Analyzing Rock Hall Hopefuls Using the Keltner List

For the past couple of years, the good folks over at A List of Things Thrown Together Five Minutes Ago (ALLOT5MA) have been grading various artists' Rock Hall credentials using a method adapted from baseball analysis. The original Keltner list was developed by the brilliant baseball analyst Bill James to help determine which baseball players deserve to be in Cooperstown. ALOTT5MA adapted the list of questions for the Rock Hall (shown here from their analysis of Metallica):
  1. Was Metallica ever regarded as the best artist in rock music? Did anybody, while Metallica was active, ever suggest that Metallica was the best artist in rock music?
  2. Was Metallica ever the best artist in rock music in its genre?
  3. Was Metallica ever considered the best at its instruments?
  4. Did Metallica have an impact on a number of other bands?
  5. Was Metallica good enough that it could play regularly after passing its prime?
  6. Is Metallica the very best artist in history that is not in the Hall of Fame?
  7. Are most bands who have a comparable recording history and impact in the Hall of Fame?
  8. Is there any evidence to suggest that Metallica was significantly better or worse than is suggested by its statistical records?
  9. Is Metallica the best artist in its genre that is eligible for the Hall of Fame?
  10. How many #1 singles/gold records did Metallica have? Did Metallica ever win a Grammy award? If not, how many times was Metallica nominated?
  11. How many Grammy-level songs/albums did Metallica have? For how long of a period did Metallica dominate the music scene? How many Rolling Stone covers did Metallica appear on? Did most of the bands with this sort of impact go into the Hall of Fame?
  12. If Metallica were the best band at a concert, would it be likely that the concert would rock?
  13. What impact did Metallica have on rock history? Was it responsible for any stylistic changes? Did it introduce any new equipment? Did it change history in any way?
  14. Did the band uphold the standards of sportsmanship and character that the Hall of Fame, in its written guidelines, instructs us to consider?
Obviously not every question can be answered objectively (and thus won't provide definitive answers), but it does provide a useful guide when trying to figure out the worthiness of artists who may be on the bubble.

Check out their analysis of Donna Summer (yes), Madonna (absolutely), Chic (no), Duran Duran (yes), John Mellencamp (bubble, but yes), The Replacements (yes), Depeche Mode (no), Phil Collins (no), and of course, Rush (no). You can browse all of those and more right here. Hopefully the actual Rock Hall voters give as much thought into their choices as these guys do.

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