I've always disliked Rolling Stone Magazine. My personal opinion was that if Rolling Stone magazine liked an artist, I probably wouldn't, and if they hated an artist, I'd probably love them.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame here in Ohio (OK, so it's in Cleveland, which is a long ways away) is affiliated with the magazine, and is just as lame. But instead of going on and on about why I disagree with them, (and not talking at all about the fact that they're heavily biased against progressive rock) I decided to do a scientific analysis. It's not exact, but it's close enough to prove a point.
Here we have a list of the 100 best-selling artists in the US. I'm not sure this is completely accurate, but it's close enough. To get into the Hall of Fame, you have to have been making music for the last 25 years. You also have to (supposedly) play rock, although the Hall of Fame has disgraced itself by accepting artists that are most definitely not rock. Rock is rock and metal. Rock is not pop, country, or rap. Hall of Fame has a lot to learn.
Anyway, back on subject...I took the 100-best selling artists, eliminated any that did not have "rock" or "metal" as their genre, and compared it to the list of artists in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. To make things easier for myself, I eliminated artists on the best-selling list that were not playing before 1980.
Now, I'm not trying to say that just because an artist is best-selling means that it should be in the Hall of Fame (although that is part of the criteria for getting in). Nor am I saying that some of the artists in the Hall don't deserve to be there despite the fact that they are not on the best-selling list (The Who, for example, is on the list, and they deserve it despite not selling tons of albums).
Here are the best-selling artists that are not in the Hall of Fame:
Journey; Alabama; Foreigner; Def Leppard; John Denver; Boston; Ozzy Osbourne; Mannheim Steamroller; Rush; Steve Miller Band; Cars; REO Speedwagon.
But Alabama's not really rock...they're country. And Ozzy Osbourne may not be in, but his band Black Sabbath is. So down to 10.
Really, this list speaks for itself. How can you leave Rush out? They've been around for 35 years, are still touring and putting out albums, and their line-up hasn't changed since the mid 70's. Even Metallica, as they entered the Hall of Fame, mentioned the need to put Rush in. And Boston, REO, Foreigner, and Journey are all the same sub-genre of music. Neglecting the whole sub-genre...
The Hall of Fame is a sell-out. Like much of the music industry, it's not focused on the music--it's focused on getting the celebrities in that will look best on camera. And so talented musicians who don't fit the bill are left out.
Other artists I'd like to see in: King Crimson, Yes, Heart, Genesis, ELP, Queensryche, Marillion, Moody Blues, Neil Diamond, Phil Collins (also on the top 100 list, but his first solo album was 1981, so he didn't fit my before-1980 criteria), Peter Gabriel. But they'll never get in, because their either in the Journey/Foreigner/Boston sub-genre, or they're progressive rock.