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Chuck Berry: The Definitive Collection

Chuck Berry

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Album Review

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.

Biography

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 is more important to the development of the music than Chuck Berry. He is 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 a myriad others. There would be no standard "Chuck Berry guitar intro," the instrument's clarion call to get the joint rockin' in any setting....
Full Bio