Cleveland's ever-contentious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted five recording artists into its hallowed chamber Tuesday. While the august institution has loosened its definition of "rock and roll," this year's picks are particularly eclectic. While welcoming the bands Genesis, ABBA, the Stooges, the Hollies and Jimmy Cliff, notable snubs include KISS, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Lou Reed, Donna Summer and many more depending on who you ask. Here's a look at the most spirited reactions from music critics and alt-weekly writers around the country:
- Blasphemy! cries E! Online's Josh Grossberg: "That sound you hear is rock 'n' roll purists smashing their vinyl collections against their heads now that ABBA has just been certified as a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame-approved act. While KISS and Red Hot Chili Peppers fans will have to wait until next year, the Swedish foursome responsible for the decidedly unrocking 'Dancing Queen,' 'Knowing Me, Knowing You,' 'Waterloo' and the Broadway musical-launching 'Mamma Mia!' will be getting a pass to the Cleveland shrine."
- I Applaud the KISS Snub, writes Melinda Newman at Hit Fix: "For Kiss, it's actually better that they stay out for as long as possible: it gives Gene Simmons something to rail against and talk about how Kiss was never accepted and appreciated for the true talents they are. It's a shame there's not a Marketing Hall of Fame because if there were, I'd make Kiss the first inductees.
- Genesis, Really? writes Adam Gold in National Skyline: "As far as Genesis is concerned, there's a reason why they've gone through 15 years of eligibility without being recognized by the Hall: They're fucking Genesis. Their biggest accomplishment is successfully rivaling the intolerability of '70s prog with barely tolerable '80s pop, before trumping both with the shockingly vapid 'I Can't Dance' in the '90s."
- Bravo, ABBA! writes Michael Lehet, an LGBT blogger at Chicago Now: "ABBA, who unforunately broke up in 1983, is still every gay boys 'Dancing Queen' and recording artists from Madonna to Lady Gaga find inspiration in their songs. Now they're getting the recognition that they deserve."
- (Almost) All Is Lost, writes Ben Wener at The Orange County Register: "God, the Hall of Fame has become such a joke. I used to think it could be salvaged. Now I think it's hopeless. Thank heavens Iggy Pop finally gets to storm the place. I hope he trashes the joint. Torches it, even."
- Reliably Inconsistent, writes David Hansen at City Pages, a Minnesota alt weekly: "The hall has already perverted its own premise beyond the pale. Big Bopper? Frank Zappa? BILLY FUCKING JOEL? Fine. Step right this way, ABBA. Your table awaits."
- Stranger Than Usual, writes Jed Gottlieb at The Boston Herald: "For an institution that loves to stretch the definition of rock, yesterday's picks were another set of head scratchers. Is 'Dancing Queen' rock 'n' roll? How about Jimmy 'The Harder They Come' Cliff? The Rock Hall picks seem stranger than usual, thanks to their excessive egalitarianism."