The Best of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum: Live

Aside from the various debates about who should be in or not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, or even if there should be a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the annual filmed and recorded induction ceremony that the hall puts on is never less than interesting, and it’s an event where rock star icons turn into fans, long broken-up bands reunite for one more turn on a stage, and everyone seems full of joy and good humor, leading up to the all-star jams that close out the show each year. This three-disc set collects some of the more memorable live performances at this annual event, and if most of the performances are less than definitive, they more than make up for it in sheer star power and historical significance. Who wouldn’t want to see the iconic power trio Cream reunite for one more turn through “Sunshine of Your Love,” or the surviving members of the Mamas & the Papas deliver a moving autumnal performance of “California Dreamin’,” or Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band backing Chuck Berry on “Johnny B. Goode,” or a version of Buffalo Springfield's “For What It’s Worth” done by Crosby, Stills & Nash with Tom Petty? Again, none of these performances eclipses the original, but that really isn’t the point. The induction concerts are really about the joy and courage of rock & roll, about celebrating those artists who have made the music fun, daring, innovative, challenging, and always memorable. And it’s not about who’s in or who’s out. It’s about a remarkably resilient style of music that has found a thousand different ways to say so many things. It’s about rocking on a Saturday night. It’s about being a fan. It's about what a long, strange, and wonderful trip it’s been. ~ Steve Leggett

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