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BLOG: Rock Hall, No! Yes, Yes!

Tom Jackson • Jan 4, 2011 at 3:03 PM

The good guys often lose, but sometimes they get a few good licks in first. I felt very surprised, but glowed with gratitude, to read a long op-ed in the Cleveland Plain Dealer by John Covach that tears into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for omitting Yes from the hall's Pantheon.

It's easy to poke fun at Yes' lyrics. I never figured out what a khatru is, much less a "Siberian Khatru." But judging from the thrilling song, the khatru from Siberia seems like one of the better ones. 

Progressive rock was a huge musical movement, particularly in the 1970s. Some of those bands probably deserve to be forgotten -- I'm not manning the barricades to defend Starcastle or Styx -- but Yes seems to me the best of the bunch. Songs like "Roundabout" and "Heart of the Sunrise" (particularly the live versions from the "Yessongs" live album) hold up much better than many other 1970s rock songs.

Bonus link: Michael Norman of the Cleveland Plain Dealer has an amusingly snide list of 25 rock acts snubbed by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. He leaves out Yes and forgets Roxy Music, too, (an influential band, with a New Wave/alternative sound way ahead of anyone else) but lists several of my favorites, such as the Cars, Cheap Trick, and blues guitar god Stevie Ray Vaughn, who is arguably the most egregious oversight of all.

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