5 Artists Snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame This Year
This morning, it was announced that Pearl Jam was voted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. While we’re thrilled for them, we can’t help but feel bad for five other acts that didn’t make the cut: Depeche Mode, Jane’s Addiction, MC5, Kraftwerk and Bad Brains. Below, we take a look at those bands, how long they’ve been eligible, how many votes they received for the fan’s ballot (which counted for one total ballot) and why they should have been inducted instead of Journey, Electric Light Orchestra, Tupac Shakur, Yes and Joan Baez.
Although Depeche Mode started out as a lightweight synthpop act, they quickly grew as songwriters, taking on themes like peace, mortality, teen suicide and religion. Their songs have been covered by acts as diverse as Sammy Hagar, HIM and Johnny Cash, and their influence extends to the wave of bands that have sprung up since the ‘00s that combined modern keyboard sounds, moody lyrics and danceable grooves, like Interpol and the Killers.
It can be argued that the alternative rock revolution of the ‘90s without Jane’s Addiction. While Nirvana and Pearl Jam, both of whom are in the Hall, set off the explosion, Jane’s Addiction built the bomb by combining the riffs of Led Zeppelin with the decadence of the Velvet Underground. Almost as importantly, frontman Perry Farrell helped define what became known as the “alternative nation” by creating Lollapalooza, a package tour for artists just outside the mainstream that ran between 1991 and 1997 before eventually finding a permanent home in Chicago.
From Elvis Presley to the Who to the Sex Pistols to Nine Inch Nails, the best rock and roll has always contained no small element of danger. At the end of the ‘60s, no band exemplified the threat posed by the counter-culture than the MC5. aligning themselves with the White Panther Party and creating a violent sound that, within a decade, would define punk rock.
Since their 1970 debut, Kraftwerk has never had a U.S. gold record and have only placed one song, “Autobahn,” in the Top 40. But if not for them, electronic music would sound entirely different. They combined innovation — building or modifying their instruments to get the sounds they wanted — with a unique performance approach, influencing generations of musicians, from the early synthpop bands like New Order and fellow nominees Depeche Mode through the late ‘80s house and techno movements to today’s EDM.
Bad Brains subverted the formula for punk by being highly skilled jazz-fusion musicians capable of playing reggae and, on later records metal and thrash. They helped define hardcore, influencing Ian MacKaye and the Beastie Boys — who started out as a hardcore act — and even finding a surprising fan in the Cars’ Ric Ocasek, who produced their second record, Rock for Light.