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The 20 Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

on December 13, 2017, 1:00pm

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame has officially announced its Class of 2018. The inductees are Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, The Moody Blues, Nina Simone, and early influencer Sister Rosetta Tharpe. Left out in the Cleveland cold were nominees like Depeche Mode, LL Cool J, The MC5, Kate Bush, The Zombies, Judas Priest, Eurythmics, and first-time eligible acts like Rage Against the Machine and, um, a little band called Radiohead. So with this morning’s announcement, it’s time to update our list of the 20 eligible artists being snubbed worst by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Hint, hint: We have a new No. 1.

There’s gonna be justice one day, right?


20. Nick Drake

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

Number of Years Snubbed: 23

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.


19. Depeche Mode

depeche mode new york 21 07 2016 44 The 20 Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

Number of Years Snubbed: 12

Number of Albums: 14

Chart Performance: After finding their footing in the mid-’80s, Depeche Mode have sold more than 100 million records and run off a string of eight straight Top 10 albums in the United States, including this year’s Spirit.

Accolades: Arguably the most popular and influential electronic outfit ever, Depeche Mode finally getting into the Hall of Fame one of these years could open up new opportunities for both their own influences (Kraftwerk) and bands they’ve gone on to inspire (Nine Inch Nails).

Update: First-time inclusion on this list. After being nominated and passed over two years in a row, the question becomes whether the 2019 committee will finally reward the British electronic pioneers or leave them off the ballot all together in favor of fresh choices, much like they did to Nine Inch Nails.


18. Motörhead

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

Number of Years Snubbed: 15

Number of Albums: 22

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.

17. Devo

devo The 20 Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

Number of Years Snubbed: 15

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 follow-up 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.

16. New Order

new order The 20 Worst Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Snubs

Number of Years Snubbed: 18

Number of Albums: 10

Chart Performance: Through their 68 total releases — including LPs, EPs, and singles — New Order have been an unstoppable presence in the UK charts with three Gold albums, two Platinum compilations, three Silver albums, and, you know, the best selling 12-inch single of all time with “Blue Monday”. Stateside, they secured two Gold albums and their Substance compilation was even certified Platinum.

Accolades: Chart success aside, they’ve only been nominated once by the Grammys, and it wasn’t until 2005, and it was a small nomination at that (i.e. Best Dance Recording for “Guilt Is a Useless Emotion” off Waiting for the Siren’s Call). Still, the outfit’s one of the most critically-acclaimed and influential acts of the last 30 years, changing the face of techno, rock, and pop forever.