I see that C-SPAN has released its 2021 update to its presidential rankings, and it’s the first to include Donald Trump. C-SPAN’s methodology isn’t a bad one, but it’s very numeric. Participants score every president from 1-10 in several categories like Administrative Skill and Relations with Congress. Its not at all a bad way to do things. I could point out some quibbles– nobody knows enough to gage every president insightfully in all these categories. I’ve been reading books on the presidents since I was five, and I have no idea how to place, say, Rutherford Haye’s administrative skill or Martin Van Buren’s relations with Congress. I was delighted to see the presence of a number of younger (for academia) scholars– Lindsey Chervinsky and Thomas Balcerski, for instance. I also could not help but note the pains they took to include more conservative scholars. Lee Edwards (who wrote the worst book I’ve ever read, Freedom’s College), Richard Norton Smith, Alvin Felzenberg, but more than that– tiny Christian colleges are overrepresented with two different Grove City professors (Grove City is one of only two schools that does not accept students who take on federal aid. Guess what? Their student body is almost entirely white, even by the standards of western Pennsylvania.) Other Christian colleges represented in that category are Harding University, Liberty, Southern Methodist, Colorado Christian University, Taylor, and Samford, and Baylor. There’s nothing wrong with these colleges necessarily–and I went to a private Christian liberal arts school for college, although you’d probably never guess it today. My point is simply– these kinds of schools seem overrepresented in the survey, and as a result, the makeup of the participating scholars probably resembles the overall American population reasonably well, but is decidedly to the right of where the discipline of history is as a whole right now. Anyway, you can see the results here.

My own ranking this year, for whatever its worth, is:

  1. Abraham Lincoln
  2. George Washington
  3. Franklin D. Roosevelt
  4. James Monroe
  5. Harry Truman
  6. Lyndon Johnson
  7. Theodore Roosevelt
  8. Barack Obama
  9. John Adams
  10. George H. W. Bush
  11. Thomas Jefferson
  12. Dwight Eisenhower
  13. Ulysses S. Grant
  14. John F. Kennedy
  15. John Quincy Adams
  16. William McKinley
  17. William Howard Taft
  18. James Garfield
  19. Bill Clinton
  20. Ronald Reagan
  21. James Madison
  22. Grover Cleveland
  23. Jimmy Carter
  24. Rutherford B. Hayes
  25. Zachary Taylor
  26. Chester Arthur
  27. Herbert Hoover
  28. Gerald R. Ford
  29. Woodrow Wilson
  30. Benjamin Harrison
  31. Millard Fillmore
  32. Warren Harding
  33. Martin Van Buren
  34. James K. Polk
  35. Richard M. Nixon
  36. John Tyler
  37. Calvin Coolidge
  38. William Henry Harrison
  39. George W. Bush
  40. Franklin Pierce
  41. Andrew Johnson
  42. James Buchanan
  43. Andrew Jackson
  44. Donald Trump

That might seem like a provocative title. Of course The Beatles were British. The accents, the funny haircuts, the cheeky interviews…to an American audience, the sheer alien-ness of this band when they landed at Indlewild Airport was palpable. Nobody goes hysterical over the familiar.

And all this is true: but listen–really listen–at those early records, and you’ll see how very American the Beatles presented themselves. Every cover song the band released canonically during the 60s was by an American artist. Every. One. Think about that for a second; not a single song composed by a countryman of theirs. In their endearing Liverpudlian drawl, they nonetheless sang of the touchstones of a romanticized early 60s American adolescence. Jukeboxes in “Roll Over Beethoven” and “Bad Boy.” Phone calls are ubiquitous; think of “No Reply” or “All I’ve Got To Do”–and British teenagers of the early 60s were most certainly not using the telephone on a lark to chat up some girl. “Yeah” and “hey” are ubiquitous. Even before they hit it big in America or were consciously writing for an American audience, they were a projection for an idealized American youth and sense of freedom that the young British public was actively consuming. One struggles to find a single turn of phrase in their catalog up until 1967 that wouldn’t communicate seamlessly to an American audience. Maybe “Paperback Writer” trades in some winks and nods at Fleet Street, and maybe Norwegian Wood uses the British slang “bird” for a woman, but that’s about it. Both songs *work* without any familiarity with their midcentury British context. There is the old adage that the United States and Great Britain are two countries divided by a common language, but it is hard to deny that a big slice of The Beatles’ appeal was in their ability to, in their Northern way, present as American.

All of that changes with Sgt. Pepper. Most notably, the aesthetics hearken back to the Edwardian salvation army bands rewired through the English music hall tradition. On the cover, callbacks to the band’s love of Americana–Tom Mix, Marilyn Monroe, Bette Davis and Dion–literally stand alongside mascots of Britannia such as Robert Peel, David Livingstone, Albert Stubbins (a footballer whom almost nobody in the U.S. would have recognized), and Lewis Carroll. Even the flotilla of Indian gurus that George insisted on including would only be possible through the networks created by British imperialism in the spiritual marketplace of the time.

Their ownership and projection of what it is to be English surfaces not only in the album’s visual art, but its raison de’tre, the music. Consider the following terms that show up in the album’s lyrics which may not have been intelligible to listeners outside the commonwealth, or for the very first time, communicate a cultural framework that is dissonant with American listeners. Allusions or turns of phrase include: House of Lords, Isle of Wight, “too dear” (in the sense of meaning too expensive), Albert Hall, Blackburn Lancashire, Meet the Wife, take some tea, meter maids, the motor trade, summersets, hogsheads. Implicit commentary on the English class system permeates “Lovely Rita” and “She’s Leaving Home.” Gone are the instrumentation of early rock and roll. Instead we get orchestras, harpsichords, an Indian sonic landscape from the country that colonized India for a century, clarinets, calliope, harmonium. When poor George is finally given a guitar solo, he’s no longer channeling Carl Perkins or Chet Atkins, and his playing only serves as a counterpoint to the nebulous worlds of “Fixing A Hole” or “Good Morning, Good Morning.”

Sgt. Pepper will probably always be seen first and foremost as a psychedelic album, and I understand why. It’s dreamy, otherworldly, transcendent, and clearly written under the influence of all kinds of drugs. I’d like to complicate this understanding with a sense that the album is also an act of self-creation. As the first album recorded by the band after quitting the touring circuit, it also stands as a manifesto of their renewed sense of Englishness, a backward looking album that plays with tropes, themes, and instruments of an imagined earlier time in their country’s history that all of them missed by about forty years. It’s as nostalgic a look at England as, say, Main Street USA’s take on small town Midwestern America in Disneyland. For the first time, the Beatles look at who they were with respect to the milieu around them. They no longer cosplay the American rock and roller, but in this sublime era of self-discovery, reimagine and recreate themselves as Englishmen on their own terms.

This is a short post after a two-month absence from the blog. Not to keep making excuses, but I’m watching a child full time while attempting to buy a house in the most lopsided seller’s market in a generation. I’ve been keeping close tabs on all the #RockHall2021 developments, however, between excellent podcast work from the Watchers and the Who Cares folk, Nick’s ongoing Rock Hall Reconsidered Project, and all the other manifold newsbites.

I’ll cut to the chase: here’s who I think, after a few months of watching reactions to this fascinating and precedent-shattering ballot, will get in.

Tina Turner: She is the biggest name with the biggest legacy on the ballot. While double-inductees sometimes face questions of “does so-and-so need to be in there twice?” with Tina it’s justified. Her 80s comeback was a triumph of human persistence and artistic rebirth. Yet, her near-certainty creates a problem: Turner is pretty much retired and I will be gobsmacked if she comes to Cleveland in a pandemic to take part. She may be involved, but it’s fair to say a performance–at least by the grand dame herself–is probably out of the question.

Carole King: I’m a little concerned that, among those who released their ballot choices, King isn’t always one of the five check-marks. Yet these disclosures have largely come from critics–and critics known for their edginess or too-cool-for-school attitude. I’m confident that the musicians who comprise this ballot will make a beeline for King–who is also maybe my biggest personal snub at this point. And King will show up.

Jay-Z: Honestly, this is less of a sure thing than I thought it was two months ago. L.L. Cool J is a serious contender on any ballot he appears on, and may draw votes away from Jay-Z, especially if voters can countenance one rap/hip-hop vote but not two. It’s also true that Jay-Z’s reaction to his nomination hasn’t been the most enthusiastic, and he’s giving off very Howard Stern “do I have to fly to Cleveland for this?” energy. Even still, he’s arguably the most successful rapper of all time, and if you are a millennial, 4 or 5 of his songs are an indelible part of your generational experience.

The Go-Gos: With a first-rate documentary making a case for their significance, the timing is right for The Go-Gos. New wave acts have done well in the Rock Hall lately, and there’s no denying their historicity. Eddie Trunk notwithstanding, if you want to vote for artists who wrote their own stuff and played their own instruments, The Go-Gos clear that hurdle.

Foo Fighters: A group whose nomination exists largely to raise Mary’s blood pressure, The Foo Fighters are still more likely than not to get inducted, I think. If Green Day can get in on their first try seven years ago, Foo Fighters should be able to do so as well. And like Green Day (and unlike Radiohead), the Foo Fighters show up to stuff. Complain all you like on their merits–I may or may not argue with you–but they fit the profile of first-year-eligible inductees.

That’s five. But with only three of them likely to be there, I doubt very much Greg Harris will stop there.

If there’s six, sign me up for Devo. They’re probably my least favorite artist on the ballot, and given all the other ersatz artists operating at the same time, I’m not quite getting the urgency. But in spite of my feelings, they were bold, had a unique visual aesthetic, and can thread the needle between “countercultural innovator” and “Classic rock”. Plus, their own Ohio roots gives HBO the potential for some terrific “going home” moments.

If there’s seven, I’m going to buck orthodoxy and suggest that New York Dolls have a real chance. Of the ballots released so far, NYD are showing up on a striking number, and their profile isn’t all that different from their contemporaries Roxy Music and T. Rex. In fact, New York Dolls have the added benefit of being, obviously, New Yorkers and having plenty of allies on the voting committee. They are also the queerest artist here, given their gender-bending aesthetic, which may also be an unexpected fount of support.

So those are my picks. Again, it’s Jay-Z, Carole King, Tina Turner, The Go-Gos, and the Foo Fighters, adding Devo if six and New York Dolls if seven. I don’t think LL Cool J can make it with another rapper on the ballot if he hasn’t managed it as the only rapper. Kate Bush has my vote, but may be too niche and English. Todd Rundgren has fallen flat on less competitive ballots than this one. If Judas Priest–a better and more significant band–couldn’t swing it, Iron Maiden shouldn’t logically fare much better. Fela Kuti is important, but a question mark to many voters. Dionne Warwick is lovely, but may be a bit too cocktail-hour, even for her contemporaries. Mary J. Blige has my vote on the fan ballot, and is our long awaited female hip-hop nominee, but doesn’t have a prayer unfortunately. With so many brassy female artists on this list, Chaka Khan will probably get drowned out, and Rage Against the Machine just doesn’t seem to have the momentum this year.

We will see if I’m right, though; I’m not 100% sure of my choices– if I had to pick one artist I’d be wrong about, it’d be Rundgren, I think. Well, the fan vote closes in a few days, and hopefully we’ll have our inductees a week or two after. Rock Hall, if you are listening, I reiterate my ancestral plea: Carole Kaye for Musical Excellence. Big Mama Thornton for Influence.

On Wednesday, 10 February, with only about 48 hours’ notice, the Rock Hall announced the nominees for its 2021 class. I happened to be at my parents’ place, dropping off my son before an eye appointment when the appointed hour arrived. When I read the nominees, I experienced the gratifying sensation of not wanting to throw my cell phone out the window in anger and exasperation. That’s because this is…if not exactly the ~strongest~ set of nominees I’ve seen in my years following the Hall (I’d say the Class of 2016 ballot has that honor), then it is certainly the most ~encouraging~ and evinces a Rock Hall headed in the right direction. Under the new leadership of John Sykes, a sea change seems to have occurred. We have a ballot that did justice to the 90s, reached back to the mid-60s, and had gender and racial parity after years of relative white-washing since the era of fan ballots and HBO broadcasts began. As many of you know by now, our 16 nominees were:

  • Kate Bush
  • Dionne Warwick
  • Iron Maiden
  • Foo Fighters
  • L.L. Cool J
  • Devo
  • New York Dolls
  • Carole King
  • Mary J. Blige
  • Chaka Khan
  • Jay-Z
  • Todd Rundgren
  • Tina Turner
  • Fela Kuti
  • The Go-Gos
  • Rage Against the Machine

That’s…a pretty fascinating ballot, ripe with good choices. I’d be happy with almost any permutation of inductees. Of course, Sykes alone is not entirely responsible for this. The Rock Hall has a rather terrific team of publicity folk, librarians, and archivists who played a quiet role behind the scenes. And I’d like to think that pressure from journalists like Evelyn McDonnell and bloggers like the Hall Watchers team were part of a larger grassroots effort.

As is my custom here on the Countdown, I’ll do a rundown of the nominees, ranking their 1) Worthiness; 2) How much I like Them (or Preference, for simplicity’s sake); 3) Their Likelihood of getting in, in my estimation; and 4) How good their induction is for the Rock Hall’s Bottom Line, from a publicity, financial, or respectability angle. I’ll also give a suggestion for a possible musician to give their induction speech.

Devo (Worthiness: 16; Preference: 14; Likelihood: 9; Bottom Line: 12). You know this is a good ballot when Devo might be the act I have the biggest problem with. And even then, it’s simply on speculative grounds like “would they have been as big if they hadn’t worn silly hats?”, and not particularly liking bands with manifestos. Devo makes its second appearance on a Rock Hall ballot, and this time, they would be inducted in their home base in northeastern Ohio. This could make them a sentimental favorite during the induction ceremony, and that goes double when you consider that we almost lost Mark Mothersbaugh to COVID last year. Suggested Inductor: Weird Al Yankovic.

Dionne Warwick (Worthiness: 13; Preference: 6; Likelihood: 7; Bottom Line: 9). Well, this was a pleasant surprise! Dionne Warwick was always at the periphery of inductable artists- she was in my original list of 100 prospects that I wrote four years ago, where I wondered whether her “cocktail-hour music” hurt her chances, despite a great voice, workmanlike professionalism, and some legendary songs from the Bacharach-David team. And for all we talk about Tina Turner’s comeback (and we should), it’s worth pointing out that Warwick never really faded out of the limelight in the first place and was a consistent chart presence from the 60s through deep into the 80s. It couldn’t hurt that she’s had a revival of sorts in the past year, between appearances on The Masked Singer and a playful persona she has cultivated on Twitter. Given the number of ex-Zombies, and ex-Vandellas and the such who get ballots, don’t count Warwick out. Suggested Inductor: Chance the Rapper.

New York Dolls (Worthiness: 14; Preference: 16; Likelihood: 15; Bottom Line: 14). A handful of Rock Hall watchers, myself included, predicted New York Dolls–usually in lieu of those Fan Vote bottom-feeders, MC5. Right now, the Dolls’ androgyny, playfulness, and proto-punk attitude is in. But unlike their near-contemporaries, T. Rex and Roxy Music, they didn’t produce a particularly large or particularly memorable body of work despite a profound impact on their peers. Don’t expect an induction here, but in case I’m wrong, I suggest Axl Rose.

Foo Fighters (Worthiness: 10, Preference: 8, Likelihood: 5, Bottom Line: 7). It was pretty foreseeable that Foo Fighters would make the ballot, not only on account of being one of the foremost rock and roll bands of the last 25 years, but also by virtue of Dave Grohl’s chumminess with the Hall and general likability. In some ways, they are to rock and roll what Boyz II Men were to R&B, the last great act in a dying genre. The Rock Hall Watchers team are a bit more critical of them than I would be- I’d argue that we are still seeing their influence play out, and I tend to prefer longevity and consistency over artists who were an extremely influential flash in the pan (see New York Dolls.) At any rate, like it or not, I’d say it’s about a fifty-fifty split whether they get in this year. Suggested Inductor: Dave Grohl’s Zoom-era sparring partner, Nadia Bushnell.

Jay-Z (Worthiness: 3, Preference: 11, Likelihood: 3, Bottom Line: 3). I owe Jay-Z a great deal because I can use him as a reference point in my history lectures. When talking about the Erie Canal, I can say that DeWitt Clinton has 99 problems, but a ditch ain’t one. When the topic turns to the Mughal Empire, I can say Emperor Akbar has 99 problems, but the Brits ain’t one. Truly, Jay-Z is the gift that keeps on giving. The 2021 Class has always had the subtext of “it’s Jay-Z’s year” about it, and I don’t think there’s any reason to challenge this piece of conventional wisdom. But I caution against giving Jay-Z a free ride. Journalist Bill Wyman eviscerated the corporatism of Jay-Z in his own take on the 2021 nominees, writing: “…he is the epitome of corporate hip-hop. His remarkable, lasting success and slick positions — from his art to his acts to his marriage — has made him a perennial superstar. But there is something bleak and empty about him”. He is perhaps the most successful rapper of all-time, although he is not, by any fair estimation, the best. I also wonder how many people will look at the ballot and say “wait…how can I vote for Jay-Z when L.L. Cool J isn’t in yet?” It was different with 2pac and Biggie, who achieved an almost spiritual significance in death. Suggested Inductor: Eminem, to herald #RockHall2022.

The Go-Gos (Worthiness: 8, Preference: 7, Likelihood: 8, Bottom Line: 6). Their nomination is entirely deserved, but it seems part of something larger and more metatextual. The Go-Gos documentary that was released last year to positive reviews spends an almost untoward amount of time considering why they aren’t in the Rock Hall, almost playing chicken with Jann Wenner. And still, it’s a fair question: as many readers know, they were the first band to achieve a #1 with only women playing on the record, and their significance extends far beyond mere trivia. Lately, we celebrate excellence that thrived despite structural unfairness in their way (consider Hidden Figures as an example), and this makes the Go-Gos accomplishments all the more remarkable. They could very well get inducted on their first try, but I’m not encouraged by what happened to some of their female contemporaries like Eurythmics, Kate Bush, and Pat Benatar. If they do get in, expect an enthusiastic reunion, and, as Gina Schock wished for, a terrific speech from P!nk.

Rage Against the Machine (Worthiness: 9, Preference: 15, Likelihood: 13, Bottom Line: 5). I see two obstacles to Rage’s chances this year. Number One is the Foo Fighters. Although they are in very different sub-genres, they are both perhaps the two most iconic rock bands of the late 90s and could potentially hamper each other’s chances. It’s also unlikely that they will both get in during the same year because it would look ~really~ bad if two bands with members on the Nominating Committee slide through. Number Two is less intuitive– it’s political stability. Do you like the feeling of not waking up in a state of panic and abject horror, checking your phone to see what insane thing the president has done or said? I sure like it. My point is that the steady-as-she-goes liberalism of Joe Biden blunts a lot of the fire and righteous anger that drives RATM and makes them perpetually relevant. There’s no doubt, though, that the Rock Hall would love to micromanage a rare, but very plausible, Rage reunion. Suggested Inductor: Chuck D.

Chaka Khan (Worthiness: 11, Preference: 4, Likelihood: 16, Bottom Line: 13). Fun fact: the number of Masked Singer participants on this year’s ballot is only slightly smaller than the number of women on last year’s ballot. This time showing up sans Rufus, Khan has very, very little chance on a ballot this competitive. Tina Turner and Dionne Warwick are both more famous, more influential, had more hits, while also enjoying a second chapter in their careers unfold in the 1980s. Allegedly, the Hall has a secret rule where you automatically get in if you earn seven nominations or have seven nominations in a row (sources disagree). If that’s true, and Khan’s work with or without Rufus is considered of a piece, she could get in through this loophole next year. Suggested Inductor: Erykah Badu.

Todd Rundgren (Worthiness: 12, Preference: 3, Likelihood: 4, Bottom Line: 15). Rundgren is close to my heart because he headlined the last concert I attended before the pandemic shut everything down. Despite this, I’m not as sold on his Rock Hall credentials as some of the other hobbyists are. He barely missed out on making my first list of 100 prospects, and it doesn’t help that his best work is divided between himself and two different bands, and intermingled with his other work as a producer. Having said all that, Rundgren may well get in on his third consecutive nomination. He’s the closest thing we have to a “70s classic rock in the narrowest possible sense of the genre” nominee, which certainly didn’t hurt the Doobie Brothers last year. But how does the Hall handle a problem child like Todd for the HBO broadcast? He has made it clear he holds the Hall in contempt and is extremely unlikely to show up for the festivities. He’s also alienated or pissed off a lot of people who might have given interesting induction speeches, like Meat Loaf or the XTC guys. He’s tight with Ringo, but he just inducted T. Rex last year. So, maybe Joey Molland of Badfinger as my suggested inductor?

L.L. Cool J (Worthiness: 2, Preference: 12, Likelihood: 12, Bottom Line: 8). I was surprised that the Rock Hall nominated a second rapper this year, given Jay-Z’s presence on the ballot. It would have made sense if they threw out a sacrificial lamb to honor with a nomination (think De La Soul or something similar), but LL Cool J is a legitimate contender any time he appears on a ballot. Indeed, he’s easily made it into the very highest eschelons of my own mental tabulation of the most egregious snubs from the Rock Hall. As I said earlier, the fact that LL Cool J isn’t in yet may give some voters pause before they automatically check off the box next to Jay-Z’s name. But how many Rock Hall voters are willing to vote for two rap acts? Not too many, I would guess. If I’m wrong, though, expect class and sophistication from L.L. Cool J, as well as an enthusiastic speech from…Ludacris?

Tina Turner (Worthiness: 7, Preference: 9, Likelihood: 2, Bottom Line: 4). Lots of positive press and buzz surrounded Tina Turner this year, so a lot of us predicted her to show up, and we were vindicated. It is almost certain that she will get inducted– I’d be beyond shocked if she didn’t, but given how Rock Hall voters have sometimes done black women dirty (such as Janet needing three tries), nothing is for certain. Unfortunately, it’s unlikely that 80-year-old Turner will fly from Switzerland in an improving but tentative global health environment to accept her award in person, but you can take it to the bank that she will record a very gracious acceptance speech and some standout tribute performances will be in the works. As for someone to give the speech, is Beyoncé not going to be in the house?

Iron Maiden (Worthiness: 5, Preference: 13, Likelihood: 6, Bottom Line: 1). Three acts with metal credentials were nominated last year. None of them got in. This year, one completely different metal act was nominated instead. Iron Maiden are perennial favorites at the Rock Hall’s voting kiosks, and if you look at white, male bands that aren’t in yet, sure- they take their place among the most prominent. Even so, I feel that their significance and fan base is limited to the metal community, and more people own Iron Maiden t-shirts than own Iron Maiden albums. Moreover, metal bands often take a few tries to get into the Hall, and Judas Priest–in my own opinion a superior ensemble–hasn’t made it yet. However, Iron Maiden has the hard rock lane all to itself this year, and winning over their massive corps of devoted fans has to be making Greg Harris see dollar signs in his sleep. I think they have a much stronger chance than my peers currently imagine. Suggested Inductor: Scott Ian of Anthrax.

Mary J. Blige (Worthiness: 6, Preference: 5, Likelihood: 11, Bottom Line: 10). I’m not humble enough to aver the fact that I was one of the only Rock Hall people who predicted her for the ballot. She was definitely a Hail-Mary pick–literally in this case–, and I’m still surprised I was right. Despite the unexpected appearance, Blige is eminently worthy. She was one of VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time, but consider this as well… Can you tell the story of 80s pop without Tina Turner? Possibly. Could you tell the story of 90s R&B without Blige? Not a chance. It won’t matter, but she’s an extremely deserving candidate. My Suggested Inductor is perhaps her most unlikely collaborator but one of her most consistent boosters: Elton John. While the Rocket Man is in the building, this would be a great opportunity to induct Bernie Taupin as a non-performer, but that’s a post for another day.

Fela Kuti (Worthiness: 15, Preference: 10, Likelihood: 14, Bottom Line: 11). Speaking of surprises…Fela Kuti? He was #100 on my original list of 100 Rock Hall prospects, and among these sixteen nominees, he’s only second from the bottom in terms of worthiness. I’m not going to vote for him, and I doubt he’ll get in, but I love the idea of nominating Kuti. It’s one of those picks like Los Lobos or John Prine, where you aren’t gonna vote for ’em, but you really respect that the committee thought highly enough about that artist to give him this kind of public acknowledgment. I could, though, be counting him out too early. Thanks to a grassroots campaign coming from Kuti’s native Africa, he’s been leading the Fan Vote. It’s uncertain if he’ll stay there, but this is a crafty choice if the intention was to put the Rock Hall on the radar of the developing world. Suggested Inductor: Bootsy Collins.

Kate Bush (Worthiness: 4, Preference: 2, Likelihood: 10, Bottom Line: 16). She’s back after a three year absence. When it comes to women who should be in the Rock Hall, Bush has to be near the top of the list. There has been no one like her: a wünderkind from England who drew ideas from progressive rock and classic literature to make dreamy soundscapes, who churned out great album after great album for a dozen solid years. The Kick Inside is easily on my list of the best albums of all time, and as indie music allows creative misfits let their freak flags fly, Bush has only become more impactful. Her notorious reclusivity means she won’t be in Cleveland, but maybe Lorde and Bjork can perform her tracks after Big Boi’s speech.

Carole King (Worthiness: 1, Preference: 1, Likelihood: 1, Bottom Line: 2). When I started following the Rock Hall, I was a stalwart advocate for: Chicago. Nina Simone. The Zombies. Joan Baez. Bill Withers. Dire Straits. Janet Jackson. Carole King. Well, now they are all in- as performers, except Carole King. Her influence as a singer-songwriter is far-reaching and expansive, virtually everybody in that genre owes something to her work. Given how revered Tapestry is on its 50th anniversary, given her impactful legacy, and given how fondly the 60s old-timers remember him, Carole King is as sure as a sure thing can be. I can’t wait to see her get into the Hall on her own merits. Suggested Inductor: Sara Bareilles.

Follow your own arrow, but on the Rock Hall’s site, I’m voting for Carole King, L.L. Cool J, Mary J. Blige, Kate Bush, and Todd Rundgren.

For ease of reference, my rankings were:


  1. Carole King
  2. L.L. Cool J
  3. Jay-Z
  4. Kate Bush
  5. Iron Maiden
  6. Mary J. Blige
  7. Tina Turner
  8. The Go-Gos
  9. Rage Against the Machine
  10. Foo Fighters
  11. Chaka Khan
  12. Todd Rundgren
  13. Dionne Warwick 
  14. New York Dolls
  15. Fela Kuti
  16. Devo

Ranking favorites:

  1. Carole King
  2. Kate Bush 
  3. Todd Rundgren 
  4. Chaka Khan 
  5. Mary J. Blige
  6. Dionne Warwick 
  7. The Go-Go’s
  8. Foo Fighters
  9. Tina Turner
  10. Fela Kuti
  11. Jay-Z
  12. L L Cool J
  13. Iron Maiden 
  14. Devo
  15. Rage Against the Machine 
  16. New York Dolls


  1. Carole King
  2. Tina Turner
  3. Jay-Z
  4. Todd Rundgren
  5. Foo Fighters
  6. Iron Maiden
  7. Dionne Warwick
  8. The Go-Gos
  9. Devo
  10. Kate Bush
  11. Mary J. Blige
  12. L.L. Cool J
  13. Rage Against the Machine
  14. Fela Kuti
  15. New York Dolls
  16. Chaka Khan

Bottom line:

  1. Iron Maiden
  2. Carole King
  3. Jay-Z
  4. Tina Turner
  5. Rage Against the Machine
  6. Go-Go’s
  7. Foo Fighters
  8. LL Cool J
  9. Dionne Warwick
  10. Mary J Blige
  11. Fela Kuti
  12. Devo
  13. Chaka Khan
  14. New York Dolls
  15. Todd Rundgren
  16. Kate Bush

Although I am blogging this only two days before the Rock Hall is set to make its official predictions, I wrote most of these write-ups several months ago, and published them as a sequence on twitter. It occurred to me, however, that not everybody who reads this blog necessary follows @alex_voltaire on twitter. If you don’t, here is my list of #RockHall2021 predictions. If you ~do~ follow me on twitter, there’s very little new for you here, except for one replacement in my 16 predictions.

Jay-Z: Eminem may be the ~best~ rapper of all time, and LL Cool J may be the first significant solo rapper, but Jay-Z might have the case as the most successful rapper ever. Rolling Stone and VH1 both listed him as one of the 100 Greatest Artists fairly early in his career, and he is likely to join the exclusive club of first-year-eligible inductees.

Foo Fighters: We know that the Nominating Committee has no qualms about putting forward its own members. And David Grohl might be the most universally liked figure in rock and roll today. Foo fighters have been involved in Rock Hall proceedings for decades, and might be the last traditional guitar-bass-drums rock band nominated their first year. And let’s get Nadia Bushell to give the speech if they get in, huh?

Judas Priest: Last year’s ballot produced a surfeit of hard rock and heavy metal acts and Judas Priest didn’t prevail. Although Lemmy is remembered fondly, Judas Priest, with two nominations, seems to be in the Fastpass lane for the neglected heavy metal genre. Glenn Tipton’s Parkinson’s diagnosis makes it clear that the Hall can’t keep dragging their feet.

Rufus w/ Chaka Khan: Khan–with or without Rufus–might be the new Chic: a perennial and deserving nominee representing 70s R&B who can’t quite win over a quorum of voters. Righteous anger over her elimination from The Masked Singer may well translate into righteous anger over her absence from the Rock Hall.

Dave Matthews Band: A surprise choice last year, DMB made history as the first artist to win the fan vote without getting inducted. It would be bad publicity, to say the least, if they were not given a second chance to get into the Rock Hall. Their broad fan base and reputation as a transcendent live act make them a compelling choice for the Rock Hall’s bottom line.

Jethro Tull: It seems as though every year, there is at least one longtime-snubbed, classic rock radio staple nominated to appease an aging contingent of baby boomers. With the Doobies filling that role last year, Tull is, intuitively, next in line. Ian Anderson’s recent COPD diagnosis lends an air of urgency to this critically-detested bastion of Dad Rock.

Kraftwerk: Kraftwerk continues to be the “thinking person’s choice” for the worst Rock Hall snub, and generally, the more one knows about music history, the more likely it is that one supports them. The death of co-founder Florian Schneider should remind voters just how much contemporary music is playing in their sandbox.

Duran Duran: As original VJ Martha Quinn once remarked, “Everyone says ‘MTV made Duran Duran, but you know what? Duran Duran made MTV too.” With an MTV honcho chairing the Rock Hall these days, and with other synth acts from the 80s like Depeche Mode already in, this enduring guilty pleasure favorite may have their moment.

Soundgarden: Predating Nirvana and Pearl Jam, Soundgarden holds the lane on grungy 90s alternative groups. Chris Cornell’s suicide is still reverberating through the music industry years after the fact, and their nomination was one of the most well received of last year’s batch. There’s every reason to think they’ll get another shot.

Tina Turner: When our community of Rock Hall followers held a mock nomination meeting, Tina Turner earned a spot and ultimately won the most votes. No one in the actual Rock Hall might care, but it does show her viability as a solo artist. Turner simply pulled off the single biggest reinvention in the history of rock music.

The Go-Gos: Induct More Women. If public pressure and a change in leadership have any impact, The Go-Gos might well appear on a ballot for the first time. A formidable option any year, they currently have the wind at their backs with a new documentary chronicling the first all-female band to make a #1 record entirely on their own.

New York Dolls: For several years now, MC5 has been nominated without much forward momentum. Perhaps another band whose career was short, capricious, iconoclastic, and highly influential will take their place. Their raw sound, contempt for industry standards, and shameless androgyny give them a significance that overshadows their brief time in the spotlight.

Sonic Youth: With the Hall chipping away slowly but surely at the alternative backlog, we are now at a point where Sonic Youth takes its place among the most important bands ever nominated. It’s not hard to see someone–Lenny Kaye? Dave Grohl?–making a persuasive case for a band that has influenced artists ranging from Beck to Yeah Yeah Yeahs to Pavement.

Mary J. Blige: How much change will the John Sykes era bring? Although Jay-Z may be a runaway favorite for induction, don’t assume he’ll be the only artist in his genre. The Rock Hall has never nominated a female hip-hop or rap act, and Bluge–one of VH1’s 100 Greatest Artists of All Time several years ago–just might get a spot on the ballot.

Kool & the Gang: Often sampled, never duplicated, this band has been cranking out industry-best live shows for decades and have accumulated a great deal of influence and respect in that time. The death of one of their founding members this past year makes it clear that it is time that this band be recognized even though, like J. Geils Band, their biggest chart hits don’t really do them justice.

The B-52s: Carole King: I’m modifying my list at the eleventh hour to replace ersatz alternative dance group The B-52s (who I love) with Carole King (whom I practically worship). King has been very visable during this pandemic and finding new ways to connect to a wider audience. And it has not escaped my notice that the nominations are to be announced on the 50th anniversary—to the day–of Tapestry‘s release.

You never forget your first. Your first Congress that is. I initially began following U.S. politics in some depth during my senior year of college- ironically, when I was out of the country working as a teaching and resident assistant for my college’s honors program in London. This was in January of 2005, at the beginning of the 109th congress.

I say Congress, but really, it was usually just the Senate that fascinated me; the arcane procedurals, the easy-to-remember composition of two persons per state. It’s been 16 years now, and I thought it might be interesting to collate what happened to the senators from that first congress I followed. This is some back-of-the-envelope research here, and it’s probable that I forgot some people in some of the categories, but here is, to the best of my recollection, what befell these senators:

Still in the Senate:

  1. Maria Cantwell (Washington)
  2. Patty Murray (Washington)
  3. Dianne Feinstein (California)
  4. Ron Wyden (Oregon)
  5. Mitch McConnell (Kentucky)
  6. Dick Durbin (Illinois)
  7. Jack Reed (Rhode Island)
  8. Patrick Leahy (Vermont)
  9. Deb Stabenow (Michigan)
  10. Richard Shelby (Alabama)
  11. Lindsey Graham (South Carolina)
  12. John Thune (South Dakota)
  13. Jim Inhofe (Oklahoma)
  14. Richard Burr (North Carolina)
  15. Charles Grassley (Iowa)
  16. Mike Crapo (Idaho)
  17. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
  18. Jon Cornyn (Texas)
  19. Chuck Schumer (New York)
  20. Tom Carper (Delaware)
  21. Susan Collins (Maine)


  1. Craig Thomas (Wyoming)
  2. Ted Kennedy (Massachusetts)
  3. Robert Byrd (West Virginia)
  4. Arlen Spector (Pennsylvania)
  5. Ted Stevens (Alaska)
  6. Daniel Inouye (Hawaii)
  7. Robert Bennett (Utah)
  8. Jim Bunning (Kentucky)
  9. Daniel Akaka (Hawaii)
  10. Jim Jeffords (Vermont)
  11. Frank Lautenberg (New Jersey)
  12. Pete Domenici (New Mexico)
  13. Conrad Burns (Montana)
  14. Richard Lugar (Indiana)
  15. John McCain (Arizona)
  16. Tom Coburn (Oklahoma)
  17. Thad Cochran (Mississippi)
  18. Paul Sarbanes (Maryland)

Became governors after:

  1. Jon Corzine (New Jersey)
  2. Lincoln Chafee (Rhode Island)
  3. Mike DeWine (Ohio)
  4. Sam Brownback (Kansas)
  5. Mark Dayton (Minnesota)

Ran for president after 2005:

  1. Barack Obama
  2. John McCain
  3. Hillary Clinton
  4. Christopher Dodd
  5. Joe Biden
  6. Sam Brownback 
  7. Rick Santorum
  8. Lincoln Chafee 
  9. Lindsey Graham

Became president:

  1. Barack Obama
  2. Joe Biden

Became Vice President:

  1. Joe Biden

Served in the cabinet:

  1. Hillary Clinton
  2. Ken Salazar 
  3. Chuck Hagel
  4. John Kerry 
  5. Jeff Sessions 

Lost re-election: (* were losses in their party’s primaries)

  1. George Allen (2006)
  2. Lincoln Chafee (2006)
  3. Mike DeWine (2006)
  4. Rick Santorum (2006)
  5. Conrad Burns (2006)
  6. Jim Talent (2006)
  7. John Sununu (2008)
  8. Gordon Smith (2008)
  9. Ted Stevens (2008)
  10. Norm Coleman (2008)
  11. Elizabeth Dole (2008)
  12. Arlen Spector (*) (2010)
  13. Robert Bennett(*) (2010)
  14. Russ Feingold (2010)
  15. Blanche Lambert Lincoln (2010)
  16. Richard Lugar (*) (2012)
  17. Mark Pryor (2014)
  18. Mary Landrieu (2014)
  19. Bill Nelson (2018)

(Lisa Murkowski and Joe Lieberman both lost primaries but were re-elected anyway)

Chose not to run for re-election:

  1. Paul Sarbanes (2006)
  2. Mark Dayton (2006)
  3. Bill Frist (2006)
  4. Jim Jeffords (2006)
  5. Chuck Hagel (2008)
  6. Pete Domenici (2008)
  7. Wayne Allard (2008)
  8. George Voinovich (2010)
  9. Chris Dodd (2010)
  10. Kit Bond (2010)
  11. Evan Bayh (2010)
  12. Jim Bunning (2010)
  13. Judd Gregg (2010)
  14. Byron Dorgan (2010)
  15. Olympia Snowe (2012)
  16. Ben Nelson (2012)
  17. Kent Conrad (2012)
  18. Jon Kyl (2012)
  19. Joe Lieberman (2012)
  20. Kay Bailey Hutchison (2012)
  21. Daniel Akaka (2012)
  22. Jeff Bingaman (2012)
  23. Saxby Chambliss (2014)
  24. Carl Levin (2014)
  25. Tom Harkin (2014)
  26. Tim Johnson (2014)
  27. Jay Rockefeller (2014)
  28. Barb Boxer (2016)
  29. Harry Reid (2016)
  30. Barbara Mikulski (2016)
  31. Orrin Hatch (2018)
  32. Michael Enzi (2020)
  33. Pat Roberts (2020)
  34. Lamar Alexander (2020)

Resigned mid-term (for reasons other than taking a higher office)

  1. Mel Martinez 
  2. Trent Lott
  3. Jim Demint 
  4. Tom Coburn
  5. Johnny Isaksen 

At the Center of a Sex Scandal:

  1. Larry Craig
  2. John Ensign
  3. Pete Domenici

Gayest Cabinet Ever!!

History was made with the announcement that Pete Buttigieg will be nominated as the Secretary of Transportation in the upcoming Biden administration. This is the first time an openly LGBT person will be in a Senate-confirmed cabinet pick. (If you note that I am choosing my words carefully here, it’s became FDR’s Secretary of Labor, Frances Perkins, was quietly bisexual. Meanwhile, one of Trump’s appointments is technically of cabinet rank, although they are not really “secretary” of anything and they did not require senate approval.)

All this makes me wonder– could I construct an entirely LGBTQ cabinet? Let’s see….

  • Secretary of State: Special Envoy for the Human Rights of LGBTI Persons, Randy W. Berry
  • Secretary of Treasury: President of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta, Raphael Bostic
  • Secretary of Defense: Secretary of the Army Eric Fanning
  • Attorney General: Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey
  • Secretary of the Interior: Kansas congresswoman Sharice Davids
  • Secretary of Agriculture: Urban Oasis Project founder Art Friedrich
  • Secretary of Commerce: Apple CEO Tim Cook
  • Secretary of Labor: Fmr. Maine Congressman Mike Michaud
  • Secretary of Health and Human Services: United Therapeutics CEO Martine Rothblatt
  • Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Ford Foundation CEO Darren Walker
  • Secretary of Transportation: Fmr. Houston mayor Annise Parker
  • Secretary of Energy: SUNY Chancellor Kristina Johnson
  • Secretary of Education: Superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, Denise Juneau
  • Secretary of Veterans’ Affairs: Fmr. South Bend mayor Pete Buttigieg
  • Secretary of Homeland Security: Oregon governor Kate Brown

For the fourth part of YIELD, I am redoing my Top 100 Elton John Songs list. I’m perfectly fine leaving whole albums (Leather Jackets, Ice on Fire, Wonderful Crazy Night, Empty Sky, 21 at 33) off, and similarly okay with keeping some hits off as well. Don’t expect to see “Nikita,” “Little Jeannie,” “Island Girl,” “I Don’t Wanna Go On With You Like That” and others on here.

  1. Tiny Dancer (Madman Across the Water)
  2. Rocket Man (Honky Chateau)
  3. I Guess That’s Why They Call It The Blues (Too Low for Zero)
  4. Ballad of a Well-Known Gun (Tumbleweed Connection)
  5. Your Song (Elton John)
  6. Latitude (Made in England)
  7. Come Down in Time (Tumbleweed Connection)
  8. Carla/Etude (The Fox)
  9. Better Off Dead (Captain Fantastic)
  10. Can You Feel the Love Tonight? (Lion King soundtrack)
  11. Sixty Years On (Elton John)
  12. Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding 
  13. Levon (Madman Across the Water)
  14. Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds (single)
  15. Pinball Wizard (single)
  16. Hey Ahab (The Union)
  17. Wake Up Wendy (South Park: Chef Aid)
  18. Believe (Made in England)
  19. Goodbye Yellow Brick Road (GYBR)
  20. Madman Across the Water (Madman Across the Water)
  21. Amoreena (Tumbleweed Connection)
  22. Breaking Down Barriers (The Fox)
  23. Crocodile Rock (Don’t Shoot Me…)
  24. Border Song (Elton John)
  25. Blessed (Made in England)
  26. Mona Lisa’s and Mad Hatter’s (Honky Chateau) 
  27. Bitter Fingers (Captain Fantastic)
  28. Chameleon (Blue Moves)
  29. Take Me to the Pilot (Elton John)
  30. Philadelphia Freedom (single)
  31. The Circle of Life (Lion King soundtrack)
  32. Oscar Wilde Gets Out (The Diving Board)
  33. The One (The One)
  34. The Emperor’s New Clothes (Songs from the West Coast)
  35. Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word (Blue Moves)
  36. Don’t Go Breaking my Heart (single)
  37. I’m Still Standing (Too Low for Zero)
  38. Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me (Caribou)
  39. I Feel Like a Bullet (in the Gun of Robert Ford) (Rock of the Westies)
  40. If the River Can Bend (The Big Picture)
  41. Grey Seal (GYBR)
  42. Honky Cat (Honky Chateau)
  43. Elton’s Song (The Fox)
  44. Saturday Night’s Alright for Fighting (GYBR)
  45. Teacher I Need You (Don’t Shoot Me…)
  46. Skyline Pigeon (b-side)
  47. Are You Ready for Love (Thom Bell Sessions)
  48. Where to Now, St. Peter? (Tumbleweed Connection)
  49. Tower of Babel (Captain Fantastic)
  50. The Bitch is Back (Caribou)
  51. I Want Love (Songs from the West Coast)
  52. Sixteenth Century Man (El Dorado soundtrack)
  53. Something About the Way You Look Tonight (The Big Picture)
  54. Original Sin (Songs from the West Coast)
  55. Sacrifice (Sleeping With the Past)
  56. I Need You to Turn To (Elton John)
  57. Country Comfort (Tumbleweed Connection)
  58. Bad Side of the Moon (b-side)
  59. Michelle’s Song (Friends soundtrack)
  60. Healing Hands (Sleeping with the Past)
  61. On Dark Street (The One)
  62. Tonight (Blue Moves)
  63. Made in England (Made in England)
  64. Live Like Horses (Big Picture)
  65. The King Must Die (Elton John)
  66. Postcards from Richard Nixon (Captain and the Kid)
  67. Burn Down the Mission (Tumbleweed Connection)
  68. Crazy Water (Blue Moves)
  69. Too Many Tears (Peachtree Road)
  70. Legal Boys (Jump Up!)
  71. Captain Fantastic and the Brown Dirt Cowboy (Captain Fantastic)
  72. The Last Song (The One)
  73. A Woman’s Needs (Duets)
  74. Tinderbox (Captain and the Kid)
  75. Candle in the Wind (GYBR)
  76. The Simple Life (The One)
  77. The Trail We Blaze (El Dorado soundtrack)
  78. Passengers (Breaking Hearts)
  79. Right Before My Eyes (Lestat musical)
  80. Roy Rogers (GYBR)
  81. I Never Knew Her Name (Sleeping with the Past)
  82. Recover Your Soul (The Big Picture)
  83. Whitewash County (The One)
  84. Holiday Inn (Madman Across the Water)
  85. Pain (Made in England)
  86. First Episode at Hienton (Elton John)
  87. Look Ma, No Hands (Songs from the West Coast)
  88. The Fox (The Fox)
  89. Amazes Me (Sleeping with the Past)
  90. Jimmie Rogers’ Dream (The Union)
  91. Big Dipper (A Single Man)
  92. The Heart of Every Girl (Mona Lisa Smile soundtrack)
  93. Did Anybody Sleep with Joan of Arc? (b-side)
  94. Saint (Too Low for Zero)
  95. Rotten Peaches (Madman Across the Water)
  96. Freaks in Love (Peachtree Road)
  97. Sleeping with the Past (Sleeping with the Past)
  98. The House Fell Down (Captain and the Kid)
  99. Heavy Traffic (Reg Strikes Back)
  100. Blues for Baby and Me (Don’t Shoot Me…)

Here’s the third part of the Rock Hall trilogy of the list dump– this one exploring future eligibles who I think have a good chance to receive consideration for the Hall of Fame. This list will include artists who are eligible for the upcoming Class of 2021. I can’t wait to see who the nominees are in…late January? early February?

Anyway, here is my commentary-free list of artists who are not yet eligible who I think might have a shot.

  1. Beyonce 
  2. Jay-Z
  3. Eminem 
  4. White Stripes 
  5. Foo Fighters
  6. Coldplay 
  7. Amy Winehouse 
  8. Rihanna 
  9. Adele 
  10. Kendrick Lamar
  11. Destiny’s Child 
  12. Missy Elliott 
  13. Taylor Swift 
  14. Lady Gaga 
  15. Kanye West
  16. Shakira 
  17. Janelle Monae 
  18. Britney Spears 
  19. Bruno Mars
  20. Vampire Weekend 
  21. Chemical Brothers 
  22. Fiona Apple 
  23. John Legend 
  24. Puff Daddy
  25. Nicki Minaj
  26. St. Vincent 
  27. Justin Timberlake 
  28. Black Keys
  29. LCD Soundsystem 
  30. Alicia Keyes 
  31. Katy Perry
  32. Lauryn Hill
  33. Lana del Rey 
  34. Drake
  35. The Killers
  36. Modest Mouse 
  37. Nelly Furtado 
  38. 50 Cent 
  39. Marroon 5
  40. Neko Case 
  41. Queens of the Stone Age 
  42. Erykah Badu 
  43. Alabama Shakes 
  44. D’Angelo 
  45. Brandi Carlile 
  46. Belle & Sebastian 
  47. Black Eyed Peas
  48. Billie Ellish
  49. Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings 
  50. Yeah Yeah Yeahs
  51. Mumford and Sons 
  52. John Mayer. I Guess. 
  53. Tame Impala 
  54. Sigur Ros 
  55. Sufjan Stevens
  56. Lin Manuel Miranda 
  57. Arianna Grande 
  58. MIA
  59. Muse 
  60. Kacey Musgraves 
  61. Danger Mouse 
  62. Jennifer Lopez
  63. Ed Sheeran 
  64. Florence and the Machine 
  65. Rhiannon Giddens 
  66. The Weeknd 
  67. Tedeschi Trucks Band 
  68. The Strokes 
  69. System of a Down
  70. Miley Cyrus 
  71. Arctic Monkeys 
  72. Drive -By Truckers 
  73. Pussy Riot
  74. Old Crow Medicine Show 
  75. Childish Gambino 
  76. Christina Aguilera 
  77. Franz Ferdinand 
  78. Death Cab for Cutie 
  79. OK Go
  80. Pharrell Williams 
  81. Bon Iver
  82. Zac Brown Band 
  83. Fleet Foxes 
  84. Lorde 
  85. Lizzo 
  86. Against Me!
  87. Harry Styles 
  88. Sara Bareilles 
  89. Adam Lambert
  90. Sturgill Simpson 
  91. Avril Lavigne 
  92. Greta Van Fleet 
  93. Sia   
  94. The National
  95. Fall Out Boy
  96. Gary Clark, Jr.
  97. The War on Drugs
  98. Jars of Clay
  99. Dua Lipa
  100. Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes 

No, I will not YIELD.

Anyway, here’s part 2 of my end-of-year compilations of lists. The first was on the top 100 already-inducted Rock Hall artists, here’s a simple list of my own Top 100 Rock Hall Prospects as they currently stand. This is not, in any way, intended to compete with my friend Nick’s ongoing Hall of Fame Prospects project on his blog- for which he is doing some excellent writing and fine analysis.

This list is a good demonstration of how my own ideas of what a qualified prospect is have changed through the years. Also, a good many of my original 100 have been inducted, and 3 or 4 years of newly-eligible prospects have shaped it as well. Soon, I’ll have pt. 3 up- my Top 100 future eligibles.

  1. Kraftwerk
  2. Carole King
  3. LL Cool J
  4. Judas Priest
  5. Mariah Carey
  6. The Smiths 
  7. OutKast 
  8. Smashing Pumpkins 
  9. Big Mama Thornton 
  10. Kool and the Gang 
  11. The Spinners 
  12. Dolly Parton 
  13. Chic 
  14. Monkees 
  15. Weezer 
  16. Eurythmics
  17. Kate Bush
  18. Duran Duran 
  19. Willie Nelson
  20. Sonic Youth
  21. Pixies 
  22. Todd Rundgren 
  23. The Go-Gos
  24. No Doubt
  25. The B-52s 
  26. Rage Against the Machine 
  27. Weird Al Yankovic 
  28. Iron Maiden
  29. Beck 
  30. Mary J Blige 
  31. Pat Benatar 
  32. Peter, Paul and Mary 
  33. Jimmy Buffett 
  34. Jethro Tull
  35. Solo Tuna Turner 
  36. Soundgarden 
  37. Cher
  38. Joy Division/New Order 
  39. Dr. Dre
  40. Dead Kennedys 
  41. Dave Mathews Band 
  42. War 
  43. The Replacements 
  44. Motörhead 
  45. Big Star 
  46. Ozzy 
  47. Bjork 
  48. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds 
  49. Snoop Dogg
  50. Black Flag
  51. New York Dolls
  52. Jane’s Addiction 
  53. Salt N Pepa 
  54. Toots and the Maytals 
  55. Indigo Girls 
  56. The Commodores 
  57. TLC
  58. Phish 
  59. Selena 
  60. The Shangri-Las
  61. Dick Dale 
  62. Peter Tosh 
  63. A Tribe Called Quest
  64. Tool 
  65. Gloria Estefan 
  66. Sleater-Kinney
  67. Patti Labelle 
  68. Wu-Tang Clan 
  69. The Meters 
  70. The Jam
  71. PJ Harvey 
  72. Dionne Warwick 
  73. Chuck Willis 
  74. The Pogues 
  75. Tori Amos
  76. Bikini Kill
  77. Brian Eno
  78. The Clovers 
  79. Erik B and Rakim 
  80. Flaming Lips
  81. Los Lobos 
  82. The Roots
  83. Daft Punk
  84. Sade 
  85. Cliff Richard’s and The Shadows 
  86. Sting 
  87. Lucinda Williams 
  88. The Buzzcocks 
  89. Bad Brains
  90. Harry Nilsson 
  91. They Might Be Giants 
  92. Aphex Twin 
  93. Richard Thompson 
  94. Emmylou Harris 
  95. Johnny Burnette and the Rock’n’Roll Trio 
  96. Pet Shop Boys
  97. Siouxie and the Banshees
  98. The Chicks 
  99. Portishead 
  100. Fela Kuti