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ON THE INSIDE: The Beatles ('88), the Kinks ('90), the Byrds ('91), the Dave Clark Five ('08), the Hollies ('10)
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Electric Light Orchestra, Love, the Zombies, Big Star
WHAT'S THE DEAL: Ornate arrangements, big hooks, and beaming harmonies generally characterize these bands, all of which deeply inform present-day indie and chamber pop. The Zombies are limited by their brief, three-album tenure (before re-forming in the '90s), and the same problem dogs the exceptionally influential Big Star. While ELO produced some massive hits and some good albums, Love made better music. The Bay Area psychedelic-pop group's career culminated in the 1967 classic Forever Changes.
NEXT ONE IN: Love, comfortably outshining ELO.
POPSTERS AND HITMAKERS
ON THE INSIDE:
The Bee Gees ('97), Madonna ('08), ABBA ('10)
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: Eddie Money, Chicago, Daryl Hall & John Oates, Styx, Journey
WHAT'S THE DEAL: While it's perhaps debatable whether pop acts belong in the Rock Hall at all, once you've let that horse out, how do you justify closing the barn? Eddie Money, Styx, Journey, and Hall & Oates all had numerous hits during their late-'70s/early-'80s heyday. But Chicago was bigger for longer, releasing five straight chart-topping albums at the start of the '70s and enjoying a pop-radio renaissance that lasted through the late '80s.
NEXT ONE IN: Chicago, in a landslide over Hall & Oates.
ON THE INSIDE:
The Ramones ('02), the Clash ('03), the Sex Pistols ('06), the Stooges ('10)
OUTSIDE LOOKING IN: The New York Dolls, the MC5, Black Flag, the Dead Kennedys
WHAT'S THE DEAL: Punk has always been more of an influential genre than a commercial one. While some trailblazers have gotten in, many others haven't. It's hard to imagine the Sex Pistols getting in without the Dolls, whom they emulated. The Stooges got the nod, but their revolutionary Detroit brethren the MC5 haven't? The Dead Kennedys are not only hardcore's most visible adherent, but also its finest political band. Black Flag not only made challenging, influential music and pioneered the seminal punk label SST; they single-handedly created the first coast-to-coast touring circuit of underground venues, creating the foundation for what would become alternative and indie rock.
NEXT ONE IN: Black Flag, by several lengths over the New York Dolls.
Randy Newman: Smart and rock aren't easy bedfellows
Nick Drake: Sold plenty of VWs, but the adoration's too recent
The Replacements: Once called The Best Rock Band in America, but how many people actually listened to them?
T. Rex: Bowie already claimed role of token '70s glam-rocker
Gram Parsons: Vast imbalance between critical and commercial success
Dick Dale & Link Wray: Rock Hall reached surf/rockabilly guitarist quota with Duane Eddy
Thin Lizzy: Few see past handful of big hits into deep catalog
The Cure: Long legacy but too much hairspray and not enough American hits
Stevie Ray Vaughan: Revitalized the blues, but hip-hop nominees sexier
Deep Purple: Helped create metal, but hits are an easier sell than influence
The Smiths: Nominating committee too old to have felt vast influence
The Cars: Ric Ocasek isn't as hot as Sting or Debbie Harry
Joy Division/New Order: Neither had broad enough impact on their own
Kraftwerk: Hall doesn't care for trailblazing Germans. Just ask Can
Sonic Youth: Dramatic influence yet to overshadow lack of hits
Bon Jovi: Still more will have to "die4uJon" before they gain entrance
Mötley Crüe: Will probably need tragic O.D. to get some love
Roxy Music: Big influence on acts like Coldplay, but too few hits