Growing up as a child I was at least a little bit familiar with Seals and Crofts because I listened to a lot of adult contemporary music , but because “Summer Breeze” was the one song I recognized as theirs, I thought of them as being one-hit wonders. To be sure, the lyrics to that one particular song were odd and esoteric, but it was not until I recognized other songs by theirs and did a bit of research about the larger cultural and religious context of their music that I realized that this easy listening group was far more important than they might appear to many people at first glance. Although they are clearly not the most well-known band when it comes to releasing a lot of hit singles, they are a band that has a worthy track record of album sales and a massive religious influence in an untraditional way that is worthy of recognition. If there were a Soft Rock Hall of Fame or Yacht Rock Hall Fame, they would be very early inductees without a question, but as Adult Contemporary music has not fared very well with the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, I feel it necessary to defend their case myself, even if this is one of the more obscure cases I have dealt with.
The Influence Of Seals And Crofts
Starting their recording career in the late 1960’s and coming to popularity in the early 1970’s, Seals & Crofts were instrumental in helping set up the laid back singer-songwriter style that would define the soft rock of the 1970’s and 1980’s and that remains played frequently on easy listening radio. Their particular approach would help blaze a trail as the yacht rock and marina rock that would become a major cultural force for the better part of a decade and a half. As pioneers within a genre of music, they deserve some recognition on those grounds alone. Additionally, Seals and Crofts were part of a multi-generational family group of musicians, which included England Dan (the brother of the Seals of Seals and Croft) and John Ford Coley as well as the Humming Birds. On top of all of this, the band was vital is serving as a public face of the obscure Baha’i faith, for which they served with a sense of missionary zeal, even using their concerts as opportunities for spreading their faith. That is the sort of broad cultural influence that deserves recognition, even apart from their own lasting musical contributions.
Why Seals And Crofts Deserve To Be In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
Having examined the larger cultural influence of Seals And Crofts in terms of their genre, their large-scale family influence, and their unconventional religious influence within the world of music, it is time to look at the music of the band itself. This music has served the test of time–“Summer Breeze,” despite only hitting #6 on the Hot 100, remains far better known and better regarded today than many hits that placed higher on the charts. The same is true for their #6 hit “Diamond Girl.” They also had a third #6 hit with “Get Closer,” as well as top 20 hits in “Hummingbird,” “I’ll Play For You,” and “You’re The Love,” and just missing the top 20 with “We May Never Pass This Way (Again).” Their album sales show a long string of consistent sales and popularity that was even able to sell gold albums without any top 40 hits on them (“Unborn Child,” for example). Over the course of the 70’s they had two platinum albums and four gold albums, showing a consistency that belies any thoughts of their being a one-hit wonder or one-album wonder . This is a band that had consistent appeal and that remains important even today, which makes it odd that they are not among the singer-songwriters considered worthy of of Rock & Roll Hall induction today.
Why Seals And Crofts Are Not In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
Given the fact that soft rock is not well regarded critically speaking, it is not too surprising that Seals And Crofts have never been inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. It may be disappointing given their larger cultural importance, but it is not surprising. What is surprising is that given their family legacy, their foundational role in paving the way for yacht rock acts, and their evangelism for the Baha’i religion they are not a more controversial music act that draws attention to themselves. With songs that remain mainstays of easy listening radio, this is a band that people should think of far more often when it comes to acts that are snubbed by Cleveland than is the case at present.
Verdict: Put them in. They might as well be trailblazers in increasing the reputation of soft rock as they were in giving soft rock acts a place on the radio, and as particularly successful emissaries of their faith in the larger world of music and culture they deserve some appreciation as well.
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