March 8 street date. The name CHUCK BERRY and rock 'n' roll are synonyms. Without Chuck Berry, there would be no rock 'n' roll. So to call Chuck Berry’s debut LP "seminal" is a bit of an understatement. This album, originally released on the fledgling Chess Records in 1957, was Berry's first long playing album (after a slew of hit singles), and only the second ever for the label. Chuck Berry got Chess to sign him by playing a demo of none other than "Maybellene" - and the book of Genesis in the Bible of rock 'n' roll was written.
November 15 street date. From the rockabilly flavoured Maybellene to the adrenalin rush of Dear Dad (both about automobiles!) this formidable collection spans ten years and over 20 Hot 100 hits. they're all here. School Day, Rock And Roll Music, Roll Over Beethoven, Sweet Little Sixteen, Johnny B. Goode, Nadine, No Particular Place To Go. This is a non-stop hymn to the USA; a crash course chronicle of high school hops, teen romance and rock 'n' roll cartography. Hear the most imitated electric guitar licks of all time; driving riffs which separate Chuck Berry music from the jump blues of his predecessors. "Every guitarist I auditioned would have to play 'Johnny B. Goode'" (Ronnie Hawkins). Chuck Berry is an enigmatic man. Charming one minute and cold the next. But this hit-packed compilation is red-hot from start to finish.
Available now. NON-RETURNABLE. Includes Chuck's albums 'One Dozen Berrys', 'Chuck Berry On Top', 'Rockin' At The Hops', 'New Juke Box Hits', and 'After School Session', plus lots of bonus tracks from singles of the same era - as well as rare demos. Loaded with classics - some of the most influential music in rock history is right here, folks.
Whilst 'New Juke Box Hits' is considered a good rock and roll album, it is not considered one of Berry's better efforts, with Chuck covering material from several other artists and writers and coming up with no hits himself. The simple fact is that whilst recording this album, Chuck was pre-occupied with legal wrangles that would ultimately see him jailed in 1962 on pretty much trumped up charges. Despite this, there is still much to enjoy, with Chuck's performance holding the same consistency as earlier
July 17 street date. On "Confessin’ My Blues" we’ve captured 20 of the great Chuck's "Blues-Berries," proving that instead of being "The Father of Rock & Roll," Chuck Berry could've been the "King of the Blues," had he not chosen to help invent Rock 'N' Roll instead. Of all the early Rock & Roll artists, none is more important to the development of this particular genre of music than Chuck Berry. He is its greatest songwriter and raconteur, one of its instantly identifiable guitarists, and one of its supreme performers. Retooling Rhythm and Blues into the major elements that made Rock and Roll distinctive, with lyrics focusing on teen life and consumerism and utilizing guitar solos and showmanship that would be major influence on subsequent rock music. Berry actually considered himself a Bluesman when he recorded what he thought was going to be his first single for Chess, a whiskey-soaked, roomful of cigarette-smoke number called "Wee Wee Hours," but label boss Leonard Chess preferred „Maybelline,” Berry's upbeat adaptation of the Hillbilly hit "Ida Red" which sold over a million copies, reaching No. 1 on Billboard's Rhythm and Blues chart. By the end of the 1950s, Berry was an established star with several hit records and film appearances to his name as well as a lucrative touring career. And it was goodbye Blues hello Rock ‘N’ Roll. NON-RETURNABLE.
June 18 street date. A pioneer of Rock ‘n’ Roll Chuck Berry hit the Billboard charts running in 1955 with ‘Maybellene’ the first of a number of mainstream hits including ‘Roll Over Beethoven’, ‘School day’ and ‘Sweet Little Sixteen. Also the composer of the inspirational ‘ Johnny B. Goode’ which features in the now infamous scene in Back To The Future as well as ‘Back In The USA’ later parodied by Paul McCartney for ‘Back in the USSR’. Still performing today these 32 tracks represent Berry at his best.
September 10 street date. NON-RETURNABLE. If Charles Edward Anderson Berry hadn’t taken his pen to paper, his guitar to the studio and his showmanship to the stage, any concise history of rock ‘n’ roll would be a couple of chapters short of a best-seller and the repertoires of innumerable 60s R&B groups would have been bereft of beef. Chuck drew from eclectic influences. His first hit Maybellene was a supercharged rewrite of an old bit of country hokum, Ida Red, given broader exposure than might have been the case in those segregated times because many radio stations assumed Chuck was white. Thereafter he artfully created original songs that combined musically resonant reference to his roots with lyrically sharp attention to the newly emergent generation of white bobbysoxers; humour invariably a signature ingredient of his writing and stage/screen performances. This 60-track set features all of his 1955-62 rockin’ classics (including 17 consecutive hits!) together with reminders that Chuck was no slouch as a guitar-pickin’ instrumentalist and could deftly smooch a ballad, lay back on the blues or update a 40s familiar when limbering up in the studio. At the time of writing Chuck Berry survives as a living legend. These are the principal reasons why.
November 19 street date. Chuck Berry was more than a rock ‘n roll genius. He was a natural poet. He could rhyme. He could compose lyrically two and three minute musical stories about the everyday man and woman, about the struggles of being a teenager, about romance, about cars, about faraway places, about dancing, and most notably about rock ‘n rollin.’ His unconventional approach to music was unlike that of anyone before him. He opened the doors for millions of music fans around the world to enjoy rock and blues, making him one of the first pioneers of the popular recording business that we all enjoy to this day. Friday Music is no stranger to the music of the legendary Chuck Berry and the Chess Records’ arsenal of fine recordings. That is why we are so very proud to announce The Chuck Berry/Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Series with his monumental first album After School Session - The Deluxe Anniversary Edition. Mastered by Joe Reagoso (Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Johnny Winter) for the first time on audiophile vinyl from the Chess monophonic tapes, Chuck Berry’s After School Session now features 3 sensational bonus tracks including his first Chess singles Maybellene, You Can’t Catch Me and Thirty Days (To Come Back Home). To celebrate Chuck Berry’s six decades in the music business, we further enhance this limited anniversary edition with a stunning gatefold cover featuring the original artwork elements as well as a classic inside gatefold photo of Chuck wailing on his Gibson guitar. Chuck Berry - After School Session - The Deluxe Anniversary Edition - 3 Bonus Tracks - Impeccable mono - Happy Holidays! "Ring Ring Goes The Bell!!!"
Available now. First ever official reissue of these two great (and very rare) Greek early 80’s psychedelic progressive albums. A very special limited edition of 500 copies, with a deluxe gatefold silver-foil embossed/textured cover and big art-poster. Led by Panagiotis "Pete" Tsiros, Pete & Royce offered an astounding blend of trippy moods and moves: flashy melodies, hard biting fuzz guitar, night crawling rhythms, mystifying electronic shifts and strange lyrics that could have been from an unknown book of Apocalypsis (as it happens, two key members of top Greek progressive group Apocalypsis were involved in the recordings of Pete & Royce - keyboardist Vasilis Dertilis and vocalist Giannis Palamidas). Both Pete & Royce albums are sought after for their dreamy Pink-Floydian atmosphere, the brilliant vocals and guitars of Tsiros himself, the topnotch fiery interplay of all the participating musicians, especially keyboardist and co-composer Vasilis Ghinos, and the rarer but equally mind-blowing cosmic funk moments. In post-military junta Greece, the mid seventies heralded an explosion in the Greek underground scene. The principal expressions of this phenomenon were the gradual change of several areas in Athens to freak hang-outs. A space for free forms of expression was opened, but the majority of the groups of the era disappeared without leaving any recorded traces. Pete & Royce were one of the few local progressive bands operating in that framework, armed with an uncompromising underground attitude.
February 25 street date. Limited Anniversary Edition on 180g Audiophile Vinyl! Impeccably Mastered by Friday Music's Joe Reagoso! Pressed at RTI! His unconventional approach to music was unlike that of anyone before him. He opened the doors for millions of music fans around the world to enjoy rock and blues, making him one of the first pioneers of the popular recording business that we all enjoy to this day. Friday Music is no stranger to the music of the legendary Chuck Berry and the Chess Records' arsenal of fine recordings. That is why we are so very proud to announce another fine installment in the Chuck Berry/Friday Music 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl Series with his legendary masterpiece Berry Is On Top - The Anniversary Edition. Mastered impeccably by Joe Reagoso (Muddy Waters, John Lee Hooker, Chuck Berry) for the first time on audiophile vinyl from the Chess monophonic tapes, Chuck Berry's Berry Is On Top will truly become one of the most important and historical 180 Gram Audiophile Vinyl titles in quite some time. To celebrate Chuck Berry's six decades in the music business, Friday Music further enhances this limited anniversary edition with a stunning gatefold cover featuring the original artwork elements as well as two classic inside gatefold photos of the man who started rock and roll.
Available now. Deluxe coloured vinyl and Cd package in original 1957 cover art - Liner notes by rock n roll author musician and mojo writer Max Decharne - All songs remastered - Artwork designed by Sophie Lo. Chuck Berry - steel guitar on "Deep Feeling", vocals, guitar, Johnnie Johnson - piano, Willie Dixon - bass, Fred Below - drums, L. C. Davis - tenor saxophone on "Too Much Monkey Business" and "Drifting Heart", Jasper Thomas - drums, Ebby Hardy - drums, Otis Spann - piano, Jimmy Rogers - guitar, Leonard & Phil Chess - producers. After School Session was Chuck Berry’s debut LP, but when it appeared in 1957 he had already been famous for two years. The teen market in those days was based around singles, not albums, and he had built a formidable reputation releasing one killer 45 after another. On stage, screen, and radio, he had been featured heavily by deejay Alan Freed, whose syndicated radio show, All-Star stage packages and Hollywood drive-in features put Chuck right in the front rank as rock’n’roll swept all before it. Released in May 1957, the album came complete with sleeve notes describing the man himself as ‘our Rock-a-Billy Troubadour’. If this sounds a little strange to modern ears, it’s worth recalling Chuck’s well-documented love of hillbilly music, and Maybellene’s own roots in the 1938 Bob Wills recording, Ida Red.Chuck once said that his influences ranged all the way from Muddy Waters to Jimmie Rodgers, via Nat King Cole. Out of this he created something truly his own, which wasn’t strictly R&B and it wasn’t hillbilly either. This, unquestionably, was rock’n’roll, and with this LP and its preceding singles, he laid down many of the genre’s enduring ground rules. As the original back cover proudly stated, ‘The songs are all original compositions written by Chuck, for Chuck, and as only Chuck can perform them’. Of course, other fine Chess musicians were backing him, but here was a star who sang, played, and crucially wrote his own material. Max Décharné Max’s history of rockabilly, A Rocket in My Pocket, is published by Serpent’s Tail.
Available now. Deluxe coloured vinyl and Cd package - All songs remastered - Liner notes by rock n roll author, musician and mojo writer Max Decharne. One Dozen Berrys was Chuck Berry’s second LP, and - like its predecessor, After School Session (1957) - contained a mixture of songs which had already been released on singles and EPs, mixed in with new material. Its tracks were drawn from recordings laid down at four one-day sessions, from January and May 1957, and January and February 1958 - the latter being only weeks before the album release. Five out of the twelve songs were previously unreleased - or rather, four of them, since Low Feeling is the master from Blue Feeling, slowed down. The album appeared in March 1958, just as Chuck’s new single Johnny B Goode / Around & Around was climbing the charts, but those songs would have to wait till the July 1959 release of his next album to appear in the long playing format. Most artists would think it insanity to leave off such all-time classics from their new record, but Chuck was red-hot that year, and One Dozen Berrys rode in fresh on the heels of his previous double-sided smash 45, Sweet Little Sixteen / Reelin’ and Rockin’, which kicked off each side of the album. Chuck Berry - vocals, guitar, Fred Below - drums, Ebbie Hardy - drums, Willie Dixon - bass, Johnnie Johnson - piano Lafayette Leake - piano, Hubert Sumlin - guitar.
October 14 street date. 16-CD Box-Set (28 x 28 x 6 cm) with 2 hardcover books, 356 pages, in clothbound slipcase. Since our launch in 1975, we at BEAR FAMILY have wanted to honor Chuck Berry. There have been endless Chuck Berry compilations before and since then - more than anyone could possibly tabulate, but we wanted to do the ultimate Chuck Berry compilation, containing: Every single and LP track, starting with a rare pre-CHESS single with Joe Alexander from 1954! All the celebrated and legendary CHESS singles and album cuts from 1955 to 1966 and from 1969 to 1974. All the MERCURY recordings, and the ATCO album. Every surviving alternate take is included as well. Classic Live Recordings from 1956 to 1972. Exclusive introduction by Sir Paul McCartney. But there’s more! Expatriate British photographer Bill Greensmith lives in St. Louis and a few years back he found the photo archive of Chuck Berry’s uncle, Harry Davis. Included are many previously unseen images of Chuck performing in St. Louis and hanging out with friends and family. In these images, Chuck is unguarded and relaxed. We also see him performing at blues nightspots in and around St. Louis before he was famous. These photos, included with this set in a high quality 104-page hardbound book, will open your eyes to Chuck Berry as you’ve never seen him. Plus, there’s a definitive essay from Chuck’s biographer, Bruce Pegg, additional texts by Mike Snow und Roger Fairhurst, a comprehensive discography by Fred Rothwell, hundreds of published and unpublished photos, including several images made by respected French photographer Jean-Marie Perrier in 1964. In other words, everything you want by Chuck Berry in one place! The last word on the first name in Rock ‘n’ Roll. "If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it 'Chuck Berry." - John Lennon
Available now. Chuck Berry’s Fourth album lavishly presented with artwork by renowned rock n roll designer Sophie Lo and liner notes by author Max Decharne . Remastered for today’s optimum sound and pressed on Red Vinyl.
Available now. In July 1956, Chess Records issued what was arguably the hardest-hitting Chuck Berry LP of them all, Chuck Berry Is On Top. The man himself started the year appearing as both a performer and actor in the Hollywood feature film Go, Johnny, Go, which was named after a line in one of his own songs. The oldest song on the album was from May 1955, the newest from February 1959, but nine out of the twelve came from 1958, and indeed, any Chuck Berry fan who had been religiously buying each Chess 45 and EP would have owned every track already, except for the instrumental, Blues For Hawaiians. Nevertheless, viewed as a collection of songs it was one of the all-time great 1950s party LPs. Today what stands out is the sheer quantity of landmark hits contained here, many of which went on to become serious chart material a second time around in the hands of other artists.
March 3 street date. Non-returnable CD. Recorded at two concerts in October 1987 celebrating Berry’s 60th birthday. These concerts were filmed as a documentary movie and include guest appearances on stage by Linda Ronstadt, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Julian Lennon, Keith Richards on guitar and many more. As far as live albums go, this is one worth having. Just about holding in your own cheers now and again when for example hearing solo’s by Johnny Johnson and Eric Clapton on "Wee Wee Hours". This album is vibrant and lively, clearly everyone is having the time of their life and enjoying the birthday celebrations.
March 25 street date. Red vinyl + CD. Last In the series of reissues of the first 5 Chuck Berry albums. Fully remastered with stunning design from Sophie LO using original artwork with liner notes by Max DeCharne. Originally released in March 1961 on Chess Records. The one single on the album was "I'm Talking About You" .
April 7 street date. AVID Rock N Roll continues with its Four Classic Rock n Roll album series with a re-mastered 2CD release by Chuck Berry, complete with original artwork and liner notes. Includes : "After School Session"; "One Dozen Berries"; "Chuck Berry Is On Top" and "Rockin' At The Hops". The first thing that has to be said about this amazing musician is that, hey, he's still alive and kicking. Something of a rarity in the catalogue of Avid Music! We are of course, immensely proud of our fine catalogue of musical heroes from primarily the world of classic jazz music. Here, however, we are branching out a little into a musical world that was rather unsettling for jazzers at the time, the dreaded Rock n Roll! Emerging from under the influence of the blues, gospel, country and R'n'B, musicians such as Chuck Berry, Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis and of course Elvis Presley were taking the music world by storm in the 1950's. In many ways Chuck Berry must stand out amongst his contemporaries as he not only wrote his own music and played it his way but his signature riffs became the template for what later became pop and rock music! Arguably without Chuck Berry there would have been no Beatles, Beach Boys or Rolling Stones, and music history would have had to have been re-written! So here is how the main man started his musical recording career. Four startling albums full of classic Berry riffs and sharp as a razor lyrics for you to enjoy. Some tracks you will know of course, but there are sure to be some undiscovered gems for you to hear for perhaps the first time. Hail! Hail! Rock 'n' Roll!
May 12 street date. The original rocker himself, the late Mr. Chuck Berry, back with One Dozen Berrys, his second long player, originally released in 1958. Without this record and this great artist, there are no Beatles, no Rolling Stones, no Who, no Zombies, no Sex Pistols, no Sonics, no rock and roll at all, in fact. What a singer, what a songwriter, what a guitarist, Chuck Berry was the full package and this classic LP features such all-timers as "Sweet Little Sixteen", "Reelin And Rockin", "Rock And Roll Music", and a whole lot more. Chuck Berry is a true originator and this is one of the finest LPs of his storied career.
May 12 street date. After School Session is the debut LP from the late, great Chuck Berry, and one of the finest early American rock and roll albums. Featuring such classics as "Brown Eyed Handsome Man", "Havana Moon", "Too Much Monkey Business", "School Days", and more, this is truly one of the greatest first effort in rock and roll history. Recorded in Chicago between 1955 and 1957, this album was almost certainly worn out by fans across the pond with names like Lennon, McCartney, Jagger, Richards, Townshend, and more. Essential listening for any fan of real deal rock and roll.