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.

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.
With all due respect to Metallica, it has been often stated that Pantera was the most important Metal band of the 1990’s. Looking back to that decade, it is easy to see why Pantera has that distinction as if any band broke Metal into new boundaries in the 90’s it surely was Pantera.
It are groups like Daft Punk that make us love putting together this website and more specifically the list of those worth considering for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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…
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…
In terms of pop culture and music we think it is safe to say that Bjork is the most famous and internationally person ever to come from Iceland.  Perhaps she will also become the first Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee from that country too.
Somehow in the late 60’s, if you were not making a political stance or experimenting in the studio, you ran the risk of not being taken seriously. Sure, you could still be successful, but respect was hard to come by. In the case of Tommy James & the Shondells, their respect would come much later.
Much like anything in the music world, even the simplest debates can become so complicated. Since it is still in debate just who or what songs really shaped Rock and Roll, we will throw in another ambiguous first, that of band often dubbed the first great underground band, Love.
Here we have another very interesting Rock and Roll Hall of Fame candidate where you can argue style over substance. 
Generally when you look at the career of a musician you find a steady progression. In the case of Herbie Hancock, we find a career that did not seem to follow any discernable pattern though it did produce a brilliant career of musical experimentation matched by few.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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…
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…
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…
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.