Now we’re sitting in the heart of classic rock and post-punk music, with artists eligible from 2000 through 2004. There are 40 more artists listed here, including a couple of this year’s nominees. I gave 31 artists medium odds or higher, bringing that total to 104, and I added four artists to the Should Be In Already group, including 2021 nominee Tina Turner, bringing that total to 14. There are some amazing artists listed here and I recommend checking out Bad Company, Television, Boston, Buzzcocks, Los Lobos, and X.
Bad Company Genre(s): Hard Rock, Blues Rock Odds of Induction: High
Bad Company released their first music in 1974. One of the most critically and commercially popular rock bands from the mid-1970s to early 1990s, Bad Company had six albums certified platinum or higher, plus another three gold albums. With great success and popularity, longevity, and an extensive discography, Bad Company should be in the Rock Hall.
The Commodores Genre(s): R&B, Soul, Funk, Pop Odds of Induction: Medium
The Commodores released their first music in 1974. One of the most popular artists in the world in the 1970s and 1980s, the group is one of the highest-selling artists of all time. Known for navigating multiple genres at a high level, the group helped to progress each one. Their success, solid discography, and musicality make them good candidates for Rock Hall induction.
Judas Priest Genre(s): Heavy Metal Odds of Induction: Should Be In Already
Judas Priest released their first music in 1974. One of the most successful and influential heavy metal bands of all time, Judas Priest have multiple gold and platinum albums among their extensive discography. Influencing other artists with their tempo switching, dual lead-guitar, and singer Rob Halford’s vocal style, the band has helped shape heavy metal from the 1970s to the present. In addition, their fashion has heavily influenced rock culture. With longevity, success, and influence in spades, Judas Priest should already be in the Rock Hall.
Kansas Genre(s): Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Arena Rock Odds of Induction: Medium
Kansas released their first music in 1974. Consistently charting music from the mid-1970s through the 1980s, Kansas are one of the most popular rock artists from that period with five certified gold albums and four albums certified platinum or higher. Known for hit songs “Carry on Wayward Son” and “Dust in the Wind,” Kansas’ success makes a good case for their inclusion in the Rock Hall.
Robert Palmer Genre(s): Rock, Pop, Blues, and more Odds of Induction: Low
Robert Palmer released his first album in 1974. Known for number-one hit “Addicted to Love” and his gritty voice, Palmer released multiple gold, platinum, or multi-platinum albums in several countries. Palmer was also unique in his blending of several genres throughout his thirty-year career. Ultimately, there are too many others waiting ahead of him to get into the Hall.
Rufus Genre(s): R&B, Soul, Funk Odds of Induction: Medium
Rufus released their first single in 1970, though the Rock Hall has previously counted their second album from 1974 as their first release for induction purposes. Known for launching Chaka Khan’s career, Rufus was a popular group in the 1970s and 1980s, charting ten top-40 singles and five number-one hits on the R&B chart, helping to popularize and evolve funk music. Twice nominated for the Rock Hall already, Rufus’ popularity and musicality, plus support for nomination to the ballot give the group a good shot at enshrinement.
Tina Turner Genre(s): Rock, R&B, Soul, Pop Odds of Induction: Should Be In Already
Tina Turner released her first album in 1974. With a nickname like “The Queen of Rock and Roll,” it’s surprising Turner is not already in the Rock Hall as a solo artist – she is already in as part of duo Ike and Tina Turner. However, Turner’s contributions to rock and pop music extend beyond her days with Ike, including her vocal prowess, style and attitude, and longevity. One of the highest-selling artists of all-time, Turner is on the ballot for 2021 and should be inducted to the Rock Hall. Update: she was inducted as part of the 2021 class!
Ted Nugent Genre(s): Hard Rock, Arena Rock Odds of Induction: Slim
Ted Nugent released his first solo music in 1975. Another case of possible personal life issues affecting Rock Hall status, Nugent is known for his racist and xenophobic views, extreme statements regarding guns, and allegations of pedophilia. His first six albums achieved gold certifications or higher (including several multi-platinum albums) and he has had two other albums go multi-platinum. He is also noted for his guitar work, but it’s unlikely he will ever be nominated to a Rock Hall ballot, much less inducted to the Hall, because of his terrible history.
Television Genre(s): Punk, Rock, Avant-Rock Odds of Induction: Medium
Television released their first single in 1975. Noted for their keen guitar work and uniquely clean punk sound, the band influenced the evolution of punk and alternative music. Their debut is considered a seminal album for punk and alternative rock in the 1970s and 1980s.
Triumph Genre(s): Hard Rock, Heavy Metal Odds of Induction: Low
Triumph released their first single in 1975. A popular heavy metal group, Triumph has multiple albums certified gold and platinum in the U.S. and Canada. A solid discography and success, along with band members advocating for artists in the music industry, could lead to Rock Hall consideration.
Boston Genre(s): Hard Rock, Arena Rock Odds of Induction: Should Be In Already
Boston released their first music in 1976. Their debut, self-titled album is considered one of the greatest rock albums of all time and is one of the highest-selling albums in music history. In addition to four other platinum or multi-platinum albums and number-one hit “Amanda,” Boston is noted for their guitar harmonies and layering, as well as original lead singer Brad Delp’s vocal ability. Their debut album also changed the course of rock history, leading labels to seek more bands with a similar sound as Boston. With musicality, influence, and incredible popularity and success, Boston is missing from the Rock Hall.
The Damned Genre(s): Punk, Gothic Rock Odds of Induction: Medium
The Damned released their first single in 1976. The UK’s first punk band and first gothic rock band, The Damned have influenced the evolution of punk and rock music and rock culture. More popular across the Atlantic, The Damned should still have a place in the American-based Rock Hall, which so far is light on punk artists.
The Runaways Genre(s): Hard Rock, Punk Odds of Induction: Medium
The Runaways released their first music in 1976. Best known for Japanese number-one hit “Cherry Bomb,” the band helped carve a space for all-woman and woman-fronted groups in rock music, including launching the career of Rock Hall inductee Joan Jett. They have influenced artists such as The Bangles, 2021 Rock Hall nominee The Go-Gos, Hole, The Pretty Reckless, and more. Their influence in shaping the future of rock music should land them a place in the Rock Hall.
Peter Tosh Genre(s): Reggae, Ska, Rocksteady Odds of Induction: Low
Peter Tosh released his first solo album in 1976. Originally a member of The Wailers, Tosh had a string of successful albums before he was murdered. One of the more popular reggae artists of the genre’s heyday, Tosh helped to popularize and evolve reggae music.
Bunny Wailer (real name Neville O’Riley Livingston) Genre(s): Reggae, Ska Odds of Induction: Medium
Bunny Wailer released his first solo album in 1976. Another of the original members of The Wailers, Wailer is considered one of the preeminent artists of reggae music, helping to popularize and evolve the genre. His extensive discography, longevity, promotion of reggae music, and popularity give him a good case for Rock Hall induction.
.38 Special Genre(s): Hard Rock, Southern Rock, Arena Rock Odds of Induction: Low
.38 Special released their first album in 1977. One of the most popular hard rock groups of the 1980s, the band had three straight platinum albums and is known for top-ten hits “Caught Up In You” and “Second Chance.”
Buzzcocks Genre(s): Punk, Punk Pop Odds of Induction: Medium
Buzzcocks released their first single in 1977. Known mostly in the UK, Buzzcocks are perhaps the first punk pop band, taking pop-friendly melodies and mixing them with the energy and attitude of punk music. They are also a noted influence on the movement for independent record labels. They deserve more recognition than having a game show named after them.
Chic Genre(s): Disco, Funk Odds of Induction: High
Chic released their first music in 1977. The most popular disco group in music history, Chic has been nominated for the Rock Hall a record eleven times. Co-founder Niles Rodgers was inducted in the Award for Musical Excellence category in 2017. The group has influenced artists like Duran Duran, The Smiths, and more. Already in the Dance Music Hall of Fame, and with popularity, success, influence, and support for nomination, Chic should be in the Rock Hall. As mentioned in a previous article, there is an argument for whether disco should be part of the Rock Hall, as the genre was created partially as a subversion of rock’s popularity. However, the genres’ influence on one another is clear and their histories are intertwined.
Devo Genre(s): New Wave, Synth-Pop, Electronic Odds of Induction: Medium
Devo released their first music in 1977. An influential band on new wave, alternative rock, and industrial music artists, Devo have one gold and one platinum record in the U.S. They were also early adopters of utilizing music videos – their video for their hit song “Whip It” was in MTV’s early regular rotation. Nominated for their second time this year, Devo’s musicality, investment in music videos, and influence give them a good shot at induction.
Foreigner Genre(s): Hard Rock, Arena Rock Odds of Induction: Should Be In Already
Foreigner released their first music in 1977. One of the most popular artists of the late 1970s and 1980s, Foreigner released six straight albums certified platinum or higher, along with nine top-ten singles among sixteen top-40 hits. They are one of the highest-selling artists of all time and defined arena rock for fifteen years. Success, popularity, and expanding the popularity of rock music should have Foreigner in the Rock Hall.
George Thorogood and the Destroyers Genre(s): Hard Rock, Blues Rock Odds of Induction: Medium
George Thorogood and the Destroyers released their first album in 1977. They have released six gold and three platinum records. Known for their song “Bad to the Bone” the group helped re-popularize blues rock. Longevity and promotion of blues rock could help bring the band to the Rock Hall.
The Germs Genre(s): Punk Odds of Induction: Slim
The Germs released their first single in 1977. Despite a limited discography, the band is credited with influencing the renewed interest in punk music in the 1980s and 1990s. They influenced punk artists as well as Nirvana and Foo Fighters (and not just because guitarist Pat Smear has been part of those two groups as well). Their influence could get them a nod for Rock Hall nomination.
Patti LaBelle Genre(s): R&B, Pop, Disco Odds of Induction: High
Patti LaBelle released her first solo music in 1977, though consideration for induction should also include her work as the lead singer of the group Labelle. One of the greatest vocalists in music history, LaBelle was a driving force in pop, R&B, and disco music for two decades. A disco and gay icon, LaBelle’s influence and impact in music is immeasurable.
Meat Loaf (real name Michael Lee Aday) Genre(s): Rock Odds of Induction: High
Meat Loaf released his first solo music in 1977. One of the highest-selling artists of all time, he has found international success with his music. He has numerous gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums in multiple countries in addition to his international number-one hit “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That).” His album Bat Out of Hell is one of the highest-selling albums of all time. Known for his concert performances and vocal range, Aday has also acted in several music and rock-centered films and plays, most notably The Rocky Horror Picture Show (both stage and film).
Eddie Money (real name Edward Joseph Mahoney) Genre(s): Rock Odds of Induction: Medium
Eddie Money released his first album in 1977. Money consistently charted music from 1978 though 1993, including eleven top-40 singles, and had four platinum albums. Known for his gravelly voice, Money was a popular artist for blue-collar Americans. His popularity and solid discography give him a chance for enshrinement in the Rock Hall.
Motörhead Genre(s): Heavy Metal, Hard Rock Odds of Induction: Medium
Motörhead released their first music in 1977. Popular in their native UK, the band charted well across the Atlantic and had moderate international success. Known for their energetic melodies, Motörhead helped re-popularize heavy metal in the UK in the 1980s. Their longevity, extensive discography, and promotion of heavy metal make them solid candidates for the Rock Hall – they were on the ballot in 2020.
Quiet Riot Genre(s): Heavy Metal, Glam Rock Odds of Induction: Low
Quiet Riot released their first album in 1977. Known for their hit song “Cum on Feel the Noize,” the band had one platinum record and one multi-platinum record. A band that other artists reference relatively frequently in their songs, their music has remained influential. After all, no one rocked the suburbs quite like Quiet Riot did.
Suicide Genre(s): Electronic, Avant-Rock, Punk Odds of Induction: Medium
Suicide released their first album in 1977. A pioneering group in their use of synthesizers and drum machines, the duo is also noted for their confrontational performance style. While their discography is limited, their music has influenced a great deal of artists including Bauhaus, Joy Division, New Order, Nine Inch Nails, Pet Shop Boys, Depeche Mode, Sonic Youth, Daft Punk, and more. Their musicality and influence should land them a spot in the Rock Hall.
XTC Genre(s): Punk, New Wave, Post-punk, Pop Odds of Induction: High
XTC released their first single in 1977. Never very commercially successful, the group found a cult following over time and is regarded as an influence on the development of New Wave and alternative rock music. With a musical style ever-evolving to avoid over-used rock style, timing, and structure, XTC influenced other artists like Peter Gabriel and R.E.M. With a solid discography and plenty of influence, XTC are likely to be inducted to the Hall.
Bryan Adams Genre(s): Rock, Pop Rock, Arena Rock Odds of Induction: High
Bryan Adams released his first single in 1978. Known for international hits “Run to You,” “Heaven,” “Summer of 69,” “(Everything I Do) I Do It for You,” and more, Adams is one of the highest-selling artists of all time. He has released an incredible number of gold, platinum, and multi-platinum albums in a variety of countries. With timeless music, an extensive discography, longevity, and massive success, Adams should be a lock for the Hall.
The B-52’s Genre(s): New Wave, Post-punk Odds of Induction: Medium
The B-52’s released their first single in 1978. Known for their call-and-response lyrics, lead keyboard, and alternative tunings, the band released multiple gold and platinum albums in several countries along with worldwide hit “Love Shack.” Fusing political views with their eclectic music, the group set their music apart from other New Wave contemporaries. Musicality, success, and lobster should help The B-52’s to the Hall.
Kate Bush Genre(s): Avant-Rock, Art Pop Odds of Induction: High
Kate Bush released her first music in 1978. Known for eclectic musicality, Bush has been massively popular in her native UK for her entire career. Perhaps the first artist to use a microphone in a headset, Bush has influenced a wide variety of artists across music including Peter Gabriel, Stevie Nicks, Björk, Hole, Ellie Goulding, and more. Nominated this year for a second time, her musicality, longevity, and influence should land her in the Hall.
Rick James (real name James Ambrose Johnson Jr.) Genre(s): R&B, Funk, Soul Odds of Induction: Slim
Rick James released his first music in 1978. Known for his hit “Super Freak,” he presents another case of personal issues overshadowing musical achievement. While James released three gold and one platinum album and was considered an excellent guitarist, he is a convicted kidnapper and narrowly escaped torture charges. He was also accused of sexual assault while alive and rape posthumously. He might present his case as “I’m Rick James, bitch” or “cocaine is a helluva drug,” but those excuses don’t have sway in his potential for Rock Hall enshrinement.
Joy Division Genre(s): Post-punk, Gothic Rock Odds of Induction: Medium
Joy Division released their first EP in 1978. Known for their melancholy lyrics, spacious sound, and energetic concerts, the band is considered one of the first post-punk artists. Despite a limited discography due to lead singer Ian Curtis’ death, the band has influenced many artists, including The Cure, U2, Soundgarden, and Vince Staples. Their musicality and influence make them good candidates for the Rock Hall.
Chaka Khan (real name Yvette Marie Stevens) Genre(s): R&B, Soul, Funk, Disco, Pop Odds of Induction: Medium
Chaka Khan released her first solo music in 1978. She has four gold and one platinum record among her extensive discography. Regarded as one of the greatest vocalists in music history, Khan has been nominated for the Rock Hall multiple times as a solo artist and with Rufus and is on the ballot again this year. Vocal ability, influence, and support for nomination should lead to her induction.
Los Lobos Genre(s): Rock n’ Roll, Tejano, Blues, Country Rock Odds of Induction: Medium
Los Lobos released their first album in 1978. The group has had international success, especially with their number-one hit cover of “La Bamba.” Known for producing music in English and Spanish, the band’s music is a throwback rock n’ roll sound mixed with blues, Tejano music, and country rock. Nominated for the Rock Hall once so far, Los Lobos’ longevity and musicality should get them in, helping to fill a void of artists making rock music in different languages.
Siouxsie and the Banshees Genre(s): Alternative Rock, New Wave, Post-punk Odds of Induction: High
Siouxsie and the Banshees released their first music in 1978. Regarded as probably the first alternative rock band, the group has influenced the development of multiple subgenres and has influenced artists like Joy Division, The Cure, The Smiths, Depeche Mode, Radiohead, and LCD Soundsystem. A solid discography, musicality, and influence should carry them to the Rock Hall.
Toto Genre(s): Arena Rock, Pop Rock, Hard Rock Odds of Induction: High
Toto released their first music in 1978. Known for worldwide hits “Hold the Line,” “Rosanna,” and “Africa,” Toto has many gold and platinum albums in multiple countries. Noted for their infusion of other genres into rock music, the band is already in the Musicians Hall of Fame. Their massive success and popularity, musicality, and longevity should lead them to Rock Hall induction.
Whitesnake Genre(s): Hard Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam Rock Odds of Induction: Medium
Whitesnake released their first music in 1978. Known for number-one hit “Here I Go Again,” the band has had multiple gold and platinum albums in several countries among their international success. Their stature as a major rock act, along with their success and extensive discography give them a good case for Rock Hall induction.
X Genre(s): Punk, Alternative Rock Odds of Induction: Low
X (the American band, not the Australian or Japanese bands) released their first single in 1978. An influence on the Los Angeles music scene, Rolling Stone ranked their first two albums among the greatest of all time. With critical recognition and influence, X is worthy of recognition for the Rock Hall ballot.
Check out the next article in the series: artists eligible 2005 through 2009!