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Chuck Berry - Blues

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Blues

Chuck Berry

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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 clichés 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.
© Steve Leggett /TiVo

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Blues

Chuck Berry

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1
House Of Blue Lights (Album Version)
00:02:26

G. Smith, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Unknown, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Don Raye, ComposerLyricist - Freddie Slack, ComposerLyricist - Johnnie Johnson, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1958 Geffen Records

2
Wee Wee Hours
00:03:02

Chuck Berry, Composer, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Green, Maracas, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

A Geffen Records Release; ℗ 1955 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
Deep Feeling (Instrumental)
00:02:18

Chuck Berry, Steel Guitar, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Hubert Sumlin, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Fred Below, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

A Geffen Records Release; ℗ 1957 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
I Just Want To Make Love To You
00:02:11

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - The Equadors, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Fred Below, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

A Geffen Records Release; ℗ 1959 UMG Recordings, Inc.

5
How You've Changed
00:02:46

Unknown, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Fred Below, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Lafayette Leake, Piano, AssociatedPerformer

A Geffen Records Release; ℗ 1957 UMG Recordings, Inc.

6
Down The Road Apiece (Album Version)
00:02:14

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Don Raye, ComposerLyricist - Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

; ℗ 1960 Geffen Records

7
Worried Life Blues
00:02:10

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - MACEO MERRIWEATHER, ComposerLyricist - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

A Universal Music Enterprises Release; ℗ 1960 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
Confessin' The Blues (Album Version)
00:02:08

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - JAY MCSHANN, Composer - Walter Brown, Author - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

A Universal Music Enterprises Release; ℗ 1960 UMG Recordings, Inc.

9
Still Got The Blues
00:02:05

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1960 Geffen Records

10
Driftin' Blues
00:02:18

L.C. Davis, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Unknown, Saxophone, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - EDDIE WILLIAMS, ComposerLyricist - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - JOHNNY MOORE, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Charles Brown, ComposerLyricist - Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnny Dudley Moore, ComposerLyricist - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Edward E. Williams, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

; ℗ 1960 Geffen Records

11
Run Around
00:02:31

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

; ℗ 1960 Geffen Records

12
Route 66 (Album Version)
00:02:45

Unknown, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Bobby Troup, ComposerLyricist - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Reggie Boyd, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1961 UMG Recordings, Inc.

13
Sweet Sixteen
00:02:45

B.B. King, ComposerLyricist - Joe Josea, ComposerLyricist - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Matt "Guitar" Murphy, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1960 Geffen Records

14
All Aboard
00:02:07

L.C. Davis, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - McKinley Morganfield, ComposerLyricist - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Phil Thomas, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Reggie Boyd, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer

A Universal Music Enterprises Release; ℗ 1961 UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
The Things I Used To Do (Single Version)
00:02:42

Unknown, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - Eddie Jones, ComposerLyricist - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Odie Payne, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

; ℗ 1964 Geffen Records

16
St. Louis Blues (Album Version)
00:02:36

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer - William Christopher Handy, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Louis Cennamo, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Bob Scrivens, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Jeff Krivet, Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Brian Kattenholm, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

; ℗ 1965 Geffen Records

Descrizione dell'album

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 clichés 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.
© Steve Leggett /TiVo

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