2011 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Nominees: Who Got Snubbed?
By Jason Newman Posted Dec 15th 2010 06:05PM
Judging by the 463 comments on our Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's Most Egregious Snubs article, the Hall's picks for rock immortality -- or just an extra shiny piece of plastic to throw on the mantle -- perennially inspires hand-wringing, profanity-laced invective and bemused resignation.
Alice Cooper, Tom Waits, Neil Diamond, Darlene Love and Dr. John will all be entering the Hall at the Induction Ceremony next March. They're all worthy and deserving -- be objective, Diamond haters -- but here are five more of this year's nominees that should have made the cut along with possible reasons they didn't.
Beastie BoysWhy They Should've Made It: Along with Run-D.M.C., Beastie Boys vaunted hip-hop from an insularly respected yet derisively maligned genre into a national phenomenon. 'Licensed to Ill,' the band's 1986 debut album, was the first hip-hop album to reach Number One on the Billboard 200 and, with the ubiquity of 'Fight For Your Right,' 'Brass Monkey' and 'No Sleep Till Brooklyn,' turned every sleepy suburban Whitesnake fan into a hip-hop head. 'Paul's Boutique,' the group's landmark follow-up, is a cornerstone of sampling that influenced countless producers.
Why They Probably Didn't: Hip-hop has had a rough time gaining acceptance to Hall voters. Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five became the first rap group inducted in 2007 and since then, what should have been a tidal wave of inductees has been reduced to a wading pool. You'd think the Hall would take baby steps and induct the most rock-influenced group of the genre, though, right? They're a fickle bunch.
Why They Should've Made It: If you were of a certain age in 1986, Bon Jovi's third album 'Slippery When Wet,' which sold more than 12 million copies in the U.S. alone, was an totemic anthem. 'You Give Love a Bad Name,' 'Wanted Dead or Alive' and 'Livin' On a Prayer' -- the latter inspiring more than one child to listen with awe as Richie Sambora "talked with his guitar" -- were stadium classics that can now be found in every karaoke songbook. 25 years later, the group continues touring to sell-out arenas.
Why They Probably Didn't: In retrospect, the group embodied nearly every cheesy stereotype of 1980s excess -- Big riffs! Big power ballads! Big hair! -- that the Hall has generally dismissed. Nothing new, though. The band has always been denounced by critics, so the Sayreville Chamber of Commerce may want to hold off on that "Congratulations" banner.
(We all know the original and this version's better anyway.)
Why They Should've Made It: The funk-heavy sound created by Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards in the late 1970s soundtracked every club from Studio One to Studio 54 and became a leading template for 1980s funk, dance-pop and, in sampled form, hip-hop. The band's 1979 hit 'Good Times' provided the melody for 'Rapper's Delight,' one of the first commercially successful hip-hop songs. In the 1980s, Rodgers became a sought-after producer, working with everyone from Duran Duran and David Bowie to Madonna and Mick Jagger. Bottom line: No one touches Chic's bass lines. Not then. Not now. Not ever.
Why They Probably Didn't: No analysis here. We're as dumbfounded as anyone else. Maybe the voters just hate disco.
Why He Should've Made It: With his optimistic worldview and psychedelic folk-pop tendencies, the Scottish singer-songwriter perfectly embodied the hippie movement of the 1960s and early '70s, fomenting a sound and image that made him a hero to a generation. His best albums -- 1966's 'Sunshine Superman' and 1967's 'Mellow Yellow' -- remain an indelible artifact of the movement.
Why He Probably Didn't: See last sentence above. Despite maintaining his career into the 1970s and beyond, the folkie was always shackled to the decade that made him a star. It didn't help that the "Poor man's Bob Dylan" tag never really went away. We can't say for sure what the singer was thinking three minutes into the below clip from 'Don't Look Back,' but we're guessing it's something along the lines of, "Thank you for recording the moment my soul exploded and Dylan turned me into the hippie Salieri."
Why She Should've Made It: With electronic music and disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder (another Hall of Fame snub) by her side, disco chanteuse Donna Summer created sonic orgasms -- 'Love To Love You Baby' below is basically sex with a bass line -- that helped define the synth-driven, post-Bee Gees era of disco. 'Bad Girls' and 'On the Radio' were two of 1979's biggest songs and 1983's 'She Works Hard For the Money' became the first MTV video place in heavy rotation by an African-American female.
Why She Probably Didn't: Although now enshrined in quasi-urban legend lore, Summer's alleged anti-gay remarks in the 1980s spurred a widespread backlash that temporarily halted her career. Summer denied making the remarks, but the legend is always truer than the facts. Either that, or they just couldn't excuse the back-up dancing below.
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