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Album Review

Universal's 2005 release Gold is a repackaged reissue of their excellent 2000 release Anthology, containing the same 50 tracks over two CDs, the same mastering, and the same liner notes. The only difference is the title and the artwork, which are tailored to be part of Universal's ongoing Gold series (which somehow is more extensive than their ongoing Platinum series, even if it isn't as precious a metal). Clearly, anybody who owns that previous compilation has no need to repurchase this set, but anybody who's looking for a good compilation of Chuck Berry's classic Chess recordings of the '50s and '60s should get this, since this contains all of the hits plus the great majority of such excellent non-hit singles as "Jaguar & Thunderbird," "Tulane," and "Jo Jo Gunne," none of which are on the seminal Great Twenty-Eight comp (all 28 songs from that collection are here, however). While it's not as exhaustive as the triple-disc Chess Box, there's not a bad cut here outside of the abominable "My Ding-A-Ling" — a novelty that grows worse with each passing year, but is regrettably (yet somehow fittingly) Chuck's only number one single — and it comes as close to being a definitive Chuck Berry anthology as a double-disc compilation can be.


Born: 18 October 1926 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Of all the early breakthrough rock & roll artists, none was more important to the development of the music than Chuck Berry. He was its greatest songwriter, the main shaper of its instrumental voice, one of its greatest guitarists, and one of its greatest performers. Quite simply, without him there would be no Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, nor myriad others. There would be no standard "Chuck Berry guitar intro," the instrument's clarion call to get the joint rockin' in any setting....
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