In the minds of many rock fans, two things are most bothersome about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: the inclusion of artists from genres other than rock, and the failure to induct or even nominate rock artists who would seem to be obvious choices.
The announcement of the 2008 nominees has renewed the questions and criticisms about whether it should be renamed the Pop Hall of Fame, or whether there is some sort of unspoken bias that actually determines who gets in and who doesn't.
We've gotten comments like, "My apologies to the Rock Hall nominating committee. I thought last year's group was pitiful ... I was wrong. This year’s is even more pathetic."
And, from the conversation in the About .com Classic Rock Forum, "I try to give people the benefit of the doubt. But someone at the Hall needs to explain this, lest I start assuming there's money or politics driving some of these decisions."
Who's in the Rock Hall?
The first inductions were in 1986, and from the beginning, there have been spirited debates over whether certain artists could even remotely be considered to be related to rock.
What Does it Take To Get In?
Eligibility requirements for nomination include the length of time since the artist's first album release, and "the influence and significance of the artist's contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll."
Who Shouldn't be in the Rock Hall but Is?
The answers, of course, depend on who you ask, but a lot of folks point to the nomination and induction of more than a few hip-hop, folk, pop, and disco artists as a good illustration of the issue.
Who Should be in the Rock Hall but Isn't?
Again, different answers from different folks, but critics point out that entire rock sub-genres like Progressive and Glam seem to have been specifically snubbed.
The Lighter Side
Although Ozzy Osbourne once called Black Sabbath's Rock Hall nomination "meaningless" because fans aren't involved in the selection process, Oz was all smiles when Sabbath was inducted in 2006.
Make no mistake, many bona fide rock artists have been inducted over the years. Their names and music should be familiar to you. Want to test just how familiar some of them are? Take the Rock Hall Inductee Trivia Quiz
Will it Ever Change?
Probably not. What's more likely is that someone else will come along with something that really does stick with rock. The VH1 Honors series seems to be taking a serious run in that direction. As for the Rock Hall, nothing much has changed since 1986.