The Velvets, Stooges, and the Dolls were the most important of the ’70s pre-punk bands, and Iggy Pop, after leaving the Stooges, has soldiered on through very long and winding road of punkish, angular hard rock – his signature baritone pounding, cajoling, proclaiming and threatening. Though he has made much great music, Iggy would deserve the Rock hall for simply surviving.
The Sex Pistols were nominated this year, but the voters couldn’t quite bring themselves to elect a group in the first year of eligibility that only made ONE COMPLETE ALBUM. That they were nominated and almost elected tells you how important, seminal, powerful, and enduring Never Mind the Bollocks is. Steve Jones’ slashing guitars and John (Johnny Rotten) Lydon’s eccentric, propulsive vocals on amazing punk standards like “Anarchy In the U.K.,” “God Save the Queen,” “No Feelings,” “Submission,” hell, the whole album, will get them in eventually.
The second most important English punk group (after the Pistols), they evolved into the most important English post-punk group, expanding their style from thrashing punk to incorporate elements of reggae, dub, funk, hip hop, modern rock, even twisted Brit-folk into an amalgam always branded with a fierce rebel attitude.
AC/DC, led by the diminutive Young brothers, have somehow turned infinite variations on the same five elemental guitar riffs into a 25-year career of great rock ‘n’ roll. Also never straying far from bad boy party themes of destruction, reckless abandon, inebriation, and leering lust, they have been nothing if not consistent.
Led by the ubiquitous aggro-rock icon (and great singer) Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath refined a massive guitar and bass wall-of-noise punctuated by high, scary wailing about psychological terror that came to symbolize ’70s heavy metal. Both heavier, and at times more delicate, than Led Zeppelin, Sabbath is the greatest metal band of all time. It is a crime, a sin, and pure prejudice that they are not yet in the Hall.
The Guess Who
A stunner at the top of the reader’s poll (we have suspicions of a fan club attack), the Guess Who are nonetheless a much-underappreciated Canadian rock band who appealed to both pop (13 Top 40 hits!) and FM rock audiences in the ’70s. The right credentials are there – a tremendous lead singer in Burton Cummings, classic lead guitarist in Randy Bachman (who also rocked hard in BTO), and some outright classic songs: “American Woman,” “These Eyes,” “No Sugar Tonight/New Mother Nature,” “No Time,” “Undone.” More journalistic prejudice.