Ranking the Rock Hall Inductees from most to least deserving. (AP images)
Troy L. Smith, Cleveland.com
CLEVELAND, Ohio – This week, the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will honor the Class of 2018 — Bon Jovi, The Cars, Dire Straits, Nina Simone and The Moody Blues — during the annual induction ceremony.
To celebrate the occasion, we’ve taken a look at every performer that’s been inducted into the Rock Hall since the very beginning and ranked them.
We only included acts voted in as “Performers” (meaning Early Influencers or specialty award recipients were out). We also paired backing groups that were inducted retroactively with their leaders (The Miracles with Smokey Robinson, The Famous Flames with James Brown, etc.).
The rankings are based on the Rock Hall’s own criteria of influence, cultural impact, success, depth of career and innovation, among other things. We also did away with the idea that certain acts might not be “rock” enough. Their resumes were examined without prejudice of genre.
Paul McCartney, George Harrison, John Lennon, Ringo Starr
1. The Beatles
If you were to base this solely on influence, maybe you could go with Elvis, Little Richard or even Chuck Berry. But when you put everything together, The Beatles are the most important musical act of all time and the perfect mix of the Rock Hall’s criteria of influence and significance. The Rock Hall loves the Beatles so much, it has inducted all four members as solo acts. No other act has accomplished that (and probably never will).
1967 Press Photo Elvis Presley, Gary Lockwood in It Happened at the World’s Fair
(Plain Dealer Historical Photos)
2. Elvis Presley
Elvis’s influence and impact is like a massive shadow that stretches over every entertainer of the past 50 years. His unprecedented rise during the 1950s created what we know as pop music. John Lennon once said, “Before Elvis there was nothing.” Not quite true. But close.
Watchf Associated Press Domestic News New York United States APHS60012 DYLAN TOUR CONTINUES
4. Bob Dylan
Bob Dylan is the archetype of the modern singer-songwriter. He’s so influential that when he did plug an instrument in, it was as if the world stopped spinning. It’s so easy to draw direct lines from Dylan’s music to several of the greatest songwriters that fill your vinyl shelf, most of whom are Rock Hall inductees themselves.
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