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Posted at 10:58 AM ET, 03/16/2010

Dissed by the Rock Hall of Fame: A list of must-have inductees

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly

Last night some solid (Iggy and the Stooges) and not so solid (Genesis!?!) acts were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In what has become a yearly debate about which bands and performers make for worthy inductees, we offer our own list of top 10 acts totally neglected by Rock's legitimacy council. (As if rockers ever needed a mainstream stamp of approval, but that's another conversation.)

Keep in mind that Rock Hall rules state that an inductee is eligible for inclusion 25 years after the release of his/her/their first album (hence the lack of Public Enemy, Guns 'N' Roses and the Beastie Boys so far), and that inductees can fall into one of four categories: performers, non-performers, early influences and sidemen.

Our alphabetically arranged list of must-have inductees (honestly, we can't believe these acts didn't make it long ago) follows:

-- Bad Brains -- This D.C.-based fusion of punk and reggae virtually changed the tenor of the '80s underground music scene, influencing a whole generation of hardcore devotees and mainstream bands like Fishbone and Living Colour.

-- Duran Duran -- For some reason, no one ever mentions the Fab Five on their Rock Hall of Fame snub lists. But think of the band that most exemplified the MTV era during the 1980s, and what are the first two words out of your mouth? Duran, followed by another Duran. Not only did these guys pretty much pioneer the music video revolution, they also -- scoff if you will -- were and are legitimate musicians who have worked with and/or influenced everyone from the Killers to Justin Timberlake. Get over your "Union of the Snake" snobbery, Rock Hall of Fame, and induct these well-dressed British boys, or we'll have to both light our torch and wave it.

-- Go-Gos -- How is it possible that this all-girl outfit, a mainstay of the early '80s pop charts and MTV, isn't already included? Come on, "We Got the Beat," "Our Lips Are Sealed," "Vacation" -- these are anthems.

-- Joan Jett (with the Runaways or the Blackhearts): Speaking of female rockers, why the heck hasn't this shag-haired force of hard-rocking nature gotten into the Hall yet? With the movie "The Runaways" hitting theaters this month, some fans have already started an online outcry about the lack of recognition of Jett's first, all-chick band. Honestly, it doesn't matter to us whether Jett gets in with the Runaways or the Blackhearts. She may not give a damn about her reputation, but she also loves rock 'n' roll. She at least belongs on next year's short list.

-- Kiss: So these guys rock and roll all night AND party every day, and they still haven't been inducted? Look, we realize the ridiculous Dr. Love/Dr. Pepper commercials probably aren't helping their cause. But nobody turned rock-and-roll into more of a blood-spitting, fire-breathing, pyrotechnical spectacle in the '70s than Kiss did, setting a bar for the live concert scene that every band around has been trying to hurdle ever since.

-- MC5 -- Thank you, Rock Hall, for at long last inducting The Stooges on Tuesday. But how about paying homage to Detroit's other raw power... you know, the band that influenced The Stooges? (P.S. Maybe it would help push that long awaited MC5 documentary out of its legal logjam and into theaters.)

-- Motley Crue -- Stop taking yourself so seriously, Rock Hall. It's about time '80s hair metal got its due and Motley Crue -- who churned out hits like "Looks That Kill" to "Home Sweet Home," all while sporting lycra and major hair -- is the place to start.

-- The Replacements: Start making a list of the most significant alternative-rock bands of the '80s. R.E.M. is probably at the top. (That Athens, Ga. band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame back in 2007, by the way.) But following very close behind would most definitely be The Replacements, a band known for often being inebriated during its '80s-era live shows but that also gave us modern rock classics like "Alex Chilton" and "Can't Hardly Wait." Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong is one of many that cites front man Paul Westerberg as a major influence. To paraphrase a lyric from the song below: How smart are you, Rock Hall of Fame? Smart enough to induct these guys?

-- The Smiths: All you kids who sit around crying to the sound of depressing emo bands? You have Morrissey and the Smiths to thank for it. So please, please, please let us get what we want, and recognize the contributions of a band that taught us it's okay to melodically whine about not having a stitch to wear, as well as girlfriends who happen to be in comas.

-- Them -- This Irish band may not sound familiar until we mention its most famous member, singer Van Morrison, and their most famous single, "Gloria," covered by everyone from the Doors to David Bowie to Jimi Hendrix.

Add your nominees to the list of snubbed acts below...

For more music news and reviews, head over to Click Track.

By Jen Chaney and Liz Kelly  | March 16, 2010; 10:58 AM ET
Categories:  Friday Lists, Music, Pop Culture  
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What's wrong with Genesis getting in?

Yeah, KISS should definitely get in. Hmmmm...How about Minor Threat?

Posted by: EricS2 | March 16, 2010 11:18 AM | Report abuse

The RnRHoF has completely overlooked the generation of bands with ® symbols in their name: Journey, Kansas, Boston, Styx, etc. who are all far more worthy than Kiss. You would think with the gleeks out there, Steve Perry and Co. would be getting more love.

Posted by: yellojkt | March 16, 2010 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Agree with Eric, what's wrong with Genesis? But I do agree with most of your other choices. A couple were a bit obscure to me though (Bad Brains, MC5). I have no suggestions because I have no idea who is already in and don't have the time or gumption to look it up. Thanks for your research, I'll just "me too" for now.

Posted by: hodie | March 16, 2010 11:25 AM | Report abuse

I would also agree that there's absolutely nothing wrong with Genesis getting in. In fact, it's been a long time coming for the Hall of Fame to recognize progressive rock aside from Pink Floyd. The Moody Blues, King Crimson, Yes, and Genesis were the pioneers of the genre, and without the critical success of Genesis in the 80's and early 90's, this important genre of rock and roll probably would have continued to go unnoticed by the hall.

As far as bands that should be in that are eligible right now, you're completely forgetting one of the greatest rock trios in history...RUSH! They have sold over 40 million albums worldwide, and are still going strong today with their original lineup.

Posted by: Russtinator | March 16, 2010 11:37 AM | Report abuse

I think most people forget that Peter Gabriel was in Genesis too (i.e., it wasn't all Phil Collins treacle).

Much as I like the Go-Gos and Duran Duran, I'm not sure either is Hall of Fame material. My thoughts on Kiss are colored by having had to sit through Gene Simmons' reality show recently. Um, no thanks.

I'm with yellojkt re: Journey, Kansas, Boston, Styx, etc. All more deserving than any of the bands listed above. (Well, maybe not Kansas; they had what, three hits?)

Then again, I don't get Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five. And what's so "rock and roll" about the Supremes or ABBA anyway?

Posted by: td_in_baltimore | March 16, 2010 11:52 AM | Report abuse love for Jimmy Sturr or Frankie Yankovic or the Polka Cats? Geez, you're a bunch of music snobs...:)

Posted by: TJO73 | March 16, 2010 12:03 PM | Report abuse

The hall of fame is already a joke. Why not rename it the "Billboard Music Hall of Fame" and let in any band that has a single gold record?

Posted by: strohminator | March 16, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Ladies, thank you for letting me think I skew younger than my age. Like hodie I am with you on all those I recognize, which is surprisingly most of them.

Like td, I think Kiss was more marketing machine than music machine, but that actually seems to count points with the RnRHoF. Which acronym would be a great name for a band...

Posted by: reddragon1 | March 16, 2010 12:05 PM | Report abuse

Polkacide, TJO7

Posted by: reddragon1 | March 16, 2010 12:06 PM | Report abuse

Re: Genesis. I think Liz was slightly more anti- their induction than I was; I do see the prog rock point, for sure. At the same time, "Invisible Touch" doesn't exactly strike me as a legendary-rock-star material, which I think was Liz's point.

But Phil Collins also played at both Live-Aids. And that gives him a few permanent cool points in my book, despite the whole "Tarzan" episode, "I Can't Dance," etc.

Posted by: Jen_Chaney | March 16, 2010 12:15 PM | Report abuse

I think British rocker/songwriter John Waite should be included, too. (The Babys, Bad English, solo career ["Missing You"])

Posted by: patty_1206 | March 16, 2010 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Good list. I think a lot will change when the Baby Boomers cycle out of the voting board.

Posted by: jinez1 | March 16, 2010 12:50 PM | Report abuse

Genesis completely deserves the induction -- how old are you two? It is not all about Phil Collins. It is about a serious 30? year catalog of solid work that started in 1968 IIRC. I cannot believe you would support Kiss and Motely Crue and decry the (far more worthy IMO) Genesis induction. Just because you don't like prog rock does not mean they are not deserving and if you are unaware of the history of the band you have no business even commenting on inductions to the HoF.

Kiss was never more than a joke and a marketing machine. Next you'll be wanting to induct Spinal Tap. Give me a break.

You are right on the spot with Joan Jett though. One of the most influential women in rock and roll completely overlooked.

Posted by: debbiesdavis | March 16, 2010 1:02 PM | Report abuse

Have you heard any Genesis? They definitely belong in the hall. Anything prior to 1978 was cutting edge prog rock. They spawned super stars like Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. Not many bands span 40 years and have two completely different eras of musical direction.

Posted by: dweidenman | March 16, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse




Think about it. Stevie Ray Vaughan and Steppenwolf are NOT in the RnRHOF but Genesis and Abba are. Here are a few others that are no brainers, in no specific order, off the top of my head:

Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
The Moody Blues
Rory Gallagher
The Guess Who
Grand Funk Railroad
Alice Cooper
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Judas Priest
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Tom Jones
The Monkees
The Small Faces
Robin Trower
Deep Purple
Steely Dan

I could keep going. And I mean it. ANY of the above bands rate better than Genesis or freakin' Abba! Jann Wenner is a joke. Remember this is the guy who didn't put Led Zepplin on the cover of Rolling Stone until 1988 and A.C. / D.C. until LAST YEAR. So, despite his supposed credentials, Wenner is a poseur when it comes to knowing rock and roll.

Posted by: Xchekker94 | March 16, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

Agree re: Joan Jett, The Smiths, and with what Russinator and Yello said. Kind of agree re: Motley Crue / hair metal; it deserves representation, I just don't know about the Crue leading that charge. Def Leppard maybe?

My Bronx is showing, but I would like to see more rap and hip-hop acts get in. (Granted, a lot of them are not yet eligible.) You can't argue that names like Sugarhill Gang, Afrika Bambaataa, DJ Kool Herc and Russell Simmons haven't been influential in modern non-classical musical forms. I would also like to see some reggae or other "world" music - maybe a rai artist? - because right now, Bob Marley is it.

Posted by: northgs | March 16, 2010 1:17 PM | Report abuse

RUSH, for sure, should be in there.

And I don't disagree with these suggestions as well: Journey, Kansas, Boston, Styx.

Journey may be hurting their chances with their silly karaoke sound-alike tours, and re-recording their old songs (very lame).

Posted by: rd8000 | March 16, 2010 1:28 PM | Report abuse

Genesis should have an asterisk next to their name; "for work prior to 1978". ABBA?? what do they remotely have to do w/ rock? About as much as Madonna, & she's in. How much you wanna bet that Captain Beefheart, King Crimson & P.J. Harvey never get on a ballot?

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | March 16, 2010 1:29 PM | Report abuse

I would love to participate, but it is one of those days at the EPJD law firm. Snark away for me.

Posted by: epjd | March 16, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Oh don't get me started on the lack of "corporate" rock bands in the RnRHoF.

I'm a huge Journey fan & it wasn't until recently it was OK to admit that fact. ANd some would say it's still not cool to admit it!! Though personally I've never been in the closet about my love for Perry & Co. I've always been loud & proud to be a Journey fan, though I'm not a fan of what's parading around the country now as "Journey." Eff-you Neal Schon, we want Steve Perry or NOTHING!!

I'd love to see Bon Jovi in there, maybe once they get in there, so will the Crue & a few other "hair" bands.

I get the feeling that Jann Wenner has his own little club there in Cleveland & until he keeps his grubby little fingers outta the pie, plenty of people will be excluded.

Posted by: wadejg | March 16, 2010 1:46 PM | Report abuse

Adding to the Genesis love.

There's the Peter Gabriel Genesis - which is really I think what's merits the honor - followed by the non-Peter Gabriel Genesis which was distinctly more pop-flavored when helmed by Phil Collins.

The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway was a major concept album of the 1970's, and Peter Gabriel's bat-s**t awesome costumes are legend.

Posted by: Chasmosaur1 | March 16, 2010 1:54 PM | Report abuse

What do you expect from an organization that didn't induct Frank Zappa until 2 years after he died? What do you expect from an organization that inducts Springsteen without the E Street Band? What do you expect from an organization that inducts Bob Wills and the Texas Playboys in the Early Influence category, but doe not induct Asleep at the Wheel for keeping Texas Swing alive? What do you expect from a organization that has never recognized Randy Newman's 40+ years of musical contributions? ? Betcha if you asked Jann Wenner what he thought Captain Beefheart has contibuted to Rock 'n Roll, Wenner would replay, "All beef kosher hot dogs." At least Iggy got in while he was still alive, no thanks to Jann.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | March 16, 2010 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I think a case should be made for Warren Zevon, Ringo Starr (solo) and Wings (as a band)

Posted by: JakeD47 | March 16, 2010 2:42 PM | Report abuse

What possible reason could exlcude RUSH from consideration? They have sold tens of millions of albums; toured like homeless people and are excellent musicians.

Posted by: jerryjohns213 | March 16, 2010 3:07 PM | Report abuse

yes to Joan Jett. I LOVE ROCK'N'ROLL! (now stuck in my head)

Also love that someone nominated Steely Dan! Thanks poster.

Posted by: hodie | March 16, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Uhhh, guys, Steely Dan was inducted into the Hall in 2001.

Kudos to Jake for recommending Warren Zevon.

Posted by: sasquatchbigfoot | March 16, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Great news Sas! Guess all is ok in the world.

Posted by: hodie | March 16, 2010 4:29 PM | Report abuse

I second (third, fourth?) Warren Zevon and The Smiths. Add the following:

Dick Dale (King of the Surf Guitar)
Neil Diamond (If for no other reason than writing "I'm a Believer", the greatest pop rock song of all time)
Badfinger (Short career, but everything they put out was great)
The Faces (You can't get more rock and roll than these guys)
The Spinners (If the Temps, Tops, and Miracles are in, why not these guys?)
Nick Lowe (The Abominable Showman, the Jesus of Cool, etc.)
Dire Straits (Hugely influential)
The Cure (Along with The Smiths, patented gloom rock).

Posted by: McMaynerberry | March 16, 2010 4:37 PM | Report abuse

Really have to disagree with your dismissal of Genesis, whose pre-Phil Collins work (along with that of King Crimson, ELP, Yes, etc.) helped to create, define and then further Prog Rock as an important genre.

And, unlike the Smiths, their lead singers often sang in tune.

Posted by: warrenallen | March 16, 2010 4:47 PM | Report abuse

The induction of Genesis was long overdue and I disagree that it's all about pre-1978. Genesis had many epic progressive songs in the Collins era, including "Home By The Sea" "Domino" "Driving The Last Spike" and "Tonight, Tonight, Tonight" These are rock classics that were stunning and mesmerizing in concert.

Speaking of overlooked prog-rock bands, what about Annie Haslam & Renaissance?

Posted by: jumpnjoe | March 16, 2010 5:01 PM | Report abuse

Now I'm annoyed I missed it, Genesis totally deserves to be in. It looks like Steve Hackett was even there too! I'm an unusual Genesis fan in that I prefer Phil's lead singing but prefer the songs prior to Hackett's departure. But really, they have made good music for decades. Even Invisible Touch is better than a lot of today's drivel. As for bands not in that deserve it -- RUSH!

Posted by: ratyc | March 16, 2010 5:08 PM | Report abuse

Come on
Am I the only ELO fan here? How can you have a serious discussion of who is missing without the inclusion of ELO. Jeff Lynne should be in for his production credits alone. The other obvious missing band has to be the Moody Blues. There appears to be no credibility to this selection process at all.

Posted by: paulm14528 | March 16, 2010 5:10 PM | Report abuse

The Hall of Fame only occassionally bows to the pressure that they haven't steered away from no brainer choices and critical darlings to reach into genres they haven't really honored much. I guess this year there was no no brainer choice that had just hit 25 years since their first recording for them to honor the artists they did. Then once they grudgingly honor a genre they look down on, they don't usually add another artist in that genre for awhile. For instance, they probably won't put any metal/hard rock bands in again until Guns N Roses is eligible after putting Metallica in last year. So forget about groups like Rush, KISS, Deep Purple, etc. getting in. Big selling artists that weren't loved by the critics like Boston, Journey, etc are unlikely to get in either. And then when they do pick some of those artists, they wait so long that they're either dead, no longer performing or have been snubbed so long they don't show up.

Posted by: thrh1 | March 16, 2010 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Los Lobos.........

Posted by: osh123 | March 16, 2010 6:34 PM | Report abuse

Hard to believe that Joan Jett was breaking 30 freaking years ago (post Runaways). She should totally be in there.

If you look at how she has managed her career over the last few decades and how Gene Simmons has, you can get a pretty good guess at why Kiss is only going further down the memory hole.

Posted by: HardyW | March 16, 2010 6:59 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: mattfugazi | March 16, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

Grand Funk Railroad should be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Forming in late 1968, they were the first American rock band to obtain 10 consecutive platinum albums, they had many top 40 singles and also had two #1 singles. The 1973 #1 hit, “We’re An American Band”, expresses the life of a rock band on the road and made them the quintessential American Band. Born as a garage band from the industrial city of Flint, Michigan, they rose to fame quickly because their music and persona spoke to the soul of the people. The average Joe (or Jane) found reason in the lyrics and musicianship of Grand Funk Railroad and many musicians following them found inspiration in the style of Grand Funk. The band’s many sold out concerts are highlighted with a 1971 Shea Stadium show that sold out in 72 hours ….. it took the much higher hyped Beatles 7 weeks to sell out the same venue 7 years earlier.

Grand Funk Railroad hits include: “I’m Your Captain/Closer To Home”, “Footstompin’ Music”, “Rock and Roll Soul”, “We’re An American Band”, “Walk Like A Man”, The remake of Carol King/Gerry Goffin’s “The Locomotion", the Soul Brothers Six remake “Some Kind of Wonderful”, “Bad Time”, and others.

Based on the contributions guitarist,Mark Farner, drummer, Don Brewer, bassist, Mel Schacher and the later added organist, Craig Frost made to the history of rock n roll, Grand Funk Railroad should be inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame.

Posted by: garazon | March 17, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

*****TIMBUK 3 - Pat MacDonald, Barabra K and T3.*********
"Futures So Bright Gotta Wear Shades"
. . .is still going strong-everyones high school theme song.

The Go-Goes, Jane Wiedlin for sure

Posted by: christieweb | March 17, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

"Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble
The Moody Blues
Rory Gallagher
The Guess Who
Grand Funk Railroad
Alice Cooper
Joan Jett and the Blackhearts
Judas Priest
Emerson, Lake and Palmer
Tom Jones
The Monkees
The Small Faces
Robin Trower
Deep Purple
Steely Dan"

Great list xchekker94. There are a couple I'd leave off, but a good argument could be made for any of them.

Posted by: wazmankg | March 17, 2010 1:19 PM | Report abuse

I'll second the Go-Gos, the Replacements, the MC5, and Joan Jett.

I think they don't like southern California bands. I see people have mentioned Captain Beefheart and Los Lobos. I would add the Cramps, the Blasters, and most of all, X.

Posted by: MyPostID27 | March 18, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

I believe Linda Ronstadt has never made it. she was the dominant female singer in the 70's. Definitely should be there.

Posted by: maypo | March 19, 2010 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Not only Duran Duran but also Culture Club, Human League, Depeche Mode, Pet Shop Boys and Simple Minds.

These guys from the Second British Iinvasion actually wrote and played their own music, they are all still around and they deserve to be inducted.

Posted by: Elbjorn | March 23, 2010 6:28 AM | Report abuse

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