The first Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony took place in 1986 and has continued on a yearly basis since that time. The introductions and acceptance speeches by the honorees have been interesting and sometimes poignant, but it was the performances afterward that became the stuff of legend. The powers that be had the foresight to record these performances and store them away. The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame has now released 43 of these gems on the three-DVD box set, Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame + Museum Live.
There are reunions, odd and brilliant pairings, and long-deceased legends; plus everyone looks so young. It was all cleanly and clearly filmed and the sound is excellent. One should note that this is not the nine-disc set sold at The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame.
Disc one contains 15 induction speeches and performances. It begins with Mick Jagger inducting the Beatles and Billy Joel providing the vocals for “I Saw Her Standing There” with a back-up band including Jagger, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Jeff Beck, Neil Young, John Fogerty, Les Paul, and Ringo Starr. Cream’s first performance together in 25 years follows as Eric Clapton, Ginger Baker and Jack Bruce blast through “Sunshine Of Your Love.” Clapton gives a brilliant and seemingly effortless guitar performance. Some other highlights include Eddie Vedder providing the vocals on “Light My Fire” for The Doors, Roy Orbison with Bruce Springsteen singing “Oh, Pretty Woman,” Clapton standing in with The Band, Santana with Peter Green giving a blistering rendition of “Black Magic Woman,” and Paul McCartney singing “Let It Be.” That still leaves out performances by Springsteen, The Jefferson Airplane, and Jackson Browne, among others.
Disc two, except for a few artists, has a harder rock edge. Kid Rock sits in with Aerosmith on “Sweet Emotion,” ZZ Top rocks through “La Grange” and “Tush,” Metallica blasts away at “Master Of Puppets,” and AC/DC travels the “Highway To Hell” as they all rock the night away. Also on board are The Rolling Stones with "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" followed by Tina Turner joining Mick Jagger for a scintillating version of “Honky Tonk Women.” Springsteen, U2, James Taylor and R.E.M. also perform.
Disc three moves around quite a bit. The Rolling Stones are inducted to “Start Me Up,” Fleetwood Mac performs “Say You Love Me,” The Who play “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” plus The Byrds, The Righteous Brothers and The Mamas and The Papas are all on stage with fine performances.
Each disc has a multitude of bonuses which include induction speeches, documentaries, backstage footage, and rehearsals.
This is an essential box set for any music fan as the history of rock ‘n’ roll comes alive in all its grandeur and mortality. So here’s a tip of the hat to The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame for some great years and a job well done.