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20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Chuck Berry

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Album Review

Like any record company worth its salt, MCA knows a good gimmick when it sees it, and when the millennium came around...well, the 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection series wasn't too far behind. Supposedly, the millennium is a momentous occasion, but it's hard to feel that way when it's used as another excuse to turn out a slew of budget-line comps. But apart from the presumptuous title, 20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection turns out to be a very good budget-line series. True, it's impossible for any of these brief collections to be definitive, but they're nevertheless solid samplers that don't feature a bad song in the bunch. For example, take Chuck Berry's 20th Century volume — it's an irresistible 11-song summary of his Chess years. There may be several noteworthy songs missing, but many of his best-known songs are here, including "Maybellene," "Roll Over Beethoven," "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," "School Days," "Rock & Roll Music," "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Johnny B. Goode," "Carol," "You Never Can Tell," "No Particular Place to Go," and — unfortunately — the wretched "My Ding-A-Ling." Serious fans will want something more extensive, but this is an excellent introduction for neophytes and a great sampler for casual fans, considering its length and price. That doesn't erase the ridiculousness of the series title, but the silliness is excusable when the music and the collections are good.

Customer Reviews

like the selection

As a younger guy, I'm not too familiar with Chuck's work. I was searching Itunes for an album that had all the songs I wanted, particularly: Johnny B. Goode, Roll over Beethoven, Rock 'n Roll Music and No Particular Place to Go. This was the first one I spotted that has all of them and a few extras that I'm beginning to enjoy. This is great stuff.

revolutionary music

all i think of is back to the future when i hear johnny b. goode but Berry has so much more to offer...

my dad loves this song

do u hear ding a ling!? its hytserical and classic goodness good job chuck berry!


Born: October 18, 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....
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