The 11 Biggest Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame Snubs
RUSH: Jann Wenner's distaste for these prog overlords has been well-documented, but this Canadian trio's virtuosic showiness has inspired decades of musicians to absolutely master their instruments before committing anything to tape, and there's always something to be said for that. And if the Hall is going to anoint shredders like Jeff Beck, masterful musicians walking well-trod paths, then it should make room for goofy originals like Rush. Similar omissions: Devo, Electric Light Orchestra, Emerson Lake & Palmer, Peter Gabriel, King Crimson, Yes.
KRAFTWERK: Massively important for brain-shatteringly obvious reasons. Electronic music, in both its most populist and most experimental form, starts here, and the group's records have aged insanely well. Plus, how cool would it be to see their robotic stage show at the induction gala? Or to hear them give their acceptance speech in binary code? Similar omissions: Afrika Bambaataa, Can, Silver Apples.
JOY DIVISION: Another forehead-slapper. The band that took punk's dark heart to its natural extreme, stripping away everything but raw menace and leaving a small, bulletproof discography that ranks as maybe the most consistent catalog ever. Also, inducting them would pave the way for a New Order induction, which also needs to happen. Similar omissions: The Cure, the Smiths, Scott Walker.
CHIC: Disco's single greatest performing unit was also arguably the greatest party band of all time. Their bubbling funk pretty much defined its moment, and it also helped to define the next, since the Sugar Hill Gang borrowed their "Good Times" bassline on "Rapper's Delight," the first-ever rap hit. Group mastermind Nile Rogers also helped create huge, excellent hits for Hall of Famers like Diana Ross and David Bowie. They've been nominated six times, but they've never made the cut, which is ridiculous. Similar omissions: The B-52s, Donna Summer, Eurythmics, Janet Jackson, Sparks, the Spinners, War, Barry White.
DICK DALE: One of the first guitar heroes and a guy whose instrumental style left a meteor-sized hole in what the form can do. As Quentin Tarantino proved in Pulp Fiction, Dale's work can still sound, in the right circumstances, like the coolest thing in the universe. The Hall has already inducted the comparatively lightweight (though still great) surf-guitar group the Ventures, so why not recognize the man who defined the form? Similar omissions: Jan & Dean, Love, Link Wray, the Zombies.
ROXY MUSIC: Sophisticated, decadent glam originators who, in their decade of existence, helped punk and synthpop and yacht rock figure out their identities. Their crushed-velvet-and-cocaine personas turned out to be even more important than their music, but their music is still great. Former member Brian Eno, for some godforsaken reason, also hasn't made it into the Hall. Similar omissions: The New York Dolls, T. Rex.
DURAN DURAN: Arguably more than even Madonna, these synthpoppers defined the musical and visual style of their generation, becoming synonymous with early MTV and proving that fey British keyboard kids could play stadiums in America. Also, their songs absolutely hold up. Similar omissions: The Art of Noise, Depeche Mode, Hall & Oates, INXS, the Human League, the Pet Shop Boys, Yellow Magic Orchestra.
BLACK FLAG: More than any other band, they're synonymous with the brutal power of American hardcore, and with the ridiculously resourceful all-out get-in-the-van touring style that brought that music, through sheer will, across the country. In their own grassroots way, they had more to do with the way that music spread and developed that Hall Of Famers like the Ramones and the Sex Pistols. Similar omissions: the Buzzcocks, the Circle Jerks, the Dead Kennedys, Husker Du, the Jam, Minor Threat, the Minutemen, The MC5, the Replacements, the Runaways, Slayer, Sonic Youth, Soundgarden, X.
NICK DRAKE: Granted, the music that Drake made couldn't really be considered rock and roll. But Leonard Cohen and Laura Nyro are in the Hall, but the grand romantic icon of finger-picking depression is still on the outside. Similar omissions: Big Star, Kate Bush, Harry Nilsson, Randy Newman, Gram Parsons, Cat Stevens.
CHEAP TRICK: A word here for the professionals. A band like Cheap Trick took just about every strain of popular rock music in their day and translated it into song packed with glorious hooks that moved vast crowds of people. They weren't trailblazers, maybe, but they made everything around them sound bigger and better. Similar omissions: Bad Company, Bon Jovi, the Carpenters, the Cars, Chicago, Heart, Whitney Houston, Journey, the Steve Miller Band, the Monkees, Peter Paul & Mary.