Rock and Roll Hall of Fame continues to rob great artists of election
By Lee Vowell
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is a cool building. If you haven't been there, you should go. It's right on the lake in Cleveland and in a nice enough area with some good restaurants in which to eat. But you know who you won't see at the Rock Hall? Lots of important artists.
I mean, OK. The idea to have a Hall of Fame for rock stars is a bit ironic and kind of goes against the spirit of rock 'n' roll, right? Rock is somewhat about fighting the man! Not becoming the man and then becoming the man so well that you get a plague in a building. But I digress.
The Rock Hall exists and it's a good place to learn about artists that came before the advent of the home computer. To me, though, the Hall has always left out deserving English bands and has mostly been American-centric. But even with some American artists, it is extremely odd to see who gets inducted and who does not.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame needs to do better
In 2023, Sheryl Crow was awarded with induction. So was country artist Willie Nelson. Dolly Parton, someone who won't be releasing their first rock album until this year and only because she thought she should because she didn't feel worthy of being inducted into the Rock Hall since she was, well...not a rock star, was inducted in 2022.
But The Smiths, an extremely important 80s band who not only were successful on their own but influenced other artists such as Radiohead, Oasis, and Blur, isn't in the Hall and likely never will be. But Nelson and Parton, not rock performers, are. Maybe the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame should just be called the Mostly Older Rock But Lately A Bit Less Rock Hall of Fame.
Sheryl Crow is a good artist, not ground-breaking but makes solid music. But is she so special to be a Hall of Famer? She's now in. But Iron Maiden did not get in this year. Which of those artists is more influential? Crow or Maiden? Or your answer is Crow that seems like simple bias towards her.
Joy Division/New Order did not get inducted either. For those who don't know, the New Order is the same band as Joy Division but when singer Ian Curtis died in 1980, the rest of the members of the band changed the group's name. Again, is there any doubt that Joy Division was more influential than Crow? Crow has sold more records, but a Hall of Fame should not be based on popularity only but on influence and overall importance.
And to be fair, the Rock Hall has previously done a decent job with adding influencers like Tom Waits and Miles Davis. But as each year goes by, that seems to be fading. In 25 years the Hall might just be inducting performers like BTS and Charlie Puth which would further diminish a Hall of Fame that could be a lot cooler than it has become.