The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by its very nature, will always engender controversy -- there's always someone whose favorite group or singer never made it into the hallowed pyramid. But what of the many acts never even nominated, some of whom have been eligible since the Hall's very beginning? Here's a list of just the biggest names who were never even considered for the honor, the most recent listed first.
Barry WhiteEligible for nomination since: 1998
Why he's been passed over: Rock critics of that era are generally not partial to disco godfathers, even ones as talented and influential as Barry.
Why he should be let in: He defines the seductive soul god for generations, and his beats have inspired countless R&B and hip-hop artists.
Representative song sample: "Never, Never Gonna Give You Up"
Possible presenter: Snoop Dogg
Electric Light OrchestraEligible for nomination since: 1996
Why they've been passed over: They were tagged early on as Beatles ripoffs, and their excessive occasional goofiness doesn't help.
Why they should be let in: At their best, they really did take the symphonic-rock experiments of the Beatles to a new level. Jeff Lynne is also the most perfect pure-pop assembly line of his or any generation.
Representative song sample: "Mr. Blue Sky"
Possible presenter: The Apples In Stereo
Todd RundgrenEligible for nomination since: 1995
Why he's been passed over: He's a critical favorite, but his quirkiness and wandering muse make him hard to get a handle on.
Why he should be let in: A certified mad genius on his many solo outings, he may be the ultimate in self-contained blue-eyed soul. His impressive production credits and consistently ahead-of-the-curve electronic recording techniques don't hurt, either.
Representative song sample: "I Saw The Light"
Possible presenter: Ben Folds
ChicagoEligible for nomination since: 1994
Why they've been passed over: Critics hated their collegiate approach to making rock a "serious" music, and their extended slide into soft-rock hell hasn't helped their case.
Why they should be let in: The urban-rock sound of the early Seventies owes everything to Chicago, as does any rock group with horns, as well as any jam band.
Representative song sample: "Beginnings"
Possible presenter: John Mayer
Mott The HoopleEligible for nomination since: 1994
Why they've been passed over: The RARHOF is, at heart, only focused on English groups that have translated well to Americans.
Why they should be let in: Every hair-metal band in the world cut their teeth on Mott's version of glam, and the punk movement owes them a sizable debt, as well.
Representative song sample:"All The Way To Memphis"
Possible presenter: The Darkness
SteppenwolfEligible for nomination since: 1993
Why they've been passed over: Like Iron Butterfly, this ultimate biker-hippie band imploded before it got the chance to mature like its peers.
Why they should be let in: Their garage-psych stance influenced every punk and metal band of the next two decades, whether they realized it or not.
Representative song sample:"The Pusher"
Possible presenter: Rob Zombie
Steve Miller BandEligible for nomination since: 1993
Why they've been passed over: They were critical darlings on the San Francisco psychedelic blues scene of the late Sixties, but lost their hip after Miller decided to focus on three-minute feel-good hits.
Why they should be let in: Some bands are actually better once they sell out.
Representative song sample:"Take The Money And Run"
Possible presenter: Phish
T. RexEligible for nomination since: 1993
Why they've been passed over: More Anglophobia, even though Marc Bolan has a legion of famous (and more celebrated) admirers.
Why they should be let in: Welded the musical freedom and simplicity of Fifties rock to the poetry of classic rock. Also more or less invented glam.
Representative song sample:"Mambo Sun"
Possible presenter: Def Leppard