B List: 10 Bands That Should Be In The HOF

1. Tom Waits

With his trademark growl, porkpie hat, his incorporation of pre-rock styles such as blues, jazz, and Vaudeville, and experimental tendencies verging on industrial music, Waits has built up a distinctive musical persona. He has a cult following amongst secret society of bartenders, college dropouts and other smart but disgruntled loners. Waits has influenced subsequent songwriters, despite having little radio or music video support. Most honorably, his songs have been covered by Bruce Springsteen, Rod Stewart, and The Eagles. The only thing missing from his resume are a few more tours…

Essential Listening:

Nighthawks at the Diner- 1975
Small Change – 1976
Heartattack and Vine – 1980
Swordfishtrombones – 1983
Rain Dogs – 1985
The Black Rider – 1993
Mule Variations – 1999
Real Gone – 2004

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2. The Cure

How can a band, whose dark and tormented music helped form the gothic rock genre, not be included in the Hall? The band has experienced several lineup changes, but the face of The Cure has always been frontman, guitarist and main songwriter Robert Smith, whose goth image is often overlooked for his durable song-writing. The Cure eventually mixed more pop sensibility into their music with Just Like Heaven, Lovesong and Friday I’m in Love. With twelve studio albums and over 27 million album sales, The Cure’s impact is widespread today with My Chemical Romance and Interpol significantly effected by their sound as has pop culture with the movies Boys Don’t Cry (1999) and Just Like Heaven (2005) named after Cure songs.

Essential Listening:

Three Imaginary Boys – 1979
Seventeen Seconds – 1980
Pornography – 1982
Kiss Me, Kiss Me, Kiss Me – 1987
Disintegration – 1989

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3. Genesis

With approximately 150 million albums sold worldwide, 20 minute epics, and Phil Collins pop songs, perhaps no band has covered as much creative ground as Genesis. As one of the founders of “pretentious” progressive rock, Genesis incorporated complex song structures and elaborate instrumentation, while their concerts took on a more theatrical tone courtesy of Peter Gabriel and his lavish stage attire. Have you seen his sunflower outfit? It makes Elton John via ‘78 look like Ted Koppel.

The concept album The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway is today regarded as one of the most acclaimed recordings of its kind. As Phil Collins later became the front-man, the 1980s saw the band produce more accessible pop music based on melodic hooks and becoming MTV favorites with Land of Confusion and We Can’t Dance.

Essential Listening:

Foxtrot – 1972
Selling England By the Pound – 1973
The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway – 1974
A Trick of the Trail – 1976
Duke – 1980
Genesis – 1983
Invisible Touch – 1986

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4. Rush

Rush is renowned for their instrumental virtuosity of its members and its complex compositions. Although their lyrics deal heavily on science fiction, philosophy and fantasy, Rush has been inspired mainly by a male audience, who consider Neal Peart to iconic status as the greatest rock drummer ever.

Although few probably ever got laid to a Rush song, with Pearl’s beyond fantasy lyrics and Geddy Lee’s love or hate it shriek, they nonetheless helped pave the way for many an Guitar Center employee.

The trio became increasingly influenced by the British progressive rock movement and began to wrote extended songs with irregular and multiple time signatures. Rush later infused new wave, reggae, and pop rock as they incorporated synthesizers, sequencers and electronic percussion into their gamut.

Essential Listening:

2112 – 1976
All The World’s a Stage – 1976
Hemispheres – 1978
Permanent Waves – 1980
Moving Pictures – 1981
Exit.. Stage Left – 1981

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5. Willie Nelson

What? You mean Willie is not in the Hall and Ricky Nelson is? Yes, although often considered more country than rock, Willie very well deserves induction alongside Johnny Cash and for his long-time work with Farm Aid. He’s collaborated with almost everybody….already in the hall and his voice remains timeless. Give him credit for still tour, advocating cannabis and releasing new work on a continual basis. Although his outlaw country days are clearly over, Nelson remains an icon and one of music’s long standing free-spirits.

Essential Listening:

Red-Headed Stranger – 1975
Stardust – 1977
Waylon and Willie – 1978
Always on My Mind – 1982

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6. The Stooges

Active from 1967-1974 and then reformed in 1993, there is hardly anyone as influential in heavy metal and punk rock. Although commercially unsuccessful, it was Iggy Pop’s relentless stage antics as a frontman that set the stage for The Sex Pistols and anybody else who thought it was ok to give the finger to the man.

Essential Listening:

The Stooges – 1969
Fun House – 1970
Raw Power – 1973

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7. KISS

KISS – Never the greatest of musicians, there is no band that epitomized the words Rock and Roll than Kiss than in “I want to Rock and Roll All Night and Party Every Day.” The Demon, Starchild, Space Ace, and The Catman were a comic book come to life, and there was perhaps no bigger live band in the ’70s. A KISS show featured fire-breathing, blood spitting, smoking guitars and pyrotechnics. Although band members would change throughout the ’80s and ’90s and they were unmasked during most of that period, KISS holds worldwide album sales of 95 million and a fan-club with conventions that only rival Star Trek. So what if Christine Sixteen is a crappy song.

Essential Listening:

Kiss – 1974
Hotter Than Hell – 1974
Alive! – 1975
Destroyer – 1976
Rock and Roll Over – 1976

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8. Metallica

The once mighty Metallica missed induction on their first year of eligibility, maybe perhaps because before their Enter Sandman days, their album titles consisted of Kill Em’ All and Ride the Lighting. Ironically, those two records, along with Master of Puppets and In Justice for All remain their most inspired work before hitting the mainstream with their 1991 self titled ‘black album’. Combining technical mastery and lengthy epics and undeniable shredding and knock em dead riffs, Metallica were pure heavy.

Arguably the biggest band in the world and some of the biggest over-grown children (someone’s looking at you Lars Ulrich), Metallica brought metal to the masses, uncovering a genre that was typically reserved for the outcast, trench-coated pimpled youth. They’ve also set the standard for possible future hall cusp headbangers: Pantera, Slayer and Anthrax.

Essential Listening:

Kill ‘Em All – 1982
Ride The Lightning – 1984
Master of Puppets – 1986
…And Justice For All – 1988
Metallica – 1991

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9. Sonic Youth

It’s been officially 25 years since their first record, 1983’s “Confusion is Sex” and Sonic Youth continues to set the standard for what an indie band strives to be, although the term “indie” nowadays is rather misled. Despite that fact, nobody in the biz has aged better than Thurston Moore and Kim Gordon as their alternate tuning, along with Lee Renaldo’s frenzied originality, has painted a sound that was and reminds unpredictable and has redefined what rock guitar music can accomplish when the musicians don’t give a crap about the mainstream.

Essential Listening:

EVOL – 1986
Sister – 1987
Daydream Nation – 1988
Goo – 1990
Dirty – 1992
Murray Street – 2002
Rather Ripped – 2006

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10. Alice Cooper

The original shock rocker, Alice Cooper (pre born again Christian/11 handicap golf days), Cooper sported a stage show that featured guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood and boa constrictors. The make-up draping rocker, born Vincent Furnier, drew equally from horror movies, vaudeville, heavy metal and garage rock to create a theatrical brand of rock music that produced hits “I’m Eighteen, “ No More Mr. Nice Guy” and “Schools Out. Cooper still keeps up on his tunes, hosting Nights with Alice Cooper appears on nearly 100 stations in the U.S. and Canada.

Essential Listening:

Killer – 1971
Love It To Death – 1971
School’s Out – 1972
Billion Dollar Babies – 1973

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And further down the list

11. Yes
12. Beastie Boys
13. Jeff Beck
14. Lou Reed
15. Neil Diamond
16. Depeche Mode
17. Electric Light Orchestra
18. Peter Gabriel
19. Ozzy Osborne
20. New Order

Notable Eligibles (for 2008 voting and 2009 induction):

Anthrax, Bon Jovi, Pantera, Queensryche, Run DMC, Slayer, The Smiths, Stevie Ray Vaughan

Did Sleepy cover all of the bands you feel are R&RHOF worthy? Leave us a comment below letting us know your opinion…

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37 Responses

  1. kiss blows. they are horrible. talk about ‘pissing in your ears’….i hate everything about this band. Also, the sonic youth inductee makes me feel really, really old. Jeff Beck, Depeche Mode and Yes belong higher on that list in a ’roundabout’ kind of way.

  2. I was going to take offense to your dismissal of Gamble & Huff until I read the bands you recommended. Yeah, G&H were great for what they did, but pretty much every band on your list was more important. Just another reason why the Hall of Fame is such a stupid idea. The HOF is as relevant to rock music as the Grammy awards.

  3. Well, not too offensive…I guess. Certainly Tom Waits and Willie Nelson belong in the Top 10. But Lou Reed NOT in the Top 10???? Lou Reed below Kiss…and Sonic Youth and Yes???? Whaddayakiddinme? You on drugs?

  4. kiss? i just barfed
    genesis? come on, seriously, im still trying to figure out why peter gabriel is considered a genius or something. lamb lies down on broadway? i wish genesis laid down and died.
    yechhh.
    serioulsy though, kiss? dude, they are so horrible musically. if i have to hear rock n roll allnight again im gonna put a gun into my nostril and pull the trigger until it goes click…if im in hell it will consist of a room playing kiss songs for eternity…

  5. Interesting list, but less than perfect. MY ten would be: Yes, King Crimson, Deep Purple, Rush, The Guess Who (the first Canadian band to make it big!), Willie Nelson, Tom Waits, Jeff Beck, Burning Spear and…Richard Thompson!

    YMWV…as I consider the R&RHOF to be an utter crock, and lost respect after the induction of the Sex Pistols, THE most overrated band in human history bar none! The R&RHOF is nothing more than Jann Wenner and his fatcat “record company prick” friends choosing their favorites and like the LONG-overrated Grammies, favor flash and sales over art and substance. I also find it more than a coincedence that outside Pink Floyd, NOBODY from the world of progressive rock has been inducted. Given the catalogues of Yes, King Crimson and Genesis — and you could argue Deep Purple as well — and the fact that they have been strong live acts for over THREE decades in some cases, that to me should count as criteria too.

    HT Staff’s list certainly is interesting, but I sure would not put Sonic Youth on that list — in over 28 years of live music and over 2000 concerts of all kinds, Sonic Youth back in 1991 when opening for Neil Young & Crazy Horse in Buffalo, drove myself and **many** fans to the hallways of the Buffalo War Memorial. Yes, they are critically acclaimed and “experimental”, but that night, it was sheer sonic garbage with the “F” word repeated ad nauseum.

    I stopped watching the RORHOF telecasts a few years ago, and have no reason to go back. If most of the artists in HT’s and my list were being inducted, then there would be a reason.

  6. This is all Jann Wenner’s doing. That’s why the Dave Clark 5 didn’t get in last year when they were supposed to.
    Jann Wenner is a ficking cum guzzling jerk off. And Kiss fucking rules. And so does Rush. And so so the Stooges.
    But Genesis sucks.

  7. I wouldn’t exactly put Kiss on the stereo hanging out with friends, and they are a corporate load, but they def deserve to be in the Hall of Fame

  8. Funny. Everybody is choosing their favorites, yet when “Jann Wenner and his fatcat ‘record company prick’ friends (are) choosing their favorites,” we all get pissed off.

    Pretty much every band mentioned in the article and comments deserves to be in the HOF. Doesn’t change the fact that the HOF is a joke, but they all still deserve to be there.

    Kiss? I hate ’em, but they did what they did better than anyone else. Sonic Youth? So what if they drove fans out of a Neil Young concert? When Bowie and NIN toured, plenty of NIN fans left when Bowie came on stage. Doesn’t mean Bowie sucks, and it doesn’t mean Sonic Youth sucks. Sex Pistols were a fucking boy band with safety pins, but they belong in there. Genesis were a bunch of wankers at best, and pop whores at worst, but they were still great at what they did. And Gamble & Huff sure as hell belong there too, because they own Philly soul.

    Rock music doesn’t need a fucking HOF. Rock music is about personal connections. You know what the best HOF is? Your music collection. If you love a band, they earn their rightful spot in the HOF. Doesn’t matter if critics or sales or fanboys like them, they’re goddammed all-stars in your HOF.

  9. if we are gonn put kiss in because they had such a huge impact despite the crapperry of their music then certainly a bunch of hair bands, spice girls, brittney, etc all should be in.
    the music sucks, period. i dont care if you have huge fanbase if the music is crap its crap, and kiss is crap

  10. Neil Diamond is a very interesting snub from the HAF.Even though the youtube link of him singing “I Am I Said” in the 80’s is obviously not one of the many great rock n roll moments from him on youtube (I would have chosen him on the Last Waltz,”Holly Holy” on the BBC or Cherry Cherry from the 60’s or 70’s),He has come up with a very distinctive and influential sound rooted in many styles of guitar based rock n roll.So,next month he will release a new album with Rick Rubin that critics will probably go apeshit over.His 2008 tour will be great rock n roll shows of classics and future classics from the last 44 years.Songs that have been covered by thousands of rock bands.And he will not get inducted again.While Madonna and her slutty dance pop will.

  11. “Funny. Everybody is choosing their favorites, yet when “Jann Wenner and his fatcat ‘record company prick’ friends (are) choosing their favorites,” we all get pissed off.

    Pretty much every band mentioned in the article and comments deserves to be in the HOF. Doesn’t change the fact that the HOF is a joke, but they all still deserve to be there.

    Kiss? I hate ‘em, but they did what they did better than anyone else. Sonic Youth? So what if they drove fans out of a Neil Young concert? When Bowie and NIN toured, plenty of NIN fans left when Bowie came on stage. Doesn’t mean Bowie sucks, and it doesn’t mean Sonic Youth sucks. Sex Pistols were a fucking boy band with safety pins, but they belong in there. Genesis were a bunch of wankers at best, and pop whores at worst, but they were still great at what they did. And Gamble & Huff sure as hell belong there too, because they own Philly soul.

    Rock music doesn’t need a fucking HOF. Rock music is about personal connections. You know what the best HOF is? Your music collection. If you love a band, they earn their rightful spot in the HOF. Doesn’t matter if critics or sales or fanboys like them, they’re goddammed all-stars in your HOF.”

    Couldn’t have said it better

  12. Maybe if we ignore the HOF it will go away. Articles like this one perpetuate the myth that The HOF matters at all!

  13. With regards to the list of honorable mentions, I’d add Johnny Winter to that list (near the top). He’s played everywhere from Woodstock in 69 to smoky blues bars around the world, shared stages with rock legends (CCR, Bob Seger, The Stones) as well as every great bluesman since the ’60s, and was Muddy Waters’ exclusive producer for the last few years of Waters’ life. He has been a driving force in bringing the blues and blues-based rock & roll to a bigger audience since the late ’60s. If the likes of Madonna, REM and Blondie are going to be in there, then by God Johnny Winter deserves a spot as well. After all, it is the ROCK & ROLL HALL OF FAME and not pop music that MTV says is cool.

  14. glide pretty well nailed this list. i agree with rush, genesis and kiss totally. rush’s enduring brilliance, genesis’ early 70’s albums were jaw-dropping, and kiss defined the rock stage show. as a cleveland resident, it’s embarrasing that at least rush and kiss aren’t in there.

  15. Kiss — love them or hate them — their early stuff influenced a lot of what became Metallica, GnR, Van Halen, Motley Crue — I bet Cobain would’ve had them listed on his inflence list as well.
    And they did (do) have an army….

  16. consider that inducted in previous years has been talking heads and the pretenders. not that they are bad, they are great bands, but aren’t there more deserving? those two kind of blew their credibility with me. seems like they are picking favorites.

  17. Fuck the hall of fame. It’s nothing but a crock of bullshit. To be honest, I’m glad a lot of my favorite bands like Rush and Genesis are not in there. The less I have in common with the wankers that induct the artists the better.

  18. Pingback: music boa rock 70s
  19. Chicago
    Blood, Sweat & Tears

    Now that Genesis is in, I’m hoping that the following artists are included:

    Alan Parson’s Project
    Camel
    Caravan
    Electric Light Orchestra
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer
    Gentle Giant
    Jethro Tull
    Kansas
    King Crimson
    Kraftwerk
    Marillion
    Magma
    Moody Blues
    Mike Oldfield
    Ozric Tentacles
    Phish
    Premiata Forneria Marconi
    Procol Harum
    Renaissance
    Rush
    Strawbs
    Styx
    Supertramp
    Tangerine Dream
    Van der Graff Generator
    Yes

    These artists are worthy, but probably not eligible:

    Dream Theater
    Fate’s Warning
    Flower Kings
    Muse
    Porcupine Tree
    Spock’s Beard
    Transatlantic

    And, since Miles Davis has been included, I think the following artists should also be in the Hall:

    Brand X
    Dixie Dregs
    Headhunters
    Mahavishnu Orchestra
    Pat Metheny
    Return To Forever
    Soft Machine
    Weather Report

  20. i think that the hall of fame needs to induct more people for a couple years so they can catch up on the people they missed

  21. Blue Oyster Cult
    Jethro Tull
    Robin Trower
    S.R.V.
    Grand Funk Railroad
    Chicago (Transit Authority)
    B.T.O.
    Dixie Dregs
    Deep Purple
    Rush
    King Crimson
    Emerson, Lake & Palmer
    Yes
    Kansas

  22. Todd Rundgren – A Rock Music artist, pioneer, innovator and the genius behind the success of so many other rock artists.

  23. Grand Funk should be in the hall years ago. In the hood after Jimmy Hendricks we took to them. They know how to jam.

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