Music History

Who Will be the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame Inductees in the Future?

To be eligible for induction into The Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, artists have to demonstrate “unquestionable musical excellence”–which should be obvious.

The second criteria is that at least 25 years has to have passed since the release of your first album.  That means the current cut-off year is 1989.  And given that the early 90s were a pretty good time for rock, the Hall committee won’t have to worry about finding new inductees for a while yet.

But what happens when the cut-off year becomes 1996?  Or 1999?  Or 2000?  Which acts with “unquestionable musical excellence” will be worth considering when that time comes?

I can think of a few.  Pearl Jam.  Soundgarden.  Radiohead.  Nine Inch Nails. Foo Fighters. And…er.  Hmm.

Once you get past that first half-dozen names or so, the pickings become pretty slim.  Fans will make an argument for Weezer, Coldplay, Green Day. The Smashing Pumpkins and (eventually) Jack White.  Anglophiles will shout the names of Blur and Oasis.  But beyond that there’s…who? Linkin Park? Gorillaz? Muse?

Well, if we increase our musical boundaries, there’s Eminem, Jay Z and Beyonce, all of whom should be locks.  And then what?  Britney?  Mariah? Adele?

You see what I’m getting at.  A similar argument can be found in this article at Grantland.

Think it over and get back to me, will you?


Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 37434 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

7 thoughts on “Who Will be the Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame Inductees in the Future?

  • I’m thinking Arcade Fire. Like them or not, they undoubtedly have been the biggest indie band to make in the last decade, and are arguable one of the most successful “indie” bands ever.

  • It’s likely just a manner of perspective. We can’t guess who’ll be inducted cause within ten years or so most artists only release a handful of albums. We can infer based on the current breadth, popularity, and influence of their material but we’d only be predicting. For every artist who have consistently put out good material there ate hundreds who have hit a walk after the first album, or single for that matter. Especially in such an age where the list of new music is everlasting we must simply wait for something that can measure up to the opportunity.

  • Hello? How about Joy Division / New Order? Either / or? Or both!

  • There are a lot of great bands that have not made it that are way past their 25 year mark. For me, one giant omission is Yes.
    Perhaps this is the time for the RnR HoF to go back and fix some of their past mistakes.

  • The Rock Hall of Fame is a joke to begin with……but I would think The Cure should be in there.


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