Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Moody Blues

[Note:  The Moody Blues were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 2018.]

Continuing the series of bands unjustly denied their spot in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, we come to the Moody Blues.  The Moody Blues are one of the longest lasting of the British Invasion acts (which have tended to fare well in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame), but their role as one of the founding bands of progressive rock is probably held against them.  Nonetheless, when taken purely on merit, the Moody Blues deserve induction both on influence and on their solid body of work.

The Moody Blues’ Contribution

There are really two different groups under the Moody Blues name, with some overlap in members [1].  The first group was an English R & B group with one massive hit single (“Go Now”) and recording that largely focused on covers, showing the influence of American rhythm and blues outside of its original cultural environment.  The second group is the much more famous one, responsible for massive contributions to psychodelic rock and progressive rock with their “song cycle” Days of Future Passed (with its classic singles “Tuesday Afternoon (Forever Afternoon)” and “Nights In White Satin.”  Throughout the late 1960’s and (after a hiatus in the mid 1970’s) to the early 1980’s, the Moody Blues produced quirky, original, and important music that obtained a great deal of popularity while speaking out against the excesses of celebrity culture (notably on “Isn’t Life Strange” and “I’m Just A Singer In A Rock & Roll Band”).  Even a couple of popular adult contemporary songs towards the late end of their career (“Your Wildest Dreams” and I Know You’re Out There Somewhere”) should not be held against them.

Their output in their discography speaks as follows:  6 platinum albums in the US, 5 more albums that went gold, 13 top 40 hits in the US, including 3 top 10s (one in the 1960’s, one in the 1970’s, and one in the 1980’s), besides 9 top 40’s in England.  They even add four top 3 hits on the Modern rock chart for good measure [2].  So, we have a band of enduring popularity that has managed to create a solid and enduring body of work that remains popular.  However, the real strength of the case for the Moody Blues for the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame is for their influence.  The Moody Blues introduced the Beatles to the Mellotron, influencing the late musical work of that band.  Additionally, the Moody Blues are a key band in the merging of high-art orchestral music with rock & roll music, as well as a key band in terms of founding the progressive rock movement.  Their work in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s makes them a key act in forming an entire branch of rock & roll music, a contribution that deserves recognition.

Why The Moody Blues Are A No-Brainer For The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame

Three decades of artistic and commercial relevance, a founding role in blending classical & rock music, a key role in developing the genre of progressive rock as well as psychodelic rock, and influence on the Beatles means that the Moody Blues are a vitally important act in Rock & Roll History.  Additionally, their story can help provide a cautionary tale for dealing with the politics of record labels (albeit not as tragic as that of Big Star or Badfinger), itself a necessary and neglected element of Rock & Roll history.

Why Aren’t The Moody Blues In The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame?

Jan Werner doesn’t appear to like progressive rock (other deserving bands of that genre, including Rush, are also not enshrined), and probably doesn’t like “Your Wildest Dreams” either.  Again, as bears repeating, the problem with subjective standards of popularity that are enforced selectively means that some acts are punished for commercial success while others are not, and that some genres of rock & roll are neglected while others are given full recognition.  Righting the wrongs of the neglect of progressive rock can start with the Moody Blues, even if it doesn’t stop there.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moody_Blues

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Moody_Blues_discography

About nathanalbright

I'm a person with diverse interests who loves to read. If you want to know something about me, just ask.
This entry was posted in History, Music History and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Moody Blues

  1. Cathy Martin says:

    The exclusion, slight, oversight–whatever you want to call it–of the Moody Blues remains one of the biggest issues I have with the whole idea of the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fame. That title indicates an objective list of artists and bands that have made an indelible mark, an imprint, on the history of music-making. What a farce! There is NO WAY anyone with any kind of rational thinking can justify keeping musical artisans such as these–and others–who changed the way Rock ‘n Roll was crafted, developed, heard, interpreted, felt, believed and built upon from being recognized in the Hall of Fame. It’s a crime and a travesty of justice. The music created by these un”Famed” artists speaks for itself. The selection process in the hands of someone who maintains such subjective motives for who-know-what reason sets himself up to derision by everyone with a sincere love of how Rock ‘n Roll evolved into what it became.

    • Exactly, and that is one of the man reasons for the whole series of posts on the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. If you go to Canton to see the Football Hall of Fame, there are maybe a dozen people since 1920 who deserve to be enshrined and are not. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has dozens, even hundred of such bands and musicians since the 1950’s. It would be hard to imagine a more inadequate Hall of Fame.

  2. hayley says:

    the people who are ultimately responsible for the nomination process should be like sherlock and get a clue. the moody blues are talented and influential and super talented and deserve a place in the rock and roll hall of fame .just think how many loyal blues fans will sojourn to cleveland to visit the blues exhibit. maybe before i die the powers that be will do the right thing and honor the moody blues. then me and my future hover round will make the journey to cleveland.

    • I agree, Hayley, and that is true for many deserved acts that are excluded for arbitrary reasons (including the fact that the people responsible for nominating Rock & Roll acts appear to have strong biases in favor of some genres, like New Wave, and against others, like Progressive Rock (which I admit I am quite fond of). Though we all have our own biases, a good rock and roll (like the NFL hall of fame) has some kind of quantitative data that shows who a good candidate will be based on their era, without any kind of personal favoritism against players. The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame would do well to honor deserving acts, of which there are dozens (if not hundreds) that are being excluded for reasons that include commercial success (Chicago, Journey, Bryan Adams, Foreigner, Moody Blues, Genesis, and so on) and others that include a dislike of the genre they are in (Rush, Genesis, the Moody Blues, Kraftwork, and many, many others). Are they aware that they lose credibility and fans by their biased nominating process? I don’t know, but they ought to be.

  3. Carl Hardy says:

    The snub of an incredibly large number of very deserving artists makes the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame a sham! If this museum is dedicated to honoring the best in Rock & Roll music then why is progressive rock a genre that is being excluded? The Number One exclusions are The Moody Blues, Yes, and Rush. These bands have made more contributions to Rock & Roll music than most of the bands induced into this irrelevant organization. If the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame wants to be taken seriously as a beacon for what Rock & Roll stands for as a relevant and dynamic force in our World then their administration better wake up. Until they honor groups like the Moody Blues, Yes, and Rush the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame will not be taken seriously.

  4. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame: The Doobie Brothers | Edge Induced Cohesion

  5. mike kaido says:

    2014 marks the 50th anniversary of this band, still drawing crowds. Correct me if Im wrong but were they not one of the few bands to play at an olympic games? And to have their music played by our astronauts? Lets give them a 50th birthday gift and induct them.

  6. Carl says:

    I just visited the Hall of Fame 2 weeks ago and while we greatly enjoyed our visit, we were disturbed by the absence of certain groups. How on earth could the Moody Blues not be inducted there? Chicago, the Doobies, Steve Miller, Journey and many more that deserve to be there.
    I tell you it is sad to see worthy performers denied the recognition so deserved..

    • I know, and I’ve visited the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame myself with the same concerns. It appears that in some cases there is a dislike of entire genres of rock (progressive rock), and adult-oriented rock tends to be rather underrepresented as well. I’ve written about most of the bands you talked about–and Journey is on the list to be written about very soon as well. It appears as if the lack of popular appeal or interest in the thoughts of the public plays a large role in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame snobbery that exists when it comes to certain bands.

  7. Sea Slipper says:

    Pretend that the Rock Hall doesn’t exist. The whole idea is stupid. Rock is for the outsider and the underclass. We don’t need no celebrity club. The RH is clearly an in-bred joke.

    • I’m a student of irony and legitimacy, and I agree that it is highly ironic that the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame seeks to enshrine insiders in a genre of music that is deliberately focused on the outsider.

  8. Simon says:

    I think no matter what type of Rock and Roll one likes, one will find many deserving bands that are not in the Rock Hall. Personally, I feel that as long as Jan Werner is in the picture, a lot of these bands will have a slim-to-none chance of getting in. Seriously, Heart, Joan Jett, and Pat Benatar aren’t in?? (There seems to be a serious bias against females.) There’s no good reason KISS, Journey, Foreigner and Yes (as well as countless others) aren’t in. This is even more true when one looks at some of the artists that ARE in.
    For me personally, there have been two artists that have had a decided impact on artists I listen to– David Bowie and Kraftwerk. One is in, hopefully the other gets in EVENTUALLY.
    It seems that this year fans finally will get a say in who gets in. It’ll be interesting to see how big of a say. Considering how secret they keep everything about nominating and votes, I’m not holding my breath that we’ll even know who the top vote getters are from fans.

    • nathanalbright says:

      If it gets down to a place where the most popular fan vote goes along with the super-secret selection committee, then there might be a slow reduction of some of the obvious snubs. There will always be boundary cases, but the bands that are snubbed are well beyond that.

  9. "Jay" acoustic rocker says:

    I have been following this remarketdly talented group since 1974″ WHO” would have thought they wouldn’t have been inducted by now. Who ever does this judging should really consider retirement. All the judges should take a long look at who they have denied and consider the Moody Blues as example “A” for there standard for future inductees.

  10. Pingback: Edge Induced Cohesion: 2012 In Review (Version Two) | Edge Induced Cohesion

  11. Robert Thayer says:

    They should have been in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame years ago and as far as I am concerned the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not give them any type of recognition and that is too bad. The Hall of Fame can jump in a lake. I am sick and tired watching other bands go before the Moody Blues.

    • The Moody Blues are a particularly obvious omission. It staggers belief that an act like The Faces/Small Faces, to give but one example, are considered Hall of Fame worthy while the Moody Blues are not. Did they really hate “Your Wildest Dreams” and “I Know You’re Out There Somewhere” that much?

  12. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: The Alan Parsons Project | Edge Induced Cohesion

  13. Pingback: Edge Induced Cohesion: 2013 In Review (Part Two) | Edge Induced Cohesion

  14. Hector says:

    Can not believe Moody Blues among others are not in hall.Have lost all respect for hall.

  15. Pingback: This Day In History: On Feburary 9, 1964, The Beetles Invaded America | Edge Induced Cohesion

  16. Pingback: This Day In History: On Feburary 9, 1964, The Beatles Invaded America | Edge Induced Cohesion

  17. Pingback: The Lost Chord | Edge Induced Cohesion

  18. Neal says:

    Can anyone explain why Darlene Love (Lethal Weapon) is in and not Moody Blues, Chicago, King Crimson, Rush, Alice Cooper, Pat Benetar, Joean Jet, Heart,………I can go on and on But Darlene Love????????????????????

  19. Pingback: Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Tommy James And The Shondells | Edge Induced Cohesion

  20. Jim Martin says:

    The Moody Blues are not in the Hall for the same reason the U.S. will never have another real leader in the White House after Ronald Reagan.An actual recognition and appreciation of true greatness is a completely extinct commodity in a post-Christian world, where all that matters is self gratification, self fulfillment, and self everything else.

    • I hope it’s a lot easier to recognize good music than to vote for a good president, but I agree with you that the recognition and appreciation of true greatness has definitely gone downhill, as one can see from the many excellent snubs, the Moody Blues among them.

  21. Mike says:

    Chicago’s recent induction likely bodes well for The Moody Blues. We’ll see what happens next year with nominations.

    • I’m pretty sure we’ll see Tupac and Pearl Jam, but I am curious to see who else is nominated. I also wonder if Nile Rogers will be inducted into the rock hall under the award for musical excellence.

  22. Harry King says:

    The moodiness have been around almost all of my rock and roll life, they are one of the greatest bands in my opinion, they have covered many genres of rock and roll, and are more rock and roll and influential than many bands already in the hall of fame, thank you for letting me sound off, long live the hall of fame and long live the moody blues

  23. Jimm57 says:

    Here’s all you need to know about the Rock & Roll HOF, Green Day is in and the Moody Blues are not, Green F ing Day, no joke. I’m waiting for Tony Bennett next, Nah the hall isn’t political, right.

  24. frank sabella says:

    My God. Has anyone on the induction committee ever listened to the Moody Blues?
    Shame on them!

  25. frank sabella says:

    Please include the omissions of Darlene Love, Three Dog Night, Blood, Sweat & Tears and Chubby Checker!.

  26. TRIESTE says:

    3 Dog Night, come on….. and no Moody Blues. You must kidding Me! Their contributions to rock music is apparent and formidable in all respects. Seeing them Live is a fantastic treat in Life! I vote YES. I don’t use social media, so I’m sending my notes directly to the hall of fame committee, if I can.

  27. Gary Huguenot says:

    How does Topac Get in the Hall and the Moody Blues don’t???! The Hall of Fame is a joke controlled by too few people!!

  28. Dino says:

    Someone needs to start a Progressive Rock Hall of Fame. I’ll go.

    • That would be a worthwhile endeavor. One would have to figure out where it would be and what its criteria for selection would be, but it would be an enjoyable place to go.

  29. Susan Vigil says:

    Moody Blues are “PHENOMENAL” and I cast my vote for them to be inducted into the Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.

  30. Jim Edens says:

    I just saw the Moody Blues (yet again) this past summer on their 50th anniversary tour for “Days Of Future Passed”, and they were still incredible to see and hear. 50 freaking years from that landmark album, and not even a speck of interest from the RRHOF. At this point, I wouldn’t blame them if an invite came to be inducted, that they decline it.

  31. John Schlosar says:

    OK, finally they are nominated! So therefore, I now love the RRHOF lol Great choice! PS they’re also in second place in the fan voting, right after Bon Jovi.

  32. John Schlosar says:

    Here’s the link to vote for the MB in 2018! Don’t forget, and you can vote every day. https://www.rockhall.com/fan-vote/2018-fan-vote

Leave a Reply to frank sabella Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s