Handicapping the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

Photo PattyHeffley.com


In September, the nominees for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2010 was announced.

They were:

  • ABBA
  • The Chantels
  • Jimmy Cliff
  • Genesis
  • The Hollies
  • LL Cool J
  • Darlene Love
  • Laura Nyro
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • The Stooges
  • Donna Summer
  • KISS

Let’s take a closer look at these 12 acts and see which 5 should get the nod.

On first blush there are 5 names that I’m going to remove from the list immediately. 

ABBA – Sorry,  I don’t care how many tickets Mamma Mia has sold, ABBA wasn’t a rock band.  They were a pop band at best and a disco band at worst. 

The Chantels – Jann Wenner has a thing for 60s girl groups.  I had to look the Chantels up.  At this point in the nominating process, that shouldn’t happen.

Laura Nyro – see above.  She’s a songwriter with a string of above average tunes to her name.  Is that really the criteria for the Hall of Fame?  That would be like putting Mariano Duncan in the baseball Hall of Fame.  He was a servicable player on some good teams, but not a Hall of Famer.  She must have slept with Jann Wenner.

Darlene Love – see above.  Another girl grouper.  But this time, mainly as a backup singer.  She was great as Danny Glover’s wife in the Lethal Weapon movies, and she’s a fine singer, but not a Hall of Famer.

Donna Summer – disco is not rock.  Sorry.  Next.

So that leaves us with:

  1. Jimmy Cliff
  2. Genesis
  3. The Hollies
  4. LL Cool J
  5. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  6. The Stooges
  7. KISS

With 7 acts left, maybe our next step should pick out the acts that are no-brainers.

KISSI’ve already made my case for this one as clearly as I possibly can.

The Stooges – Iggy and the boys should have been in a long time ago.  They laid the groundwork for punk, grunge, post-punk, post-grunge and ever other iteration therein.

Red Hot Chili Peppers – the California funk punks were the poster children of grunge revolution of the early 90s.  It took them nearly a decade and the death of founding member Hillel Slovak to find their groove, but once they did, they never slowed down.  They remain a vibrant and forceful band to this day.

Jimmy Cliff – Cliff’s landmark 1972 soundtrack to The Harder They Come brought reggae to the world.  Bob Marley is in the Hall.  He’d never have been there without Cliff.  Case closed.

That leaves us with 3 acts and 1 remaining slot.

The Hollies – Graham Nash got in with Crosby, Still and Nash in 1997.  There is no other reason for this nomination.  Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress and Bus Stop do not a Hall of Fame career make.  They are running out of hippie bands to put in.  I don’t think so.

LL Cool J – I like LL Cool J.  He’s a definining hip hop artist.  However, this is the ROCK and ROLL Hall of Fame.  I had no problem with the induction of Run DMC.  They are the Kings of Rock.  There is none higher.  LL will get another shot down the road, but this isn’t his year.

That leaves us with Genesis.  I’m not sure I think they belong in.  Their induction will open the door for all those other crazy English prog rock bands (yes I’m looking at you YES).  Still, they’ve  been responsible for some great music over the years. They launched the careers of Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins, which I suppose makes them responsible for Groovy Kind of Love, but we won’t hold that against them. 

So, after the smoke and pyro have cleared, my picks for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 2010 are:

  1. KISS
  2. The Stooges
  3. Red Hot Chili Peppers
  4. Jimmy Cliff
  5. Genesis

Agree?  Disagree?  Let me know.

7 thoughts on “Handicapping the 2010 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees

  1. You people constantly have such good articles to examine on your webpage. I enjoy coming back to see new subject matter since I now have your webpage bookmarked. Thanks so much.

  2. Thanks for the comment Mitch.

    I would probably agree with you that the Moody Blues deserve to be inducted, most certainly before LL Cool J.

    I’m less enthusiastic about King Crimson. A fine band, don’t get me wrong, but I keep getting stuck on that whole “Fame” part of the title.

    That’s where my arguement for KISS kicks into high gear. They are one of the most famous and, whether anyone wants to admit it or not, influential bands of the last 30 years. The fact that they haven’t been inducted is a shame.

    1. I agree as well that both MB and KC should be in, but not before Yes and Genesis. To continue with the British Invasion comparison….Moody Blues and King Crimson are like the Kinks and Dave Clark Five or Herman’s Hermits of the period: undeniably fine acts, but also undeniably smaller, and arguably therefore less influential.

      Probably did lump Floyd into the wrong caterogy though…I guess I just got caught up in the whole ‘when I experienced them and with what’ cycle. all 3 were coming out of my rock radio with equal frequency, power, and by the time (late 70s early 80s) not-altogether-different sonic qualities

  3. Darlene Luv WILL be inducted, she performed at the R&R HOF 25th anniversary show, and is as sure-a-bet as they come in this year’s “draft”.
    Genesis – Inducting them IS a no-brainer, but the earlier comment about them, along with Floyd and Yes being the Stones/Beatles/Who of progressive rock is entirely wrong. In fact there are two other bands that have been SEVERELY overlooked and are MUCH more deserving than Floyd or Yes and those two bands are The Moody Blues and King Crimson. Shame on the R&R HOF to have ignored them this long, their continued absence sickens those of us that grew up listening in the 60’s and matured with rock in the 70’s, and lessens the credibility of the R&R HOF itself.
    Floyd’s heritage was psychedelic rock, not progressive rock, and Yes is deserving, but King Crimson and the Moodies should be recognized first and foremost.
    Kiss was a cruel joke perpetrated on rock, if they are inducted then Spinal Tap should be the “artists” that provide them their intro to the hall. :/
    LL Cool J is perfect for the Rap/Hip Hop HOF. When Genesis, Yes, ELP and King Crimson are inducted into the Rap/Hip Hop HOF, THEN we should consider inducting artists from genres that have minimally borrowed from rock and roll.
    I wholeheartedly endorse Jimmy Cliff and RHCP, both are artists that have affected rock music and taken it in new directions.
    The Hollies – I have nothing against them, but their tenure was way too short.

  4. I don’t have a problem with LL Cool J going in. I have a problem with him going in this year. It would likely keep Kiss out and my thoughts on that travesty are well documented.

  5. Agree 100% with the inductees and only have minor quibbles with the reasoning when it comes to the final three.

    The Hollies: Can’t add much more. Very cool sound. But no cooler than literally 1,000 bands I can’t remember the names of right now.

    LL Cool J: Like it our not, the horse has already left the barn on the whole Rap v. Rock debate re: the Hall. That being the case, LL is a no-brainer. (As an aside, I’m pretty sure we’re going to have to start letting disco in eventually as well. ‘Rock’, like langauge, is what it is at a given time, and there was a *brief* time when disco rocked. But that’s a discussion for another entry…)

    Genesis: Another no-brainer to my way of thinking. Along with Yes, as long as we’re on the topic. The two of them (plus Floyd) are like the Stones/Beatles/Who of the entire prog-rock sub genre.

    BUT – given that they did create a sub-genre (versus simply sounding cool or not actually being a rock act) I agree that they get the nod over the other two final finalists.

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