Foreigner, Boston, Styx, Kansas and Toto all belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and I will plead their cases here and now. First, I will share some of their music as exhibits to support my claim and second, I will compare their work to recent inductees.
The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is different than the Baseball Hall of Fame for several reasons. The most important one is the fact that statistics are not the primary measuring system to determine an artist’s merit for induction. For example, in baseball, players can help their case for consideration by amassing certain statistics such as batting average, homeruns, RBI or number of wins or saves. However, with music, they do not give much credence to the number of albums sold, number of number one records or box office tickets sold. The voting committee certainly takes all of those factors into consideration but the ultimate decision comes down to a simple decision: Is this artist worthy of induction into the Hall of Fame?
I propose that these four rock groups were important and influential during their peak years. They not only grew a massive fan base that sold out their concert tours but also purchased their albums in record numbers. All this despite not being the darlings of rock critics and the media who either ignored them or even worse criticized them for being so popular. The fans loved them no matter what.
I want to let their music do the talking. Please listen to a sampling of their work — not just their most popular work but also their lesser-known efforts which I will share below.
Mick Jones and Lou Gramm of Foreigner took the world by storm in 1976 with a series of albums that all went multiple platinum. They also enjoyed top 10 hits and a number one with “I Want to Know What Love is”.
Best known Songs:
Feels Like the First Time
Cold as Ice
Waiting for a Girl Like You
I Want to Know What Love Is
Tom Scholz stunned the world with his big sound debut album with Boston in 1976 with the big voice of singer Brad Delp. After back to back best sellers, they released a third album in 1986 which showed their fans never left them. They recently celebrated their 40th anniversary on tour.
Best known Songs:
More Than a Feeling
Don’t Look Back
Peace of Mind
Styx — like Journey — took a while to get going in the 1970s but eventually, they hit the big time. Persistence pays off for those who know they are great. The song “Lady” flopped when it was first released and only became a top 5 smash when a radio DJ started playing it a couple of years later and the rest as they say is history.
Best known Songs:
Come Sail Away
Fooling Yourself (Angry Young Man)
Kansas started in the middle of nowhere but also never gave up hope. They kept working on their own unique sound and eventually everyone took notice.
Dust in the wind is their most iconic song with its beautiful guitar melody and philosophical message. Carry on Wayward Son is another fan favorite.
Best known songs:
Carry on Wayward Son
Dust in the Wind
The Point of No Return
The People of the Southwind
Toto members had already established a strong reputation within the music industry by performing as session players on some big records most notably with Boz Scaggs and his big hit, “Lido Shuffle” and many others.
Their first couple of albums did very well but it wasn’t until its 4th studio release, “TOTO IV” that the world all knew who they were with monster hits like “Rosanna” and “Africa”. Not only did they top the charts but they also won Grammy awards for record and album of the year.
Hold the Line
Journey, Cheap Trick and The Cars have all been inducted into the rock hall recently. I mention them because they were contemporaries to Foreigner, Boston, Kansas, and Styx. They have always been compared to one another.
For the record, I believe all three of these bands belong in the Rock Hall so I am not trying to infer that they don’t deserve to be there just because the other four aren’t inducted yet. I merely want to illustrate that there is a president where similar types of artists have already been inducted.
Here is the complete list of rock and roll bands that have been inducted into the Rock and Roll hall of fame. There are some acts that many music critics and fans have questioned whether or not they belong in the hall. The primary complaint being that these bands just didn’t sustain a long enough level of excellence and that they were only together a short span of time with minimal success with the public.
The four bands that I am championing, Foreigner, Boston, Styx, Kansas and Toto have been together longer and they have been successful much longer than many of the bands already inducted into the Rock Hall.
I know that I am biased because I grew up loving these bands but if you truly look at their body of work and compare them to the current inductees, then you will agree that these four rock groups belong in the Rock Hall of Fame.
I know that some of these groups will get into the Rock Hall of Fame someday. I just hope it doesn’t take too long so that most of the band members can enjoy the experience like Ric Ocasek from The Cars did in 2018 before he passed away in 2019.