"this is chucks best recorded live performance that i have ever heard. the video is better than the cd with a few songs added (school days etc. and a few deleted (around and around). The sound is great for a live recordingand the backing band couldnt be any better.Keith richards never sounded so good,other members of the band include steve jorden on drums,bobby keys on sax,joe spampinato from NRBQ on bass and johnnie johnson on piano and chuck leavell on keyboards. Guest appearances include eric clapton , etta james, robert cray, julian lennon and linda ronstadt"
Kick Out The Jams
Mr. Richard D. Coreno | Berea, Ohio USA | 02/13/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Keith Richards was nearly a Stone alone at the celebrations of Chuck Berry's 60th birthday.
The concerts were held in the Fox Theatre - St. Louis, Missouri - on October 6, 1986, and Berry Park - Wentzville - on October 16. The 13 songs from the shows clock in at slightly over 39 minutes.
A documentary chronicled the oftentimes fractious relationship between Richards - who put together the band & produced the CD - and Berry, which found the latter threatening several times on camera to abandon the project.
The years leading to the shows found Berry mostly backed by local musicians who had no practice time before taking the stage. That is one of the reasons why Richards stepped in and brought together an all-star band for the event, which included Johnnie Johnson, who was a long-time pianist with Berry.
The other band members are Richards (guitar), Chuck Leavell (piano), Bobby Keys (sax), Joey Sampinato (bass), Steve Jordan (drums) and Ingrid Berry (vocals). The guests made the shows very special, as the legendary Etta James brought the house down on Rock And Roll Music. Linda Ronstadt (Back In The USA) and Julian Lennon (Johnny B. Goode) also delivered outstanding vocal performances.
Eric Clapton (guitar, vocals) is drenched in the blues on Wee Wee Hours, one of the first tracks Berry recorded for Chess Records - and the B-side to his first hit, Maybellene. But it's Robert Cray (guitar, vocals) on Brown-Eyed Handsome Man that remains my favorite cut.
Other songs that appear on the CD include Around And Around - the Rolling Stones have a great cover of it on Love You Live - Maybellene and Memphis, Tennessee.
Berry is rock-n-roll and these performances demonstrate the reason why.
Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll
The Bluze Brother | Sweet Home Shy Town | 04/29/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have always lived in the St. Louis, Mo. area and am old enough to have seen Chuck Berry when he started with the Johnny Johnston Trio at the Cosmopolitan Club in E. St. Louis, Ill. I knew then he was going to be great. The rest is history so I will fast forward to Chuck's 60th Birthday Part Fest at the lengendary, ornate Fox Theatre in St. Louis, Mo.I can listen to Chuck sing his well known songs in any format but this cd has a great sound mainly due to the influence of Keith Richards putting together a tight band and never forgetting to include the late great Johnny Johnston and his awesome piano. Chuck has the St. Louis audience into from the get go but what I really dug was that he had Eric Clapton do "Wee Wee Hours," (awesome) the fantastic and beautiful Linda Ronstadt cookin on "Back In The U.S.A." - Linda brought the house down (I was lucky to be there) and the best of all in my opinion was when Etta James sang "Rock-n-Roll Music" - oh my goodness did she really "get down" with it....that to me was the highlight of the night.Robert Cray did a nice job on "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" but it paled in comparison with the original. Julian Lennon was really good on "Johnny B. Goode." You could tell he really enjoyed singing it that night but the best part was that Chuck also sang some and then harmonized with Julian - nice! Chuck had the audience really plugged in on "Sweet Little Sixteen," "Little Queenie" and "Roll Over Beethoven." The place was litteraly going nuts and that is captured on this cd. Not too many live Chuck Berry cds out there and none that are this well put together. Buy this sucker. A nice little touch is when Chuck sings "I'm Through With Love." As a voice says in the back ground "you have a great sound for a rock-n-roll singer, you should have been a jazz singer." Chuck Berry was instrumental in getting Black music into the White culture (with all due respect to Little Richard and the great Chicago Blues singers). This is a must cd for the serious Chuck Berry fan unless you want to buy the DVD. I am glad they didn't screw this compilation up by adding "My Ding-a-ling." This was just good old hard core Chuck Berry Rock-n-Roll at it's best."
Too Bad This Video is Out of Print
Michael S. Dober | Milwaukee, WI | 07/07/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"A friend wanted a copy of this video and I was surprised to see Hail! Hail! Rock 'N' Roll was out of print. Hard to believe since Chuck is the godfather of rock. I bought the VHS in the early 90's and it included all the star interviews and rehearsals at Chuck's place. Total running time is 2 hrs. 1 min. This is a great video, especially the interviews and rehearsal sessions. Bluesbro, as any musician knows, you can't hog the spotlight through a whole show. The sax player you referred to that soloed that you would have rather seen Chuck solo in his place is none other than Bobby Keys, tenor sax player of the Rolling Stones since '69. I play tenor sax in 3 bands, have been playing sax since '69, and Bobby Keys has been my greatest influence. I had to write this because I hate to see Bobby Keys, one of the greatest modern rock and roll horn players, referred to as "sax player"."
Great live record of Chuck with guest stars
Michael S. Dober | 03/23/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Keith Richards produced this concert which commemorated the 60th birthday of Chuck Berry. The guests sing and play their hearts out, as does the Great One himself, who looked like he was having nothing but fun up there on the stage in St. Louis. Well done, lads. Highly recommended. (And see the movie, if you haven't already.)"