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Blues

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Considering that the backbone of rock 'n' roll is the blues, it comes as no surprise that the father of the genre was quite a blues man himself. This wonderful collection brings together some of the most expressive blues performances that Chuck Berry -- the masterful and innovative singer, guitarist and composer -- cut for Chess Records, one of the very greatest of blues labels. Berry's musical roots run deep, and you can hear him channeling blues, swing, rhythm and blues and assorted other influences all throughout these vivid tracks. Berry may have laid down the blueprint for rock 'n' roll in his seminal recordings, but, as these performances dramatically prove, ...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Steve Futterman
Considering that the backbone of rock 'n' roll is the blues, it comes as no surprise that the father of the genre was quite a blues man himself. This wonderful collection brings together some of the most expressive blues performances that Chuck Berry -- the masterful and innovative singer, guitarist and composer -- cut for Chess Records, one of the very greatest of blues labels. Berry's musical roots run deep, and you can hear him channeling blues, swing, rhythm and blues and assorted other influences all throughout these vivid tracks. Berry may have laid down the blueprint for rock 'n' roll in his seminal recordings, but, as these performances dramatically prove, the music of his youth was never far from the picture.
All Music Guide - Steve Leggett
Chuck Berry grew up on the blues, taking Muddy Waters as a particular hero, so when he signed with Chess Records in the mid-'50s, the label undoubtedly figured they were getting a blues artist. Which Berry was, but his bright, skittering guitar style and penchant for writing songs with lyrics that set aside blues clich├ęs for something closer to beat poetry meant Berry's forward-looking version of the blues became something else altogether, creating the very template for rock & roll. It also brought a younger teenaged audience into the game, and Berry increasingly aimed for it. But before that groundbreaking shift in style and demographic, Berry turned out some interesting straight blues sides for Chess, several of which are collected here, and it's intriguing to wonder what might have happened had Berry stuck with the blues rather than redefining it into rock & roll. Highlights include the powerful "Wee Wee Hours," a chugging version of Don Raye's "Down the Road a Piece," a try at Guitar Slim's "Things I Used to Do," the hybrid "Driftin' Blues," which features a near doo wop backup chorus, and a revved up and rocking rendition of W.C. Handy's "St. Louis Blues." Berry's guitar work is revealing on these early numbers, his tone always bright and fresh, as if he was a colt who just couldn't wait to get out there and run. And run he did.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 8/12/2003
  • Label: Chess
  • UPC: 602498001301
  • Catalog Number: 000053002
  • Sales rank: 23,593

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Chuck Berry Primary Artist, Guitar, Steel Guitar, Vocals
Matt "Guitar" Murphy Guitar
Hubert Sumlin Guitar
Johnnie Johnson Piano
Fred Below Drums
Reggie Boyd Bass
Louis Cennamo Bass
L.C. Davis Tenor Saxophone
Equadors Background Vocals
Ebby Hardy Drums
Lafayette Leake Piano
Odie Payne Jr. Drums
Jasper Thomas Drums
Phil Thomas Drums
Willie Dixon Band Bass
G. Smith Bass
Bob Scrivens Piano
Technical Credits
Charles Brown Composer
Willie Dixon Composer
Guitar Slim Composer
Chuck Berry Composer
Jay McShann Composer
Freddie Slack Composer
W.C. Handy Composer
Bobby Troup Composer
Walter Brown Composer
Big Maceo Merriweather Composer
Leonard Chess Producer
Phil Chess Producer
B.B. King Composer
Andy McKaie Producer
Don Raye Composer
Vartan Art Direction
Joe Josea Composer
Johnny Moore's Three Blazers Composer
Eddie Williams Composer
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