Future Rock & Roll Hall of Famers, Part II

I’m too lazy to write an intro for this one, let’s just move right along to the bands under consideration (by me):

Alice In Chains: Prediction—No; My Verdict—No
Somewhat underrated, but not really an elite band. I do like “The Rooster”.

A Tribe Called Quest: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—Yes
Had two exceptional albums in Low End Theory and Midnight Marauders, then some other pretty decent albums afterwards. All their beats are really jazzy and cool, hopefully they will get some consideration.

Audioslave: Prediction—No; My Verdict—No
What a disappointing band. Tom Morello’s innovative riffs and insane solos from RATM suddenly disappeared once teaming up with Chris Cornell.

Bad Religion: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—Yes
Much better than the Sex Pistols in my mind, but the committee will probably regard them as just a run of the mill punk band.

Beck: Prediction—Toss Up; My Verdict—Yes
I don’t listen to Beck that often, but I still feel like he’s much cooler than I am. All of his videos rule and the keyboard intro to “Where It’s At” is classic, as are the lyrics to “Loser”. When he says “my time is a piece of wax falling on a termite, that’s chokin’ on the splinters” I always get that mental picture in my head. What a great line.

Coldplay: Prediction—Likely; My Verdict—No

Daft Punk: Prediction—Toss Up; My Verdict—Yes
Kayne may have put them over the top, but their 2007 live album is stellar as well.

Dave Matthews Band: Prediction—Toss Up; My Verdict—No
They were very popular when I was growing up (especially among preppy high-schoolers). Matthews is very talented, and his band is probably even more so. I just can’t imagine going to one of their concerts–they don’t “rock” at all. I like the first two songs on Crash and probably “Ants Marching” as well, but I don’t have any “Dave” on my iPod.

Devo: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—No
A highly regarded band by many people, me not being one of them. That “Whip It” video with the weird hats scares me for some reason.

Dire Straits: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—No
If they had just recorded “Money for Nothing” then retired, I may well have said yes. But they do have a couple other good songs and Mark Knopfler is a solid guitarist.

Dr. Dre: Prediction—Likely; My Verdict—Yes
He probably did more for music by having a posse of awesome rappers than by actually rapping himself. The Chronic and Chronic 2001 are both exceptional albums.

Duran Duran: Prediction—Toss Up; My Verdict—Yes
Underrated as one of the more successful bands of the 80s, then made a great comeback in 1993.

Eminem: Prediction—Likely; My Verdict—Yes
His first two albums are packed with great and witty raps from start to finish. Got his start as Dre’s protégé, but later became a mogul in his own right, helping 50 Cent and others reach stardom.

Foo Fighters: Prediction—No; My Verdict—No
Their first two albums might not have been enough to get them in, but it would’ve been a more interesting argument without “Learn to Fly” and other subsequent nonsense.

Guided by Voices: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—Yes
Somewhat unheralded due to their low-fi recordings and albums consisting of mostly 1-2 minute songs. Alien Lanes is outstanding and Bee Thousand is almost as good.

Jane’s Addiction: Prediction—Likely; My Verdict—Yes
I don’t think they’re a legendary band or anything, but there are so many marginal 60s bands already in the HoF. They’ll probably get in on the basis of being one of the first “alternative” bands, with their first album being released in 1987 and their finest effort, Nothing’s Shocking, coming in 1988.

Joy Division: Prediction—Toss Up; My Verdict—No
Supposedly they were really innovative and influential and stuff. I listened to them a few times and was kinda bored.

Linkin Park: Prediction—Toss Up; My Verdict—No
A decent band in my mind, but most rock fans seem to like them more than I do. Their last album is pretty good, but I found their prior efforts a little too Limp Bizkit-y.

Nine Inch Nails: Prediction—Yes; My Verdict—Yes
Now that I think about it, I’m not sure why I didn’t put them on the first list. NIN will definitely get in, as their first 3 albums were outstanding. Furthermore, they may not have invented “Industrial Rock” but I’m not sure of another reputable band from that genre.

Notorious B.I.G.: Prediction—Yes; My Verdict—Yes
Another artist that probably could’ve made the list of definites. Not only is he dead, but he was tragically murdered—this pretty much makes him a shoe-in. His style is slower than normal, it kinda took me a while to get used to, but I think he’s very influential. Check out “Three Bricks” the Biggy song on Ghostface Killah’s Fishscale.

Oasis: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—No
Don’t get me wrong, they’re a good band for sure. I think the main reason I’d have trouble voting for them is that I don’t really like the song “Wonderwall”. I don’t get why it was their biggest hit. Also their guitar solos suck, which puts a slight damper on some of their otherwise exceptional songs.

Phish: Prediction—Toss Up; My Verdict—Yes
The main thing working against them is that there are very few people who sort of like Phish. Most people who aren’t serious phans have either vaguely heard of them or think they suck. Also they’ve influenced a lot of other bands, but most of them aren’t really that good (String Cheese Incident et al). I give them the nod because rock & roll is all about playing live. While the studio versions of “Chalkdust Torture” and “Run Like an Antelope” are very good, the best live versions have lots more wild guitar theatrics–a big plus for me.

Rage Against the Machine: Prediction—Likely; My Verdict—Yes
They will probably get in based on their political activism, which is warranted, especially given Zach De La Rock’s excellent emotionally-charged vocals. But when I think of Rage, I mostly remember hearing Tom Morello play for the first time and thinking: Holy fuck, is that a guitar? I never knew it could sound like that. I try to incorporate some of Morello’s influence in my own playing, but it’s pretty hard to do so.

Rush: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—Yes
I give it to them based on musicianship, of course. They definitely have some shitty songs, but like I said, I tend to weigh live performance more than most people in judging a band. Just based on Rush’s studio work it’d be a big fat no, even though “Tom Sawyer” rules. But they were a great live band, check out “Working Man” for evidence of that.

Smashing Pumpkins: Prediction—Toss Up; My Verdict—No
Siamese Dream is an outstanding album–Hall of Fame worthy. But nothing before or after that really was. Furthermore, Billy Corgan is a conceited prick. Here is just one example below (from the Pavement wikipedia entry):

The lyrics from another single from the album, “Range Life”, criticized alt-rock superstars The Smashing Pumpkins and the Stone Temple Pilots. Malkmus has insisted over the years that the line is meant to be light-hearted and is sung from the point of view of the aging hippie character in the song – later live versions of the track had the singer substituting “The Spice Girls”, “The Counting Crows”, or countless others for “Stone Temple Pilots”. In response Smashing Pumpkins leader Billy Corgan threatened to drop his band from their slot headlining the 1994 Lollapalooza Festival if Pavement was allowed to play.

Seriously? Fuck you, Billy. Also I remember him saying something about “guitars are not dense enough for us anymore” as the reason they moved away from that with the Adore album. What a douchebag, I hate Billy Corgan.

Snoop Dogg: Prediction—Likely; My Verdict—No
Good rapper, but personally I don’t think he’s as good as Eminem or anything. Also after the early 90’s he did a lot of mediocre stuff. He came to Cornell one year, I was way to drunk to give an accurate assessment of that performance however.

Soundgarden: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—No
Really an overrated band to me. They’re considered “grunge” just for being from Seattle, but they don’t sound anything like that to me. They have a lot of good songs, but not really any great ones. Case in point, my favorite Soundgarden song is “Hunger Strike” by Temple of the Dog.

Spoon: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—Yes
I’m not sure why they’re not more well known. Kill the Moonlight is absurdly good, and the two albums they released since then have been nearly as awesome.

Stone Temple Pilots: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—No
I saw them in concert about a year ago … it was sort of the exact opposite of seeing Phish because the entire show sounded exactly like the CD (but slightly worse because they obviously don’t hit all the notes perfectly). Not good in my book. I do think Core is a great album, but Siamese Dream is even better and I didn’t give the Pumpkins the nod, so it doesn’t look good for Weiland and Co.

Tool: Prediction—Toss Up; My Verdict—Yes
At first I was hesitant because I haven’t been in love with any of their work since Lateralus. But Lateralus rules, and so does everything before that. Of course, Ænima is widely considered their finest work, and with good reason, but their oft-overlooked debut Opiate deserves consideration as well. The reason I think the committee may like them is because they are the quintessential “math rock” band, and probably influenced groups like System of a Down and a few others.

Yes: Prediction—Doubtful; My Verdict—No
I do have a soft-spot for prog rock, but not quite a “put Yes in the R&R HoF” soft-spot. Although if there was a Hall of Fame for songs, “Roundabout” would have to get in on the first ballot. And if there was a Hall of Fame for cheesy vocal overdubs, that part in “Owner of a Lonely Heart” where he’s like … much better than a… would practically be Babe Ruth.


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