.  The question is how many, and does the Hall have a quota.  With Soundgarden now eligible, we are fascinated to see what will happen.
When Beck’s first hit, “Loser” first came out, a lot of people (some of us included) wanted to pigeon hole him as a novelty act.  Once we kept listening to him, many of us wanted to re-label him as a musical genius.
The Singer/Songwriter movement of the 70’s produced many great artists. Although, our next selection, Warren Zevon is primarily known for just one song “Werewolves of London” my many people, a deeper look at his career shows a man who was among the most respected of his genre.
If any band on this list might get in based on the sum of their parts, it could very well be Bad Company; considered one of the first true Supergroups of the 1970’s. Coincidently, it might be their best way to get in too.
As shown by our earlier and later inclusions we don’t have a problem listing artists (in varying capacities) twice. Already on this list as a member of Roxy Music, Brian Eno would probably be in our top five should we ever get around to listing producers but for now we will settle for a solid top fifty rank for his…
The Progressive Rock question returns again with an act that could have had the biggest hit of the genre in “A Whiter Shade of Pale”. That song may not only have been Progressive Rock’s biggest hit; it may have been the first real one too.
Many a Rock Star likely grew up with dreams of becoming one. In the case of the Replacements, we wonder if they dreamed about how to screw it up.
Easily one of the most important Alternative bands of the 1990’s, the Smashing Pumpkins were able to become Alternative stars without sounding like the Grunge stars that they were often lumped in with.  The Pumpkins could master varying emotions effortlessly easily delivering songs with unparalleled sorrow to tunes of blistering rage.  They delivered these skills to the video medium, and…
Is it possible to be important to look like a Rock Star than to actually sing like one? With Pat Benatar, there was no question that she looked like a Rocker, and her early 80’s music was certainly Rock as well. We wondered aloud though, if she didn’t have the look she did, would we know who she was today?
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame contains many an artist flying the Motown flag. Motown certainly became a star making label and under their label many legends were born. With that being said meet The Spinners, a band on this list who actually became stars once they left Motown.
We find that with our next selection that some things just don’t translate; even if it is in the same language. The music of The Jam fits that description, because as huge as they were in their native England, they just couldn’t find a substantial audience in North America.
Weezer never looked like Rock Stars, and there in may have laid the charm of the what are the geekiest looking musicians of the last tthirty years.  With catchy guitar hooks riddled with tales of nerdy love, Weezer became an instant sensation.  Interestingly enough, even their failures have become successful.  Their maligned sophomore album, Pinkerton, was destroyed by critics but has…
Although there have been many bands who have been politicized, it is possible that there was no band that did it in a more fierce and “in your face” fashion than Rage Against the Machine.  Their leftist leanings were far from subtle and their music followed suit.  They effortlessly combined Rap and Metal and to many in the 90’s, they…