The yearly “Rock and Roll Hall of Fame” induction ceremony is one of the more iconic and polarizing concerts, often inspiring a slew of controversy from music buffs and musicians alike. There’s always a hailstorm of “Why not this band?” or “Why not this artist?” and you’re always guaranteed to read an interesting headline of someone griping about an overdue band not getting their dues yet. Suffice to say whether the ceremony falls flat or it’s raucous, it’s almost always a promise you’ll get an interesting experience. And that’s from what we get to see on the edited annual broadcast on cable television. There are some bands and or artists excluded from this list as they have been omitted consciously, from what I’ve read, but for your money it’s a pretty solid release from Time Life I recommend.
On Disc One, the 29th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony rom 2014, from the Barclays Center, Brooklyn, New York, there’s the Peter Gabriel induction, as well as the Cat Stevens induction, and the Linda Ronstadt induction by the late great Glenn Frey. Most of the artists presented here perform, including “Washing of the Water” with Peter Gabriel and Chris Martin, and “In Your Eyes” with Peter Gabriel with Youssou N’Dour. There’s “Father & Son” with Cat Stevens and the Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra, “Wild World” with Cat Stevens and Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra, and “Peace Train” from Cat Stevens with Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra. Carrie Underwood sings “Different Drum,” and “Blue Bayou” is performed by Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood and Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra.
There’s also “You’re No Good” by Sheryl Crow, Glenn Frey, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood and Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra, “It’s So Easy” by Stevie Nicks, Sheryl Crow, Glenn Frey, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood and Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra, and “When Will I Be Loved” by Sheryl Crow, Emmylou Harris, Stevie Nicks, Bonnie Raitt, Carrie Underwood and Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra. The E Street Band are inducted by Springsteen, while Michael Stipe inducts the surviving members of Nirvana. There’s a stunning rendition of Smells Like Teen Spirit by Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic with Joan Jett and Pat Smear, “Aneurysm” by Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic with Kim Gordon and Pat Smear, “Lithium” by Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic with Annie Clark and Pat Smearm” and “All Apologies” Dave Grohl and Kirst Novoselic with Annie Clark, Kim Gordon, Joan Jett, Lorde and Pat Smear
The 30th Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony held on 2015 at Public Hall in Cleveland, Ohio features a great induction ceremony to Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. After a fun speech by Miley Cyrus, there’s a performance of “Bad Reputation,” and “Cherry Bomb,” accompanied by Dave Grohl and Gary Ryan. There’s also “Crimson and Clover” with Miley Cyrus, Gary Ryan, Dave Grohl, and Tommy James. There’s the induction of The Paul Butterfield Blues Band, and Stevie Wonder Inducts Bill Withers. Withers and Wonder sing “Ain’t No Sunshine,” and “Lean On Me,” with latter accompanied by John Legend. Fall Out Boy inducts Green Day, and the band performs “American Idiot,” “When I Come Around,” and “Basket Case.”
John Mayer inducts the late great Stevie Ray Vaughn and Double Trouble, with a performance of “Texas Flood” accompanied by Double Trouble with Doyle Brahmhall II, Gary Clark Jr., John Mayer and Jimmie Vaughan. Patti Smith Inducts Lou Reed and there are performances of “Satellite of Love” featuring Beck, Jason Falkner, Roger Joseph Manning Jr., Nate Ruess and Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra. Last but not least, there’s the Ringo Starr Induction with Starr singing “Boys” with Green Day, “It Don’t Come Easy” with Joe Walsh, and “I Wanna Be Your Man” with Paul McCartney, Joe Walsh, Paul Shaffer and the Hall of Fame Orchestra and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Jam Band.
On Disc Two there’s the The 31st Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony from 2016 held at the Barclays Center. This ceremony Lars Ulrich inducts Deep Purple, and they perform their iconic hits “Highway Star,” and “Smoke on the Water.” Steven Van Zandt inducts Bert Berns, and Kendrick Lamar inducts N.W.A., all of whom give a very passionate speech in the face of the controversy that year involving Gene Simmons and his dismissal of hip hop as an art form. Rob Thomas inducts Chicago, and they sing their hits “Saturday in the Park,” “Does Anybody Really Know What Times It Is?” with Rob Thomas, and “25 or 6 to 4.” Kid Rock inducts Cheap Trick, and the band performs “I Want You to Want Me,” “Dream Police,” “Surrender,” and “Ain’t That a Shame.”
Finally there’s The 32nd Annual Rock & Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony from 2017 held at the Barclays Center. ELO is inducted and they perform “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Evil Woman,” and “Mr. Blue Sky.” Jackson Browne inducts Joan Baez, and Baez sings “Swing Low, Sweet Chariot,” “Deportee (Plane Wreck at Los Gatos)” with Mary Chapin Carpenter, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers, and “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down” with Mary Chapin Carpenter, Amy Ray and Emily Saliers. Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson induct Yes, and they sing “Roundabout” with Geddy Lee, and “Owner of a Lonely Heart.” Snoop Dogg inducts the late Tupac Shakur, and Pat Monahan inducts Journey. The band performs “Separate Ways (Worlds Apart),” “Lights,” and “Don’t Stop Believin’.” Finally David Letterman inducts Pearl Jam, and the group performs “Alive,” “Given to Fly,” and “Better Man.”
There are no special features on either disc, but the release comes with a great insert booklet with summaries of each ceremony.