When it comes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, opinions tend to be rather strong regarding who should or shouldn’t be considered for induction.
That could be due primarily to the fact that the RRHOF appears to be the ultimate “Too Cool for the Room” club in which musical snobs determine who makes the cut and who doesn’t. The nomination process takes place amongst a select few at Rolling Stone Magazine, and the voting process supposedly takes place among 500 “Rock Experts”; however, who those experts are is a mystery. Evidence of that fact is the 2008 induction of Madonna, the shocking 2010 induction of Abba and the head scratching 2011 induction of Neil Diamond.
While Madonna, Abba and Neil Diamond have had huge careers in the recording industry – Rock and Roll would certainly not be the way to classify their music. Many current rock musicians have openly criticized the nomination and induction process, and want to see the actual artists and fans determine the new inductees.
Unfortunately, the following bands will have the knowledge that Madonna, Abba and Neil Diamond were actually inducted into the RRHOF before they were.
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Motorhead Vocalist, Bassist and Frontman Lemmy Kilmister is widely revered as a major influence to many musicians within all types of rock music. Both Metallica and Guns and Roses have stated that Motorhead is one of their biggest influences. When you have the joke “Who would win in a fight, Lemmy or God?” named after you and the punchline is: “Neither, Lemmy IS God”; well, that should speak for itself. The fact of the matter is that Motorhead has been such an extremely influential band to so many other bands that their inclusion should not be ignored.
9 Def Leppard
Def Leppard stormed onto the scene in 1980 with their initial release “On Through the Night” and followed it up with “High ‘n’ Dry” in which they grabbed some radio and MTV airplay with the song “Bringing on the Heartbreak”. However, it wasn’t until 1993’s release of Pyromania that they became certified superstars. Def Leppard is one of only five bands to have two studio albums, Pyromaina and Hysteria, achieve RIAA Diamond Status (10 million units sold), the others being: The Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd and Van Halen – That stat alone should guarantee inclusion into the Hall.
Journey was a band that paid its dues and then some. Formed in 1973 by several former members of Santana, they spent years touring and recording before achieving superstar status with the release of 1981’s Escape. Sales have resulted in two gold albums, eight multi-platinum albums, and one Diamond album (including seven consecutive multi-platinum albums between 1978 and 1987). They had 18 Top 40 singles, six of which reached the Top 10 of the US Billboard Hot 100 chart. Just the sheer number of platinum albums should warrant induction into the RRHOF.
7 Ozzy Osbourne
Sure, he is already been inducted with Black Sabbath, but Ozzy’s solo work is also very hard to deny. His first solo album, Blizzard of Ozz, went platinum without the benefit of a top 40 single and very little radio airplay and is now quadruple platinum. It’s follow up, Diary of a Madman, has been certified triple platinum. In all, Ozzy has had eight studio albums in a row go platinum (seven of which are multi platinum) and nine in a row have been certified Gold. To date Ozzy has sold over 100 million albums worldwide, which includes his sales with Black Sabbath. Ozzy has been called the “Godfather of Heavy Metal”, and has been a major influence to many bands, specifically with the Ozzfest Tours; he has given major exposure to many bands that are just starting out. At this point, not having him inducted as a solo act is ludicrous. However, his snub could be due to the fact that he has been very outspoken with regards to the way the RRHOF chooses who is inducted.
Yes has been recording and touring since 1969 and are considered to be the pioneers of progressive rock. Although the band has undergone many lineup changes, they have retained a signature sound that is almost instantly recognizable. Yes has been able to adapt to various changes in popular music over the years and has gone on to sell over 50 million albums worldwide.
5 Judas Priest
Judas Priest are considered to be one of the true pioneers of Heavy Metal; with Rob Halford’s operatic vocals, the twin lead guitar style of Glenn Tipton and KK Downing, along with the leather and studs look that Heavy Metal became famous for. Judas Priest has sold over 50 million albums worldwide and has been a major influence in the way that Hard Rock and Heavy Metal have sounded through the years. With the release of British Steel, Priest took a more radio friendly approach to their music that paid huge dividends; they began to receive mainstream radio airplay and introduced them to a whole new generation of fans, while still maintaining a very heavy style.
Quite plain and simply – the Wilson sisters rock. In the late 1970’s Heart managed to become very successful with two women leading the band, something that was extremely uncommon in rock at the time. With seven platinum albums, five of which are multi platinum, including 1983’s “Heart” which has sold over 5 million copies to date; it’s very hard to ignore this band. The songs “Crazy on You”, “Barracuda”, and “Magic Man” are still radio staples – over 30 years after their release. The Wilson sisters have also been credited with helping play a large role in the rise of the Seattle music scene in the late ‘80’s and early ‘90’s, including Ann recording songs on the Alice in Chains EP “SAP”
3 Iron Maiden
Iron Maiden rose out of the London punk scene in the late 1970’s when it just wasn’t cool to be a hard rock band. In spite of this they were one of the pioneering bands of the “New Wave of British Heavy Metal” that rose to prominence in the early 1980’s. Despite the fact that they received no radio airplay as well as extremely limited exposure on MTV; Maiden became highly successful through word of mouth and an exhaustive touring schedule. Having sold over 85 million albums worldwide, Maiden has seen resurgence in popularity and has just completed a major world tour. Considered to be a major influence of many bands, including Metallica, and Lady Gaga, the sheer impact of Iron Maiden is just too large to ignore.
When it comes to RRHOF snubs, Kiss is the 800 pound gorilla in the room. Like them or not, Kiss has had an impact in music that just can’t be ignored. While many would not consider the members of Kiss to be good musicians, they more than made up for it with their huge stage productions that included elaborate costumes, pyrotechnics, fire breathing, blood spitting, flaming guitars and a massive light show. Kiss has been awarded 24 gold albums to date, the most of any American rock band. The band has sold more than 40 million albums in the United States, and their worldwide sales exceed 100 million albums. The double live album “Alive!” has been regarded as one of the best live albums ever release, and the band spawned it’s own “Army”, the name for their official fan club. While often criticized for the overly aggressive marketing of the band by Gene Simmons, Kiss’ stamp on the music world just can’t be ignored.
The only RRHOF snub greater than Kiss, is Rush. Formed in the late ‘60’s in Toronto, Rush has gone on to become one of the most influential bands in all of Rock. While compared to Led Zeppelin after the release of their first album, they took a decided turn towards the progressive rock side after drummer Neil Peart joined the band in 1975. Rush has become known for their musicianship, and their style has changed over the years from blues rock to progressive to synthesizer driven rock. The members of Rush have been considered among the best musicians with their respective instruments: Alex Lifeson has been named Best Rock Guitar player by Guitar Player magazine twice and a runner up 4 times, Geddy Lee has been named to the Guitar Player magazine Hall of Fame, as well as being named best Bass player six times by the magazine, and Neil Peart has been universally regarded as one of, if not the greatest rock drummer of all time. Peart was inducted into the the Modern Drummer Magazine Hall of Fame in 1983, and has been named Best Rock Drummer nine times by the magazine. Rush has continued to record and tour for nearly 40 years, and has been such a huge influence among bands and musicians that the snub by the RRHOF is just a travesty.
About the author: Mike is the creator of Where’s My Seat? Seating Charts, Tickets and More!