The London Chuck Berry Sessions

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The London Chuck Berry Sessions
Studio album / Live album by Chuck Berry
Released October 1972 (1972-10)[1]
Recorded 1972 at Pye Studios in London, England and the Lanchester Arts Festival, Coventry, England[2]
Genre Rock and roll
Length 44:08[3]
Label Chess
Producer Esmond Edwards[2]
Chuck Berry chronology
San Francisco Dues
(September 1971)
The London Chuck Berry Sessions
(October 1972)
Bio
(August 1973)
Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[3]
Robert Christgau C−[4]

The London Chuck Berry Sessions is a studio/live album by American rock and roll icon Chuck Berry released by Chess Records in October 1972.[1] Side one of the album consists of studio recordings, engineered by Geoff Calver, while side two features three extended live performances recorded by the Pye Mobile Unit, engineer Alan Perkins, at the Lanchester Arts Festival in Coventry, England. At the end of the live section, the recording includes the sounds of festival management trying in vain to get the audience to leave so that the next performers, Pink Floyd, can take the stage; the crowd begins chanting "We want Chuck!"

"My Ding-a-Ling", from the live side of the album, was edited down to approximately 4 minutes for single release; it became Berry's first and, to date, only No. 1-charting recording in both the US and UK.

Background[edit]

In May 1970, Howlin' Wolf traveled to Olympic Sound Studios in London, England, to record songs for The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions.[5] The album was released in August 1971[6] and peaked at #28 on Billboard magazine's R&B Albums chart and #79 on the Billboard 200.[7] Because of Wolf's success, Muddy Waters made his own London Sessions album in December 1971; Chuck Berry followed with his in 1972.

Reception[edit]

Critical[edit]

William Ruhlmann of Allmusic called the album Chuck Berry's "commercial, if not artistic, peak".[3] Robert Christgau thinks the album is of bad quality, that his voice is croaky and the studio material only fillers.[4]

Sales[edit]

The album was not even out for a month, when on October 27, 1972, The London Chuck Berry Sessions was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America with sales of 1,000,000 units. It is Berry's only album to be certified by the RIAA.[8]

Track listing[edit]

All tracks written and composed by Chuck Berry, except where indicated.

Side one (recorded in the studio)
  1. "Let's Boogie" – 3:10
  2. "Mean Old World" (Little Walter) – 5:45
  3. "I Will Not Let You Go" – 2:49
  4. "London Berry Blues" – 5:55
  5. "I Love You" – 3:26
Side two (recorded live)
  1. "Reelin' And Rockin'" – 7:07
  2. "My Ding-a-Ling" – 11:33
  3. "Johnny B. Goode" – 4:23

The release on cassette exchanged "I Love You" and "Johnny B. Goode" to create sides of near-equal length.

This version of "Johnny B. Goode" replaces the first verse of the original with the first verse of "Bye Bye Johnny".

Personnel[edit]

Per sleeve notes[2]

Charts[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[9] 8
US Billboard R&B Albums[9] 8

Certifications[edit]

US-Gold [10]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Rudolph, Dietmar. "A Collector's Guide to the Music of Chuck Berry: The Back at Chess Era (1969-1975)". Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  2. ^ a b c The London Chuck Berry Sessions (Vinyl sleeve). Chuck Berry. United States: Chess Records. 1972. Inner sleeve. LP-60020. 
  3. ^ a b c William Ruhlmann. "The London Chuck Berry Sessions - Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Chuck Berry - Consumer Guide Reviews" (Php). Robert Christgau. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  5. ^ The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions (Deluxe Edition) (CD liner). Howlin' Wolf. United States: MCA Records. 2002. 088 112 985-2. 
  6. ^ Schumacher, Michael (1995). "Chapter 6: Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad? (1969-70)". Crossroads: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton (1st ed.). New York City, New York: Hyperion. pp. 137–141. ISBN 0-7868-6074-X. 
  7. ^ "Howlin' Wolf - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  8. ^ RIAA Certification Search Type "Chuck Berry" under Artist for search results.
  9. ^ a b "Chuck Berry - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  10. ^ http://www.riaa.com/goldandplatinumdata.php?content_selector=gold-platinum-searchable-database