10 Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Who Never Topped Their First Album

Sometimes it just takes one album.
Sometimes it just takes one album.

I was watching the 2013 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony the other day. I usually don't watch a lot of made-for-TV rock and roll stuff, mainly because they try to be everything to everybody, but I couldn't resist tuning in to watch the RRHOF rectify the biggest of many head-shaking omissions from the list of inductees: Rush.

Being a Rush fan, I had to get that out of the way. But that's not the subject of this post (I'm pretty sure this isn't the way my Comp 101 teacher told me to set things up, but what the fuck). The subject is: 10 Rock and Roll Hall of Famers Who Never Topped Their Debut Album. (There ya go, teach.) Now let's talk about it.

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Disclaimer: Before I begin listing, let's get this out of the way: Each of these artists (except perhaps G n' R) had more than one good album -- they are in the Hall of Fame, after all -- just nothing that topped their amazing opening effort.

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10. Heart, Dreamboat Annie

To be clear, it wasn't even Rush that got me to thinking about this subject -- Rush's debut was good, but nowhere near the quality of their mid- to late-'70s albums -- it was Heart, one of the other 2013 inductees.

When I tuned in, Heart was ripping through "Crazy on You" from their debut album, Dreamboat Annie, one of my very first LPs. While I marveled at how Ann Wilson could still sing so well after all these years, I thought about how many times I'd listened to the album in 35 years -- often, during those early years, while staring at the two beautiful rockers on the cover -- and how it still holds up to this day.

And I thought, "Wow, they never did top that debut album."

Then I thought, "I wonder how many other Rock and Roll Hall of Famers would fit that statement?"

Since I get paid to wonder about this kind of shit -- not very much, but I do get paid -- I figured I'd do a little "Record Store Geek research" (For similar research see: Study Shows Kids Today Are Musically Spoiled) on the subject. My corporate overlords on "Up on the Sun" love lists, so I figured I would just keep going and write one up for you. So let's keep going . . .

9. Crosby, Stills, and Nash, Crosby, Stills, and Nash

These three dudes made some amazing music together, apart, and with other bands. Their other groups (all three are in the RRHOF with other bands) and their solo albums (tough to say whether Graham's or Stephen's would be on top -- they're all phenomenal) would each make a hell of a list on their own. But nothing ever came close to the breathtaking opener. No. Not even CSNY's Déjà Vu.

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