Monday, May 30, 2016

Various Rock Genres & the Rock Hall

With this post I round up a bunch of various Rock genres that I haven't looked at.  As the 2016 inductees showed, Classic Rock could continue to show up on ballots for a long time.  Metal/Hard Rock artists, however, haven't been showing up as much. Power Pop got some love this year with Cheap Trick, but seems to never be part of the Hall discussion. Prog Rock has done better, but still has a ways to go. Punk is represented by the Ramones and the Stooges.  But other names await their moment.

Once again, I've ranked each artists chances.

Send your suggestions for names I've missed to:
tmlane12@gmail.com

And ICYMI, here's a link to my  8 Other Genres & The Rock Hall  (which includes New Wave, Alternative & Indie acts)

Bad Company/Free - Bad Co. has the better chance, even if Free is just as fondly remembered.  Little Steven is a fan which could always mean something.  But Paul Rodgers has been an ubiquitous presence on AOR for decades now.   9

Badfinger - Being one of the first on the Beatles' Apple label will win points.  But, despite some early 70's success, there's always that feeling they didn't quite reach their potential.  

Pat Benatar -  Her reputation has risen over the years, as women who grew up with her hits have cited her as an influence.  7

Big Star - Power Pop gets scant love from the Hall.  Alex Chilton was already known from the Box Tops, and Big Star released the most critically-acclaimed albums of the peak power pop era.   7

Black Flag  - Henry Rollins' L.A. Punk's were well-loved during their 80's prime.  Not much sales, but Rollins' high profile means you can't count them out.  7

Blue Oyster Cult - "Don't Fear The Reaper" is a AOR staple, of course, and their catalog is full of great Metal moments.  Especially their early 70's albums.  But little traction. 5

Bon Jovi - Critically derided, except for parts of Slippery When Wet, they've been nominated once, and their continued popularity will make them hard to ignore for another nod. And in 2015, they hired big-time industry vet Irving Azoff as their manager.  Let's see if his clout can push Bon Jovi on to a future ballot. 8

Gary U.S. Bonds - One of the greatest rockers of the early 60's, and look no further than Bruce Springsteen (who helped Bonds come back to the charts in the 80's) for his enduring influence.  Surprised he hasn't gotten more attention as a possible inductee.  6

Boston -  If there's a Hall for just Classic Rock Radio pioneers then Boston would be in it for their debut album alone.  They had followups and a #1 single 10 years later.  But Tom Scholtz's legacy rests with Boston,  and that won't be enough. 6

Captain Beefheart - Don Vliet was an ecelctic genius and one of Rock music's great cult heroes.  But cult acts rarely get any love from the Hall.   7

Cars - A somewhat surprising nomination in 2016 mean that someone on the NomCom loves their New Wave/Classic Rock hits as much as everyone else.  Lots of love for their nomination gives them a good chance at induction.  8

Joe Cocker - Some thought his death in 2014 would get him on the 2016 ballot, but it didn't happen.  A rather surprising snub in that many assumed he was already inducted.  If he gets a nod, I feel like he'll go in right away.  A Baby Boomer icon.   9

Phil Collins - I'll take Collins' solo career over Sting, and even Peter Gabriel.  But Collins was dismissed by critics when he was at his zenith.  6

Ry Cooder - A contender for the Musical Excellence slot, Cooder's own recordings have jumped many genres.  Not much commercial success hurts him.  6

Jim Croce - Who knows what would have happened had he lived.  Croce was just reaching his peak in 1973.  A name that gets mentioned in the always popular "who will be the next singer-songwriter inducted?" posts.   7

Dick Dale - The King of the Surf Guitar has been a curious snub.  An influential guitarist who helped create Surf Music.  7

Charlie Daniels Band - Daniels is a 2016 Country Hall inductee and outside of his Country Rock hits of the 70's/80's has some credentials as a session musician for many rock artists in the 60's.  3

Def Leppard - Two of the biggest albums of the 80's, and hits that still get lots of airplay.  Not really Metal, but maybe being lumped in with that genre has hurt them.   7

Ronnie James Dio  -  Not part of the Black Sabbath induction, but he's a Metal icon.  Not sure if that's enough.  6

Dire Straits - Here's another name that many thought would show up by now.  Mark Knopfler would get lots of votes from older voters, and they were pretty big in the mid-80's.    8

Doobie Brothers - One of those long runnin' (pun intended) bands that are still performing (with 2 original members).  Not a critical favorite, but loads of hits.  And longevity helps with older voters.  8

Nick Drake - See the above entry on Captain Beefheart.  A cult hero who became more popular after his death.  Would be a good choice in the singer-songwriter genre, though.  7

Emerson, Lake & Palmer - Seeing their names on Worst Rock artists of all time lists doesn't help.  But Keith Emerson's recent death was meant with warm accolades by some critics and many other artists.  But NomCom Prog reluctance is still there.    7

Foreigner - Like the Doobies, Mick Jones is still fronting his band somewhere tonight.  Many hits, but no critical love will keep them waiting.   6

Peter Frampton - Had the biggest selling album of 1976, but couldn't follow it up.  An early Classic Rock radio staple, and well-liked by many boomers and current Hall members.  7

J. Geils Band -  A Jann Wenner and NomCom favorite.  Another surprise that they haven't gotten in by now.  Have been nominated 3 times (last in 2011).  8

Grand Funk Railroad - Easy to forget how big they were in the early 70's.  Critics didn't like them, but they deserve a revisionist look.   6

Guess Who  - I can remember Robert Hilburn saying that the Guess Who had some good song but weren't Hall worthy.  I think that way of thinking has kept Randy Bachman out of the Hall with this band and BTO.  7

Iron Maiden - Eventually the NomCom will have to start nominating Metal acts.  Iron Maiden will get a good look as they are one of the most popular, and are still going today.  But I think their wait will be a long one.   6

Jam -
Being big in England hasn't been helping 70's/80's acts.  But this was one of the biggest and best to come out of that era.  Kind of Punk, then later added R&B to their Rock sound.   7

Jethro Tull - Critics mocked their supposed pretentiousness throughout the early 70's.  But, again, they were big in that decade, and are Classic Rock staples today.   8

Judas Priest - I think they have a better chance at a nomination than Iron Maiden, because they get airplay on Classic Rock radio.   7

Carole King -  King's solo career is a Hall shoo-in.  So why hasn't it happened yet.  Because she's in as a songwriter.  But she deserves a nod for her solo work.  10

King Crimson - Probably the most acclaimed of all Prog bands.  But it may not be enough.  The "not enough records sold" stigma will most likely keep them off the ballot, while other Prog names go in.  6

Gordon Lightfoot - Maybe a surprise singer-songwriter pick down the road.  Bob Dylan has said good things about him, and he has a good amount classics in his catalog.  6

Marshall Tucker Band - The inductees in the Southern Rock genre apparently ended with Lynyrd Skynyrd.  But this long-running band also produced some classics that rival Skynyrd.   4

MC5 - Hard to believe and some may have forgotten, that they were nominated once back in 2003.  Detroit Punk Pioneers who deserve another chance on the ballot.  Surprised fellow Detroit native and MC5 fan, Dave Marsh, hasn't been able to do it.   6

Megadeth - Dave Mustaine's band was popular in the 80's/90's, but still seem to be overshadowed by other Metal bands when Hall talk comes up.  5

Monkees - Their 2016 comeback album was well-received and for years their 60's albums have grown to be more well-loved today than in the 60's.  Even Rolling Stone is saying nice things about them.  If they can get on the ballot, they go in right away?   9

Moody Blues - First name Howard Stern always brings up when he talks Rock Hall.  Never a critical fave, which is why they've never been nominated. But with more Baby Boomer acts showing up on the 2016 ballot, there chances have improved.  9

Motley Crue - The ultimate 80's metal/hair metal band.  Many Top 40 hits too will help their case. Critics showed them no love though.   6

Mott the Hoople - True, not many people know anything about them other than "All The Young Dudes", but Punk rockers have called them an influence.  4

Motorhead - How many Metal icons could get a Grammy Tribute segment?  Lemmy's icon status will get them more serious looks down the road.  8

Move - Jeff Lynne's other group, critically acclaimed but still underrated  A short catalog and lack of U.S. hits hurts their chances.   4

New York Dolls - Like the MC5, it's hard to believe they were once nominated way back in 2001.  Punk-Glam legends whose first 2 albums are now a necessary starting point for any fans of that genre.   7

Harry Nilsson - Like Warren Zevon, another fondly remembered 70's act that is loved by many of his current Rock Hall peers.  8

Ted Nugent -  For entertainment value Nugent's induction speech would be must-see TV.  With yet another appearance by Kid Rock as presenter.  1

Ozzy Osbourne  - If you want to just go by sales, than Ozzy's solo career might have been bigger than Sabbath's.  But not on influence, so this will be a tough sell.  6

Pantera -  Finally, it's the 90's.  And one of that decade's most popular Metal bands.  Their legend has grown since Dimebag Darrell's 2004 death.  6

Gram Parsons/Flying Burrito Brothers - Take your pick as to which act was more influential in the birth of Country-Rock and Americana.  Parsons solo work is now the stuff of legend and many current and former NomCom members want him inducted.  He's been nominated thrice, but the last was way back in 2005.   Parsons: 8, FBB:  6

Phish - Took up where the Grateful Dead left off to become the big Jam Band for a new generation.  Some critical praise, not big sellers, but they have a rabid fan base, which could make a difference.  7

Procol Harum - A surprise nomination in 2013 (Little Steven is a fan), had many, including myself going back to their catalog.  Prog/Jazz Rock that all came together on "Whiter Shade Of Pale". They had other gems, but that song remains their ticket to a return nomination.   8

Raspberries - My favorite Power Pop band. They face a long Hall struggle, however.  Despite the fact that they rocked quite often, Carmen's subsequent not-quite-Rock solo career hasn't helped their cause.   4

REO Speedwagon - They had 1981's biggest album, and helped launch the Classic Rock format,and while critics scoffed, they remain a popular touring attraction.  

Randy Rhoads -  A brief, but influential career, he's  #36 on Rolling Stone's Greatest Guitarist List. And NomCom member Tom Morello is a fan.  7

Roxy Music - Dave Marsh mentioned their name in a radio interview on the Hall last year, which might not mean much, but at least their name is on somebody's mind at the NomCom.   One of my Top 5 snubs.   8

Todd Rundgren - Like Roxy Music, not a big AOR presence, but still some airplay.  Maybe his solo work is too scattered for some, but add his Producer credits for albums by Badfinger, Meat Loaf, New York Dolls, XTC, etc., and his credentials are solid.  8

Mitch Ryder - Ryder's brand of white hot Soul had an influence on John Mellencamp (who produced an 80's album of his) and other rocker's who loved his late 60's hits.  6

Boz Scaggs - Friend of Jann Wenner (who co-Produced Scaggs' 1969 self-titled album).  So, you'd think he'd have at least been nominated by now.  But Scaggs has solid credentials without Wenner's help. Finally broke through after six albums in 1976 with Silk Degrees.   Also, a member of the Steve Miller Band on their first two albums.  8

Scorpions - Very long-running Metal faves.  Had hits during MTV's golden years.  But will have a long wait in the Metal line.  4

Carly Simon - One of the most popular singer-songwriters of the 70's.  Inducted in the Songwriters Hall, and deserves a closer look for the Rock Hall, too.  7

Sir Douglas Quintet - There wasn't much Doug Sahm & Co. didn't mix to come up with their unique Tex-Mex sound.  Sahm's solo career is worthy of a Hall nod itself.  Sir Douglas Quintet were actually nominated once in 2006.    6

Slayer - Here's an interesting name, and a Metal band that critics actually liked.  An influential band to future hard rock acts.  And they broke out in 80's.   6

Soundgarden - They get lumped in with the grunge era, but they were really just a top notch Hard Rock band.  Another name that will get nominated soon.  8

Supertramp -  A Prog-Rock band that was big in the late 70's, but doesn't get talked about much today.  But they are still AOR staples.  Never a critical favorite, and the line of Prog-acts that need to be inducted is too long.   4

Steppenwolf -  John Kay's band never gets any Hall mentions, but they had plenty of great songs besides "Born To Be Wild."  And they gave a genre its name.  How many artists can lay claim to that?  4

Sting - Having been nominated in 2015, it's probable he'll be back on the ballot.  But his nomination wasn't meant with universal acclaim.  A return to Rock music could help.  7

Styx - Hey, populism will only go so far.  Journey, Bon Jovi,  Doobies, have a strong chance,  but this hugely popular band aren't going to get there.  But it would be awesome to hear a jam finale of "Mr. Roboto".  2

Thin Lizzy - Another overlooked Hall-worthy band.  Phil Lynott is often cited as an influence by many new Hard Rock bands.  One big hit single, and they seem to be just under the Hall's radar.  7

Three Dog Night - Another band that doesn't get a whole lot of Classic Rock airplay, but just enough for me to slot them.  Tons of hits, and a ubiquitous presence on AM Top 40 in the first half of the 70's.  7

Toots & the Maytals -  Toots Hibbert was one of the most soulful reggae stars.  But he also came up with some of reggae's most enduring classics.  Like Peter Tosh, there is no doubt the importance of reggae on modern music.   6

Peter Tosh - Jimmy Cliff was the last Reggae artist inducted in 2010.  Look, you can't discount reggae's influence on Rock.  Just ask the Police, Clash, Rolling Stones, etc.  Tosh's sound may have been the toughest of all the reggae greats.  6

Traveling Wilburys -  A supergroup to end all supergroups.  But only 2 albums.  Regardless, one could imagine the Hall fantasizing about how their induction would look on induction night.  4

T. Rex -  Marc Bolan was bigger in England than the rest of the World, and T.Rex were one of the best glam bands ever.  Which is a problem.  Because Glam Rock never gets much Hall love. Another name mentioned by Dave Marsh.  

Johnny Winter - There doesn't appear to be many modern Blues acts left to induct, but Winter would be a popular choice.  Long career and is loved by many current Hall artists.  9

Steve Winwood - Nominated in 2003, but then Traffic were inducted in 2004, which has kind of ended Winwood's quest for a solo nod.  Again, I'll take his solo career over Sting's, if the latter were to ever get in.   6

Link Wray -  Many, including me, thought Wray would sneak in on his first try in 2014.  But 2 years have passed without a nomination and it appears the NomCom is turning their back on the pioneers of Rock and Roll.  Wray, like Dick Dale, was an influence to many guitarists that came along after his early success.  7

Yes - A two time nominee, there's no doubt they are getting in someday.  Now often cited as one of the biggest omissions.  9

Warren Zevon - Universally loved singer-songwriter who will be a relative shoo-in among many current Hall of Fame voters.  9

Zombies - A somewhat surprise nominee in 2014, these British Invasion legends never had as many hits as the Hollies, but they may have been more influential.  Could reappear on the ballot if the NomCom needs to tap a 60's band.  7

Sources:  All Music Guide
                 Future Rock Legends

Thanks to George Crock for the help and suggestions.
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