Complete 50's Chuck - Rocks!
William Lynd | Poestenkill, NY United States | 02/27/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Universal Music / Hip-O Select has put together this fine release and deserve high kudos for a job well done. The sound is is fantastic and to have a complete set of Chuck's 50's sides all in one place is just great!
You will hear the early sides like "Maybelline" right through 1959's "Too Pooped To Pop". In between you hear a little studio chatter and a bunch of fun alternate versions and a few songs that were never released. Booklet is very imformative and gives dates, personnel and dates of the releases. I highly recommend this set and sincerely hope there are subsequent volumes to cover the 60's.
A couple of small complaints: I really enjoy the alternate versions, but multiple versions (5 in row for example of "Sweet Little Sixteen") can be a little tiring and I think it may have been nice to either space them out or have the alternate versions on their own disc. The packaging is a bit annoying, I would have preferred separate cases, but these are small issues!"
A Must for all Chuck Berry Fans.
Steve Wachholder | United States of America | 05/25/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I recently purchased this new 4-CD box set of Chuck Berrys complete Chess recordings made during the period from 1955 to 1959. A box set containing all of Berrys Chess recordings from 1955 to the late 1970s should have been released years ago. Chuck Berry was the most influential artist in the history of Rock and Roll before the Beatles came along. He composed over 90 percent of everything he recorded and is one of the greatest guitar players in the history of Popular Music. Geffen Records has used every avalible track recorded by Berry at Chess up to 1959 which includes several alternate and unreleased takes. The songs are spread over 4-CDs in the exact order they were recoreded. Some lesser fans of Chuck may find it a little ponderous having to listen to several versions of the same song. However, if you are a true Chuck Berry fan like I've been for the last 35-years, you won't mind. In fact,the 5-versions of Sweet Little Sixteen and 3-versions of Reelin And Rockin are one of the high points in this box set. You can really hear these songs developing in the studio, along with some occasional comments spoken by Chuck, his band and his producers,Phil and Leonard Chess. A total of 103 songs make up this set which also includes a small 23-page pull-out booklet containing some biograpical information about Berry plus his recording disography. There are only 2-negatives that I would point out about this set. The first is the packaging. The 4-CDs come in a fold-up type box which is open on both sides. They should have placed each disc in its own individual case that way you would not have to worry about how to transport it to your car or elsewhere outside of your home. This fold-up type box is held together by a thin red thred like string. Very tacky. Why could'nt these people get it right. The second negative point which is a minor thing, is the selection of photos used in this set. There have been hundreds of great photos takin of Chuck Berry through the years. Why have the same photo of a person with just a slightly different pose placed on each of the inner flaps when they could have used several different ones. The bottom line here is that the sound quality on all of the music is excellent and you've got everything Chuck Berry recorded during the 1950s. A second box set containing everything else Chuck recorded for Chess from 1960 into the 1970s should be put together as soon as possible. Berry recorded some fantastic songs during the 1960s and early 70s. Geffen records should have put out one complete box-set on all of Berrys music in the first place. Why split it up into 2-sets. In closing, if your a fan of Chuck Berry, then this box-set is a MUST BUY. And lets hope a volume-2 will be released soon."
M. Brust | Denton, TX United States | 05/21/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is, by far, the best compilation of Chuck Berry material ever made available to the public. The sound quality far surpasses anything in any format presently available. And, if it's not on Chess, it's not the REAL Berry. Enough said."