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The 20 Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

on April 30, 2017, 2:00pm

This feature originally ran in December of 2016.

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has officially inducted its class of 2017. They include Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, JourneyElectric Light Orchestra, Joan Baez, and Yes, leaving out exciting nominees like Janet JacksonKraftwerk, Depeche ModeBad BrainsChic, Chaka Khan, The Cars, Jane’s Addiction, MC5, The Zombies, J. Gelis Band, and Steppenwolf. Sadly, that roster is not alone in being shut out from the warm confines of the Cleveland institution. Here’s a list of 20 artists who have yet to be enshrined, accompanied with rankings and our semi-formal arguments.

Enjoy and let us know who we’re missing below.


20. Nick Cave

nick cave girl amber film screening december The 20 Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

Number of Years Snubbed: 7

Number of Albums: 16

Chart Performance: Cave’s highest-charting album to date is surprisingly this year’s Skeleton Tree, which opened at No. 27 with over 15,000 units sold. Previously, his greatest success was 2013’s Push the Sky Away, which peaked at No. 29, also with 15,000 copies sold. Not one of his singles have ever charted in the United States, which looks just great for us Americans.

Accolades: Cave has won several ARIA (Australian Recording Industry Association) awards, most notably for best album (2004’s Abattoir Blues/The Lyre of Orpheus and Dig Lazarus Dig!!!) and as a 2007 inductee into the ARIA Hall of Fame. He also once requested his 1996 MTV Europe Music Awards nomination for “Best Male Artist” be withdrawn over concerns of the award’s “competitive nature.”

19. Slayer


Number of Years Snubbed: 8

Number of Albums: 12

Chart Performance: Since their debut in 1983, Slayer has collected six Gold certifications and one multi-platinum certification from the RIAA. Their 2006 album, Christ Illusion, debuted at No. 5 on the Billboard 200, their highest U.S. charting position to date.

Accolades: The band has received five Grammy nominations, winning two of them for songs off Christ Illusion. They’re also considered one of the “Big Four” thrash metal bands which also include Rock and Roll Hall of Hall of Famers Metallica in addition to Megadeth and Anthrax.

18. Nick Drake

nick drake The 20 Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

Number of Years Snubbed: 22

Number of Albums: 3

Chart Performance: His albums sold terribly upon release, but have since become essential albums posthumously. His final studio album, 1972’s Pink Moon, sits at No. 321 on Rolling Stone’s Top 500 Albums of All Time list.

Accolades: Since his early death, he’s been cited as an influence by R.E.M., The Cure, Lucinda Williams, Ben Folds, Badly Drawn Boy, Lou Barlow, Mikael Åkerfeldt, and many more. Pink Moon ranked No. 45 among Consequence of Sound’s Top 100 Albums.


17. Motörhead

lemmy motorhead maron wtf podcast The 20 Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

Number of Years Snubbed: 14

Number of Albums: 23

Chart Performance: As of 2016, Motörhead have sold more than 15 million albums worldwide.

Accolades: In 2005, they picked up their first Grammy in the Best Metal Performance category for their cover of Metallica’s “Whiplash” on Metallic Attack: The Ultimate Tribute. In 2013, they received the Metal Hammer Golden God Award.

16. Devo

devo The 20 Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

Number of Years Snubbed: 14

Number of Albums: 9

Chart Performance: Their critically-acclaimed debut album Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!  reached No. 12 in the UK and No. 78 in the US. However, its 1980 followup Freedom of Choice went Platinum in the US and Gold in Canada, making it their highest selling album. 1981’s New Traditionalists and 2010’s Something for Everybody peaked at No. 23 and No. 30 on U.S. charts, respectively.

Accolades: Their cult acclaim has only awarded them the first-ever Moog Innovator Award, which they received in 2010 at Moogfest in Asheville, NC. What’s integral about Devo is their pioneering sound and style, which impacted New Wave, industrial, and alternative in addition to how music videos could be conceived. Duty Now for the Future ranked No. 66 among Consequence of Sound’s Top 100 Albums.