By Phill Marder
If statistics are good enough for every other hall of fame, they’re good enough for us. So, as we weigh who deserves a Miner, we’re basing it on four key factors:
Criteria for artists to be eligible for the Goldmine Hall of Fame
1. A 25-year waiting period from first release to induction.
Using the Miners’ starting point of 1955, our current cutoff is 1988. For artists popular on both sides of 1955, impact before 1955 carries less weight than after that point. For instance, an artist with 10 hits before 1955 and just one or two after 1955 doesn’t earn the same consideration as one with five hits on each side of 1955.
2. Chart success.
Our use of a complicated mathematical formula and computer programming makes you, the music fan, the major factor in determining who is inducted. You determined this by purchasing the music you liked, going to concerts and calling radio stations. The result is the music industry’s version of statistics: popularity or best-seller charts and concert attendance statistics.
While the primary emphasis is on U.S. charts (since this is where Goldmine is based), we do factor in charts from around the world, so music fans everywhere are part of this process.
Critics have been around as long as the arts. Sometimes, they are aware of something great the general public just never grasps. So with a nod to journalists and their favorite terms — “influence” and “influential” — our formula includes a sampling of various “best-of” lists from significant music publications. However, these lists carry far less clout than best-seller chart results. If an artist lands on the top of every critic’s “best-of” list but fails to register in any best-seller category, eligibility is denied.
4. Common sense.
We’re taking a close look at each inductee and how he or she is inducted. Should Bill Haley be inducted without his Comets? Should Buddy Holly enter without The Crickets? There will be cases where an individual had significant impact as a group member, but had as much or more impact as a solo artist. This means duplicate or maybe even triplicate inductions will occur.
The major difference is that few, if any, worthy candidates will be excluded from Goldmine’s Hall of Fame. We say almost, because there’s always someone’s favorite who won’t qualify. But it won’t be because of our opinion or Jann Wenner’s opinion or Jon Landau’s opinion. It’ll be because the artist’s music didn’t sell and didn’t get much critical praise.