It’s ironic when an institution like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum does not live up to its name and snubs a spot from the classic artists that deserve it.
Case in Point: You would think by now that all of the members of The Beatles would be recognized by the prestigious induction ceremony. But it was only this year that drummer boy Ringo Starr was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
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According to their official website, “artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.”
While considering all the criteria, we’ve gathered some of the classic artists and bands that we feel have been snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame over the years.
- Year eligible: 2009
- More than 100 million records worldwide.
It would be more than a nice day if the legendary Jersey rockers got the recognition of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame board. Releasing their first studio album in 1984 titled Bon Jovi, the band managed to break into the Billboard 200 Chart. And the rest is history. Almost 32 years later, the band is still thriving with their head-on attitudes, inspiring countless bands after them. I guess it’s safe to say that Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is giving love a bad name. See what we did there?
- Year eligible: 1994
- Five #1 albums; 21 Top 10 singles
- Set Straight in 2016
Releasing 22 self-titled albums containing classic after classic, Chicago’s snub from the HOF has been an ongoing question. Though we may not have the answer to why, we do know that the group was leading Billboard’s US Singles Chart in in the 1970s. In addition to that, Chicago managed to produce 21 Top 10 singles and five albums placing at number 1. To quote the great Joe Nolan from the Scott Shannon in the Morning show on WCBS-FM on why his favorite band should be inducted: “Because they’re awesome and Jann Wenner sucks!”
- Year eligible: 2004
- Over 27 million records sold worldwide.
- Made alternative rock appealing to the masses.
Hailing from England, The Cure was a prominent figure in the alternative rock scene of the 1990s. Coming out with hits such as “Friday, I’m In Love,” “Lovesong” and “Just Like Heaven,” all three tracks managed to make it into Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart as well as the black hearts of young goth kids everywhere. Though the downfall of the group would be its constant line-up changes, there’s no denying the millions and millions of total sales their albums have garnered.
- Year eligible: 1993
- Hard rock and heavy metal.
- Smoke on the FREAKIN’ Water!
- Set Straight in 2016
Named “The Globe’s Loudest Band” in 1975 by the Guinness Book of World Records, the English rock band has been around since the late 60s, were nominated twice for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012 for the first time but did not make the votes the following year. The same thing happened to Deep Purple in October 2013. Boooo!
- Year eligible: 2009
- NME’s 2002 “most influential artist ever,” topping the Beatles.
- The Smiths reminded you how to feel again.
The Manchester quartet is considered the face of British alternative pop in the 1980s. Though the life of The Smiths only lasted for five years, four out of their five studio albums have made it onto Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list and lead singer Morrissey is still canceling shows for no reason to this day. The Smiths are often praised by music journalist Simon Goddard, as “the most influential British guitar group of the decade.”
- Year eligible: 1987
- Country Music Hall of Fame inductee 1993; Kennedy Center Honors in 1998.
No stranger to the music industry, especially in rock and country, the Red Headed Stranger is a well-rounded singer-songwriter who has worked with and written songs for countless artists. Music aside, Willie Nelson is even an activist as he co-chairs the National Organization of the Reform of Marijuana Laws and he’s the chairman of the Texas Music Project Advisory Board. You can’t get any more influential than that.
The Moody Blues
- Year eligible: 1990
- 55 million albums sold worldwide.
- 15 Gold or Platinum albums sold in the US.
Still active until this day, the Birmingham band managed to snag 18 platinum and gold discs in their career. Releasing hits such as “Go Now!,” “Nights in White Satin,” “Gemini Dream, “ and “Your Wildest Dreams,” the Moody Blues were honored in the Vocal Group Hall of Fame. Although that sounds pretty cool, let’s be honest, it’s not as awesome as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
- Year eligible: 1994
- 9 Top 10 albums in the UK or US.
- Set straight in 2017
This British band made it big by diving deep into their musical prowess and exploring 20-minute, conceptual rock jams that transported the listener to another time and place – with or without the use of psychedelics. Yes found top 40 success in 1983 with their 90125 album and its hit single, “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” Bands like Rush, and then later Coheed and Cambria would never have had a place in this world or any other without having the trail blazed by Chris, Steve and the boys.
“Weird” Al Yankovic
- Year eligible: 2008
- Three Grammy Awards; 6 Platinum records.
Alright, relax. We know what you’re thinking, but you know what… you’re wrong. “Weird” Al DOES belong in the Hall of Fame, because frankly, he’s the reason you remember so many hits after they burn out and fade away. “My Balogna,” “Amish Paradise,” “Fat,” “I Think I’m A Clone Now,” — come on, can’t Al get a little love?
- Year eligible: 1991
- Don’t mess with the mob.
“It boggles the mind how Tommy James and the Shondells consistently get overlooked by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. 23 gold singles, 9 gold and platinum albums, over 100 million records sold worldwide.” ~Dan Taylor
Dan had a bit more to say about Tommy NOT being in the Hall of Fame, so we decided to make a separate piece on that HERE.
- Year eligible: 2006
- More than 100 million records sold worldwide.
The Crue have been rocking hard for over 30 years and there’s not much that can stand in the way of them going for another 30, aside from heartbreak at not being inducted into a hall of fame for a genre of music that the band separately and collectively embodied in everything they did. Read their books, you’ll understand.
These are some of the MANY artists and bands that were snubbed over the decades of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s existence. Did any of your favorite bands make the snub list? If not, let us know and comment below!