Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Overlooked Rock Hall of Famers

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted its newest members the other day. You can see a list of the current Rock Hall members here.

The new inductees included Abba, Genesis, Jimmy Cliff, The Hollies and The Stooges.
Needless to say, I was rather underwhelmed by this group. I like Genesis OK and agree that they are deserving but I was never a big fan and never bought any of their albums (To be fair, I did record one of their albums from a friend). Likewise, I can appreciate ABBA and I do have a greatest hits collection of theirs. But I am completely unfamiliar with Jimmy Cliff who I believe is a reggae singer and I have never been interested in Iggy Pop and the Stooges.
So 2 out of 5 isn’t too bad, I suppose. Last year the Hall inducted Jeff Beck, Little Anthony & the Imperials, Metallica, RunDMC and Bobby Womack. I can honestly say that I don’t own any albums by any of those artists.
What is most striking to me about these inductions is when you consider the group of eligible artists who have NOT been inducted. There was a bit of a fuss in recent years about the fact that KISS has not been inducted, but just look at who else they have to share that status with:
Peter Frampton; Stevie Ray Vaughn; Hall & Oates; Boston; Cheap Trick; Heart; Rush; J. Geils Band; Deep Purple; Def Leppard; REO Speedwagon; Journey; Electric Light Orchestra; Styx; Bon Jovi; Steve Miller Band; Bachman Turner Overdrive; Jim Croce; Neil Diamond; Los Lobos; Cat Stevens; The Cars; The Go Gos; Billy Squier; Yes; INXS; Devo; Steppenwolf; Pat Benatar; Loverboy; Rick Springfield; KC and the Sunshine Band; The Doobie Brothers; Tears for Fears; Eddie Money; Peter Gabriel; Huey Lewis and the News; Cyndi Lauper; George Thorogood....
And the list goes on, including some long-neglected older acts like Humble Pie, The Faces and Paul Revere and The Raiders. And then there is the Red Hot Chili Peppers who were first eligible last year and not selected.
I could easily cull out five deserving nominees from that list who I would put in the hall before any of the acts selected over the last couple of years.
Some acts are not in the Hall yet simply because they are not eligible yet. The current rule is you have to wait 25 years after your first song is published to be eligible. Assuming they do not change that criteria by shortening it to 20 years (which I believe is being considered) here are the artists I would consider shoo-ins for induction over the next half dozen years based on their popularity with both the masses and the critics:

Guns N Roses (2011)
Public Enemy (2012)
Nirvana (2013)
Green Day (2014)
Smashing Pumpkins (2015)
Pearl Jam (2016)

That leaves four open slots each year to consider the neglected artists listed above - not to mention the dozens and dozens of other acts which will come eligible with each passing year. At this rate, I don’t hold out a lot of hope for getting a lot of my favorite overlooked artists in the Hall because I am also certain based on past experience that there will be many more acts that I disagree with that will be chosen before mine.