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DVD Review: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live

DVD Review: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live

By Glenn McDonald

When it comes to those Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies––the inductions, the speeches, the performances––you’re really looking for one thing: spectacle. And that’s certainly what you get with Time-Life’s mammoth 9-disc Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live.

As with certain big-ticket movie events, such as Avatar or the various summer popcorn movies, you want to be shown sights you haven’t seen, marvels and wonders and curiosities. A planet of blue aliens, for instance. Or an otherwise impossible all-star performance of “I Saw Her Standing There” with George Harrison, Ringo Starr, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, John Fogerty, Mick Jagger and Billy Joel.

It’s hard enough getting these sorts of luminaries in the same hemisphere, never mind on the same stage. Haters will forever complain that the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and its annual events are too stodgy, too staged, too corporate––everything rock and roll is supposed to be pushing against.

Well, maybe. But someone has to chronicle the larger pop cultural significance of rock, and provide a place to party for the 90 percent of rock royalty that didn’t die before they got old. It takes a certain sustained churlishness to deny the fun of this collection.

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So let’s get down to business on specifics. At $120, nine discs and more than 24 hours of total running time, the R&R HOF collection is a big investment in time and money. Like any collection of this size, the idea is to dip into the DVDs at a leisurely pace, a few hours at a time.tallica, U2, ZZ Top and Jackson Browne. If there’s a pattern here, I’m missing it.

But that’s half the fun, isn’t it? You’ll be drilling down to your personal favorites first in any case, and much of the appeal of these performances comes from the odd pairings and juxtapositions.

There are a million highlights, of course, but some really stand out. Don’t miss Chrissie Hynde and the Pretenders with Neil Young (2005; Disc 8), an idea that––when you think about it––makes a lot of sense. Another must-see is Bruce Springsteen and Axl Rose duetting on the Beatles “Come Together” (2001; Disc 7)––an idea that makes no sense, but works anyway.
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Video quality across all DVDs is entirely adequate, if unspectacular. Some sequences are grainer than others, naturally, and some of the transitions can be jarring as overall visual direction changes from ceremony to ceremony.

Sound and audio direction is terrific throughout, however. I tested multiple discs using both provided audio formats – 5.1 Surround Sound and 2.0 Dolby Digital Stereo. The performances really come to life with multiple-speaker surround sound, and I haven’t been this proud of my home theater system in years.

Extras are included on each disc––rehearsal footage and some modest backstage scenes. There’s nothing particularly compelling here, but I like that they’ve added the full, unedited versions of the various induction and acceptance speeches.

Disc 9 is an extra in itself––the entire 1996 Concert for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame featuring, among others, John Mellencamp, Lou Reed, the Kinks, Ann and Nancy Wilson of Heart, John Fogerty, James Brown and Al Green.

With a DVD set this size, the “best” parts of the collection depend entirely on each individual viewer’s favorite artists or personal taste. The older soul and funk acts on Disc 6 are in heavy rotation with me, but you might have a whole other priority system.

All told, this is a collection I’m certainly glad to have on the shelf. It’s utterly professional, highly polished and more generous than is strictly required to be at this price point. And perhaps most importantly, the creators and compilers remember that rock and roll––especially in rarefied heights like these––is as much about pure spectacle as anything else. 

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live delivers––spectacularly.

Purchase here!
 

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DISC 1

Light My Fire

[1] – Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen, And The Rock Hall Jam Band

I Saw Her Standing There – 1988

[2] – Cream

Sunshine Of Your Love – 1993

[3] – Roy Orbison With Bruce Springsteen And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Oh, Pretty Woman – 1987

[4] – John Fogerty & Friends

Green River – 1993

[5] – The Doors With Eddie Vedder

Light My Fire – 1993

[6] – Crosby, Stills & Nash With Tom Petty

For What It’s Worth – 1997

[7] – Jefferson Airplane

Volunteers – 1996

[8] – Santana With Peter Green

Black Magic Woman – 1998

[9] – Crosby, Stills & Nash With James Taylor And Emmylou Harris

Teach Your Children – 1997

[10] – Jackson Browne

Running On Empty – 2004

[11] – The Band With Eric Clapton

The Weight – 1994

[12] – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

The Promised Land – 1999

[13] – Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne,

Steve Winwood And Dhani Harrison

Handle With Care – 2004

[14] – Tom Petty, Jeff Lynne, Steve Winwood,

Dhani Harrison And Prince

While My Guitar Gently Weeps – 2004

[15] – Paul McCartney

And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Let It Be – 1999

Back to the Top of the Page

DVD Cover Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame – Sweet Emotion – DVD            

DISC 2

Sweet Emotion

[1] – Jackson Browne And Melissa Etheridge

Wake Up Little Susie

The Concert For The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame – 1988

[2] – Mick Jagger, Bruce Springsteen And The Rock Hall Jam Band

(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction – 1988

[3] – Mick Jagger, Tina Turner And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Honky Tonk Women – 1989

[4] – James Taylor

Woodstock

A Tribute to Joni Mitchell – 1997

[5] – Crosby, Stills & Nash

Wooden Ships – 1997

[6] – R.E.M. With Eddie Vedder

Man On The Moon – 2007

[7] – Aerosmith With Kid Rock

Sweet Emotion – 2001

[8] – ZZ Top

La Grange – 2004

[9] – ZZ Top

Tush – 2004

[10] – AC / DC

Highway to Hell – 2003

[11] – Metallica

Master Of Puppets – 2009

[12] – Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Tenth Avenue Freeze-Out – 1999

[13] – U2

Pride (In The Name Of Love) – 2005

[14] – The Rock Hall Jam Band

All Along The Watchtower

A Tribute To Jimi Hendrix – 1992

DISC 3

Start Me Up

[1] – The Who And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Won’t Get Fooled Again – 1990

[2] – Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers

American Girl – 2002

[3] – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Sweet Home Alabama – 2006

[4] – The Righteous Brothers

You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’ – 2003

[5] – The Byrds With Don Henley And Jackson Browne

Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is A Season) – 1991

[6] – The Mamas & The Papas

California Dreamin’ – 1998

[7] – Cream

Born Under A Bad Sign – 1993

[8] – Traffic

Dear Mr. Fantasy – 2004

[9] – Stevie Nicks And Lindsey Buckingham

Landslide – 1998

[10] – Fleetwood Mac

Say You Love Me – 1998

[11] – Queen With Dave Grohl And Taylor Hawkins

Tie Your Mother Down – 2001

[12] – Billy Joel

Only The Good Die Young – 1999

[13] – Mick Jagger And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Start Me Up – 1989

[14] – John Mellencamp

Pink Houses – 2008

[15] – U2 With Bruce Springsteen

I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For – 2005

DISC 4

Feelin’ Alright

[1] – Jerry Lee Lewis, Chuck Berry And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Roll Over Beethoven – 1986

[2] – Little Richard

Tutti-Frutti

The Concert For The Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame – 1995

[3] – Bo Diddley With Robbie Roberston And Eric Clapton

Bo Diddley – 2005

[4] – Eric Clapton With Robbie Robertson

Farther On Up The Road – 2000

[5] – Little Richard

(Sittin On) The Dock Of The Bay – 1989

[6] – Tina Turner And The Rock Hall Jam Band

River Deep—Mountain High – 1989

[7] – Etta James

At Last – 1993

[8] – The Isley Brothers And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Shout – 1992

[9] – Chubby Checker And The Rock Hall Jam Band

The Twist – 1986

[10] – The Ronettes

Be My Baby – 2007

[11] – Little Richard, Mick Jagger And The Rock Hall Jam Band

I Can’t Turn You Loose

A Tribute To Otis Redding – 1989

[12] – Joan Jett, John Mellencamp, John Fogerty And Billy Joel

Glad All Over

A Tribute To The Dave Clark Five – 2008

[13] – The Rascals

People Got To Be Free – 1997

[14] – Dave Mason And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Feelin’ Alright – 2004

[15] – James Taylor And The Rock Hall Jam Band

How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You) – 2000

[16] – Jeff Beck With Jimmy Page

Beck’s Bolero – 2009

[17] – Kid Rock And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Sweet Little Rock and Roller – 2004

[18] – Chuck Berry with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

Johnny B. Goode

DISC 5

Whole Lotta Shakin’

[1] – Billy Joel And The Rock Hall Jam Band

What’d I Say

A Tribute To Ray Charles – 1986

[2] – Johnny Cash And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Big River – 1992

[3] – Ben E. King And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Stand By Me – 1988

[4] – Jerry Lee Lewis

Whole Lot Of Shakin’ Going On – 2005

[5] – Ruth Brown With Bonnie Raitt

Mama He Treats Your Daughter Mean – 1993

[6] – John Lee Hooker With Bonnie Raitt

I’m In The Mood – 1991

[7] – Buddy Guy With B. B. King And Eric Clapton

Let Me Love You Baby – 2005

[8] – Billy Joel With Bonnie Raitt

Runaway

A Tribute To Del Shannon – 1999

[9] – Paul McCartney And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Blue Suede Shoes – 1999

[10] – John Fogerty & Friends

Born On The Bayou – 1993

[11] – The Doors With Eddie Vedder

Break On Through – 1993

[12] – Bruce Springsteen & The E Steet Band

Backstreets – 1999

[13] – Jeff Beck, Jimmy Page, Ron Wood, Joe Perry, Flea, And Metallica

The Train Kept A-Rollin’ – 2009

DISC 6

I’ll Take You There

[1] – Percy Sledge

When A Man Loves A Woman – 2005

[2] – The O’Jays

Love Train – 2005

[3] – Jerry Butler

Only The Strong Survive

A Tribute To Gamble & Huff – 2008

[4] – Solomon Burke

Cry To Me – 2001

[5] – Martha & The Vandellas

Dancing In The Street – 1995

[6] – The Four Tops And The Rock Hall Jam Band

I Can’t Help Myself – 1990

[7] – Booker T. & The MG’s And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Green Onions – 1992

[8] – Issac Hayes

Theme From Shaft – 2002

[9] – The Staple Singers

I’ll Take You There – 1999

[10] – Aretha Franklin

Don’t Play That Song

A Tribute To Ahmet Ertegun – 2007

[11] – Aretha Franklin

I Never Loved A Man (The Way I Love You)

A Tribute To Ahmet Ertegun – 2007

[12] – Al Green

Take Me To The River – 1995

[13] – Parliament-Funkadelic

Tear The Roof Off The Sucker (Give Up the Funk) – 1997

[14] – Wilson Pickett With Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band

In The Midnight Hour – 1999

DISC 7

Come Together

[1] – Green Day

Blitzkrieg Bop – 2002

[2] – Blonde

Call Me – 2006

[3] – Elvis Costello & The Imposters

(What’s So Funny ’Bout) Peace, Love And Understanding – 2003

[4] – Bruce Springsteen And Axl Rose

Come Together A Tribute To John Lennon – 2001

[5] – The Doors With Eddie Vedder

Roadhouse Blues – 1993

[6] – John Fogerty & Friends

Who’ll Stop The Rain – 1993

[7] – Cream

Crossroads – 1993

[8] – Jackson Browne

The Pretender – 2004

[9] – Patti Smith Group

Because The Night – 2007

[10] – Patti Smith Group

People Have The Power – 2002

[11] – Jonny Lang And Jeff Beck

Be-Bop-A-Lula

A Tribute to Gene Vincent – 1999

[12] – Jeff Beck

People Get Ready

A Tribute To Rod Stewart – 1994

DISC 8

Message Of Love

[1] – The Who And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Substitute – 1990

[2] – The Who And The Rock Hall Jam Band

Pinball Wizard – 1990

[3] – Melissa Etheridge

Piece Of My Heart

A Tribute To Janis Joplin – 1995

[4] – James Taylor

Fire And Rain – 2000

[5] – Bee Gees

Massachusetts – 1997

[6] – Bee Gees

You Should Be Dancing – 1997

[7] – John Mellencamp

Small Town – 2008

[8] – Bonnie Raitt with Melissa Etheridge and Bruce Hornsby

Thing Called Love – 2000

[9] – The Pretenders

Message Of Love – 2005

[10] – The Pretenders

My City Was Gone – 2005

[11] – The Pretenders

Precious – 2005

[12] – Metallica

Iron Man

A Tribute To Black Sabbath – 2006

[13] – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Free Bird – 2006

DISC 9

Concert For The Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame

[1] – John Mellencamp

R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A.

[2] – Eric Burdon And Bon Jovi

It’s My Life

[3] – Aretha Franklin

(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman

[4] – Lou Reed And Soul Asylum

Sweet Jane

[5] – The Allman Brothers Band with Sheryl Crow

Midnight Rider

[6] – The Kinks

All Day And All Of The Night

[7] – Ann And Nancy Wilson

The Battle Of Evermore

[8] – John Fogerty with Booker T. & The MG’’s

Fortunate Son

[9] – James Brown

I Got You (I Feel Good)

[10] – Al Green

Tired Of Being Alone – 2005

[11] – Al Green

A Change Is Gonna Come – 2005

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