The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has been around for over 25 years. Of course it includes such great acts like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Elvis, but it also enshrines some performers that just make you scratch your head (The Dells? Gene Pitney?). Instead, here are 10 performers that have all made a huge contribution to various genres of rock and roll. They are all eligible for induction and undoubtedly should be there, and if the committee members have any sense these will be the 2011 inductees...
YesYes is the progressive rock band of the 70's. Fronted by Jon Anderson's distinctive vocals, this band brought superbly beautiful musical craftsmanship to their albums and live shows. They even rode the musical "new wave" in the 1980's with hugely successful albums such as "90210" and "Big Generator".
The CureThe Cure has had a variety of members throughout the years but the one constant is Robert Smith. They are leaders of the "goth rock" genre, and Smith's dark and quirky songs still generate legions of followers among the disenfranchised teens of today just as the band has done for almost 30 years.
Stevie Ray VaughnThere are few guitarists that truly belong among the pantheon of rock gods (Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen to name two), but SRV is surely one of them. He and his 2 sidemen that made up Double Trouble kicked out the Texas Blues like nobody's business! He was taken from this world far too soon but lucky for us mere mortals he left a legacy of killer music that inspired a whole generation of guitarists.
They may not have had the best music out there, but Kiss is more than a band, they are a rock ideal, a rock corporation, and a rock spectacle all wrapped up into one. Their shows are a mixture of circus, kabuki theater, and a mother's worst nightmare. And dammit, "I wanna rock and roll all night" is what rock and roll all about!
The Spinners got their start in the early 60's but it took them a decade to become recognized as a soul powerhouse they were. Classics such as "I'll Be Around", "Then Came You", and "Could It Be I'm Falling In Love" are some of the sweetest, most soulful music you'll ever hear. And who could forget "Rubberband Man". They represented some of the best 70's soul music and influenced performers from Michael Jackson to Hall & Oates.
SqueezeThey weren't called "the next Beatles" for nothing. From the late 70's to early 80's Squeeze, led by the prolific Chris Difford and Glen Tilbrook, cranked out pop-rock classics at a fierce pace. Albums like Argy Bargy and East Side Story are masterpieces of genius hooks and smart lyrics. Everyone who went to college in to 80's had a copy of the eponymous "Singles, 45's, and Under" album, and if you don't, run to get it - you will not be disappointed!
Neil DiamondOK, first of all forget about "Heartlight". That alone is probably the reason he's not in the hall! He started as a Brill Building songwriter, penning such hits as "I'm a Believer" and "Daydream Believer" before striking it big on is own. Songs such as "Cherry Cherry", "Kentucky Woman", "Sweet Caroline", "Cracklin' Rosie" and so many more lit up the charts in the 60's and 70's, and he's been a popular concert draw ever since. His live album "Hot August Night" is a classic. A fitting cap to his career was that he had his very first number one album ("Home Before Dark") in 2008.
RushThis power trio is the best thing Canada has produced next to Wayne Gretsky. From 70's rock classics like "Spirit of Radio", Tom Sawyer", and "Red Barchetta" to the 80's "Subdivisions" and "Distant Early Warning", and into the 90's with "Show Don't Tell" and "Roll the Bones", Rush has produced top-notch rock for over 30 years. Their music is both timely and timeless.
Harry ChapinOne of the great things of early 70's rock were the storytellers. And there were none better than Harry Chapin. Like his biggest hit "Taxi", his songs were the stories of down-on-their luck people trying to get by the best they knew how. From the baritone "Mr. Tanner" who dares to believe in possible success on the stage (until a critic smashes his dream with a few brief words), to the sweetly melancholy "Dreams Go By" about hopes and plans that get put to the side, interrupted by the toils of everyday life. Chapin's songs, and his characters, are all touchingly human.
Jimmy BuffettMillions of Parrotheads can't be wrong! There is no concert like a Jimmy Buffett show to just kick back and have fun, making Buffett is one of the most beloved and popular entertainers around. The inventor of "Gulf-Western" music, Buffett's songs are mostly caribbean- or country-flavored gems that are bent toward living a, shall we say, "less stressful" sort of life. "Fins", "Volcano", "Cheeseburger In Paradise", "Nautical Wheelers".... the list goes on and on. And he lives the life he sings about too, having lived in both Key West and New Orleans, and now flying to many of his shows in his own water plane, which he has both crashed and had shot at by Jamaican police!