To be eligible for induction into The Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame, artists have to demonstrate “unquestionable musical excellence”–which should be obvious.
The second criteria is that at least 25 years has to have passed since the release of your first album. That means the current cut-off year is 1989. And given that the early 90s were a pretty good time for rock, the Hall committee won’t have to worry about finding new inductees for a while yet.
But what happens when the cut-off year becomes 1996? Or 1999? Or 2000? Which acts with “unquestionable musical excellence” will be worth considering when that time comes?
I can think of a few. Pearl Jam. Soundgarden. Radiohead. Nine Inch Nails. Foo Fighters. And…er. Hmm.
Once you get past that first half-dozen names or so, the pickings become pretty slim. Fans will make an argument for Weezer, Coldplay, Green Day. The Smashing Pumpkins and (eventually) Jack White. Anglophiles will shout the names of Blur and Oasis. But beyond that there’s…who? Linkin Park? Gorillaz? Muse?
Well, if we increase our musical boundaries, there’s Eminem, Jay Z and Beyonce, all of whom should be locks. And then what? Britney? Mariah? Adele?
You see what I’m getting at. A similar argument can be found in this article at Grantland.
Think it over and get back to me, will you?