The Complete Chess Singles As & Bs 1955-1961

by: Chuck Berry

A double-disc set that rounds up both sides of all the classic singles Chuck Berry released prior to his imprisonment in 1962, this 2015 collection does miss some great Chess sides from his first stint at the label -- all the dynamite 1964 singles ("Promised Land," "Nadine," "No Particular Place to Go," "You Never Can Tell") are naturally absent -- but it's a terrific portrait of Chuck's great initial explosion. The momentum is palpable: four singles in, he's gone from "Maybelline" to "Roll Over Beethoven" and from there the classics pile up. The format allows for some oddities here -- "Vacation Time," "Hey Pedro," "La Jaunda," and "Childhood Sweetheart" usually don't show up on Chuck comps -- but it also gives space to "Worried Life Blues," "Deep Feeling," and "Jaguar and Thunderbird," along with all the expected classics, making this a really nice double-disc set of Berry's prime. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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