Breaking Down the Walls of the Rock Hall: Class of 2010

Even though the induction ceremony has moved back to the Waldorf Astoria ballroom after a year where they had their first public ceremony in Cleveland and a 25th Anniversary celebration in Madison Square Garden, 2010 was starting to feel like the year where the populists acts were starting to get in. They might not be the public’s first choice for induction, but it’s something that both the public and critics can agree on. And the class of 2010 is probably the most diverse class since 1991 where this was the only year where there’s only one American act, and where the other four inductees came from countries as the UK, Jamaica, and Sweden.

First off, this was the year where everyone was really happy that The Stooges were finally inducted. The band took eight tries to get in and everyone cheered when they were announced that made the final five. And they should’ve been inducted earlier than 2010 because besides the Velvet Underground, The Stooges are one of the originators of Punk. And although critics don’t make as much on the voting bloc, at least they keep the band’s chances alive every time the band was nominated.

Another inductee where it feels like a long time to get inducted was Genesis. Genesis was the first Prog act to get inducted 14 years after the last Prog act (Pink Floyd) got inducted. And I can see why Genesis was the second choice for a Prog acts because the Peter Gabriel-era of Genesis mostly have songs about British life while other Prog bands have songs about either fantasy or sci-fi. Also I think part of the reason why Genesis took so long was because they don’t like Phil Collins’ music. Wherever you stand on Phil Collins, there’s no denying that he belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Even though they would’ve gone with Peter Tosh before they would induct Jimmy Cliff as the second Reggae inductee, I can see why Cliff have merits for induction. Cliff is considered to be the first to introduce Reggae to the world outside of Jamaica with the release of the film The Harder They Come and it’s soundtrack before Bob Marley even hit international fame. And like character Ivan in the film, Jimmy Cliff’s music has fit the rebellious spirit of Reggae in the same as Marley and Peter Tosh did.

Besides The Beatles and The Rolling Stones, The Hollies are my favorite British Invasion band of the 60s. Unlike most of the British Invasion bands (with maybe the exception of the Beatles), The Hollies specialized their sound on Folk music and is probably the UK’s answer to The Byrds, which ironically Graham Nash and David Crosby would be in CSN later after their tenure of their respective bands. And like The Beatles, The Hollies are really known for their three-part harmonies, which is evident on their songs during Graham Nash’s time with the band.

No matter where you stand on the band, there’s no denying that ABBA are Hall of Fame material. They were the biggest band of the world and their success during the 70s could rival The Beatles. They may be corny, but ABBA’s music were also complex during the time when Pop music was seen as worst by music historians. Even Rock musicians were influenced by ABBA as evident by people like U2, the Sex Pistols, Elvis Costello, and Nirvana.

Also unlike other years, 2010 was the only year where the other categories outnumbered the Performer inductees with 7 non-performer categories. One of the non-performers that got inducted that year was David Geffen, who really needs no explanation if you know his name. The remaining non-performers were songwriters, which included Brill Building songwriting duos Elllie Greenwich & Jeff Barry and Barry Mann & Cynthia Weil, Jesse Stone (who wrote “Shake, Rattle and Roll”), Mort Shuman (who wrote hits like “Save the Last Dance for Me”), and Otis Blackwell (who wrote the biggest Rock and Roll hits of the 1950s like “Great Balls of Fire” and “All Shook Up”).

Artists Who Were Nominated, But Didn’t Get Inducted That Year

Seven other artists were on the ballot, but they didn’t get inducted that year. But for now, I’ll save my analysis on Donna Summer and Laura Nyro, while I already talked about Darlene Love and LL Cool J on the years they were inducted and year(s) they were nominated respectively.

One artists that still isn’t in the Hall are the 50s R&B group The Chantels, which their snub feels like a sign that the Hall is ready to move on from the 1950s. 2010 was also the first year that the Red Hot Chili Peppers became eligible, but I get the feeling that voters think that it’s too early for the Chili Peppers to get inducted. It was also the first year that fan favorite KISS got their first nomination. Since they became eligible, the KISS Army have been clamoring hard at the Hall to get the band inducted, but they were just few votes short for induction. Hell, even I wouldn’t vote for them in 2010.

Final Thoughts

This is probably one of my favorite years in the Rock Hall’s history. Not only did the Hall right the wrong of getting The Stooges inducted, but all of the five Performer inductees would’ve been my choices if I had a real ballot. It was great to see that the inductees ranged from all over the world that we don’t get to see much.