Accompanying this morning's announcement of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 2015 induction class was the usual head shaking and open-mouthed disbelief that some of classic rock's oldest and most worthy bands were passed up once again. We love Lou Reed, Green Day and the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, but we can think of many other artists who belong inside the hallowed Rock Hall too. Let's start with these five.
When the Cars drove out of Boston in 1978 with their self-titled debut album, music fans weren't sure what they were hearing. Were they a traditional rock 'n' roll band? A New Wave group? Maybe something in between? With their classic hooks and chewy synths, the Cars combined art-punk smarts with solid pop songwriting on hits like 'Shake It Up,' 'You Might Think' and 'Drive.'
Deep Purple formed in England at the end of the '60s and scored a Top 5 hit in 'Hush.' But it wasn't until 1972, with new singer Ian Gillan at the helm, that the band's classic lineup was in place. They reached the Top 5 again, this time with the immortal 'Smoke on the Water.' The group has gone through numerous lineup changes over the years, including members that have been part of other classic rock bands over the years, many of which have made it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
With a name that recalls another classic-rock band and a polished hard-rock crunch that would eventually give way to cleaner pop hooks, Def Leppard started the '80s as just another British rock band; by the end of the decade, they were one of the biggest groups on the planet. Thanks to 1983's 'Pyromania,' they became MTV favorites. But it was 1987's monumental 'Hysteria' and its seven hit singles (including 'Pour Some Sugar on Me' and the No. 1 'Love Bites') that sealed their legend.
Judas Priest -- one of metal's biggest and most durable bands -- have been making music for so long, it's easy to take them for granted these days. But when they stormed out of Birmingham, England, in the mid-'70s with their leather-studded attire and eardrum-blasting guitar assaults, they were pioneers in a pretty barren field. Within a few years, metal bands all over the world would be copying their sound and style.
Music snobs like to kick around prog-rock because of its self-serious nature and songs that go on (and on) for 45 minutes. But Yes found a way to make it palatable to mainstream audiences, injecting songs like 'Your Move (I've Seen All Good People)' and 'Roundabout' with pop melodies and relative restraint. After various lineup shifts throughout the '60s and '70s, they even managed to notch their only No. 1 hit in 1983 with 'Owner of a Lonely Heart.'
BONUSYou Think You Know Rush?