Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Blink-182

Sometimes there are multiple narratives of music history, and Blink-182 provides a good example of this.  If you look at the Billboard Hot 100 and examine the popularity of this band, they are a one-hit wonder, with exactly one top 10 hit (“All The Small Things”) and no other top 40 hits.  Fans of the band, and even casual fans of the pop-punk movement of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, who regularly saw their videos multiple times daily on TRL, or who listened to alternative radio knew many other songs by theirs.  Nor is the band a one-hit wonder when it comes to their consistent album sales, having had a gold album only three years ago, despite lineup turmoil and a lack of mainstream hit singles.  When we look at Blink-182, we have to examine that we are looking at something of a conundrum, a band that was a breakthrough act in its time, one that remains popular and important within the pop-punk scene, and a band that is well-known in the mainstream but a band that did not succeed on the pop charts with its singles in the way that one would expect, despite its considerable cultural power and influence.  And it is that conundrum that we will explore today in looking at the case for induction in the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame for Blink-182.

The Influence Of Blink-182

According to imgur.com, Blink-182 is considered a key group in the development of radio friendly hooks in the pop punk community [1], with numerous bands stating them as an influence.  Even in unexpected places one finds their influence, most notably in the lyrics to the massive hit “Closer” by the Chainsmokers featuring Halsey (both potential future subjects of this particular series) who sing about the massively important Blink-182 song that they played to death in Tuscon, namely the melancholy “I Miss You,” which barely missed the top 40, peaking at #42, their second biggest hit on the pop charts.  While not all of the acts that followed Blink 182 into mainstream popularity (think, for example, of Sum 41) had the same degree of staying power, the difference in maturity between the band’s early work and its more recent work (think, for example, of the gap between “What’s My Age Again?” and “I Miss You” for some perspective on this) is striking, and the band offered a way for pop punk artists to grow up, at least a little, without becoming stale in their approach, something which bodes well for other pop punk bands who wish for lasting and successful careers.

Why Blink-182 Deserves To Be In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

There are at least a few strands to the case for Blink-182’s induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  For one, the band has, as we have noted, a larger cultural influence not only within the genre of pop punk but also in more mainstream music where their music has been a talisman for other artists who wish to evoke the mood of the early 2000’s.  For another, the band’s albums and videography has remained popular for a period of more than a quarter century.  To wit, of their seven studio albums, five have been certified at least gold so far (including 2016’s California), four of them platinum (including their second album Dude Ranch), and three of them multi-platinum (Enema of the State at 5x platinum and Take Off Your Pants and Jacket and their self-titled album at double platinum).  They have a gold-selling live album (2000’s The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back), and even a platinum-selling video.  Their music is not only popular in the United States but also in the UK and Australia, at least.  On the alternative charts they have 3 #1 hits and an additional six songs that peaked at #2, besides an additional 5 top ten hits [2].  This is clearly a band with considerable staying power on the alternative charts as well as one with a consistent fan base for their albums, well worthy of being inducted as a very rare pop punk band (like Green Day, recently inducted themselves).

Why Blink-182 Isn’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame

It’s not always easy to know why a band hasn’t been favored with an induction into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.  Pop punk is among many subgenres of rock (like progressive rock or 1980s pop rock) that has largely been snubbed by the rock & roll hall of fame for whatever reason.  When they came out, they were a pretty immature band–witness their music videos for songs like What’s My Age Again? or listen to their singles from Dude Ranch and Enema of the State as a whole for evidence of that, but they certainly grew up and created music with considerable critical acclaim and success on the alternative charts, if not mainstream pop hits.  Mainstream pop hits shouldn’t be the be-all and end-all of a band’s legacy, though.

Verdict:  Put them in.

[1] https://imgur.com/gallery/fS8nc

[2] https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blink-182_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 American History, History, Music History, Musings and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Why Aren’t They In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame: Blink-182

  1. Pingback: Half-Life | Edge Induced Cohesion

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