The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremonies were held last week. And one of the 2010 inductees left me scratching my head: ABBA. Yes, I know that ABBA has sold a ton of records. And I get that it was cool that they sung in English without the ability to really speak the language. The success of Mamma Mia–both on stage and film–yes, that counts for something too. What I don’t understand is why ABBA got the nod before so many other bands?
According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s website, criteria for induction as a performer is as follows:
“Artists become eligible for induction 25 years after the release of their first record. Criteria include the influence and significance of the artists’ contributions to the development and perpetuation of rock and roll.”
How does ABBA fit that bill? Twenty-five years, okay, they’ve got that. But what did they really contribute to the “development and perpetuation of rock and roll”? What about T. Rex? E.L.O.? The B-52’s? How in the world is ABBA in–and KISS isn’t?
KISS, like them or not, influenced a generation of future artists. They wore makeup and costumes and paved the way for the heavy metal glam bands of the eighties. The B-52’s were responsible for John Lennon’s return to music after five years of retirement–that alone is hugely important–no? Without T. Rex to influence him, there might never have been a David Bowie. And E.L.O., they practically invented symphonic rock and inspired future stars such as Axl Rose, so why not them? ABBA, was and is popular, but I don’t see anything about popularity in the section on criteria.
Clearly the point is moot, ABBA is in and those other bands aren’t. Regardless, I am curious to know what you think, so please let me know by voting in the poll below. Do you think ABBA deserved (based on RARHOF criteria) to be inducted? Are there any other acts you believe should be in–who aren’t?