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Top 10 Hard Rock/Heavy Metal acts Not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame

Updated on August 24, 2014

This is one of the hardest Hall of Fames to get into. Today I rank the top 10 hard rock and heavy metal acts not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

To be inducted into this Hall, a band or musician has to be 25 years removed from their début album. The Hall represents all types of rock including forms of hip hop. For every great act that comes along, there is another great act that slips through the cracks of music history.

For this list, I rank the acts based on number of years of eligibility, influence on artists of today, and albums sold.



10. Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

How can the godmother of punk rock not be in the Hall of Fame.

Few artists boast a wider appeal than Joan Jett. She is beloved by punks, indie rockers, pop lovers, riot girls, metal heads, classic rockers, radicals and conservatives. She's a genuine icon and an influential, trailblazing musician, going back to when she helped break down rock's gender barriers and helped pioneer punk music with her teenage band, The Runaways. Jett has nine Top 40 hit singles and eight Platinum and Gold albums. Her single "I Love Rock n Roll" is one of the biggest anthem songs ever preformed

Even after selling millions of records around the world, its a mystery why Joan Jett & the Blackhearts have yet to be inducted.

9. Thin Lizzy

The Irish rock band is one of music's most forgotten acts.

Thin Lizzy boasted some of the most critically acclaimed guitarists throughout their history, with Brian Downey and Phil Lynott as the rhythm section. Their music reflects a wide range of influences, including blues, soul music, psychedelic rock, hard rock, and traditional Irish folk music. Thin Lizzy are widely recognised as one of the first hard rock bands to employ double lead guitar harmony sound. Lead singer and bassist Lynott died of a heroin overdose in 1986 and the sound of the band would never be the same.

With over 10 million albums sold worldwide, Thin Lizzy is one of Ireland's most successful hard rock bands. Their influence and hits like Whiskey in a Jar, Jailbreak, and The Boys Are Back in Town should be enough to earn them a spot in Cleveland.

8. Motörhead

They remade rock by combining heavy blues and punk rock and speeding up the tempo.

Motörhead are considered the founders of speed metal. They've had number one albums, top five singles, and dozens of sold out tours. Lead singer, bassist, and founder Lemmy Kilmister maybe the band's only original member, but he has ensured Motörhead's success by not changing for the music industry and not losing the bands speed or intensity. The band is primarily known for loud and fast guitar riffs and Lemmy's gravely vocals.

They have sold over 30 million records worldwide and are the band that inspired many American metal bands. Without Motörhead, there would be no Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Guns "n" Roses, or Nirvana.

7. Alice Cooper

The godfather of shock rock has been eligible for the Hall of Fame for over two decades. Enough is enough.

Alice Cooper is the name of both the singer and the band he fronts. The original band was inducted in 2011, but Alice Cooper had much success in later years with different lineups. He made his name for his elaborate stage shows featuring guillotines, electric chairs, fake blood, boa constrictors, monsters, and baby dolls. Alice Cooper has drawn equally from horror movies, vaudeville, and garage rock to pioneer a grandly theatrical and macabre brand of rock designed to shock the audience.

In all, Alice Cooper has sold over 50 million records worldwide. With hits like "School's Out" and "Poison," Cooper continued to have success as the years went on.

6. Cheap Trick

These guys were the definition of big in Japan.

Known in Japan as the "American Beatles," Cheap Trick is one of the longest touring groups of all time. They were considered the go to opening act to many big name bands. Despite only being mildly popular in America, Cheap Trick was huge in Japan even before ever playing there. When they final did arrive in the country in 1978, they were greeted with a Beatle Mania like reception. Their live album "Cheap Trick at Budakon" gave them their highest selling record at the time in America. They are known for their casually funny attire and Rick Nielsen's five neck guitars.

Cheap Trick has sold over 20 million albums worldwide and their songs "Surrender", "I Want You to Want Me", "Dream Police" and "The Flame" continue to live on in rock history.


5. Def Leppard

They were arguably the biggest band of the 80's.

Along with Iron Maiden, Def Leppard pioneered the new wave of British heavy metal. Their brand of rock focused more on ballads which made them huge with female fans. Their albums "Pyromaniac" and "Hysteria" are among the highest selling albums in history. Def Leppard can also be seen as one of the most unlucky bands in the world with drummer Rick Allen losing his arm in a car accident and guitarist Steve Clark dying from drug and alcohol dependency.

In all, Def Leppard has sold over 100 million records worldwide. The most likely reason they are not already in the Hall of Fame is their change in musical direction in genres like grunge and pop which got poor reviews from fans and critics.

4. Ozzy Osbourne

I know Ozzy is already in the Hall of Fame from his time with Black Sabbath, but's its time he was recognized for his work with his solo band.

Ozzy Osbourne had just as much success as a solo artist and he played with some of the most talented guitarists in history with guys like Randy Rhoads, Jake E. Lee, and Zakk Wylde. The godfather of heavy metal brought audiences and fans albums hit with recognizable songs and riffs. The song "Crazy Train" is one of the most known heavy metal songs ever recorded. He has sold more albums as a solo artist than he had when he was with Black Sabbath.

As a solo artist, Osbourne has sold over 55 million albums worldwide and when you take into account his time with Black Sabbath, he has sold over 100 million. If Eric Clapton can be recognized three times by Cleveland, why can't Ozzy's status as a solo artist be honored.

3. Judas Priest

They are one of the most influential metal groups ever to come along.

Judas Priest made it name by introducing the twin lead guitar sound, a wide operatic vocal style, and for bringing the black leather look into heavy metal. Despite an innovative and pioneering body of work in the late 1970s, the band struggled with indifferently produced records, repeated changes at the drummer position, and a lack of major commercial success or attention until 1980 when they adopted a more simplified sound on the album British Steel, which helped shoot them to super rockstar status. Singer Rob Halford's operatic vocal style and the twin guitar sound of K.K. Downing and Glenn Tipton has been adopted by many bands and sub genres.

The band has sold over 45 million albums worldwide. Their albums British Steel, Screaming for Vengeance, and Painkiller remain some of the greatest metal albums ever. Seriously, what's taking Cleveland so long to get these guys in there?

2. Iron Maiden

These guys are best known for their amazing album covers featuring the various forms of band mascot Eddie the Head.

Along with Def Leppard, Iron Maiden helped pioneer the new wave of British heavy metal. The band achieved initial success during the early 1980's with singers like Paul Di'Anno and Bruce Dickinson. Albums like The Number of the Beast, Piece of Mind, and Powerslave remain some of the most influential metal music in history. In the past few years, they have incorporated a three lead guitar sound with Adrian Smith, Dave Murray, and Janice Gers. Lead singer Bruce Dickinson and bassist Steve Harris are seen as two of the best ever in their medium.

Despite little radio or television support. Iron Maiden are considered one of the most successful heavy metal bands in history, with over 85 million records sold worldwide. Their sound and live shows make them a staple in heavy metal history and an influence to many artists over the years. Their lack of radio play and content of their lyrics are most likely what is keeping them out of Cleveland.

1. Deep Purple

This one is still a head scratcher for me.

Along with Black Sabbath and Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple helped pioneer of heavy metal and modern hard rock in the 70's. The have been recorded as the loudest band in the world in 1975. Guitarist Richie Blackmore helped bring to life one of the most known riffs in hard rock history with the song "Smoke on the Water." In fact, all members of the band are considered some of the best ever at their instruments. Their live album, Made in Japan, is one of the best and highest selling live records in history.

Deep Purple has sold over 100 million albums worldwide. The most likely reason they aren't in Cleveland is due to their infighting in the late 70's and their eight year hiatus. They are the only member of the unholy trinity of British rock not to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. Its about time that changed.

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    • profile image

      RR George 

      4 years ago

      More metal bands need to be in the hall of fame. so far it's just Black Sabbath and Metallica

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