Blink-182: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Facts
Eligible Since: 2020
Career Grammy Awards/Nominations: 0/1
Career Top 40 hits: 1
Essential tracks: Carousel, Dammit, What’s My Age Again, Adam’s Song, Man Overboard, Stay Together for the Kids, Feeling This, I Miss You, All of This, Down
Essential Albums: Dude Ranch (1997), Enema of the State (1999), The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!) (2000), Take Off Your Pants and Jacket (2001), Blink-182 (2003)
Blink-182’s Rock Hall Credentials
I imagine that to some folks, the kneejerk reaction to the suggestion that Blink-182 could be Rock and Roll Hall of Famers would be to reply, “No way!” A lot of people who weren’t Blink fans just never took them seriously.
But let’s look objectively at their credentials. Were they commercially successful? Yes, very much so. They sold more than 13 million albums in the U.S., scored four platinum albums in a six-year span, and achieved more than a dozen Top 10 hits on the Alternative Rock charts.
Were they a major part of pop culture? Yes, they were huge on MTV for years. Anybody who watched videos in the late ’90s will forever remember Blink’s goofy and fun video clips.
Do they have longevity? Yes. Though they took breaks, endured lineup changes, and worked on side projects such as +44 and Angels & Airwaves, the group is still active after 25 years.
Were they excellent musicians? That question could create some debate. Travis Barker is unquestionably an outstanding drummer. Original guitarists Mark Hoppus and Tom DeLonge weren’t always as celebrated for their playing, but they’re definitely a strong live band, as their 2000 concert album The Mark, Tom, and Travis Show (The Enema Strikes Back!) proves.
Did they influence artists who came later? This is a question that disqualifies a lot of potential Rock Hall nominees. If an artist can’t say they’ve influenced anybody of significance, that tends to mean that they’re not very important in the big picture.
For Blink-182, the answer to that question is a definite yes. Blink influenced every pop-punk band that came after them in the early 2000s, from Fall Out Boy to All Time Low. What’s amazing is that they’re still influencing current artists today. There’s a pop-punk revival going on in the 2020s, led by Machine Gun Kelly, whose excellent recent album was written and produced with Barker. Barker also featured on recent pop-punk hits by KennyHoopla, Willow, and LILHUDDY, and he collaborated on some of Halsey’s more rock-oriented tracks.
Barker has also worked with a number of rappers, including Run the Jewels and Lil Wayne, spreading Blink’s influence to the world of hip hop. If you haven’t paid close attention, you might be surprised just how far and wide the influence of Blink-182 is on the world of popular music. That undoubtedly bolsters their Rock and Roll Hall of Fame credentials.
Initially, Barker was the only member of the band whom critics viewed positively, but their 2003 self-titled album showed off all three members’ maturing songwriting craft. From the gorgeous midtempo ballad “I Miss You” to the polished, straightforward rock tune “Always” to the instrumental “The Fallen Interlude,” this record was a band at the height of its creative powers.
And let’s not forget about “All of This,” their fantastic collaboration with Robert Smith of The Cure. The melodies in that track are addictive as hell. Smith himself gushed about the band afterward, arguing that if the album had been recorded by any other band not named Blink-182, rock critics would be fawning over it.
The Case Against Blink
Some people never took Blink-182 seriously because of their tendency to be juvenile and silly. Remember the video for “What’s My Age Again” where they streaked through the entire video? Or their VMA performance with little people on scooters and trampolines for no apparent reason? Or the bathroom humor-heavy banter between Mark and Tom at their live shows? Or the so-stupid-it’s-brilliant 35-second ode to vulgarity, “Family Reunion?”
Even some of their early hits like “Dammit” and “What’s My Age Again?” were somewhat immature. But those songs were still funny and catchy. And, as mentioned earlier, Blink-182 also have some very serious and well-written songs in their catalogue, including the anti-suicide anthem “Adam’s Song” and the family breakup tune “Stay Together for the Kids.”
Anyone who thinks Blink-182 isn’t serious about their craft must listen to their 2003 self-titled effort, which saw them take a massive artistic leap forward.
Blink-182 never won a Grammy and only had one mainstream top 40 hit, which could work against them. But they were all over rock radio, sold a lot of albums, played for huge crowds in the live setting, and influenced many bands that came after them.
Still, it’s questionable whether those in charge of the Hall would seriously consider a band like Blink-182. And DeLonge’s 2015 departure slightly complicates things, as the Hall would surely want to induct the trio of Hoppus, DeLonge, and Barker. Rock critics haven’t had enough respect for this group over the years. Hopefully, that will change as the years continue to pass.
The Verdict: Will Blink 182 Ever Get Inducted Into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame?
At this point the odds are against them, but it’s possible. Blink are currently not in the first tier of artists waiting for induction. They’re not in the second tier. They’re not even in the third tier. They’d have to be considered in the fourth tier. Which means they will be waiting a very long time.
Now, that doesn’t mean they won’t get in eventually. Over time, as more and more bands get inducted, some of those on the fourth tier move up to the third tier, and then the second tier, and eventually they find themselves being legitimate candidates. Acts like Chicago, Hall & Oates, the Moody Blues, and Journey were all once considered fourth-tier longshots. And they all eventually made it in. So it can happen!
We think that in 10-20 years, when a new crop of voting members reconsiders Blink 182, they will give their candidacy a fair shot. In the coming years, the guys can help their cause by continuing to perform in front of large crowds, extending their longevity and influence, and by continuing to write and produce with newer artists.
I’d have to say the odds are against the trio. But as Barker continues leading the pop-punk renaissance of the 2020s, the chances of Blink-182 getting Hall induction keep rising with every passing month.
Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Blink 182
Odds of Getting Inducted Next Year: 0%
Odds of Getting Inducted in the Next Five Years: 5%
Odds of Getting Inducted Eventually: 40%