A blog by Patrick Crozier

Music

October 20, 2004

UK Rock Hall of Fame - Channel Four
Patrick Crozier

About 20 years after the Americans led the way we've finally got round to setting up one of our own and over the next few weeks the founder members will be decided by you the public. Well, some founder members coz they've already got five:

Elvis
The Beatles
Bob Marley
Madonna
U2

Not a good start. Elvis and the Beatles fine. But Madonna!? U2!? Come off it. Bob Marley? Well, I suppose there is a case. But Marley before Berry Gordy? I don't think so. But in a sense you can see the logic. They've decided to admit one artist from each decade. So one from the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. Only one problem: the inescapable truth is that rock peaked in the 1960s and it's been downhill ever since. They would have been a lot better off admitting it. But instead they've lumbered themselves with an 80s shortlist that includes Guns 'n' Roses. And a 90s shortlist... you don't want to know about the 90s shortlist.

Anyway, as I hinted at, every week they take one decade and this week we're up to the 70s (it's in reverse order, see?) so I thought I'd indulge in some little idle speculation on who's going to make the shortlist.

My test for greatness is three great tracks. Any artist who managed three great tracks, at any time, is great. No questions asked. You might like to try the exercise with your own favourite band. Have they produced three great tracks? I tried the exercise with the Smiths and Joy Division (my personal faves) and I have to say I found myself struggling. Got there in the end, though. But it does go to show how great the Beatles, Abba and Elton John - with figures way above this - really are.

Anyway, these are who I think should be on the 70s list:

Elton John
Sex Pistols
Bob Dylan (he got better)
Sparks
Slade
Abba
David Bowie
Led Zeppelin
Jacksons
Queen

With Rod Stewart (Maggie May and I don't want to talk about it) and Roxy Music on standby. Perhaps ELO too.

Yes, I know the Sex Pistols only produced two great tracks but at a stretch you can add Public Image to Anarchy and Vacant and, anyway, they were much more than just another rock group.