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150 Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Candidates C-F

Criteria: The Top 150 Candidates (Eligible artists who have yet to be inducted and are not among this year's nominees). Candidates names are in alphabetical order. (C through F)

(Note: DDD is not affiliated with the Rock And Roll Hall of Fame)

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Last Updated: 2016-10-19

QUALIFICATIONS (on a scale of 1-10)
10 - The Immortals
9 - Deserves To Be A First Ballot Lock
8 - Should Be Guaranteed An Induction
7 - An Eventual Induction Is Likely
6 - Should Be Nominated At Some Point
5 - Worthy Of At Least A Debate For A Nomination
4 - Not Insignificant, But Shouldn't Be Nominated
3 - No Business Being Debated By Committee
2 - No Business Being Even Mentioned
1 - No Business Visiting The Hall Of Fame Without a Ticket
Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame Candidates text title image
Phil Collins
Now that the group he fronted for years, Genesis, has made the Hall themselves it's less likely that Collins would be inducted as a solo artist so soon after. But his work on his own makes a strong case for a separate induction at some point. He had 14 Top Ten hits and perhaps his most well-respected song, "In The Air Tonight", wasn't even one of them, so his catalog isn't lacking. Usually dual inductees are slam-dunk candidates though, so while he's a big name, he might not be big enough to get called again.

Qualifications: 6
The Commodores
They were more than successful enough to warrant induction but an image of being too laid back musically, along with the split of rock listeners in the 70's along demographic lines might hurt their chances, especially if too many of the voting body fall outside their style. Lionel Richie's huge success upon leaving the group might take away from the Commodores legacy as a whole if voters view the group as simply riding his coattails. They are one of those cases where their image is viewed as a detriment, despite their credentials.

Qualifications: 6
Don Covay
As a songwriter Covay should be a shoo-in candidate for penning some of the most identifiable and enduringly popular songs in history for a wide array of artists including multiple HOF members. Strictly as a performer, despite a number of smaller hits, he probably won't cut it. But his influence on Mick Jagger, who completely stole Covay's entire vocal mannerisms, gives an extra push to his candidacy. Comparable to Isaac Hayes, who got in as a performer but was more qualified as a writer.

Qualifications: 5
The Cure
Far more popular in Great Britain than America, which used to be more of a hindrance to induction than it has been recently, The Cure has plenty of influence in introducing the bleaker sounds of the 80's that followed, while allowing themselves to expand on that sound to become more diverse as their career evolved. Yet goth, techno and other styles they impacted aren't big enough to make them a mandatory inclusion and since they don't have that standout moment to call upon, another nomination and possible induction will be more reliant on the backgrounds of the voting body.

Qualifications: 6
Dick Dale
Though boasting no real hits to speak of Dale nevertheless remains one of the immortal rock guitar gods, even though it took thirty years for the mainstream to really discover him thanks to the use of his classic "Miserlou" in the film "Pulp Fiction". Almost single-handedly created surf-rock and was a pioneer in shredding technique as well as in many of the advances in amplifiers and equipment. Dale's huge impact and influence (on Hendrix among others) makes him a very possible dark horse inductee in the future.

Qualifications: 6
De La Soul
Among the most distinctive and influential artists from hip-hop's golden age. De La Soul were leaders in the alt-rap movement that incorporated more jazzy concepts and a laid back aesthetic in contrast to the gangsta rap groups of the late 80's and early 90's. This accessibility made them instant stars but pigeonholed them commercially, so while their ensuing output was widely praised they got overshadowed by the increasing mainstream acceptance of harder rap styles. Still, their impact was immense as they led the way in sampling techniques, spoken skits between songs, creating an eclectic sound collage, not to mention setting the legal precedent for paying for samples, that ultimately changed the way all music was made. 

Qualifications: 7
Def Leppard
For awhile in the 80's Def Leppard was as popular as any group, scoring eleven Top Twenty hits, including three consecutive Top Three smashes, while "Hysteria" was one of the biggest albums ever made. On the downside they were viewed by many as little more than disposable hitmakers in the much reviled field of hair-metal. Their chances for induction are therefore slimmer than their actual credentials would indicate. The Hall will first need to overcome its uneasiness with certain excessive images many styles of rock have before they feel comfortable considering such a group.

Qualifications: 6
Desmond Dekker & The Aces
So far there have been just two representatives from reggae to make the Hall, Bob Marley and Jimmy Cliff. But beating them both to prominence by nearly a decade and as a result influencing the evolution of not just reggae, but its immediate predecesors rocksteady and ska, was Desmond Dekker who was Jamaica's first true superstar. His biggest noteriety outside his homeland came with his 1969 smash "Isrealites", but all that did was become the first reggae hit in the States and first to top the U.K. Charts and opened the doors for all who followed. The island's sound soon became internationally known, and Dekker was the one who assured it'd have the sea legs to reach distant shores in the first place.

Qualifications: 6
The Delfonics
One of the key soul vocal groups of the late 60's and early 70's, scoring two huge hits that defined the style as it emerged, putting them among the pioneers of the Philly-soul style that brought a more polished, heavily produced sound to what had previously been a raw, emotional subgenre of rock. Historically vocal groups without an instantly familiar lead singer have trouble in getting long-term recognition though, which could hurt them, especially with a handful of more successful groups in this style still waiting themselves.

Qualifications: 6
Depeche Mode
Synthesizers are often viewed by music elitists - many of whom reside in the Hall's voting body - as rock's downfall, as the sound was sterile and too far removed from the organic sonic template of their bygone heroes of past generations. But all music changes and while Depeche Mode were not the first to use synthesizers, they built their entire sound upon it and successfully sustained this approach longer than most, allowing them to thrive in multiple eras and styles, from new wave to techno to alternative when they became unlikely stars with the biggest hits of their careers, long after the expiration date for it had supposedly passed.

Qualifications: 6
Dire Straits
Though never considered among the elite artists of their generation they might get a look due to a popular leader in singer/guitarist Mark Knopfler, a few huge radio hits, one massive album and an image that is neither overexposed nor totally obscure. Their short lived peak followed by sporadic releases instead of building on their successes may do them in when compared with more consistent and longer lasting artists, but don't be surprised to at least see them get nominated at some point in the future.

Qualifications: 6
The Dominoes
Of all the early rock artists few were more influential or popular than Billy Ward's outfit in the early 50's that saw two vocal legends emerge from the group as lead singers, first Clyde McPhatter and then Jackie Wilson. Their style and vocal arrangements, heavily influenced by gospel, set the template that most subsequent black vocal groups would adapt in later years. The Dominoes may have done more to shape rock 'n' roll's future than any artist in rock's first half decade. They should've been in years ago.

Qualifications: 8
The Doobie Brothers 
Long and consistent career, overcoming numerous changes in personnel to keep wracking up hits for twenty years in a variety of styles, gives their candidacy a solid foundation. While their catalog contains some enduring songs, keeping their familiarity level high enough to be always considered, the fact that they were achieved under numerous different lineups could be a hindrance. One time members Michael McDonald and Jeff "Skunk" Baxter continue to be well-respected in music circles which could boost the group's chances considerably.

Qualifications: 6
Lee Dorsey
One of the most underrated artists of the 60's as well as the last consistent hitmaker out of New Orleans following the city's dominance in the 50's. Broke into music comparatively late in life after a career as a boxer and an auto-body mechanic and with producer Allen Toussaint he laid down some of the most familiar songs of the time, five of which were Top Ten R&B Hits. Later he became a key figure in the emergence of funk and was always recognized as being one of the most idiosyncratic vocalists ever. The Hall is in desperate need of an artist representing the Big Easy sound from the 60's and Dorsey could be the one to break through first.

Qualifications: 6
Doug E. Fresh & The Get Fresh Crew (Slick Rick)
When hip-hop first really appeared on the mainstream radar it was the beat box sounds of Doug E. Fresh that were most widely imitated and parodied by those who felt rap was just a passing fad. Known as "The Human Beat Box" Fresh's ability to mimic percussive sounds is what drove the songs in the pre-sampling era, and with Slick Rick providing the raps they released one of the all-time greatest two-sided sensations, "The Show" b/w "La Di Da Di". With the advent of gangsta and then sampling hip-hop changed dramatically, leaving that style behind, but Slick Rick, who went on to release well received solo records, still remains the epitome of old school MC's and few artists had more impact than they.

Qualifications: 6
Duran Duran
One of the 80's hallmark bands and a staple of MTV where their inventive use of videos propelled their career upward, the new wave group had 11 Top Ten U.S. hits in a style that epitomized an era. However unlike other artists from the same sub genre they always seemed to be fighting for respect, as many felt it was their looks and the videos that made them, rather than their music. Since the decade itself receives such little acknowledgement from the Hall, their chances appear slimmer than their actual credentials.

Qualifications: 5
Emerson, Lake & Palmer
One of the stronger progressive rock candidates thanks to their success in albums, but also to some degree in singles which was rare for the style, as well as for their highly regarded musicianship, stage show and popularization of the progressive rock movement itself. Ultimately the band had a short lived mainstream peak and the genre moved back underground where it remained popular but often criticized from the outside. If prog does get more recognized by the Hall then ELP could see their chance for induction increase.

Qualifications: 6
En Vogue
On the surface they'd seem like mortal locks for induction, that is if the Hall used objective factors rather than subjective taste. Their credentials are inarguable, as En Vogue sparked a much needed revival in the female vocal group scene in rock, scoring six Top Ten pop hits along with six singles that topped the R&B Charts, including their first five singles. In addition they featured four of the most talented vocalists ever assembled in one group. But of course the Hall's lack of focus on any music that hit after 1979, and especially the music by anyone who happens to be either black or female, of which En Vogue are both, means they probably have almost no shot at so much as a nomination which is sad. The fact that this lack of consideration won't be met with outrage by the public who claims to be most interested in the Hall is even sadder.

Qualifications: 7
One of the key transition acts in hip-hop's late 80's scene, boasting consistently strong rhymes, diverse samples and strong appeal that helped rap push its way further into the mainstream. In addition they proved to be major talent scouts, giving the likes of Redman, Das-EFX and many others their start over the years. Among afficiandos of the era their reputation remains very strong, but since the Hall's nominating committee leans more towards OWMD (Old White Men Dozing) than EPMD, their candidacy would likely never be brought up, let alone supported enough for them to make the ballot.

Qualifications: 6
Eric B. & Rakim
Their impact alone should knock the doors down for them, for despite only moderate commercial success, Rakim was by far the most influential rap MC ever, and along with partner Eric B. set the stage for the witty, intelligent lyrical flow that elevated hip-hop to unprecedented heights. A quarter century after they appeared Rakim is still looked upon with reverence by virtually all rappers. Whether the voters were ignorant of their accomplishments when they got nominated or simply still remain skittish about rap as a whole, their failure to get in as soon as they became eligible is inexcusable.

Qualifications: 8
The Five Keys
The Hall has regularly, though often belatedly, inducted top 50's vocal groups, so the Five Keys stand as one of the more likely beneficiaries of that trend. One of the groups that kicked-started the style in 1951 with the chart topping "Glory Of Love", in the process making common the practice of covering a "standard" in a rock vocal setting. Though the lack of a widely remembered crossover hit may do them in they were always considered among the classiest acts of their day and are still revered among the biggest proponents of that style.

Qualifications: 5
The Flaming Lips
Few bands were as experimental and visionary as the Lips, even though it rarely resulted in commercial success. Despite all of the sometimes bizarre experiments, the group's output remained of a remarkably consistent quality over twenty-five years, peaking during the 90's and early 2000's with a string of well received albums. The rock press endlessly praised the alternative era, but the Flaming Lips were never at the forefront of the movement, so it's unlikely the stature of the overall style will be enough to get them a nomination, but they aren't without support and there are groups in the Hall who never reached their creative heights.

Qualifications: 5
Flying Burrito Brothers
Since founding members Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman both made to the Hall Of Fame already as Byrds the chances of their next group making it as well may not seem likely, especially since they lacked a hit of any kind. But while country and rock had merged successfully before, it was FBB that really took it to the next level and started the 70's country-rock movement. Parsons has tons of respect and multiple nominations already as a solo performer but the group might be the better bet and more deserving than Gram alone.

Qualifications: 6
What are the chances that a group with little commercial success and even less mainstream notoriety from an era which The Hall would like to pretend never happened, in a style they probably aren't aware existed in the first place and with an attitude that disdains the entire music industry that would be honoring them with an induction, will ever get remotely considered by that institution? Probably zero, so don't hold your breath waiting. But Fugazi carved out a very respected career even while shifting styles and turning down most offers to bring them to a wider audience, undoubtedly costing themselves the type of recognition that would've likely made them much stronger candidates eventually. But if the Hall ever concedes the final fifteen years of the 20th Century did exist and had just as much worthwhile music as preceding decades of rock, then they remain a band that could garner support.

Qualifications: 5

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