5 Artists Snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame This Year
While the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is to be commended for a series of make-good 2017 inductions that included Yes and Journey, there are still some notable nominees who remain on the outside looking in. The Cars, Steppenwolf, J. Geils Band, Chic and the heavy metal genre in general were once again snubbed. They've waited, in some cases, decades for recognition that should have come sooner, as you'll see in this list of 5 artists snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year ...
The Cars earned nearly 150,000 fans votes in their 13th year of eligibility, but didn't make the final cut. This is the second straight disappointing nomination for a band that actually walked on water. And that's just the beginning of the Cars' overstuffed resume, which also includes their canny melding of New Wave and classic rock, transforming every geeky guy's dream of marrying a supermodel into a plausible reality, helping shape the sound of modern-era bands like Weezer and the Strokes and making hand claps cool again.
Judas Priest helped set thrash's template in the '70s and then the look and feel of '80s heavy metal before suffering a series of snubs since reaching the eligibility plateau in 1999. Priest kept selling records anyway, and showed they could still gather themselves toward greatness in a modern era with 2014's Redeemer of Souls. Then there's Iron Maiden, who stormed back with 2015's The Book of Souls. Eligible since 2004, they've never had a crossover hit – something that seems to have doomed them from Rock and Roll Hall of Fame consideration. Tell that to fans who've bought a whopping 85 million copies of their albums. Ronnie James Dio somehow isn't in either.
Eligible since way back in 1993, Steppenwolf's gritty combination of biker-bar toughness and psych-rock riffs collected a little more than 111,000 votes in the Rock Hall's fan poll – recognition that their career was more than just one era-defining song. Still, there's no denying Steppenwolf's No. 2 smash "Born to Be Wild," with its counter-culture cache and first-ever radio mention of the words "heavy metal." Dig deeper, though, and there's a lot more to this John Kay-led band – from its No. 3 U.S. hit "Magic Carpet Ride" and the Top 10 finisher "Rock Me" to scorching deep cuts like "The Pusher."
To be fair, Chic's Nile Rodgers will be recognized with the Award of Musical Excellence during the ceremonies that will be held in April at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn. But that leaves out the towering contributions he made with Bernard Edwards in Chic. Eligible since 2002, they gathered a little more than 37,000 votes in this year's fan poll – a testament to Chic's well-documented influence on bands like Pink Floyd and Queen. Both men also went on to play key roles as producers in rock 'n' roll: Rodgers worked with David Bowie and Bryan Ferry, as well as INXS, while Edwards produced Blondie's Debbie Harry, Robert Palmer and Rod Stewart.
The J. Geils Band were defined by an everyday work ethic as they steadily built their fan base through a series of throwback rock shows that brought in some of the music's earliest influences, then goosed it with just the right amount of attitude. That -- along with '80s-era hits like "Love Stinks," "Centerfold" and "Freeze Frame" -- led them to more than 94,000 votes on the Hall of Fame's fan ballot this year. But the J. Geils Band's more than two-decade-long wait continues. As with many legacy groups, their lineup has undergone a number of late-period shifts. Perhaps an honor like this could put them all on the same stage again.