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Lunch » Tags » Music » Reviews » Chuck Berry: Anthology » User review

Finest available collection of a rock 'n roll pioneer

  • Dec 4, 2008
Rating:
+5
Maybe Chuck Berry did not invent rock and roll.  What he did accomplish, however, perhaps more than any other single artist, was to bring rock and roll to the masses. Beginning with "Maybelline" back in the summer of 1955, Chuck Berry released a series of recordings that would help to define a genre.  The quality of his recordings was impeccable.  He was an incredibly gifted songwriter and an equally talented musician. Once more, his "live" performances were and remain a truly unique and unforgettable experience.  Amazingly, Chuck Berry continued to wow audiences all over the world well into his seventies.  Chuck Berry is the real deal, a true rock 'n roll original.

There have a great many Chuck Berry collections issued over the years.  And without a doubt "Anthology" is clearly the best.  MCA released this 2 CD set back in 2000 and it is an really an amazing package.  There is an impressive 20 page booklet chronicling the life of this influential American artist.  Meanwhile, there are a total of 50 tracks on these 2 discs and incredibly Chuck Berry wrote all but three of them!  Of course you will find all of the great hits that made Chuck Berry famous including "Johnny B. Goode", "Sweet Little Sixteen" as well as two of my personal favorites "School Day" and his big hit from 1964 "No Particular Place To Go".  In addition, you will also find hits that for some reason were not always included in some of his other collections such as "You Never Can Tell" and his #1 novelty hit "My Ding-A-Ling", one of the surprise hit records of 1972. However, what I enjoyed most about this collection was the chance to hear some of Chuck Berry's lesser known releases, many of which I had never even heard before. Among my favorites were songs like "Thirty Days", "Downbound Train" and the remarkable "Too Much Monkey Business".  Chuck also does a terrific cover of Chuck Miller's great 1955 hit "House of Blue Lights".  It is impossible to do justice to this incredible collection in just a few short paragraphs.  Suffice to say that "Chuck Berry: Anthology" should be considered as an essential part of any complete rock and roll collection.

Chuck Berry was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at its very first induction dinner back in 1986.  It was an honor that he richly deserved.  And while there were many well known and unfortunate problems in Chuck Berry's personal life, no one can deny that perhaps more than anyone else, Chuck Berry was most responsible for putting all of the pieces together.  He was without a doubt one of the true pioneers of what we call rock and roll.  Long live rock and roll and long live Chuck Berry!!!       Very highly recommended!!!!
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About the reviewer
Paul Tognetti ()
Ranked #2
I guess I would qualify as a frustrated writer. My work requires very little writing and so since 1999 I have been writing reviews on non-fiction books and anthology CD's on amazon.com. I never could … more
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Wiki

By all rights, Chuck Berry should be walking on red carpets and playing palaces around the world. Of course, for various, often unseemly reasons, this is not the case in 2000 and it's a shame. In a weird way, Berry's legacy--his influence and his innovation--often obscures the brilliance of the music itself. He didn't just pave the way for rock & roll's domination, he also created some of the genre's best songs regardless of historical impact. With an arsenal that included slashing boogie-woogie-inspired guitar leads, a forceful, convincing vocal delivery, and an incredible knack for lyrical flow, Berry set awfully high standards for rock. If the three-disc Chess Box is more than you're looking for, this 50-song, two-CD set gives you all of the high points (except for the Christmas songs), all nicely remastered in a way that restores the music's rhythmic intensity. Berry's career enjoyed many peaks: his earliest triumphs from the mid-1950s proved the appeal of his country-and-R&B hybrid; in 1958 he delivered an astonishing run of creative and commercial successes from "Johnny B. Goode" to "Carol"; in 1964, after watching from prison as the Beatles jump-started their career on his engine, Berry returned with a vengeance, reeling off "Nadine," "You Never Can Tell," "Promised Land"--each one a gem--along with other ferociously energetic romps like "Dear Dad." Berry's music is all about momentum, and his brilliantly building, universally resonant three-minute narratives ...
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Details

Performer: Chuck Berry
Release Date: June 27, 2000
Label: Chess
Genre: Rock and Roll
Release Date: June 27, 2000
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