Every year, the same old story. Several singers, musicians and bands get nominated to enshrinement in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and we all kvetch and moan about why such didn’t get selected or why so-and-so DID. This happens every year. And we gripe and we grumble, and life goes on.
This year, after the hoopla about this year’s inductions and exclusions (honestly, Whitney Houston over Pat Benatar?), I decided to wait until today to write this post.
This post should be considered when one realizes that there are seriously glaring omissions in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. GLARING.
So let me give my list of ten singers / musicians / bands who should have been inducted YEARS ago.
And let’s start with…
GRAND FUNK RAILROAD / GRAND FUNK
Mark, Don and Mel rocked the radio like no one before. They sold millions of records. They packed stadiums. Their songs were anthems. “We’re An American Band.” “I’m Your Captain / Closer to Home.” “Bad Time.” Heck, they even rocked the freakin’ “Locomotion.” WHY ARE THEY NOT IN THE ROCK AND ROLL HALL OF FAME? Heck, I don’t even think they’ve ever been nominated. Makes no sense.
THE GUESS WHO
The most versatile rock group to ever shine through the Great White North. Look at this track record. “Shakin’ All Over.” “No Sugar Tonight.” “These Eyes.” “American Woman.” And they’re not in the Rock Hall? Why?
And if they’re not in, their spinoff group isn’t either.
When Randy Bachman left the Guess Who, he formed this super-rock band and took it to the top of nearly every international chart. For crying out loud, you can’t tell me that “Takin’ Care of Business” or “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet” or “Let It Ride” aren’t rock songs. GOOD ROCK SONGS.
I don’t care if this group only releases their albums once every Presidential administration – their debut album was the epitome of great 70’s rock and roll, and tracks like “More Than A Feeling,” “Peace of Mind,” “Long Time,” “Amanda,” “Don’t Look Back,” all were masterpieces.
Four consecutive triple platinum rock and roll LP’s. The soaring ballads of Dennis DeYoung. The kick-ass rockers of Tommy Shaw. “Come Sail Away.” “Renegade.” “Lady.” “Too Much Time on My Hands.” “Babe.” Heck, even freakin’ “Mr. Roboto.” Show some love, Rock Hall.
You can go deep-diving into Joy Division’s catalog and you can hear Ian Curtis’ voice as the influence to everyone from Kurt Cobain to Sunny Day Real Estate. But if you had to make one argument for the Rock Hall for Joy Division, they should go in based on this one track, “Love Will Tear Us Apart.” If for no other reason.
If the Rock Hall can induct Depeche Mode this year, then they should induct New Order next year. Industrial synth rock that is so powerful, you can’t help but get on the dance floor and hear it. Heck, their song “Blue Monday” has been covered, re-recorded, and it’s even the theme for the trailer of the new Wonder Woman movie. What more do I have to say on this?
Four songs that define power pop – “Come and Get It,” “Day After Day,” “No Matter What” and “Baby Blue.” Five, if you want to count their pre-Badfinger “Maybe Tomorrow” as the Iveys, sure. But the Rock Hall has had a serious animus towards power pop, Alex Chilton only got inducted after he died, and it was Chilton alone – not Big Star or the Box Tops. The Raspberries aren’t in the Rock Hall, either. Hmm…
They sang. They played their own instruments. And they rocked just as hard as the men did. And who didn’t own a copy of “Beauty and the Beat” back in the day? All the songs they did – “We Got The Beat,” “Our Lips are Sealed,” “Vacation,” “Head Over Heels” – this group should have been in the Rock Hall ten years ago!
Don’t even give me the crap about how the Monkees were a TV group in name only. They sang on the records. They used the same Wrecking Crew for background music as did every other pop group of the era. And their songs are still on the radio today. All I’m saying is that if Smash Mouth gets in before the Monkees get in … just on the quality of “I’m a Believer” alone … then we have some issues.
I limited my list to ten; I could have included Human League, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark, Slade, the Rare Earth, Squeeze, Split Enz, and Chubby Checker (heck, “The Twist” was inducted, but he wasn’t?), but my argument is that if you hear any of the ten artists / bands above and you say to yourself, “Those are damn fine good rock and roll songs,” and you then say, “Why the hell aren’t they in the Hall of Fame yet?”, then you have the same argument as me.
Come on Rock Hall. Show us something better in 2021.