Hall & Oates Before Journey In The Rock Hall? Really? By Wal Ozello

Okay… it’s time for me to come up for air while editing my second book and address something that’s been bothering me for the past several months.

How the heck are Hall and Oates getting inducted into the Rock N Roll Hall of Fame before Journey?


Now I’m sure if Colin was here he’d be arguing that Cheap Trick should be getting in and I’m sure Ricki C. threw up in his mouth a little bit when I mentioned Journey.

But here’s the thing:

Journey falls into the category of “Aren’t they in the Hall of Fame already?” and Hall and Oates falls into the category of “Have they run out of A-list artists so they’re inducting them now?”

We all thought the Rock Hall was coming to their senses last year when they inducted Rush. But inducting Hall & Oates before Journey is evidence that still have their heads up their own ass.

Let me build my case:

Don’t Stop Believin’ is the most downloaded song on iTunes ever. Not last week. Not last month. Not last year.We’re talking the most downloaded song in the history of iTunes.Think about that for a moment.It’s been downloaded more than Stairway To Heaven, I Can’t Get No Satisfaction, Imagine, Hey Jude, Shook Me All Night Long, Beat It, You Really Got Me, Smells Like Teen Spirit, Where The Streets Have No Name, and every other song written – including She’s Gone (which a Hall & Oates’ song).

Anyway You Want It is a turn up the radio song.You know those songs: Tom Sawyer, Born To Run, American Idiot, Push It, Whipping Post, Fight For Your Right To Party, Jack & Diane, and that one song by C&C Music Factory that no one knows the name to but if you heard it you'd recognize it.  These are songs that when they come on your car radio you instantly crank up the volume and start banging on your dashboard to the beat.  Rich Girl  and Kiss Is On My List  are change the channel tunes (those are Hall & Oates songs).

By now you may be preparing the argument that Hall & Oates have talent and that’s what got them into the Rock Hall. Journey has them beat on talent tenfold.

Name one person in modern music that has a better voice than Steve Perry. Okay… for those of you that had the brilliance to respond with Freddie Mercury here’s what Queen guitarist Brian May said, "Perry is a truly luminous singer, in my opinion—a voice in a million." Steve Perry’s nickname is “The Voice.” And if you’re arguing that Daryl Hall has a more bluesy voice than Perry, listen to this video comparison of Steve and Sam Cooke:

But here’s the thing… Steve’s not the only talent in the band. Check out this guitar solo from Neal Schon.


And Jonathan Cain is an amazing keyboardist. Folks, that’s the guy that wrote Faithfully, Don’t Stop Believin’, Who’s Cryin’ Now, and Separate Ways. For a better keyboard player you’d have to probably chose Gregg Rolie – the original Journey keyboard player. Both these guys have more talent in their pinky knuckle than Daryl Hall does in his whole hand when it comes to playing keyboards. Listen to this whole solo – it’s got rock, classical, and blues all mixed in:


Journey has had many extremely talented members weave in and out of their ranks over the years – a total of 13 people. Heck, they were founded by the members of Santana!

Now here’s the thing that I think is the capper: Journey’s music is a soundtrack to our lives. Don’t Stop Believin’ is the most amazing pick me up song. Several national baseball teams have used it as their anthem! Could you imagine Maneater as a baseball song (that’s a Hall & Oates song). More people have danced to Faithfully at their wedding than Sarah Smile (that’s a Hall & Oates song). More people have used Who’s Cryin’ Now or Send Her My Love to get over a bad breakup than any of those Hall & Oates songs. And think about all those people who got laid because of Any Way You Want It or Stone in Love.

Just look at Journey’s discography and you’ll see dozens of songs that last a lifetime. I bet the average person can’t even name five Hall & Oates songs that bring back a vivid memory of their high school years.

One last point. Some people may make the argument that Journey is corporate rock and doesn’t belong in the Rock Hall because they are too commercial. If that’s the case, what are they doing letting in KISS?

To all the members of Journey who got snubbed again this year and their fans, take listen to this song and hope for next year:

Wal Ozello is the author of Assignment 1989: The Time Travel Wars and is the lead singer of the Columbus hairband Armada. He's a resident of Upper Arlington, Ohio and a frequent customer at Colin's Coffee.