Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame-Live Volume 2: New Album But Really Just More of the Same

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Rock and Roll HOF V2

The second installment of Time Life’s series on the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Live, catchily titled Volume 2, is a further compilation of some of the best induction ceremony performances by the actual performers themselves or by other musicians brought together to pay tribute to the artist. Volume 2 says it is on “Limited Edition Red and Orange Marbled Vinyl,” however when looking at the album it appears…well…just a solid reddish-orange. Oh well, it’s still very cool though!

That aside, the collection of songs and artists on this volume is an eclectic olio of both songs and artists that have appeared on stage at the Rock and Roll Hall of fame ceremonies. (Although I will always just refer to it as a “music” hall of fame. One day I really hope a museum is opened that truly is just a Rock and Roll Hall of fame--JUST Rock and Roll.)

Performances range from primarily the 1st and 2nd generation of Rock. We have “Whole Lot of Shaking Going On” by Jerry Lee Lewis, a “Medley of Soul” as a tribute to Wilson Pickett, “Pinball Wizard” by the Who and songs ranging from Rockabilly to RB Soul to Acid Rock and others. The performances take place from 1990 up to 2006.

I’m torn with this album. While I did like it, I wasn’t in love with it, mostly because I am not a fan of a lot of the songs. I know the songs well--perhaps too well--and that is why I could take or leave them. Other times I was thinking to myself, if I were them and I was going to be playing a song on at the Hall of Fame, I wouldn’t have chosen that one. I know there are a lot of people out there that would disagree with me, but to be honest, if I never heard “Let It Be” again in my life, I don’t think I would even give it a passing thought. And again, if it were me choosing, I would have chosen any Beatle song BUT that one, with the exception of “Hey Jude,” another dirge that I could live without. “Roadhouse Blues,” “Come Together,” and “Green River” -- one word: ”Meh.”

Now don’t get me wrong. I’m talking about the songs here and not the performances. The performances themselves are very good, and the recordings are okay given these are live shows. I thought the medleys and tributes were done very well, except for “Come Together.” Springsteen to me is like nails on a chalkboard, a sound that I can do without. I know (gasp…clutch the pearls…) I’ve said bad things about the Boss and beloved Beatle tunes. All I got to say is, live with it!

I am also torn about the way Time Life is doing this collection. In the past when they’ve done sets that spanned years such as their “History of Rock and Roll” (which I proudly own) they devoted each volume to 1 particular year. I kind of wish they did that here so we could hear all of the performances from the same night/year (or 2 years 1-on each side). This would have boded well for continuity of sound and even the aura of the night. Here, even though the mixers did a very good job on this album of putting them all together, there are subtle (and some not too subtle) differences in the sound of the performances because of the decades’ differences.

After two albums now, I don’t think they are going to change (especially not just because I think they should), but I just think it would have all flowed better, and been better suited for us purists.

The stand out songs of this album are by Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis. Not to take anything away from The Who, a band that always seem to bring their A-game to the show, or the Young Rascals, but it’s just special to hear Jerry and Johnny again, and that reason alone is why I do like this album and why, as I said about the first album, that Time Life should be commended for bringing these lost treasures back for everyone to enjoy--not just those who were there or saw them on television, but for everyone else as well. I just wish they would have done it a little differently.

Songs on this album:

Side 1

  1. Whole Lot OfShakin’ Going O-Jerry Lee Lewis (2005)

  2. Roadhouse Blues-The Doors with Eddie Vedder (1993)

  3. Pinball Wizard-The Who and The Rock Hall Jam Band (1990)

  4. Big River-Johnny Cash and The Rock Hall Jam Band (1992)

  5. Come Together: A Tribute to John Lennon-Bruce Springsteen and Axl Rose (1994)

Side 2

  1. Landslide-Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham (1998)

  2. Groovin’-The Young Rascals (1997)

  3. 634-5789 (Soulsville, U.S.A.)/Mustang Sally/Land Of 1000 Dances Medley: A tribute to Wilson Pickett-Solomon Burke, Marc Broussard and Leela James (2006)

  4. Green River-John Fogerty and Friends (1993)

  5. Let It Be-Paul McCartney and The Rock Hall Jam Band (1999)

Grade: 
3.0 / 5.0