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Chuck Berry - The Definitive Collection

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The Definitive Collection

Chuck Berry

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There have been many, many Chuck Berry compilations released by Chess over the years, but as of the spring of 2006, there was no comprehensive single-disc set in print; there was the double-disc 2005 set Gold, which itself was a retitled reissue of 2000's Anthology, but the classic comp The Great Twenty-Eight was long out of print, and nothing had replaced it until the 2006 release of The Definitive Collection. This generous 30-track selection offers nearly everything that was on The Great Twenty-Eight and in nearly the same sequence -- "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and "Roll Over Beethoven" are swapped, for instance, but it's not really a noticeable change. "Bye Bye Johnny" is the only song missing from The Great Twenty-Eight, which is not a huge omission, especially since it's been replaced with two great singles, "You Never Can Tell" and "Promised Land." "My Ding-A-Ling" is also here and, while it is a worse song than "Bye Bye Johnny," it was Chuck's only number one single, so its inclusion makes sense -- and it hardly sinks a collection that is by far the best, most comprehensive single-disc Chuck Berry set yet assembled. Sure, there are some great Berry songs that are absent, but all the major songs are here; plus, if you need more than 30 songs, turn to either Gold or The Chess Box. If you want a single-disc best-of collection of all of Chuck's finest, this is the one to get.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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The Definitive Collection

Chuck Berry

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1
Maybellene (Single Version)
00:02:20

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

℗ 1955 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

2
Thirty Days (Single Version)
00:02:23

Jasper Thomas, Drums, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Jerome Green, Maracas, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1955 UMG Recordings, Inc.

3
You Can't Catch Me (Single Version)
00:02:42

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Otis Spann, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Ebby Hardy, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1955 UMG Recordings, Inc.

4
Too Much Monkey Business (Single Version)
00:02:53

L.C. Davis, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Fred Below, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1956 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

5
Roll Over Beethoven (Single Version)
00:02:22

L.C. Davis, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Fred Below, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1956 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

6
Brown Eyed Handsome Man (Single Version)
00:02:16

L.C. Davis, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - WILLIE DIXON, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Fred Below, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1956 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

7
Havana Moon (Single Version)
00:03:06

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

℗ 1956 UMG Recordings, Inc.

8
School Day (Ring Ring Goes The Bell) (Single Version)
00:02:40

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, 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

℗ 1957 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

9
Rock And Roll Music (1958 Single Version)
00:02:30

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1958 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

10
Oh, Baby Doll
00:02:36

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

℗ 1996 UMG Recordings, Inc.

11
Reelin' And Rockin' (Single Version)
00:03:14

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1958 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

12
Sweet Little Sixteen
00:03:00

Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1958 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division, a division of Universal Music GmbH

13
Johnny B. Goode
00:02:39

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

℗ 1958 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music GmbH, Austria

14
Around And Around (Single Version)
00:02:38

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1958 UMG Recordings, Inc.

15
Beautiful Delilah (Single Version)
00:02:08

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1958 UMG Recordings, Inc.

16
Carol (Single Version)
00:02:47

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1958 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

17
Memphis, Tennessee
00:02:11

Chuck Berry, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1958 UMG Recordings, Inc.

18
Sweet Little Rock 'N' Roller (Single Version)
00:02:21

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1958 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

19
Little Queenie (Single Version)
00:02:41

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1959 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

20
Almost Grown (Single Version)
00:02:19

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1959 UMG Recordings, Inc.

21
Back In The U.S.A.
00:02:27

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1959 UMG Recordings, Inc.

22
Let It Rock (Single Version)
00:01:46

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1959 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

23
I'm Talking About You (Single Version)
00:01:48

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1961 Geffen Records

24
Come On (Single Version)
00:01:48

L.C. Davis, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocals, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Martha Berry, Background Vocalist, AssociatedPerformer - Ebby Harding, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1961 Geffen Records

25
Nadine (Single Version)
00:02:33

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1964 Geffen Records

26
You Never Can Tell (1964 Single Version)
00:02:41

James Robinson, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - L.C. Davis, Tenor Saxophone, AssociatedPerformer - Unknown, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Johnnie Johnson, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Odie Payne, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1964 Geffen Records

27
Promised Land (Single Version)
00:02:23

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

℗ 1964 Geffen Records

28
No Particular Place To Go (Single Version)
00:02:42

Unknown, Bass Guitar, AssociatedPerformer - Chuck Berry, Guitar, Vocalist, MainArtist, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Paul Williams, Piano, AssociatedPerformer - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer - Odie Payne, Drums, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 1964 Geffen Records

29
I Want To Be Your Driver
00:02:13

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Leonard Chess, Producer - Phil Chess, Producer

℗ 1965 Geffen Records

30
My Ding-A-Ling (Live At Lanchester Arts Festival,1972)
00:04:15

Chuck Berry, MainArtist, ComposerLyricist - Esmond Edwards, Producer

℗ 1972 UMG Recordings, Inc., Mit freundlicher Genehmigung: Universal Music International Division - a division of Universal Music GmbH

Album Description

There have been many, many Chuck Berry compilations released by Chess over the years, but as of the spring of 2006, there was no comprehensive single-disc set in print; there was the double-disc 2005 set Gold, which itself was a retitled reissue of 2000's Anthology, but the classic comp The Great Twenty-Eight was long out of print, and nothing had replaced it until the 2006 release of The Definitive Collection. This generous 30-track selection offers nearly everything that was on The Great Twenty-Eight and in nearly the same sequence -- "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and "Roll Over Beethoven" are swapped, for instance, but it's not really a noticeable change. "Bye Bye Johnny" is the only song missing from The Great Twenty-Eight, which is not a huge omission, especially since it's been replaced with two great singles, "You Never Can Tell" and "Promised Land." "My Ding-A-Ling" is also here and, while it is a worse song than "Bye Bye Johnny," it was Chuck's only number one single, so its inclusion makes sense -- and it hardly sinks a collection that is by far the best, most comprehensive single-disc Chuck Berry set yet assembled. Sure, there are some great Berry songs that are absent, but all the major songs are here; plus, if you need more than 30 songs, turn to either Gold or The Chess Box. If you want a single-disc best-of collection of all of Chuck's finest, this is the one to get.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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