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Readers’ Poll: 10 Bands Who Should Enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014

Your picks include Chicago, Deep Purple and the Smiths


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Few topics cause rock fans to argue like the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Its most vociferous critics (such as That Metal Show host Eddie Trunk) feel it's been terribly unkind to prog and metal, while others feel that rap and pop acts like ABBA and Madonna have no place in there. Many fans would simply like to see more post-punk groups like the Smiths, Joy Division and Sonic Youth get a nod.

Last week, the long-overlooked acts Rush and Randy Newman finally entered the Hall of Fame. We asked our readers to vote for the act they'd most like to see get inducted next year. Click through to see the results. 



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9. Chicago

People often forget just how massively popular Chicago were in the 1970s. They released an album every single year that decade and scored huge hits with "Saturday in the Park," "Old Days," "If You Leave Me Now," "Call on Me" and many others. When they launched an arena tour in 1973, Bruce Springsteen was opening for them. The hits continued through the 1980s, but they never quite recovered from singer Peter Cetera's departure in 1985. They've been eligible for the Hall of Fame since 1995, but have yet to appear on a single ballot. 

Gram Parsons

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8. Gram Parsons

When the Byrds were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1991, they only took the original lineup, leaving Gram Parsons (or at least his estate) without a statue. Many assumed that would be rectified in the next few years but, despite three ballot appearances, the country-rock icon has yet to get in. It might be because his best work was split between the Byrds, the Flying Burrito Brothers and his solo albums, or maybe because he's been dead so long that people have forgotten about his genius. Whatever the reason, it's wise to assume this will be fixed in the next few years. Odds are about 99 percent that Keith Richards will deliver his induction speech. 

Warren Zevon

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7. Warren Zevon

It seems to take quirky singer-songwriters an unusually long time to get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Tom Waits, Dr. John and Randy Newman only got their statues these past couple of years. Warren Zevon didn't have quite the success of those icons, but his best work ranks up there with anybody's.

Zevon has yet to even appear on a Hall of Fame ballot, even though his 2003 death finally made the public aware of his incredible genius. The Hall of Fame is pretty good at looking back and bringing in overlooked greats like him; it might take a few more years, but his time will come, too. They can probably even get Bruce Springsteen to deliver the speech. 

Cheap Trick

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6. Cheap Trick

The Hall of Fame is notoriously slow to induct prog and metal acts, but their record on 1970s power-pop is even worse. Big Star and the Raspberries have yet to even make the ballot. The same goes for Cheap Trick, even though they had a ton more hits and mainstream success than those two bands. Cheap Trick even managed to extend their winning streak into the 1980s and they draw a big crowd to this day. Songs like "Surrender" and "I Want You to Want Me" are in constant rotation on the radio. It's high time the Hall of Fame took notice. The ceremony would be a nice chance for the group to reunite with drummer Bun E. Carlos; he's been out of the band for reasons nobody has managed to explain. 

Moody Blues

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5. The Moody Blues

The Moody Blues played a huge role in the early development of prog-rock, and hits like "Nights in White Satin" and "Go Now" are absolute classics. This is a band that's been drawing giant crowds for nearly 50 years, but critical respect has always eluded them. They named their 2000 live album Hall of Fame, but the actual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has yet to even nominate them. This makes their huge fan base extremely upset (to put it mildly), but the nominating committee doesn't seem to be budging. 


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4. Yes

Genesis finally got into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2009, so many assumed Yes was next in line. The two groups have a lot in common. They released highly complex prog albums in the 1970s, and in the 1980s completely reinvented themselves as pop hit-makers. The crucial difference here might be that Genesis had Peter Gabriel and Phil Collins. They also had a relatively stable lineup; Yes has had about 18 different members, and none of them are household names.

It's beyond dispute that Bill Bruford, Steve Howe and Rick Wakeman are some of the most talented musicians on the planet and albums like Close to the Edge and Fragile represent some of the best prog ever recorded, but the Hall of Fame doesn't seem very interested in honoring that. It's a shame. The ceremony would be a rare chance for the group to reunite with estranged frontman Jon Anderson. The stage would nearly buckle under the weight of so many musicians, but it would be a truly amazing moment. Hopefully the HOF gets around to it before key members start passing away. 


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3. Kiss

Kiss have repeatedly called the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame a "sham," but it's hard to imagine they wouldn't show up if they were inducted. This isn't exactly a band that shies away from the spotlight. They might even agree to reunite with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss for the occasion. Kiss did make the ballot a few years ago, but they obviously didn't make it in. Alice Cooper had to wait until 2011, so maybe Kiss are just a few years away. If they do ever get in, expect a pretty spectacular performance. 

The Smiths

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2. The Smiths

Imagine the chaos that would erupt were the Smiths to ever get into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. It would make the Guns N' Roses situation seem like a bunch of hippies singing "Kumbaya" around a campfire. Many bands are able to put aside decades of hatred for one night, but the Smiths aren't one of those bands. Morrissey would probably write about 17 public letters about his loathing of the institution, and those will only be the ones before he learns they serve meat at the dinner. Needless to say, they deserve it more than just about any other group of the 1980s, but these are people who truly hate each other. Morrissey would rather eat a skinned elephant than share the stage with Mike Joyce ever again. Hopefully they get in soon so we can watch the beautiful drama unfold. 

Deep Purple

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1. Deep Purple

Many music fans don't know much about Deep Purple beyond "Smoke on the Water." They were always bigger overseas than in the States, but to Deep Purple fans, they are the only band that matters. Their early albums were hugely important in shaping heavy metal, and most serious metal guitarists worship at the altar of Ritchie Blackmore. Much like Yes, they've had many singers and guitarists over the years, but the classic lineup (minus Blackmore and the recently deceased Jon Lord) has been hard at work over the last 15 years. They rarely hit America but in Japan, Russia and most of Europe, they are absolutely huge. Unfortunately for them, most Rock Hall voters live in America.

They were on the ballot last year, so hopefully their moment is coming soon. Sadly, Blackmore has made it very clear that he won't attend the event.