Top Ten Acts Dissed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame


Growing up in Cleveland in the late 1970’s and early 1980’s, we were well aware that our radio stations rocked! We also knew artists who were embraced here often went on to nationwide fame. It was a wonderful time and place to grow up- an amazing part of the rock music scene. All of this beautiful music was, and is, the background for our lives.

When discussions about where to put the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame started, the loud and public outcry over where it rightly belonged brought it home to its Lake Erie perch. When the decision was made to build the Hall in Cleveland, we were in full agreement. However, many of us disagree with the nominating committee and rock experts when it comes to the crazy omissions- performers who definitely belong in the Hall, yet remain overlooked. We read the eligibility requirements- 25 years since they put out their first record and unquestionable musical excellence- and we wonder who, exactly, these brain-dead cretins are that are voting? We argue about them at parties and wonder what the heck is going on that these acts could possibly be excluded.

Here is one Cleveland girl’s list of the top 10 acts that have been dissed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame:

10. Michael Stanley

Michael is our hometown hero and his music rivals anybody in the Hall. Those who’ve heard him sing, get it. This man should have been more famous around the world than Mick Jagger, in my opinion. He’s a singer, and a songwriter, and his songs tell the story of growing up in Cleveland the way Springsteen’s glorify Jersey. Yes, he’s a local legend, but he is definitely eligible for nomination and inclusion based on unquestionable musical excellence.

9. Motley Crue

The Crue is a little edgy, and yes they are even quite grungy at times—in other words, these guys are the epitome of true rock stars. From all the hard partying days, scrapes with the law, through rehab and getting sober in the late eighties, they rocked! This band influenced scores of later bands, and deserves to be in the hall for that reason alone.

8. Styx

Yes, I have heard all the arguments about the commercial sound. In other words, this band played the music that people wanted to hear, and wanted to buy. I certainly don’t understand how that could be construed as something negative. Four consecutive albums certified multi-platinum, including The Grand Illusion through Paradise Theater.

7Electric Light Orchestra

One of the biggest selling bands in the 1970’s and early 1980’s, ELO was an English band that had much more success in the United States. After a career selling more than 50 million albums worldwide, including 12 different studio albums and more than four dozen singles, is there really any doubt that they belong in the Hall of Fame? And what about that crazy spaceship?

6. Judas Priest

I was tempted to say “WTH?” about this band. They have been nicknamed “Metal Gods” based on their song of that name, have sold over 35 million albums around the world, and are widely noted as having influenced many metal bands and musicians. In fact, MTV named them the number two most influential heavy metal band, behind only Black Sabbath. Through a number of Platinum albums- Hell Bent for Leather, British Steel, and Screaming for Vengeance– the band showed their musical power on song after song. Rob Halford’s leather biker look was picked up by most of the band, and lots of other rock stars as well.

5. Journey

Journey’s music is so uber-popular, it is hard to believe that they keep getting overlooked. Just one song, Don’t Stop Believin’, is the largest-selling downloaded tune on iTunes, and has been used in the Sopranos, Family Guy, and Glee, as well as helped the Chicago White Sox focus on their World Championship in 2005. Frontman Steve Perry is also eligible for induction into the Hall of Fame as an individual, and most fans of the band would be satisfied with that, as Steve Perry IS Journey. (Though they continue to tour with some less-talented singer at the helm, it is not the same band without Steve.)

4. Joan Jett

Often called the Queen of Rock, Joan Jett is best known for belting out I Love Rock ‘n Roll, her number one smash hit for two months in 1982. With three albums certified platinum or gold, and a score of other hits, including I Hate Myself for Loving You, Light of Day, and Bad Reputation, Joan is a hard-driving, guitar-playing rocker that just happens to be a beautiful woman. She has made appearances on TV shows, starred in the movie Light of Day with Michael J. Fox, and played in Broadway musicals, in addition to touring with the USO for the past twenty years.

3. Peter Frampton

Astounding that voters seem to have forgotten his little double live album that sold more than six million copies just in the United States, and led to sold out arenas and stadiums around the country in the late 1970’s. Frampton Comes Alive! made Peter an instant superstar and spawned hits that are still played regularly on every classic rock station around the country.

2. Def Leppard

The last time I saw Def Leppard in concert they played for three hours, and still did not have enough time to perform all of their hits. Hysteria, released in 1987, had seven top 100 hits- one of the only albums ever to do so. Def Leppard sold more records in the United States in the 1980s than any other band. They also won American Music Awards for best heavy metal artist and best heavy metal album (Hysteria, 1989). The band is well known for standing by drummer Rick Allen when he lost an arm in a car accident in 1984. They continue to tour and perform today, and are expected to release a new live album in 2011.

1. Kiss

Yes, they are goofy with their crazy platform boots and makeup…but the music speaks for itself.  Kiss is one of the highest-selling bands ever, having sold over 100 million albums around the world, with 24 gold albums in the United States alone. They are well known for their makeup, fire breathing, smoking guitars, blood spitting, and pyrotechnics during live shows, believing that when people pay to be entertained, they should give it their all.

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  1. Blue Oyster Cult should be in. In fact, like many bands mentioned here, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not very creditable with their absence. Buck Dhama rules!!

  2. Id say Moody Blues, Rush, and ELO deserve a nod. I am the biggest STYX fan there is, but they deserve to be in the “good” rock band category, not HOF. But I hope we could all agree on something: Id put every single act on the top 10 before MADONNA saw the light of day.


  4. What about Slayer, Megadeth & Anthrax — 3 of the BIG 4… Metallica is in (FINALLY) so why not the rest of the 4??

    Others that should be there:
    Thin Lizzy – one of the first bands to employ the use of double lead guitar. Influenced groups like Judas Priest, Metallica, Iron Maiden, Def Leppard, etc.

    Ronnie James Dio – His overall work with groups like Rainbow, Black Sabbath & even on his own has been some of the greatest music ever produced! His style was so unique and had one of if not, the most recognizable voices ever.

    T. Rex – One of the biggest influences in the glam rock, punk rock & Britpop genres. Without T. Rex, there probably isn’t a New York Dolls, Ziggy Stardust (aka David Bowie during one of his phases) which spawned off Gary Glitter, Suzi Quatro & The Runaways (with Joan Jett), Queen and Rod Stewart & Elton John to a certain extent. Which of course spawned off groups like Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, WASP, Motley Crue, Adam Ant and Flock of Seagulls.

    Diamond Head – While under-rated, they were still monumental in the New Wave of British Heavy Metal with influences from Free, Deep Purple, Led Zepplin, UFO & Black Sabbath. With their own unique sound, they influenced such bands like Metallica & Megadeth. When Metallica was a local group in the Bay Area, a record producer came up to the group after the show and asked “Do you know Diamond Head?” Lars Ulrich (drummer from Metallica) stated in response “Know em? We just played half their fucking set!”

    Motorhead – While still a pioneer of the New Wave of British Heavy Metal, they still had a bit harder & faster of a sound. In my opinion, I would say Motorhead was the first band to attempt speed metal… 1 song alone: Ace of Spades! That came out in 1980 – just a couple more years before Slayer which mastered that style. Lemmy also proved the theory that you actually didn’t need to have a voice to make it big.

    Cheap Trick – Ranked 25th in VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of Hard Rock. Have influenced major artists like Guns ‘N Roses, Ratt, Angus Young, Joey Ramone acknowledged them as his favorite group, Gin Blossoms, Pearl Jam, Weezer, etc.

  5. Kraftwerk, anyone?
    Inventive. Changed pop music. Pioneered electronics. Cutting ede=ge at the time, stolen from by many.

  6. Styx? ELO? Def Leppard? Seriously? And Peter Frampton is permanently disqualified for that horrible “Sgt. Pepper” movie that sunk his career along with the Bee Gees.

  7. Rush, The Guess Who should be on the list……There should be a special wing in the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame for 1 hit wonders who have otherwise have no chance of getting into the Rock N Roll Hall Of Fame and another for backup bands (E St. Band; Silver Bullet band and The Attractions are a few examples).

  8. Peter Boucher on

    The Michael Stanley Band ??????? Back in the late 1970’s I purchased a double live album of them. Listened to it once, put the album back into the sleeve and gave it away. It was terrible !!!

  9. I actually don’t really care about this “hall of fame” since it’s a popularity contest and there are really no standards. Rush is my favorite rock band (seen them a dozen times at least). That they aren’t in there makes no sense. Their music has literally evolved in every album, their lyrics are actually meaningful, they have a massive following, and have been around since the early seventies. So… really… why aren’t they in the hall of fame?

    Check out some of the guys Rush got passed over for. And I like most of these too:
    Beastie Boys
    Neil Diamond
    Abba (realllly????)
    Genesis (decent, but better than Rush? Come on)
    Jimmie Cliff
    Run D.M.C.
    Isaac Hayes

    I could go on. Anyway, they shouldn’t call it the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but the Music Hall of Fame or something more original than that. I get where they are going, trying to put in influenced acts that were innovative. I like that, but it’s a misleading name. There. Venting done.

    • Peter Boucher on

      @ DC. I am in 100%, total in agreement with you. My favorite group has always been RUSH (35+ years and continuing, ever since their first live album “All The World’s A Stage in 1976). I personally think that if RUSH were to get into the Rock N’ Roll Hall Of Fame, Alex, Geddy and Neil would probably just shrug their shoulders and say “Oh Well”. That’s just my opinion. Three laid back and relaxed kind of guys. Plus they have a great sense of humor, especially Alex. There is one point that I would like to make regarding your list. Genesis. Rush actually were influenced by Genesis and also the rock group Yes. But Genesis is one of those bands who “sold-out” to the masses of teenage, gum chewing teenagers. Listen to Genesis when Peter Gabriel was with them (1975 and prior). But I agree, its a travesty. They are the leading exponent of music in all of Canada. You can actually go to the point of picking out a song by RUSH (i.e. “Xanadu”, “Hemispheres”, “The Necromancer”, etc.) and type the name of the song into the Wikipedia and it will give you the entire story behind the song. If you’re not familiar with this amazing fact, its regarding the song “YYZ”. YYZ is the International Aviation Code for Toronto (when you get your suitcase there at the airport, it has the tag with the 3 letters YYZ). So being from Toronto they decided to make a song of it. The opening or the very first part of the song and its rhythm is YYZ in MORSE CODE. Ingenious if you were to ask me. Take Care

    • Joe Michaels on

      Guess Who was great. But, if Burton Cummings makes it in, that fulfills the Canadian quota. And then Rush remains a wanna-be.

  10. I’ll mention a few…….UFO, Scorpions, Megadeth, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, Ronnie James Dio (posthumously), Kansas

  11. It’s the ROCK and ROLL HOF. It’s time to end the sham. How about The “POP” HOF, BLUES, SOUL, FOLK, HIPPIE/DRUGS, GLAM, HAIR, COSTUME, RAP, DISCO, GRUNGE, PUNK, GIMMICK, TRANCE, DANCE, etc. Rock and Roll died when it became big business. Those 17 year old kids in the garage playing their asses off for the love of the art. Yea art. I was about 15 when I heard The Sonics, “The Witch”. Hair on the bac of my neck stood up, same with the Kinks “You Really Got Me”. Rush, Moody Blues, BOC, give me a break. Babe Ruth or Barry Bonds. Same with R n’ R the mold was broken long, long ago.

  12. I don`t believe in the rock&roll hall of fame never have never will! I`ve seen whom they`ve let in & left out so far,it`s a farce. Some sort of elite hall of fame for who ,I have no idea?

  13. When I heard of this list the two bands that I thought of were Judas Priest and Iron Maiden,while I see that you included Priest here,I see no reason of Iron Maiden not being no.1,or maybe No.2 after Rush.I mean,really,the guys sold 80 000 000 albums worldwide,their mascot,Eddie,which also shows up at their live shows is one of the most successful music merchandise around,having been made into posters,T-Shirts and even action figures.Plus,they are the only band in Rock’n’Roll history to have their own private plane that takes them to their shows,piloted by no other than frontman Bruce Dickinson!

  14. The Rock and Roll HOF is full of enough garbage. None of the above deseve to even be on the ballot. This is pop rock. Check out Bo Diddley 1973, YouTube, the definition of R ‘n R.

  15. Of all of the above acts, the only one that deserves to be in the Hall is ELO. There are dozens of acts in the Hall that should be “delisted”!

  16. 1st they should change the name to the The popular music hall of fame.
    so many of the inductes our no were close to rock in roll.
    just three examples:
    Micheal Jackson
    with that being said.
    #6 thur 10 I’m sorry but no. maybe someday dor some but there are so many more
    worthy artists.
    And on the top of the list is Rush. People may not like the singing or confused by the lyrics
    but Peart, Lifeson and Lee are masters of there insrtuments and well resepted by there peers and with a fan base that has kept them going for close to 40 years. Any doubters should what a live show in person or on DVD. you will be impressed.
    5 other acts are Heart, Kiss, Stevie Ray Vaugan,Journey and Ted Nugent

  17. One man’s personal preferences: Would agree with ELO, J Priest, Joan Jett from the list, also Ted Nugent, Blue Oyster Cult and definitely Dick Dale from the comments.

    My own:

    Paul Revere and the Raiders
    The Monkees
    Rockpile/Dave Edmunds/Nick Lowe
    The Spinners

    Also, I can’t believe we are only, what 4-5 years from Nirvana being eligible. Where does the time go?

    • Hey nirvana should be eligible for all they done. They better get in first year, but these bands need it to. Rush.

      • If Nirvana isn’t in the minute they are eligible, they should close the HOF doors and hang it up. At the risk of being flamed, i must confess that I never got it with Rush. When we were kids, my brother and some of my friends were big fans, but I never saw it and still don’t. We all have our personal preferences, I guess. I, for one, would love to see a band like The Pogues get consideration. Probably won’t happen, but should.

  18. Jeff Lynne and the ELO certainly deserve recognition. As do the Moody Blues and America. America was huge for a few years in the early to mid 70s, came back with a big hit in ’82 and continue to write, record and perform 100 shows a year today. Their last CD charted and was written with Adam Schlesinger (Fountains of Wayne) James Iha (smashing Pumpkins). While they have stayed true to their soft rock influences, they have built a strong, loyal following after 40 years. In fact, they have yet another new CD coming out in July.

  19. maybe you should check out journey’s new singer. it’s kind of scary how much he sounds like perry

  20. I think Motley Crue might have been blanked because of the killing (DUI) of the drummer from Hanoi Rocks? Sure a wild past is ok, but murder is a little too wild isn’t it? Then again..

  21. how about underappreciated artists who were never allowed to be famous and thus not in the Hall………….say;


    • Well said. Great band. Didn’t think about them. But, I’d put Badfinger in the HoF WAY before RUSH.

  22. you know there’s a reason these bands aren’t in the hall of fame. Mostly because they’re awful. Except Michael Stanley, who I haven’t heard of. But really? Motley Crue? Styx? This is the Hall of Fame not the Dingy Alley of Lame

  23. One song is not worth inclusion in the hall of fame. Journey has no business being in it. Which isn’t to say that everyone who IS included deserved it, but entertainment awards have always been a sham.

    • Who’s in the Hall of Fame with only one song other than the One Hit Wonder folks? Journey is not my favorite, but they were pretty influential in their time.

    • Finally! I’ve been waiting for someone to mention Warren in one of these HOF snubs lists for years! One of the greatest songwriters ever!

  24. Randy Rhoads. Still has a strong influence on Heavy Metal guitarists even today, 28 years after an untimely death. Literally brought Ozzy back to life as a performer. Will always be in *my* HOF…and my car playlist.

  25. I agree with the masses WHY NOT RUSH? Also my personal favorite Blue Oyster Cult! Add in some Jethro Tull, Stevie Ray and ELO and you have a nicely rounded off list!

  26. What about Dick Dale? The man INVENTED a genre of rock and roll! Without him there would be no surf rock, no Beach Boys, hell, no reverb pedal for your guitar!

  27. wow, you guys all came up with some great ones!! I agree with:

    Kate Bush
    Deep Purple
    Moody Blues

    plus most of the ones on the list.

    also are ELP or Jethro Tull in the HOF? They should be as well

    oh and Alice Cooper gets in next year!!!

    • Yes and Where is King Crimson? this list aint that great.. Rush wouldn’t even be a band if not for K.C.

    • Tull, Rush, Styx, Heart,& ELO pretty sure no bands were any more popular or successful during the 70s

  28. Michael Stanley in the HOF? No bias there—-LOL. That will NEVER happen. Hell, he’s a poor man’s joe Grushecky.

  29. The number 1 dissed band not in the RRHOF is RUSH. The rest of the acts on your list does not hold a candle to this power trio. Having said that, I hope Rush never makes it into the RRHOF. They are too good for them. The acts the RRHOF are allowing in right now is shameful, which destroys their credibility. I would not want a band that I grew up with, that inspires me, that includes real honest charitable individuals be involved in that corrupt piece of S%#* institution. As far as I’m concerned the badge on honor is to be excluded from that irreverent organization.

    I wish the boys from Led Zep, Pink Floyd, Metallica sent a letter to the piece of crap institution to revoke their membership status.

      • KISS is a stage act. Their music is ridiculously poor and sophomoric. They’ve sold a ton of records to preteens caught up in their cartoonish attire. Sorry…I don’t think they belong in the HoF and, apparently, neither do the decision makers.

  30. I think a hall of fame should be reserved for those who change their artform or sport. While all of these people or acts are wonderful musicians none of them were trendsetters or groundbreakers. Now I would also say that some of the curent inductees also don’t belong based on the criteria I outlined.

  31. Obviously Rush is a huge omission, but what about Deep Purple (as noted above), Blue Oyster Cult, Nazareth & Yes?

  32. Kate Bush, hands down. While she never made a huge impact in the United States she was a ground breaking female performer.

    And yeah, Rush needs to be on this list, too.

  33. How can RUSH not be there.. “As a group, Rush possesses 24 gold records and 14 platinum (3 multi-platinum) records. Rush’s sales statistics place them third behind The Beatles and The Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band. Rush also ranks 79th in U.S. album sales with 25 million units. Although total worldwide album sales are not calculated by any single entity, as of 2004 several industry sources estimated Rush’s total worldwide album sales at over 40 million units.”

  34. I agree with the list and add The Moody Blues.

    My brother and I just visited the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Disappointment. Okay to stop in if you’re passing through Cleveland, but don’t make a special trip to it as we did.

    Anyway, we are both appalled by the exclusion of The Moody Blues. Innovative, conceptual, with great music the result. Use of the synthesizer and a symphony orchestra were creative.

    As my brother and I sat through the multimedia presentation of the artists inducted since the opening of the R&RHoF, we frequently looked at each other and said “He/she/they are in here and not the Moody Blues??”

  35. Alice Cooper has to be in the Top 10 on this list. I love Joan Jet but not worthy. Peter Framton??? Dude he had one good live album, thats not enough. You can not mention Judas Priest without including Iron Maiden on this list. What about Stevie Ray Vaughn?

  36. I know every band or musician on this list will cause a reaction to some similar to my reaction to Journey being on the list. What! No Journey! A travesty!

    • I think they need to induct more people every year – for example, there were only 5 inductees in 2007, which is ridiculous. At that rate, it will take decades just to scrape the surface of rock and roll history… I’m not a huge fan of Rush but, you’re right, it’s crazy that they haven’t already been included.

    • Damn right, Rush not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame does not make sense, their career is as long as the others if not longer, they are highly revered by the best in Rock and they’re still pushing out great albums after 40 years

      • Sorry, chaps. Rush belongs in the Pretentious Lyrics Hall of Fame, or the Time-Signatures-Only-an-Engineer-Can-Understand Hall of Fame. And I LIKE to listen to them! But, they have no soul. (Unlike KISS which has no talent.) The *only* band on this list that deserves to be in the R+R HoF is ELO. (IMHO)

        • Let me get this straight. Intelligent lyrics + brilliant technical ability = non-HOF?

          At this point, I’m fairly certain Rush doesn’t even want to be inducted.

        • To Newave : If you should happen upon the writings of Ayn Rand, you might get a better understanding of the lyrics of the Rock Group RUSH. On their song “Big Money” and how evil it can be (Money that is), they summed it up best. “Its That Fool On Television Getting Payed To Play The Fool”. Now think about that line and then watch an episode of The Price Is Right game show and watch a big, fat ugly woman win an automobile and the way she behaves when she wins the car. l love it when I see someone on a game show win an automobile. Oh they get the car alright, but what they don’t know is that they now have to pay out of their own pocket, the Taxes, the Maintenance, the Registration, the Gasoline, the Insurance, etc. But in many ways you are right as their lyrics are quite philisophical and I can bet you that they don’t use the word “baby” in any of their lyrics with the exception of the song “In The Mood” from their first album, but then again when they perform it in concert, they use the word “cookie” as opposed to “baby”. Just thought that you might like to know

        • Peter: I know about Ann Rand. I’ve read her stuff (and other existentialists). Look: I’m not saying I dislike Rush. I listen to them. And, when I was in a band (for many years), I really did enjoy playing them. But, imo, there’s a difference between groups that write/play from the SOUL and more technical/progressive bands that are fun to watch and cover. Also, I love Crimson, Floyd, Yes, Kansas and many other prog bands. I appreciate your courteous response. Lastly, I really dig the way the band has endured through the decades and the fact that they genuinely appear to be friends.

        • I have another thought…again, this from someone who likes Rush, likes listening to them and, yes, likes playing air drums to their music: No one can actually be a “fan” of the band. We’re all just “students.” P.S. Perhaps someone should launch a Prog Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. I’d be one of the first in line to visit.

        • Peter Boucher on

          @newave : That’s a very interesting point that you have made by having a progressive rock and roll hall of fame. When it comes to RUSH anything between their “Caress Of Steel LP to their “Hemispheres” LP, They would get my vote. But a prog Hall Of Fame would be amazing. Early Yes, Genesis, Emerson, Lake & Palmer, King Crimson, Gentle Giant. Also if your not familiar, there was a prog band called U.K. They only made 3 albums, but if you can find their self entitled first album, buy it as quickly as you can and listen to the song entitled “Nevermore”. U.K.’s line up was Allan Holdsworth on guitar (he speaks for himself), Bill Bruford of Yes fame, drummer, John Wetton on bass and lead singer, and Eddie Jobson on Keyboards. But remember, its hard to find so be forewarned. Thanks for you insightfulness and Good Luck to you

    • Dang Right. Occupy Rock and Roll HOF 2012. Something random statistic 99%. They need hall of fame.