The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Pyramid

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Pyramid

[Click to enlarge]

Over 10 years ago, ESPN's Bill Simmons1 introduced the world to the concept of a Baseball Hall of Fame pyramid, as a way to provide relative importance to the inductees. Well, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Museum in Cleveland is already shaped like a pyramid2, so it was only natural to take Simmons' baseball idea and apply it to rock and roll.

Here is Simmons' explanation of the idea (revised for Rock and Roll):

Here's the premise: In an ideal world, the Hall of Fame should be a place where someone could stroll in, spend weeks walking around, absorb everything about [rock music] ... by the time they departed, they would know everything there is to know about [rock and roll]. Well, the way the place is presently constructed, all the Hall of Famers are sort of lumped together. It's like having a Hall of Fame for models and putting Cindy Crawford's plaque next to the girl who modeled as the "Before" picture in the original "Weight Watchers" ad.

So why couldn't we transform it into a five-level pyramid -- seriously, an actual pyramid, like a replica of the Luxor casino in Las Vegas -- where elected [artists] are assigned to different levels?

The pyramid depicted above is what the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame might look like if the inductees were organized into five increasingly elite levels. As of 2012, there are 180 inductees in the performer category, which divides up nicely into 5 groups, each with multiples of 12 artists (Level 1 has 60, Level 2 has 48, etc.). While Hall of Famers have been assigned a particular level3, there is no ranking within a particular group. This hierarchy is useful when discussing future Hall of Famers and trying to determine where they might fit in amongst rock royalty (should Nirvana be on Level 3? What about Public Enemy?).

While there are plenty of eligible snubbed artists out there, there are likely very few, if any, who would make it into Level 4 of the pyramid if they were ever inducted (Level 5 is impenetrable at this point by any non-Hall of Famer). The Rock Hall rarely misses the no-brainer inductees. The inductees on Level 1 on the other hand, are often the reason the Rock Hall makes so many people crazy. If artist X is in, why isn't artist Y?

As Bill Simmons wrote in his article, it's just more fun to think of the Hall of Fame as a pyramid. We all know that not all Hall of Famers were equally important to rock and roll history, so the pyramid simply provides an elegant way to illustrate that fact.

1. Simmons shares credit for the idea with his friend Gus Ramsey and Wally Ramsey.

2. The architect of the Rock Hall, I.M. Pei, also designed the most famous modern pyramid, the controversial 1988 addition to the Louvre.

3. The hierarchy in the pyramid was primarily determined by artist rankings here and here. Feel free to argue about the order in the comments below, but remember, you can't move someone up without moving someone else down.

If you prefer to look at the Hall of Famers in a sortable list, here is where to go. Check out the sidebar on the left for many more excursions into wormhole that is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Follow us on twitter to keep up with everything Rock Hall related.

This site is not affiliated in any way with the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum or the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Foundation.




Comments

120 comments so far (post your own)

This pyramid was grouped exceedingly well. It makes sense.

Also, it's clear that the rows definitely have significance although the thought process probably wasn't as time consuming to determine them. Look at the bottom row, for example. It houses all four acts that weren't inducted into Rock Hall Reivisted/Projected (Sledge, Faces, Moonglows, Dells), two artists that the general public has no knowledge of (Nyro/Baker - both with candidacies that are borderline at best) and a misplaced backing group (Booker T. & The M.G/'s).

Posted by Casper on Tuesday, 04.3.12 @ 22:17pm


To have The Sex Pistols 4 rows above The Stooges shows a complete lack of understanding of the history of the punk movement.

Pink Floyd and Neil Young 9 rows above the Grateful Dead????

Putting the solo career of John Lennon 10 rows above Frank Zappa and 11 above Paul McCartney is an absolute insult.

I'll stop now, but I could go on.

Posted by classicrocker on Tuesday, 04.3.12 @ 22:18pm


Hmm that pyramid is both flawed AND predictable.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 03:00am


John Lennon's solo career over Buddy Holly? The Sex Pistols not one, not two, but SEVEN rows over Clyde McPhatter (arguably the "Father of Rock & Roll" as Philip would say)? Now THAT'S an insult.

The Ramones ahead of Queen? LOL

And why is Muddy Waters about 20 rows ahead of John Lee Hooker? I can understand how he may have been more important overall, but 20 rows?!

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 03:40am


The Ramones above David Bowie, velvet Underground and Queen?

my jimmies are incredibly rustled.

Posted by GFW on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 06:03am


"While Hall of Famers have been assigned a particular level, there is no ranking within a particular group."

There are only five levels. The rows within
each level are insignificant.

Posted by FRL on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 06:47am


I bloody hope so, because there's no way the Ramones>>>Queen, VU, Bowie AND pink floyd!

Posted by GFW on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 07:08am


Geniuses. Please reread the intro. Rows within a category are meaningless. There are five groups. That's it.

Posted by Dezmond on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 14:40pm


The Byrds should be in Level 4. Their influence is HUGE. You could bump John Lennon (as a solo artist) down from 4 to 3.

Posted by Dezmond on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 14:42pm


Well that certainly makes more sense. Still doesn't quite explain the big gap between Muddy Waters and John Lee Hooker though. There are still a few things I disagree with, Eddie Cochran (and a few others) deserve better than level 1 and I think Black Sabbath should be bumped up to a level 4. But I guess I can take this list after all ;)

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 16:27pm


Also, there are some level 4 acts you could easily make a case for to belong in the level 5 group (and 2 or 3 level 4's who should be in the level 3 pile)

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 16:31pm


The rows within a category are meaningless are they? So The Beatles appearing at the very top of level 5 was just a coincidence. The 12 names were put in a hat and out of those 12 The Beatles were drawn first? If the rows really are meaningless then maybe they should be alphabetized.

Everything I said still stands anyway. The Grateful Dead were at the top of 2 genres- psychedelic and jam bands. They deserve to be on level 4, not 2. The Stooges should be on the same level as The Ramones. The Clash mixed punk with reggae and were big for 30 minutes till the end of 1982, and for that they deserve level 4?? And Elton John is more important than Smokey Robinson & The Miracles?

Sorry to be so negative, but this is just another exercise in subjectivity like The Immortals list that was bound to be shot full of holes the minute it was unfurled.

At least Level 1 looks OK to me....

Posted by classicrocker on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 16:52pm


How is Smokey Robinson& The Miracles more important than Elton John?

Posted by GFW on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 17:01pm


OK, I'd make the following adjustments:

* The Clash down to 2 or 3
* Stevie Wonder down to 4
* Velvet Underground down to 3
* Elton John down to 3
* Queen down to 3
* John Lennon down to 2 (level with solo Macca and Harrison)
* Byrds up to 4
* Doors up to 4
* Black Sabbath up to 4
* Stooges up to 3 or 4
* Animals up to 3
* Genesis up to 3
* Santana up to 3
* Jeff Beck up to 2
* John Lee Hooker up to 3

Posted by Dezmond on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 17:25pm


Wow. Just when I thought rankings could not be any more of a disaster, here comes the Rock Hall of Fame Pyramid. A total disaster. It's not even worth the bother of criticizing.

But since I'm in the neighborhood, an easy one: The Ramones. In the early 90s, by some weird quirk, the music press decided they were the great American band. Was it based on their brilliant songs? No. Was it based on their diversity and creativity? No. Their experimentation? Taking risks? No. Their overwhelming commercial success then? No again. From what I can gather, they were celebrated because they never quite made it, and because, as is wont to happen, their creative limitations were reinterpreted as a profound artistic statement. Well, nice as that was, the moment is passed, and the Ramones are virtually irrelevant to the contemporary musical landscape. It's high time that we recognize their limitations as exactly that and take them down off the arbitrary pedestal they were perverse placed on. I mean does anyone (be honest) go home and listen to a Ramones record? Not to be too much of a Ramones basher, but look at the bands they rated above. It's pathetic. And believe it or not, but I actually like them. I just never drank the Kool-aid. I like them for what they were, and not the over-hyped myth. Either the music stands up or it doesn't.

Posted by astrodog on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 18:01pm


I agree with all of your adjustments, Dezmond, except for maybe Stevie Wonder and The Velvet Underground.

Posted by classicrocker on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 18:01pm


If you think about it the pyramid is a great idea we. It helps you understand the importance of each artist and also how some inductees are either worth putting in or if they should wait to put them in.

Posted by Ryan on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 18:40pm


If you think about it the pyramid is a great idea we. It helps you understand the importance of each artist and also how some inductees are either worth putting in or if they should wait to put them in.

Posted by Ryan on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 18:40pm


If you think about it the pyramid is a great idea we. It helps you understand the importance of each artist and also how some inductees are either worth putting in or if they should wait to put them in.

Posted by Ryan on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 18:41pm


Don't necessarily agree with all the rankings, but the concept's cool. Level 5: Absolutely right, though I'd consider putting Bowie in there. I'm not that much of a fan, but credit where credit's due. Either him or Floyd.

Level 4: Switch John Lennon for The Doors (see Bowie), and put Sabbath in there as well. Maybe R.E.M. as well.

Level 3: Also about right, but I'd bump either Alice Cooper or Van Halen up there. The Yardbirds HAVE to be here; I don't have to like them to know that their contribution to rock is equal with most of the artists on this level. Same with The Stooges.

Level 2: Put Jeff Beck here.

Level 1 is dead on, as Casper said.

All in all, they mostly got it right, though just like everyone there's a few I'd switch.

Posted by Sam on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 19:22pm


One redeeming factor is that the Pretenders, a first ballot inductee, are on the bottom tier. Talk about diminishing returns.

Posted by astrodog on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 22:29pm


I love it. A nice piece of work and it gets one complement before all the "Are you kidding me, blank has to go before blank".

The pyramid is an easy concept to get, and the above surprisingly may not fit exactly with everyone's opinions, but it does a very reasonable job of classification.

Posted by jtrichey on Wednesday, 04.4.12 @ 23:49pm


"How is Smokey Robinson& The Miracles more important than Elton John?"

1) Because FAR MORE artists have covered The Miracles' songs than Elton John's. Far More.(Don't get me started)

2)The Miracles' appearance, and subsequent success marked the beginning of the entire Motown Phenomenon. There would have been NO MOTOWN without THEM. That means: no SUPREMES, TEMPTATIONS, FOUR TOPS, MICHAEL JACKSON & THE JACKSON FIVE, STEVIE WONDER, MARVIN GAYE,MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS,MARVELETTES,GLADYS NIGHT & THE PIPS, etc,etc,etc....
THAT'S WHY.

Posted by Bill G. on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 04:16am


Why are Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions listed separately, while The Miracles are listed with Smokey, and The Famous Flames are listed with James Brown ?

Posted by Bill G. on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 04:22am


Don't get me wrong, I have adjustments I'd make, but I also like the general concept.

Bill G., be careful with such statements as "without X, Y would never have happened." While you can trace influences, it is a stretch to claim that without Smokey and his Miracles that "SUPREMES, TEMPTATIONS, FOUR TOPS, MICHAEL JACKSON & THE JACKSON FIVE, STEVIE WONDER, MARVIN GAYE,MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS,MARVELETTES,GLADYS NIGHT & THE PIPS" would never have seen the light of day. You have to think those talented people would have been inspired by others and their great talents would have surfaced somehow, someway. I love Smokey and recognize his importance, but he is not the Savior of all music. Nobody is.

And you can make real arguments for Elton being more significant overall than Smokey. It would at least be a legitimate debate.

Posted by Dezmond on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 12:28pm


I think rankings in general are an impossible exercise that incorporate too much conventional wisdom. I wrote once before that debating whether a band meets a certain threshold (as with the R&RHF) is an interesting exercise, but trying to rank bands after the obvious choices is somewhat pointless. For example, is Run DMC really on a higher tier than the Eagles, the Jefferson Airplane, the Stooges, etc. (I would not even rate Run DMC higher than Afrika Bambaataa who isn't even in the R&RHF)? And I never understood the lofty reputation of Elvis Costello, who to me is like the Pretenders.

But forget all that. I will leave this thread with one final point: How after everything we've learned about Led Zeppelin and the very serious evidence of artistic theft that has been uncovered against them can they be in the top tier as one of the absolute greats? Thankless task or not, that is a legitimate question.

Posted by astrodog on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 13:10pm


Very legitimate question, Astrodog. And I hope you don't leave the thread just yet. We are all here precisely because we all love to debate these things (to death).

I would say that Zeppelin, even with the theft, deserves their place. That is because of what they did with the blues. They were not merely aping the masters (as Clapton still does), they took the blues to a new place. They made it heavier and added a thrilling improvisation. And if you move beyond the first couple of albums, their styles and influences that they incorporated went way beyond just blues (although the blues remained a cornerstone to their sound). Add to that Jimmy Page's contributions to the Great Riffs of the World. To me, there is no question that Zeppelin deserves its place.

That being said, there is no excusing their actions of not crediting the original songwriters of the tunes they were covering, however much they made them their own.

Posted by Dezmond on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 13:24pm


It's just that the degree of artistic theft was astonishing. And it wasn't just old blue's songs. For example, they ripped off Dazed and Confused root and branch from Jake Holmes. Even the hallowed Stairway intro was lifted from a Spirit song. If it was once or twice, maybe I'd overlook it, but it was an entire catalog of songs (Whole Lotta Love, When the Levee Breaks, Blackdog and on and on). For all I know they took Kashmir from some goat herder in Morocco. It just seems a bit much to place them with the greatest bands of all time. They deserve to be knocked down a tier or two.

Posted by astrodog on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 13:36pm


The Four Seasons have gotta be ranked higher than level 2. The original blue-collar rock'n'roll group (actually band, since they did play their own instruments), major act in solidifying the identifiable East Coast sound, and major player in a proto- kind of way towards blue-eyed soul.

Posted by Philip on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 13:37pm


"For all I know they took Kashmir from some goat herder in Morocco"

Yeah, I actually haven't been able to find anything on it, it seems "Kashmir" might actually be legit.

"The Four Seasons have gotta be ranked higher than level 2"

Agree.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 14:40pm


Not true, Kashmir was actually a john lennon song but jimmy page stole it from his mind with black magic. True story.

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 14:56pm


jokes aside, I agree. Led Zep should be at level 4. at least when chuck berry nicked riffs they were from himself!

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 15:31pm


Oh, I missed that Zep was at 5. Yeah, 4 works better.

Posted by Dezmond on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 17:02pm


If someone offered to swap Led Zeppelin from Level 5 in exchange for Johnny Cash from Level 4, I'd take that trade.

Posted by classicrocker on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 20:00pm


Nah, Led Zeppelin is right were they deserve to be. Fact!

Posted by Gassman on Thursday, 04.5.12 @ 20:42pm


The Miracles should be at level 4.

Posted by Bill G. on Friday, 04.6.12 @ 02:16am


"Bill G., be careful with such statements as "without X, Y would never have happened." While you can trace influences, it is a stretch to claim that without Smokey and his Miracles that "SUPREMES, TEMPTATIONS, FOUR TOPS, MICHAEL JACKSON & THE JACKSON FIVE, STEVIE WONDER, MARVIN GAYE,MARTHA & THE VANDELLAS,MARVELETTES,GLADYS NIGHT & THE PIPS" would never have seen the light of day. You have to think those talented people would have been inspired by others and their great talents would have surfaced somehow, someway. I love Smokey and recognize his importance, but he is not the Savior of all music. Nobody is.

And you can make real arguments for Elton being more significant overall than Smokey. It would at least be a legitimate debate."

You're right .Smokey is NOT the savior of all music.
But, that said, Keep in mind that MOTOWN RECORDS was the vehicle by which all of these artists found fame and fortune...and without The Miracles , there would have been no Motown in the FIRST PLACE. Those are Berry Gordy's words....not mine.

..And he ought to know.

Now, maybe some of these acts may have made it later, and to a lesser extent, with some other record labels. No one can know for sure.

And then again , without Motown, they may not have made it AT ALL.

It was this special grouping of artists, producers, musicians, and writers...at THAT particular time and place... the right people,at the right time, under that one man, Berry Gordy Jr,that made Motown happen.

But, he couldn't have done it without money...and The Miracles' early success gave him the seed money to form the label. It was Smokey that suggested that he form his own label in the first place ...because Gordy was being shafted by other labels that he was writing HITS for...but, that were paying him peanuts for his efforts, while they reaped the financial rewards for HIS work.

..As for Elton John, well that's another debate for another time.

Posted by Bill G. on Friday, 04.6.12 @ 02:34am


http://www.furious.com/perfect/yardbirds2.html

Hey Gassman have you read this? Someone should write a book on Led Zeppelin's plagiarism!

(astrodog has also posted some worthwhile links on the Led Zeppelin page)

What I'm saying is that there have been instances of individuals holding public office or any other sort of power who have been forced to resign when dubious history became apparent. For example, I don't remember where I read this but an important politician in Germany was forced to resign recently when news came to light that he had forged his Doctorate (no, I'm not talking about the President who had to resign recently over corruption). In the case of Led Zeppelin, their obvious plagiarism warrants a legitimate demoting from "level 5" to "level 4" at the very least.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Friday, 04.6.12 @ 04:08am


I've seen a quote from a very respected blues performer (I don't exactly remember who) that said that he had no problem with what Led Zeppelin has done in terms of using other artists work. He said that what Led Zeppelin did was in the continued tradition of taking what people had done before them and improving it or even just slightly altering it before calling it their own. I agree with him and I don't really see the fuss in the matter. Music and the arts is in a different realm when it comes to this matter then academia.

Posted by Gassman on Friday, 04.6.12 @ 21:37pm


Not when it comes to royalties. Especially these old blues artists who always got screwed by the record labels anyway. What Zeppelin did was really shady. There is a reason that Willie Dixon and the heirs to Howlin' Wolf both sued Zeppelin and got a substantial settlement out of them. Music is intellectual property, and stealing that intellectual property is theft, just like stealing any other type of property from someone else. If they had given them co-credit on the songs to begin with, there would be absolutely no problem. But they profited off somebody else's work without justly compensating them.

Posted by Dezmond on Friday, 04.6.12 @ 23:48pm


One aspect of the pyramid that hasn't been brought up is expansion. Next year, when five or six new HOF members are inducted, does it just keep expanding Group #1? Or are four (presumably) other Group #1 members promoted to Group #2 status, three Group #2 to #3 status, and so on? Or since we have a nice even 180 members--handy for dividing into five hierarchies like this--cease to exist after the 2013 inductions?

Posted by Joe on Saturday, 04.14.12 @ 19:17pm


That last sentence (or the last part of it) should read: "..(or) does the pyramid cease to exist after the 2013 inductions?"

Posted by Joe on Saturday, 04.14.12 @ 19:19pm


They'll probably continue to expand it.

Posted by Sam on Sunday, 04.15.12 @ 05:47am


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kNNAzdFXkHA

***The Miracles' 2012 Pre-induction Party,Cleveland, Ohio- 4/13/12***

Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 04.23.12 @ 23:37pm


The real problem w/this rock pyramid is that there is no attempt to acknowledge the era's these artists were a part of.

For instance, Michael Jackson is listed in tier 2, yet anyone familiar w/the 80's would surely place him in the top tier. The fact is, he was The #1 guy for many people during the 1980's. It would seem to me that the top tier would have to take into account who was #1 at certain periods of the music's history.

Beyond that, there's no tangible statistics at work here to explain why the top artists are #1, while the #2's ARE #2, the #3's ARE #3, and so on & so forth. This isn't the fault of the ESPN analyst, nor is it the fault of this site. It's simply the inherent problem that the real Rock Hall has been trying to finesse for a while.

When I look at that pyramid, I'm struck by the fact that I see an attempt to unconsciously create a list, a'la the 3,000 hit club in baseball, only in structural terms. I see an attempt to place those players w/3,300 hits or more in the 1st tier, those from 3,000 - 3,300 in the 2nd tier, those from 2,700 - 2,999 in the 3rd, 2,400 - 2,699 in the 4th, & anyone from 2,000 on up in the 5th.

The problem is, we're not basing this on statistics. At least this is what the Rock Hall wishes us to think. What were left with is some vague notion that it has to do w/influence, & it's impossible to rank influence (though it is possible to be rank in your influences). There needs to be some sort of rough idea as to what they're looking for - artist longevity, whether the group was ever THE #1 act for a given period of time, etc.

Guns N' Roses we're the #1 band in rock, but only for a short while. Nirvana was the #1 band in rock, roughly for the same period of time as Guns. Pearl Jam was once the #1 band in rock (briefly), but have a career that lasts far, far longer than either of these two bands. Metallica is the same as PJ, though their careers are even longer. So who here collected 3,000 hits per'se? Where does the threshold begin? How do you make this work?

It's an interesting idea, but flawed, & I think it's because the logic behind the concept of the Hall is flawed.

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 04.26.12 @ 06:53am


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzdZl_JkFpw
Smokey Robinson and Berry Gordy on The Miracles'2012 RRHOF Induction.

Posted by Bill G. on Tuesday, 05.1.12 @ 13:36pm


The appearance and subsequent success of THE MIRACLES marked a fundamental change in the direction of popular music.They were just THAT IMPORTANT.They were the spark that caused the worldwide explosion called MOTOWN. And, just IMAGINE how different the world of music (and in general) would be today if Motown had never existed.

Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 05.7.12 @ 14:14pm


http://www.beatlesebooks.com/hold-on-me

Anyone who questions the worldwide influence and impact of THE MIRACLES should click on the above link.

From Wikipedia:

" Although the influx of overseas artists comprising the British Invasion caused the end of many American artists' recording careers,they had very little effect on the Miracles,who continued having hit records throughout this period.In fact, many of the British Invasion acts were influenced by Motown acts, mainly The Miracles. Members of The Beatles later admitted that the group played a huge influence in their music. The effects of this influence became even more pronounced when The Hollies, The Zombies, The Who, and The Rolling Stones all began recording covers of Miracles' hits."
















Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 05.7.12 @ 14:19pm


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsOxuqMjPBI

***DICK CLARK and THE MIRACLES on MOTOWN 25***

(The Miracles at 7:10, Dick Clark at 11:39 discusses Motown's impact on America, the World, and Music and Popular Culture)

Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 05.7.12 @ 15:34pm


The late Miracles member Marv Tarplin can be seen on the platform on the right @ 7:46, 8:22, and 9:03-9:10.

Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 05.7.12 @ 16:00pm


The Miracles should be at level 4.

They should not be at the same level as other Motown groups like the Supremes and The Temptations, that did not write their own material, because The Miracles DID.
That's why they are the HIGHEST-RANKING Motown group on Rolling Stone's "IMMORTALS" list, at # 32. The Supremes, Temptations,and Four Tops didn't even make the Top 50.

The Miracles should be ranked higher HERE too.

Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 05.7.12 @ 23:23pm


oh boy,

Posted by susan2 on Thursday, 05.10.12 @ 08:04am


"Why are Curtis Mayfield and The Impressions listed separately, while The Miracles are listed with Smokey, and The Famous Flames are listed with James Brown ?"

Because Mayfield got inducted twice (once with The Impressions and once as a solo musician).

Posted by Handsome Bob on Saturday, 07.21.12 @ 21:32pm


Move Michael Jackson and Prince up to the top tier.

Posted by Automatic on Monday, 08.20.12 @ 20:13pm


Etta James and the Beastie Boys should be on the first level

Posted by Mikhail on Tuesday, 08.28.12 @ 01:32am


After fumigating the dogshit:

Chuck Berry
Elvis Presley
The Beach Boys
Ray Charles
James Brown & The Famous Flames
Stevie Wonder
The Rolling Stones
The Jimi Hendrix Experience
The Who
Johnny Cash
Marvin Gaye
Michael Jackson
The Ramones
Aretha Franklin
Pink Floyd
Prince
Sam Cooke
David Bowie
The Velvet Underground
Elton John
Little Richard
The Clash
The Kinks
Fats Domino
Muddy Waters
Queen
Buddy Holly & the Crickets
The Doors
Black Sabbath
Ike & Tina Turner
Bo Diddley
Sly & the Family Stone
Roy Orbison
The Temptations (Retained only for their recordings with Smokey Robinson on lead vocals)
The Police
Run-D.M.C.
Smokey Robinson & the Miracles
Al Green
B.B. King
Jerry Lee Lewis
Talking Heads
Elvis Costello & the Attractions
Otis Redding
Van Morrison
Beastie Boys
The Everly Brothers
Fleetwood Mac (Retained only for their pre-Stevie Nicks years)
Aerosmith (Retained for their pre-late 1980s material)
Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Sex Pistols
Jackie Wilson
Parliament-Funkadelic
Van Halen
The Bee Gees
Carl Perkins
The Shirelles
Bill Haley & His Comets
Alice Cooper
The Drifters
Earth, Wind & Fire
The Stooges
The Isley Brothers
The Animals
Ricky Nelson
Curtis Mayfield
The Jackson Five
Genesis
The Coasters
Etta James
Guns N' Roses (Retained only for Appetite for Destructions. Everything after that album is terrible)
Blondie
Rod Stewart
Dion
Wilson Pickett
Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five
Martha & the Vandellas
Bobby Darin
ZZ Top
Isaac Hayes
Eddie Cochran
Gladys Knight & the Pips
Brenda Lee
Duane Eddy
Dr. John
Clyde McPhatter
The (Young) Rascals
Sam & Dave
The Platters
The O'Jays
Solomon Burke
Ruth Brown
The Impressions
The Dave Clark Five
Bobby "Blue" Bland
Hank Ballard & the Midnighters
Gene Vincent & His Blue Caps
The Staple Singers
The Ventures
Bobby Womack
Jimmy Reed
John Lee Hooker
Frankie Lymon & the Teenagers
Ritchie Valens
The Flamingos
Lloyd Price
Little Anthony & the Imperials
Del Shannon
Big Joe Turner
Little Willie John
Booker T & the M.G.'s
The Small Faces/The Faces
The Dells
The Moonglows
LaVern Baker

Posted by Zach on Saturday, 09.1.12 @ 21:33pm


well if you're getting rid of dogshit, then what on earth is Bill haley doing there?

Posted by GFW on Sunday, 09.2.12 @ 05:47am


The only dogshit I see is a level-less "pyramid" that doesn't contain the Beatles or Led Zeppelin... #feh

Posted by JD Stutts on Sunday, 09.2.12 @ 12:28pm


I totally agree. #daft

Posted by GFW on Sunday, 09.2.12 @ 13:15pm


No Led Zeppelin? Meh. No CCR? The Dude does not abide.


(Zach, for the record I know we've been through the CCR discussion before with me liking them and you not- and that's fine, I just wanted to make that joke).

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Sunday, 09.2.12 @ 13:47pm


"The Temptations (Retained only for their recordings with Smokey Robinson on lead vocals)"

What ??

Smokey was NEVER a member of The Temptations...much less having lead vocals for them.He never did.

Perhaps you mean the songs that Smokey (and the rest of The Miracles, Bobby Rogers, Pete Moore, Ronnie White , and Marv Tarplin)) WROTE for them.

Posted by Bill G. on Monday, 09.3.12 @ 13:01pm


Bill G., I fouled up big time. When I first heard songs like Get Ready on the radio, I thought Smokey Robinson was singing lead vocals. Keep in mind this was back when I was about 9-10 years old when I first started listening to Motown acts. You have to admit that Eddie Kendricks sounds very close to Smokey on certain Temptations recordings, Get Ready being a prime example. I stand corrected. Disregard my previous comments in parentheses.

JD Stutts, please tell me you are not one of these stereotypical teenagers/college kids whose knowledge of older music begins and ends with The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. If you are, I pity you. If not, then I hope you have a well-rounded taste in music. I can't tolerate conversing about music, especially rock 'n' roll, with people who know nothing of music from the 1950s or earlier or who tout a rockist mentality. Tahvo, GFW, Philip, and Cheesecrop (four of the most well-rounded posters here in terms of music tastes and knowledge) can vouch for that.

I've thoroughly discussed my reasons for disliking The Beatles and LZ, so there's no need to flog two already dead corpses. Refer to the Chuck Berry, Lawrence Welk, Robert Plant, Beatles, and Jimmy Page pages for my reasons. I'll just say that Queen smokes both bands in terms of the overall package (songwriting, vocals, instruments, innovations, continuity of band members, etc.).

GFW, I was only selecting the artists whom I've deemed good or better and isolating them in my own list. I wasn't trying to rewrite the pyramid.

Tahvo, that was pretty funny. I honestly can't say I despise CCR. I'm just not a fan of theirs.
John Fogerty and the boys don't inspire the same kind of vitriol I dish out for the likes of Neil Young, Barry Manilow, Lady Gaga, The Dead Kennedys, and the others in my top 10 most hated music acts. If you're curious, I can share that list sometime.

Posted by Zach on Monday, 09.3.12 @ 19:01pm


Ah right, I thought you were advocatingomitting some very important bands from the hall. In regards to Queen and Beatles, I love both but I've always found beatles albums more consistently good and Queen a much better singles act.

Also you hate Gaga? Thank god, I thought i was the only one on this site!

Posted by GFW on Tuesday, 09.4.12 @ 05:44am


Police, Doors, Clapton... all should be moved up to level 4. Doors and Police don't have a lot of material but what they do have is great and the Police were the biggest band in the world for the first half of the 80s until breaking up and have influenced a ton of 90s bands. The Doors and Clapton are eternal.

Elton John, the Kinks, Velvet Underground should be moved down. And the Ramones are way too high here.

Also, when does Rush finally make the HOF? They should've been in long ago.

Posted by Joe on Tuesday, 09.25.12 @ 22:49pm


To be honest, I hope Rush never makes the HOF. I kinda dig the perverse irony that a band this talented has been snubbed so many times. I can't wait to see 'em Saturday at the Air Canada Centre!

Deep Purple, on the other hand, floors me. I consider Ritchie Blackmore (along with Uli Jon Roth) to be one of the godfathers of the shred guitar. Yet DP's been snubbed going on 19 years now. Would be cool to see them get in next year.

Posted by Brian of Nazareth on Monday, 10.8.12 @ 04:11am


Biggest snubs:
1.Rush
2.Nirvana
3.Bon Jovi
4.Boston
5.Phil Collins
6.Bryan Adams
7.Kiss
8.Iron Maiden
9.Heart
10.The Misfits
11.Journey
12.Deep Purple
13.Def Leppard
14.Foreigner
15.Motley Crue
16.Judas Priest
17.Steve Miller Band
18.Whitney Houston
19.The Cure
20.The Monkees
21.Megedeth
22.Stevie Ray Vaughan
23.Chicago
24.Joe Satriani
25.Pantera
Honorable Mention:
Slayer, Anthrax, Dio, NOFX, Social Distortion, The Smiths, The Scorpions, Duran Duran, The Doobie Brothers, The Cars, Peter Gabriel, Yes, Dire Straits, Cheap Trick, The Offspring, Phish, Keith Richards, The Goo Goo Dolls, The Tragically Hip, Soundgarden, Poison, Steve Vai.

Posted by Josh on Saturday, 11.10.12 @ 01:45am


^Belated response, but here goes:

1. The Smiths, Soundgarden and Yes should be moved into the top 25.

2. The Offspring and Nirvana aren't eligible yet.

3. Foreigner aren't even the 10th biggest snub of the 80's. How you ranked them (along with a couple others there) higher than Megadeth I'll never understand.

4. Boston over Iron Maiden and Deep Purple?

Posted by Sam on Saturday, 11.17.12 @ 13:43pm


Where would the 2013 nominees slot in the pyramid? We would put Public Enemy on Level 3. But would anyone else be above Level 1?

Posted by FRL on Saturday, 11.17.12 @ 15:02pm


Good question, FRL. Kraftwerk deserves better than level 1, IMO, level 3 seems like a good fit along with Public Enemy. Additionally, I would consider putting Donna Summer and Deep Purple both on level 2.

Posted by Tahvo Parvianen on Saturday, 11.17.12 @ 15:17pm


I'd say Rush, DP, Donna, PE, N>W.A and especially Kraftwerk all deserve to be above level 1.

Posted by GFW on Saturday, 11.17.12 @ 16:21pm


I'm excited for this to be updated.

Any predictions on where everyone will be placed?

Posted by DC on Tuesday, 12.11.12 @ 22:08pm


For the new class, I'd put Public Enemy at Level 3 (they're definitely in the same tier as Run-D.M.C.), Rush at 2, and everyone else on 1, although Donna Summer, Heart, and Randy Newman would not be out of place in Level 2.

I would move Miles Davis and maybe John Mellencamp up to Level 2 and Dion down to Level 1, move Guns N' Roses up to 3, move John Lennon and Fats Domino down to 3, move The Doors and Black Sabbath up to 4 (I can't believe they are lower than CCR, who I don't mind being in 4), and possibly R.E.M. also, although I'm honestly thankful they're even at 3. the Ramones might should be down to 3, and The Stooges and AC/DC would fit well in up in 3 also. An argument could be made for Metallica in Tier 4, but not before BS and The Doors.

Posted by Paul K on Monday, 12.31.12 @ 09:01am


Public Enemy: 3
Donna Summer: 2
Rush: 2
Heart: 1
Randy Newman: 1
Albert King: 1

Posted by Classic Rock on Monday, 02.11.13 @ 20:53pm


I don't where to post this ever since that "Current Hall of Famers" doesn't have a comments, so I have to post it here or in the "The Immortals" page. I'm coming up with a questionnaire/survey on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's inductees. You are pleased to answer anytime you want.

Here are the questions:

1. Your favorite inductees (You can pick at least 7)?

2. Least deserving inductee (anyone but Madonna, ABBA, or any Hip Hop inductees*)?

3. Most loudest inductee (outside the Metal genre)?

4. Most quiet inductee?

6. Most civilized inductee?

7. Most weird inductee?

8. Most mean inductee?

9. Most nicest inductee?

10.. Most influential besides The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry?

11. Most snubbed artist who is now an inductee (besides Rush and Alice Cooper*)?

12. Inductee that should have been first-ballot (again, don't answer Rush*)?

13. Favorite Hip-Hop inductee?

14. Favorite inductee outside of the U.S. and the U.K.?

15. Favorite induction year?

Please answer the best you can.

* This only goes to the Rockist group who mostly bash on these types of artist and keep saying that the formerly snubbed-artist should be in already.

Posted by John R.C. on Thursday, 03.7.13 @ 23:05pm


I don't where to post this ever since that "Current Hall of Famers" doesn't have a comments, so I have to post it here or in the "The Immortals" page. I'm coming up with a questionnaire/survey on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's inductees. You are pleased to answer anytime you want.

Here are the questions:

Posted by John R.C. on Thursday, 03.7.13 @ 23:05pm
--------------------------------------------------
1. Can't answer in seven.

2. Probably Patti Smith, though any of the acts that had one legendary hit (7 that's all) could also be placed here.

3. If you consider what the Velvet Underground did to not be metal, then the Velvets. If not them, then Hendrix, probably.

4. Simon & Garfunkel, I assume (or some doo-wop stuff).

5. Unless the answer to this is the Invisible Band, you've got a problem here. You missed question #5

6. Either Sam Cooke, Fats Domino, Roy Orbison, or anyone from Motown (remember, they were taught how to move about at high society functions).

7. Impossible to answer (aka the effects of various substances) - if you just mean flamboyant, then Little Richard.

8. Not quite sure. Heard James Brown was tough on his musicians. Guns N' Roses weren't the most pleasant of acts. The Sex Pistols took a violent stance. Metallica also, but stance is just that -stance.

9. B.B. King seems to be a gracious gentleman.

10. Too many, though I'd probably say the Stones for starters.

11. They kept Sabbath out for a while (dumb call).

12. Several, though I'll use Bill Haley & the Comets, since they're the first in line here, as I see it.

13. Run D.M.C.

14. Santana, unless you're arguing against the Mexican roots. Not too many others, outside of one or two really obvious choices. (when you say the U.K., does this include Australia? All English speaking countries?).

15. Probably 1993 (Doors & CCR), or else the first two classes (lots of 50's/early 60's favorites).


Did the management of this establishment put you up to this? :)

Posted by Cheesecrop on Friday, 03.8.13 @ 15:51pm


Did the management of this establishment put you up to this? :)

Posted by Cheesecrop on Friday, 03.8.13 @ 15:51pm
-------------------

No, I just want to see on anyone's opinion on the Hall's inductees.

Posted by John R.C. on Friday, 03.8.13 @ 16:03pm


Responses below... it looks like your asking only about Performer inductees, or maybe Early Influence, too.

Here are the questions:

1. Your favorite inductees (You can pick at least 7)?

-the Four Seasons, U2, the Beatles, Elvis Presley, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Sam Cooke, the Drifters, Buddy Holly, Queen, Roy Orbison, Ricky Nelson, Phil Spector... I like a lot of them.


2. Least deserving inductee (anyone but Madonna, ABBA, or any Hip Hop inductees*)?

-I have to say Madonna. I think she brought so little to the table talent-wise, evolution-wise. I'm not a RAWKist, but if I obey the asterisk, I'd probably say Percy Sledge.

3. Most loudest inductee (outside the Metal genre)?

-the Who, the Dave Clark Five being a close second... despite their clean polished sound, they were loud and energetic.

4. Most quiet inductee?

-the Non-Performers? ha-ha. If Nick Drake ever gets in, he wins hands down. At present, either James Taylor or Laura Nyro...I'd say James Taylor

6. Most civilized inductee?

-I'll say Bobby Darin... never had a drug problem (that I know of), branched out into different styles, even helped his fellow performers learn how to do their own taxes during the Caravan Of Stars tours. Dick Clark would be a good call here too. Shrewd businessman, but civilized.

7. Most weird inductee?

-Hard to say... ultimately, it's really about the music and their commitment to it. Overall personality-wise, I'll say Prince. Talented as hell, but weird as hell.

8. Most mean inductee?

-I've heard stories that James Brown was a ballbuster. John Fogerty of CCR is pretty deserving in this respect too.

9. Most nicest inductee?

-This is covered under "most civilized", don't you think? But Elvis Presley was known for his kindness and generosity (up to the mid-50's)

10.. Most influential besides The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry?

-Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, James Brown, Aretha Franklin

11. Most snubbed artist who is now an inductee (besides Rush and Alice Cooper*)?

-the Miracles, the Comets, the Midnighters.. barring them, probably the Dave Clark Five and the Ventures

12. Inductee that should have been first-ballot (again, don't answer Rush*)?

-the Four Seasons, Black Sabbath, Queen, AC/DC

13. Favorite Hip-Hop inductee?

-the Beastie Boys

14. Favorite inductee outside of the U.S. and the U.K.?

-U2

15. Favorite induction year?

-Hard to say.... a lot of good years for inductions. The first few years were really good. Outside of Madonna, 2008 was a stellar year. 2005 was pretty good too. 2005, 1999... like I said, a lot of great years

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 03.9.13 @ 21:58pm


7. Most weird inductee?

-Hard to say... ultimately, it's really about the music and their commitment to it. Overall personality-wise, I'll say Prince. Talented as hell, but weird as hell.

-Philip

I'd buy front row seats for a weird off between Prince and Dr. John.

Posted by DarinRG on Saturday, 03.9.13 @ 22:09pm


Questions 6 &7 are differnet type of questions. The "most civilized" question is mostly on how the artist acts in society or performances. The most "most mean" is on how the artist's relation to people.

Posted by John R.C. on Saturday, 03.9.13 @ 22:25pm


My mistake, I met question 9 and "most nicest", not 7 and "most mean".

Posted by John R.C. on Saturday, 03.9.13 @ 22:30pm


DarinRG, if you've ever seen "An Evening With Kevin Smith" where he describes his trip to Prince's home, it's epic. But I was thinking of Dr. John too.

Posted by Philip on Saturday, 03.9.13 @ 23:01pm


I have seen that. Hilarious. I also love the story about a lady who got a knock on her door and when she opened it it was Pirince and another guy. They gave her a Jehova's Witness pitch and when they left they just drove off. Didn't hit up any neighbors or anything.

Posted by DarinRG on Sunday, 03.10.13 @ 00:04am


Great survey, John! Here are my responses:

1. Based on my top 100 Favorite Artists list and looking at the ones who are in the RRHOF, I'll go with Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Chuck Berry, Louis Jordan & His Tympani Five, David Bowie, Fats Domino, Nat King Cole/The Nat King Cole Trio, and Little Richard.

2. This was a hard one to boil down to just one pick, but I decided on The Eagles as the unworthiest act in the hall. The ultimate example of a band that had lots of hits but did nothing to develop rock 'n roll (Jackson Browne, John Mellencamp, Buffalo Springfield, Percy Sledge, Laura Nyro, Donovan, The Lovin' Spoonful, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, The Pretenders, Neil Diamond, and Randy Newman are all runners-up for the title of least qualified inductee)

3. Little Richard, Metallica, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, AC/DC, and Van Halen would all qualify

4. Probably one of the innumerable sissy singer-songwriters (Joni Mitchell and James Taylor come to mind immediately).

5. Where's number 5?

6. Fats Domino. I cannot think of a single scandal or controversy in which he was involved, and I've never heard or read a negative word about him.

7. Grace Slick of Jefferson Airplane. Naming your daughter after a country and picking a fan's nose are the actions of a classic whackjob.

8. Diana Ross seems to be a rather unpleasant lady based on her public outbursts.

9. Fats Domino comes off as a classy and humble man in every interview and film I've seen of him.

10. Ray Charles, James Brown & The Famous Flames, Aretha Franklin, Fats Domino, The Velvet Underground, Muddy Waters, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Black Sabbath, Queen, David Bowie, Buddy Holly and the Crickets, Sam Cooke, and The Jimi Hendrix Experience are all on an equal plane of influence with those three.

11. Queen and Black Sabbath, by far.

12. Black Sabbath and Queen again.

13. Run-D.M.C.

14. 1986 and 1986. Not one bad inductee among either class.

Posted by Zach on Sunday, 03.10.13 @ 20:08pm


Sorry i number the questions wrong so I come up with a new question for # 5:

Which performers you think will be the next inductees?

Posted by John R.C. on Sunday, 03.10.13 @ 20:26pm


1. Your favorite inductees (You can pick at least 7)

Sabbath, Metallica, Johnny Cash, R.E.M.

-Most unworthy? Probably Percy Sledge

-Loudest? The Who, Metallica, Led Zeppelin would all rank up there. A couple others like AC/DC

-Quietest? Joni Mitchell

-Civilized? Lavish parties excluded then the guys from Queen. I've heard stories about Freddie's generosity, John Deacon was always a quiet guy who just got up there and played (doesn't do interviews anymore), while May and Taylor always come across well in interviews. Over here in Britain May has been a wildlife activist and critic of fox-hunting

-Weirdest? Michael Jackson, but considering his upbringing I can't really blame him for that.

-Most mean? Difficult to say. The Van Halen brothers managed to get rid of both their main lead singers. Axl Rose managed to alienate the rest of GNR when the success went to his head and forced them to sign over the rights to the band name. None of them were saints though. Cream's rhythm section couldn't stand each other.

-Kindest? Partially covered up there, but Tony Iommi comes across as quite humble when I've seen him interviewed. Roger Daltrey is involved with the Teenage Cancer Trust.

-Most influential? Dylan, The Stones, Sabbath, Zeppelin, The Velvet Underground, Bowie, Queen, The Miracles, Pink Floyd, James Brown

-Most snubbed? Probably both The Miracles and Sabbath. Jeff Beck as well

-First ballot? Sabbath, Queen, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd

-Non-US or UK? U2

-Probably the first class, 1986

As for who I think next year will be: Nirvana, Deep Purple (long overdue, though I wouldn't complain if KISS went instead), some combination of The Cure/Depeche Mode/The Smiths, N.W.A., Chic

Posted by Sam on Thursday, 04.11.13 @ 12:25pm


1. Your favorite inductees (You can pick at least 7)

Sabbath, Metallica, Johnny Cash, R.E.M.

-Most unworthy? Probably Percy Sledge

-Loudest? The Who, Metallica, Led Zeppelin would all rank up there. A couple others like AC/DC

-Quietest? Joni Mitchell

-Civilized? Lavish parties excluded then the guys from Queen. I've heard stories about Freddie's generosity, John Deacon was always a quiet guy who just got up there and played (doesn't do interviews anymore), while May and Taylor always come across well in interviews. Over here in Britain May has been a wildlife activist and critic of fox-hunting

-Weirdest? Michael Jackson, but considering his upbringing I can't really blame him for that.

-Most mean? Difficult to say. The Van Halen brothers managed to get rid of both their main lead singers. Axl Rose managed to alienate the rest of GNR when the success went to his head and forced them to sign over the rights to the band name. None of them were saints though. Cream's rhythm section couldn't stand each other.

-Kindest? Partially covered up there, but Tony Iommi comes across as quite humble when I've seen him interviewed. Roger Daltrey is involved with the Teenage Cancer Trust.

-Most influential? Dylan, The Stones, Sabbath, Zeppelin, The Velvet Underground, Bowie, Queen, The Miracles, Pink Floyd, James Brown

-Most snubbed? Probably both The Miracles and Sabbath. Jeff Beck as well

-First ballot? Sabbath, Queen, Aerosmith, Beastie Boys, Alice Cooper, Pink Floyd

-Non-US or UK? U2

-Probably the first class, 1986

As for who I think next year will be: Nirvana, Deep Purple (long overdue, though I wouldn't complain if KISS went instead), some combination of The Cure/Depeche Mode/The Smiths, N.W.A., Chic

Posted by Sam on Thursday, 04.11.13 @ 12:25pm


Eventually, the powers that be will finally realize that Rush deserves to have a spot on the third tier, if not the fourth tier. People will still be listening to their music, hundreds, if not thousands of years from now.

Posted by Enigmaticus on Saturday, 05.11.13 @ 22:12pm


Rolling Stones below zeppelin and the beach Boys? Hardly... Exactly

Posted by Matthew on Saturday, 05.25.13 @ 12:13pm


Honestly, when you're talking about those three, any order you put 'em in could be justified.

Posted by GFW on Saturday, 05.25.13 @ 15:16pm


I blame the clowns on the committee for it - but Deep Purple should be on this list AND at level 3. What;s the first song ANY kid learns on guitar??

Posted by Dan on Wednesday, 07.24.13 @ 17:34pm


All my earlier kidding aside, here's how I'd fix the pyramid:

Fats Domino should be moved up four rows. His influence and impact cannot be overstated, and I have the sources to back up my claims.

David Bowie should be moved up to the top of the fourth level. Very, very influential among a myriad of genres and artists. His vocal styling influenced numerous singers in the alternative and new wave scenes, from Robert Smith to David Byrne. He certainly beats U2 and Bruce Springsteen in the I&I categories.

Much as I dislike them, The Byrds ought to go to the fourth level. Their pioneering work in the folk-rock and country-work scenes is significant enough.

John Lennon should be moved way, way down. Too many people attach significance to his preaching without actually focusing on his music, which didn't exactly change the course of music. As a Beatle, sure, but definitely not as a solo artist.

Jerry Lee Lewis and The Everly Brothers should both go up in their rankings. Both are hugely important in roots rock and country rock scenes.

Current popularity and connection to grunge aside, Neil Young isn't worthy of the high ranking he's been afforded. My hatred of him is well documented, but I objectively can't see him as anything more than a lower-tier Bob Dylan.

I love Elton John, but he does not deserve to be ranked higher than Buddy Holly & the Crickets, Black Sabbath, Bo Diddley, Fats Domino, Little Richard, The Byrds, The Doors, and others who are more innovative and influential.

Lastly, I would move Big Joe Turner to the top of the first level or the bottom of the second level. As a link between boogie-woogie, jump blues, and rhythm & blues, he is a highly important name and should not be ranked lower than less relevant names like Buffalo Springfield, The (Young) Rascals, Jackson Browne, The Righteous Brothers, and Gene Pitney.

Posted by Zach on Wednesday, 10.30.13 @ 17:40pm


Hi, Zach. After reading your comment, here's how I would fix the pyramid:

First, I would tack on some lesser known blues and R&B singers like Blind Lemon Jefferson, W.C. Handy, Roy Brown, Charley Patton, Lightin’ Hopkins, Percy Mayfield, Big Mama Thornton and Cab Calloway as well as a few jazz singers like Ornette Coleman, Lee Morgan, and Bill Evens.

I would replace Percy Sledge with another soul artist like Patti LaBelle. Also, I would put The Stooges in The Clash's place.

I would also move a few artists around like replacing Madonna with some other female singer like Liz Phair or Norah Jones, moving Elton John down a rank and putting Billy Joel there, moving Sam Cooke up a bit as well as Big Joe Turner and Fats Domino. I would also move Buddy Holly And The Crickets up to the top.

For rap artists, I would get rid of Public Enemy and replace them with 2Pac or Eminem and move Run DMC and Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five up higher.

On David Bowie, I agree with you on his importance in rock and roll but, I just hate it when people glorify him as the father of glam rock when T. Rex and The New York Dolls started the movement.

I'm also with you on the Byrds being where they are.

However, I do disagree with you on Neil Young's ranking. I think he deserves the rank.

Regarding your throughts on the 2014 Nominees, I would say that the only group that I woundn't celebrate getting into the Hall would be NWA. I too personally dislike thier music except "Express Yourself" and I just don't understand why so meny praise them when all they did was steer rap down a more gangester and racist path.

Otherwise, the other groups I like althrough I disagree with you on Linda Ronstadt because I happen to like her music and her voice.

For an Early Influence, I would pick Cab Calloway or The Ravens.

Lastly, here are some of my favorite films:

School of Rock
Monty Python & The Holy Grail
All the Star Wars films
All the Lord of The Rings films
The Hobbit
The Blues Brothers
Back To The Future
Planes, Trains, & Automobiles
Monty Python's The Meaning of Life
Animal House
All The Jurassic Park films
The Outsiders
Top Gun
Saving Private Ryan
Monty Python's Life of Brian
All the Indiana Jones films
Glory
Braveheart
Aladdin
Lincoln
The Last Samurai
Kingdom of Heaven
Young Frankenstein
Rodin Hood: Men In Tights
History of The World Part 1
Ray [although I haven't seeen it yet]
La Bomba [same thing]
The Buddy Holly Story [same thing here]
The Little Mermaid
A Fish Called Wanda
E.T.
Beauty & The Beast
The Lion King

Posted by Andrew on Wednesday, 10.30.13 @ 20:04pm


Zach, most of your comments make sense to me. Except on Neil Young, of course. It is nice to see that you can be objective about The Byrds importance although you admit to not being a fan, but I think your dislike for Neil is getting in the way of your objectivity. "Lower-tier Bob Dylan"? Who isn't? As Bob is the highest tier when compared to anyone who picks up an acoustic guitar and tries to sing a folkish tune. So that doesn't really mean anything. Young's acoustic music is only one side of a multi-faceted artist. You want to know about influence? If you would like, I can document is influence on a great many artists. Both from their own testimonies and from pointing out sonic connections.

But Neil aside, I like your other changes. And I agree on John Lennon (or any Beatle) as a solo artist. Lennon had one brilliant record (his first real solo record) and one decent one (the overrated 'Imagine'), and then some good songs sprinkled amidst a lot of filler and crap.

Posted by Dezmond on Wednesday, 10.30.13 @ 21:45pm


Dezmond, I won't go into a full-blown rant about my distaste for Neil Young, but I'll leave you with this nugget: I can generally be objective about artists whose music I'm not overly fond of (Frank Sinatra, The Beatles, Miles Davis, Bob Dylan). However, when an artist offends me so deeply that I can only summon feelings of outright hatred for their music, it's almost impossible for me to maintain any kind of objectivity. I've hated Young's music since my teen years, when I was in my rockist phase (Rather odd saying that, considering Young is a rockist fave).

Since I joined RateYourMusic over the summer, I've compiled some lists detailing my likes and dislikes in music. I'm working on a list of my least favorite artists and will include commentary for each choice. Needless to say, Young will be high on the short list (I'm limiting it 10 picks, as I'd rather not expend too much time on what I loathe). When I complete the list, I'll link it here so you can read my reasons. One thing I will say about Young's music is that his attempt at electronica in the early 1980s was completely laughable and ill-advised.

To tell you the truth, outside of 1950s rock 'n roll (which I will love to my dying days) and some later eras/genres of rock 'n roll, I'm growing increasingly bored with rock 'n roll music. I quit listening to the "Classic Rock" stuff back in my senior year of high school. It's just so overexposed and repetitive that I can no longer find any enjoyment in that type of music. Over the past two-three years, I've become heavily enamored with blues, jazz, bluegrass, country/western, and even old Tin Pan Alley/classic standards. The chances of me ever getting back into The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Led Zeppelin, and their compatriots are practically nonexistent. I'm just having too much fun discovering and acquiring music dating from the cylinder era up through the JFK administration. That's at least 70+ years of music I'm combing through and constantly digging up gems. My recent finds include Whispering Jack Smith, Billy Eckstine (What a voice this man had!), and Chuck Willis.

You may wonder why I continue posting on FRL after admitting to my disenchanted with most rock music. I like to use the pages devoted to my favorite artists to inform other posters and hopefully get them interested enough in pursuing earlier eras of music. If no one here had an interest in anything earlier than the Beatles, I wouldn't be coming here to gush over Buddy Holly or Fats Waller.

Posted by Zach on Wednesday, 10.30.13 @ 23:07pm


Most of what I would change has been listed earlier. The main ones:

1)Led Zeppelin-demote to the 4th tier. Onev word: Plagiarism.

2)The Ramones-They need to be demoted. Actually what I initially wrote about them here still works:


-"But since I'm in the neighborhood, an easy one: The Ramones. In the early 90s, by some weird quirk, the music press decided they were the great American band. Was it based on their brilliant songs? No. Was it based on their diversity and creativity? No. Their experimentation? Taking risks? No. Their overwhelming commercial success then? No again. From what I can gather, they were celebrated because they never quite made it, and because, as is wont to happen, their creative limitations were reinterpreted as a profound artistic statement. Well, nice as that was, the moment is passed, and the Ramones are virtually irrelevant to the contemporary musical landscape. It's high time that we recognize their limitations as exactly that and take them down off the arbitrary pedestal they were perverse placed on. I mean does anyone (be honest) go home and listen to a Ramones record? Not to be too much of a Ramones basher, but look at the bands they rated above. It's pathetic. And believe it or not, but I actually like them. I just never drank the Kool-aid. I like them for what they were, and not the over-hyped myth. Either the music stands up or it doesn't."

Musical understanding cannot be static. What seemed important 15 years ago may not seem as important now. The Ramones are a case in point. 2nd tier works.

3)John Lennon-Imagine being so overrated, it isn't hard to do, too much love being in the Beatles, but that should have been all for you. Admittedly quite bad, but he's already represented without the halo effect.

4)The Eagles-Should be higher.

5)Elvis Costello-Alison, and I cannot name another song. Demote.

6)Patti Smith-Why is she in the hall again? Lowest tier.


Those are the ones that come to mind.

Posted by astrodog on Thursday, 10.31.13 @ 03:26am


In my honest opinion, Rush should also be placed a lot higher, at least, preferably in the middle of the 4th tier, slightly lower than Pink Floyd and slightly below, soon to be inducted, Yes.

The Moody Blues, when inducted, should sit on the 5th tier. They were the forefathers of "progressive rock," after all.

Under no circumstances whatsoever, should AC/DC sit above Rush, period. In fact, that statement is the only exception to the rule that Rush should even share the same sentence with that other band.

Posted by Enigmaticus on Thursday, 10.31.13 @ 09:54am


I actually think that every act up there is almost exactly where they should be.

Posted by Gassman on Thursday, 10.31.13 @ 11:28am


"5)Elvis Costello-Alison, and I cannot name another song. Demote. "

Huh, forgot that the pyramids criteria was "how well does astrodog know the artist"...

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 10.31.13 @ 14:00pm


I'd simply move all the artists out of the 5th region, and sub-let a little space for myself.

Beyond that, a proper redesigning would go something like this:

Level One: King Rootin'-Tootin' (The Three Stooges)

Level Two: Im-Ho-Tep (Boris Karloff)

Level Three: Ramses (Yul Brynner)

Level Four: Brendan Fraser (we can't really have him above anyone else here)

Level Five: All those folks on the "Ancient Aliens" Series (we'll need some laughs besides the Stooges)

Posted by Cheesecrop on Thursday, 10.31.13 @ 17:11pm


Hey, Zach, have you looked at the comment that I posted?

Enigmaticus, I agree with you on moving Rush and The Moody Blues up a legion on two up.

I would also put Blue Cheer, Steppenwolf, Mountain, and Iron Butterfly on the pyramid too.

Posted by Andrew on Thursday, 10.31.13 @ 17:40pm


We need a space at the top for the Based God.

Posted by GFW on Thursday, 10.31.13 @ 18:26pm


GFW-It's simply that he was a first ballot inductee and yet looking over his discography it's quite underwhelming. My theory is that with Costello his look and image are more important than his songwriting. There are a lot of critic's darlings that fade over time. Either you have the music and the accomplishments or you don't. He really doesn't. What he has is an inflated reputation. The luxury of time is that it dispenses with the nonsense, the hipsterism, the favoritism, and leaves the music to stand on its own. I put Costello on the same level as the Pretenders, a critically loved band whose music doesn't hold up. I'd say a tier down at least.

Posted by astrodog on Thursday, 10.31.13 @ 23:38pm


Andrew - Just so you know, this Pyramid only includes acts that are in the actual Hall of Fame.

astrodog brings up a reasonable point about Elvis Costello, especially in his comparison to The Pretenders. Both bands have always struck me as being out of place as 1st-year inductees, and it could be a case of their influence or perceived importance decreasing over time, even their induction.

I was not alive for either group's heyday, so I can't speak to their innovation upon their arrival on the music scene. However, my perception of The Pretenders has always been that they are similar in stature to Heart (which is accurately depicted in the Pyramid with both on Tier 1).

I can't say that I feel the same about Costello being even with The Talking Heads. I can name more than one song by Costello (come on, at least give him Pump it Up), but I really don't see a career that matches up well against The Talking Heads in terms of influence, innovation or popularity.

I also feel EXACTLY the same about John Lennon. The guy was a good singer-songwriter...maybe the best of the 70's, but his innovation as a solo artist was pretty much zero. Putting him ahead of bands like The Byrds, The Doors, Black Sabbath and most of the other bands on the 3rd tier is ridiculous.

Posted by BSLO on Friday, 11.1.13 @ 10:40am


I would also move Talking Heads up to the 4th tier. I think that eventually Rush will be recognized, in the future, as a 5th tier band. But as long as they are moved up to the 4th tier, I will not be very disappointed.

As far as the 2013 inductees are concerned and their tier placement is concerned:

Rush (middle 4th)
Heart (high 3rd)
Donna Summer (middle 3rd)
Albert King (lower 3rd)
Randy Newman (middle 2nd)
Public Enemy (lower 2nd)

Thank you.

Posted by Enigmaticus on Saturday, 11.2.13 @ 11:04am


I agree about John Lennon. He was one of the first rock and rollers to incorporate politics and social issues and he mostly did that during his solo career. He without question was 'the most political of the Beatles' and I'm sure a lot of future generations looked upon him for that.

Posted by Jason Voigt on Monday, 12.9.13 @ 00:01am


Might be interesting to some here:

http://whoisbigger.com/entity/Category:Rock_and_Roll_Hall_of_Fame_inductees

"We have developed computational methods to measure historical significance through analysis of Wikipedia and other data sources. We rank historical figures just as Google ranks webpages, by integrating a diverse set of measurements about their reputation (including PageRank, article length, and readership) into estimates of their fame, explained by a combination of achievement (gravitas) and celebrity. We correct for the passage of time in a principled way, so we can fairly compare the significance of historical figures of different eras." - See more at: http://whoisbigger.com/#sthash.msMujDin.dpuf

Posted by Darrin A on Sunday, 12.15.13 @ 12:43pm


Gotta say, pretty bad ranking. I understand their attempts, and respect it to some degree. They're not interested in "secondhand influence" or "undercurrent carriage" of rhythms, sounds, influence or innovation. That said, the O'Jays' and the Mamas And The Papas' scores of O.000 is absolutely ludicrous, if for no other reason than saying they have no "Fame" to their name is utterly absurd. Even worse is Percy Sledge's score of 3.1 (thereabouts), and Madonna being ranked higher than the Beatles... I can forgive MJ being ranked above the King (though I disagree), but Madge over the Fab Four? Bull.

Posted by Philip on Sunday, 12.15.13 @ 17:53pm


OK, why are Frank Zappa and the Bee Gees on the same tier? That's almost obscene!

Posted by Mike on Thursday, 02.6.14 @ 13:48pm


Favorites: Beatles, John Lennon solo, Neil Diamond, Doors, David Bowie, CCR, Curtis Mayfield, Rush, Simon & Gafunkel, Paul Simon solo,
Johnny Cash, REM, Led Zeppelin, Sly & the Family Stone, Neil Young, Pink Floyd, Bruse Springsteen.

Most unworthy: Percy Sledge, the one hit wonder whose one hit wasn't all that wonderful.

Loudest other than metal: The Who

Quietest: Musically, James Taylor. Personally, probably Jeff Beck.

Most civilized: One that was added this year, Peter Gabriel.

Weirdest: Frank Zappa by one point over Michael Jackson.

Nicest: According to an Indianapolis limo driver who interviewed with the Indpls. Star in 1972, The Jackson Five.

Meanest: Ike Turner! Just ask Tina! Although, I'm from Bloomington and John Mellencamp also has a reputation for being a legendary asshole, so he gets an Honorable mention.

Most influential besides Beatles, Elvis and Chuck:
I can narrow it down to two; Bob Dylan (every singer-songwriter since) and Jimi Hendrix (every hard rock guitarist since).

Most snubbed before finally inducted: Neil Diamond, hands down.

Should have been first ballot: Black Sabbath! They influenced pretty much all 90's hard rock and metal.

Best hip hop: Public Enemy.

Best outside US and UK: If Canada counts, then Rush, if Canada doesn't count, then ABBA.

Beat induction year: 1993

Posted by Mike on Thursday, 02.6.14 @ 14:22pm


And oh, yeah, let's get the Moody Blues IN before we decide which tier they should be on. (I would say second or third).

Posted by Mike on Thursday, 02.6.14 @ 14:58pm


1. Your favorite inductees (You can pick at least 7)?
Prince, The Beatles, James Brown, Public Enemy, Marvin Gaye, The Temptations, The Rolling Stones, Beastie Boys, Louis Jordan, Michael Jackson, Little Richard, Sly & the Family Stone, Frank Zappa, Stevie Wonder, Parliament-Funkadelic, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Buddy Holly, The Miracles, The Beach Boys, The Jimi Hendrix Experience, Booker T. & the MGs, Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, Carole King, Run-DMC, Chuck Berry, David Bowie, The Drifters, Fats Domino, Miles Davis, The Velvet Underground and Nirvana.
2. Least deserving inductee (anyone but Madonna, ABBA, or any Hip Hop inductees*)?
The Small Faces/Faces, The Hollies, and The Ventures
3. Most loudest inductee (outside the Metal genre)?
The Who, The Kinks, Public Enemy, Sex Pistols and Muddy Waters
4. Most quiet inductee?
James Taylor, Joni Mitchell, and Linda Rondnstadt
6. Most civilized inductee?
Bruce Springsteen, Chuck D, Smokey Robinson, Curtis Mayfield, Fats Domino and Darlene Love
7. Most weird inductee?
Michael Jackson, Sly Stone, George Clinton, Flava Flav, Prince, Frank Zappa, Dr. John, and Brian Wilson.
8. Most mean inductee?
John Fogerty (CCR), Ike Turner, Jerry Lee Lewis, Eddie Van Halen, Axl Rose, and Mike Love (Beach Boys)
9. Most nicest inductee?
Fats Domino, Smokey Robinson, Carole King and Curtis Mayfield
10.. Most influential besides The Beatles, Elvis Presley, and Chuck Berry?
Bob Dylan, Ray Charles, Jimi Hendrix, Little Richard, James Brown, Muddy Waters and Robert Johnson
11. Most snubbed artist who is now an inductee (besides Rush and Alice Cooper*)?
Dr. John and the Miracles
12. Inductee that should have been first-ballot (again, don't answer Rush*)?
David Bowie, Velvet Underground, Frank Zappa, Beastie Boys, Patti Smith, Joni Mitchell, Black Sabbath and The Stooges
13. Favorite Hip-Hop inductee?
Public Enemy, then Beastie Boys, then Run-DMC, then Grandmaster Flash & the Furious 5 (Cant wait to see NWA and LL Cool J get in)
14. Favorite inductee outside of the U.S. and the U.K.?
Bob Marley or Jimmy Cliff
15. Favorite induction year?
1988, 1986, 2001, 2004, 1997

Posted by Alec on Monday, 04.21.14 @ 23:04pm


I'll play along:

Favorites: The Beatles, Elton John, Queen, CSN, Linda Ronstadt, Cat Stevens, The Beach Boys, Ruth Brown, Joni Mitchell.

Most unworthy: For me, Percy Sledge, Laura Nyro, and Del Shannon stand out.

Loudest other than metal: The Kinks

Quietest: George Harrison, John Deacon (Queen)

Most civilized: Cat, Smokey, Bruce

Weirdest: I agree with the consensus, Michael Jackson and Frank Zappa. Distantly tied for third includes Flavor Flav, Lennon ("I'm starting a new religion, and I'm calling it baggism"), Sly Stone.

Nicest: I'd like to think Buddy Holly would get this one, if he were still alive.

Meanest: Jerry Lee Lewis, Sid Vicious, Little Willie John. If we remove people who probably killed someone from contention, Paul Stanley's complete lack of grace during the induction process stands out.

Most influential besides Beatles, Elvis and Chuck:
Dylan, Buddy Holly, Led Zep, Hendrix

Most snubbed before finally inducted: Hall and Oates.

Should have been first ballot: Genesis, Black Sabbath, Queen.

Best hip hop: I don't much care for it, but even I would concede Public Enemy's suitability.

Best outside US and UK: If Joni Mitchell and Neil Young still count as Canadian, I'm going with them. Bob Marley, too. But I hope that someday Plastic People of the Universe will get in.

Beat induction year: 1986, 1988, 1994, 2014

Posted by PopeCharming on Monday, 04.21.14 @ 23:30pm


So... when is this going to be updated?

Posted by coletrain on Wednesday, 04.30.14 @ 08:31am


The Pyramid has been updated with this year's inductees.

Here is how the artists in the pyramid sit relative to the rest of the artists in rock and roll.

Posted by FRL on Friday, 05.2.14 @ 08:43am


I might as well jump in on this poll:

My favorite inductees: Elton John, Billy Joel, Rush, Sam Cooke, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Chuck Berry, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Eagles, Crosby, Stills, & Nash, Neil Young, Creedence Clearwater Revival, The Doors and several others.

Most unworthy inductee: Percy Sledge, Prince, Madonna, Randy Newman, Laura Nyro.

Loudest other then metal: THe Rolling Stones, The Kinks, The Who, The Stooges, Public Enemy, Dave Clark Five.

Quietest inductee: Brian May, George Harrison, James Taylor.

Most civilized inductee: Chuck D, Bruce Springsteen, Fats Domino.

Most weridest inductee: Jim Morrison, John Lennon, Sly Stone, Prince, and Michael Jackson.

Nicest inductee: Buddy Holly [if he was still alive], Queen, Roger Daltery, Tony Iommi, Fats Domino.

Meanest inductee: John Fogerty, Axl Rose, Eddie Van Halen, Johnny Rotten, Jerry Lee Lewis, Mike Love.

Most influential besides The Beatles, Elvis, and Chuck Berry: Bob Dylan, The Who, The Rolling Stones, Cream, Creedence Clearwater Revival, James Brown & The Famous Flames, Buddy Holly & The Crickets, Black Sabbath, Led Zeppelin, Sam Cooke, The Stooges.

Most snubbed before being inducted: Black Sabbath, The Stooges, Hall & Oates, Neil Diamond, Alice Copper, Buffalo Springfield.

Shound have been inducted on the first ballot: Black Sabbath, The Stooges, Alice Copper, Neil Diamond, Genesis, Queen, Velvet Underground, The Beastie Boys, Grandmaster Flash & The Furious Five.

Best hip-hop act: The Beastie Boys, Public Enemy, Run DMC. Can't wait until 2pac and Eminem are inducted!

Best outside The US and UK: U2, Neil Young, Rush, Joni Mitchell, Bob Marley.

Favorite induction year: 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1997, 1998, 1999, 2006, 2013.

Posted by Andrew on Sunday, 05.4.14 @ 22:12pm


Madonna should not even be there and in the pyramid's scheme she is higher that Frank Zappa and Jefferson Airplane? We are talking about Rock music here, right?

Posted by Tony on Friday, 08.8.14 @ 17:19pm


Overrated, or too high on the pyramid: Ramones, Elton John, Little Richard, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Aerosmith, Blondie, Alice Cooper, Genesis.

Underrated, or too low: John Mellencamp, Mamas+Papas, Temptations, Frank Zappa, The Rascals, The Hollies

Posted by Bill on Tuesday, 08.19.14 @ 19:29pm


Great concept! Like everyone else, there's a few changes I would make. The most obvious one to me is Metallica, who are no brainers for level 4 at least, and could possibly mount a case (admittedly a weak one) for level 5.

Any music released from the early 90s onwards that involves a drum kit and electric guitar has been influenced by Metallica in one way or another, from commercial/stadium rock to the most inaccessible of extreme metal. Hell, one of the most commercially successful pop-rock bands of the 21st century (Nickelback) consider Metallica as their biggest influence. Even bands and genres that would be offended by the thought of being influenced by Metallica (punk and emo, for example), are influenced by Metallica.

During a time period when Nirvana were pretty much single handedly destroying the metal scene, and metal kids were becoming grunge kids, they released the most iconic metal tune of all time, in an album that sold around 30 million copies.

It's not the first time I've seen them being underrated. I think this is perhaps because they are an entitled bunch of dicks and no-one likes them as human beings, but also because people don't realise:
a) metal is actually such a huge genre and scene, easily the largest and most enduring underground music scene.
b) every metal band post-1983 is influenced by them. Every single one.
c) their influence on guitar and drum techniques, painstaking production methods, song structure and use of electronic effects extends far, far, FAR beyond the realms of metal.

Of course, wherever they go, Black Sabbath still has to be above them. And it would be hard to fit both of them in level 5.

Posted by Donovan on Tuesday, 10.21.14 @ 23:03pm


move to 4:
The Doors
Black Sabbath
Metallica

move to 3:
Guns N' Roses
John Lennon
Fats Domino
Ramones
The Stooges
AC/DC
KISS
Eagles

move to 2:
Ike & Tina Turner
Miles Davis
John Mellencamp
Heart

move to 1:
Dion

Posted by Paul K on Wednesday, 10.22.14 @ 00:11am


I was reviewing a post which I had written some time ago.

I would also move Talking Heads up to the 4th tier. I think that eventually Rush will be recognized, in the future, as a 5th tier band. But as long as they are moved up to the 4th tier, I will not be very disappointed.

As far as the 2013 inductees are concerned and their tier placement is concerned:

Rush (middle 4th)
Heart (high 3rd)
Donna Summer (middle 3rd)
Albert King (lower 3rd)
Randy Newman (middle 2nd)
Public Enemy (lower 2nd)

Thank you.

Posted by Enigmaticus on Wednesday, 10.22.14 @ 09:34am


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