What makes someone influential? The Corrs are a group that has sold a lot of albums all over the world and been massively successful everywhere other than the United States, where they have a loyal if hardly massive fanbase. Their music has helped usher in a revival of Celtic music through both their often upbeat pop songs and their thoughtful renditions of Irish (and other) folk songs. They are clearly an act that has worked well with others, including duets with such varied groups as the Chieftains, Bono, and Josh Groban. At times their music has even wrestled with contemporary Irish problems, like the “borrowed heaven” of debt that made Ireland vulnerable to economic crisis  or the issue of insomnia, addressed often in their music , among other concerns . Yet despite their undeniable talent and charisma as musicians and performers, they seem an act that is particularly likely to be pigeonholed and not given the respect that it deserves, especially given their massive international appeal. Can an act that barely moved the needle in mainstream American music draw the interest of a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame that has been particularly unkind to foreign acts? The Corrs are an interesting case study.
The Influence Of The Corrs
The influence of the Corrs on music is certainly a very subtle one, given that their homeland of Ireland is not known as an obvious home of contemporary pop music aside from U2. Coming to popularity around the same time as the Cranberries, the Corrs were noted for being more sunny and less heavy-handed in their political worldviews. The Corrs were not only massively popular artists, selling more than 40 million albums worldwide and having hit after hit in Europe and Australia (if not so much the United States), but they worked very well with others, having a wide variety of successful live and video albums as well as performances with The Chieftains (“I Know My Love,” a top 40 hit in the UK), Alejandro Sanz (“The Hardest Day,” a top five hit in Spain), and Bono (“When The Stars Go Blue,” which went #1 in Spain and managed to hit the top 20 in Adult Top 40, where they had five other top 40 hits). Their blend of excellent covers as well as original songs, instrumental as well as vocal songs, and their ability to work well with others demonstrates the high regard that they were held in by their peers, despite their lack of success in the United States.
Why The Corrs Belong In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
What, aside from mainstream pop success in the United States, are the Corrs lacking. They have the support of a wide variety of other bands, with whom they have worked in duets in concerts. Andrea Corr has also provided film work and soundtrack work apart from the band (including an appearance in Evita). The band has a reputation for philanthropy including benefit converts for the victims of terrorism as well as for helping Newcastle increase its medical research capabilities . Looking at the music, the band has sold over 40 million copies worldwide, and three albums of theirs (their first three studio albums) have been certified at least gold in the United States. They were, as might be expected, superstars in Ireland, with two of their albums being certified more than 10x platinum there, and throughout Europe as a whole their first three albums went multi-platinum. They won a BRIT award and were nominated for Grammys for both their vocal (“Breathless,” their lone top 40 hit in the US) and instrumental (“Rebel Heart”) music. They had #1 hits in Spain and the UK (where they had six top ten hits and twelve top 40’s), and managed to have minor hits on the US adult charts with “Runaway,” “Breathless,” “All The Love In The World,” “Would You Be Happier?,” and “Summer Sunshine.” They even managed a couple of Australian top tens and eight top 40’s there , showing themselves consistent hitmakers everywhere, it seems, except for the United States.
Why The Coors Aren’t In The Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame
The Corrs provide a case study of the somewhat provincial focus on American music critics. Despite their generosity in philanthropy, their skill as musicians, their ability to work well with others, and the massive success of their albums around the world, they simply did not have many hits in the United States. Will that always be held against them, or will voters look beyond the borders and appreciate a band that everyone else embraced over the course of their career?
Put these people in. They shouldn’t have to wait forever to get the credit they deserve for their mix of sunny pop and deceptively melancholy lyrics and instrumentals, as well as their excellent taste in folk tunes and covers.
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