The London Chuck Berry Sessions

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The London Chuck Berry Sessions
Chuck Berry - The London Chuck Berry Sessions.jpg
Studio album / Live album by Chuck Berry
Released October 1972 (1972-10)[1]
Recorded 1972
Studio 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
(1971)San Francisco Dues1971
The London Chuck Berry Sessions
(1972)
Bio
(1973)Bio1973
Singles from The London Chuck Berry Sessions
  1. "My Ding-a-Ling"
    Released: June, 1972
  2. "Reelin' And Rockin'"
    Released: November, 1972
Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
Allmusic3/5 stars[3]
Robert ChristgauC−[4]

The London Chuck Berry Sessions is an album of studio recordings and live recordings by Chuck Berry, released by Chess Records in October 1972 as LP record, 8 track cartridge and audio cassette[5]. Side one of the album consists of studio recordings, engineered by Geoff Calver; side two features three live performances recorded by the Pye Mobile Unit, engineered by Alan Perkins, on February 3, 1972, 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 to approximately 4 minutes for release as a single. It was Berry's first and only single to reach number 1 in both the US and the 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.[6] The album was released in August 1971[7] and peaked at number 28 on Billboard magazine's R&B Albums chart and number 79 on the Billboard 200.[8] Because of Wolf's success, Muddy Waters recorded his own London Sessions album in December 1971, and Berry did the same in 1972.

Critical reception[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]

Commercial performance[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.[9]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Chuck Berry except as noted

Side one (studio recordings)

  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 (live recordings)

  1. "Reelin' and Rockin'" – 7:07
  2. "My Ding-a-Ling" (Dave Bartholomew) – 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]

Musicians[edit]

According to sleeve notes[2]

Technical[edit]

Charts[edit]

Album[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
position
US Billboard 200[10] 8
US Billboard R&B Albums[10] 8

US Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position[11]
1972 "My Ding-a-Ling" Billboard Hot 100 1
1973 "Reelin' and Rockin'" Billboard Hot 100 27

UK Singles[edit]

Year Single Chart Position[12]
1972 "My Ding-a-Ling" Official Charts 1
1973 "Reelin' and Rockin'" Official Charts 18

References[edit]

  1. ^ 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 notes. LP-60020. 
  3. ^ a b c Ruhlmann, William. "The London Chuck Berry Sessions: Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "Chuck Berry: Consumer Guide Reviews" (Php). Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  5. ^ [1]
  6. ^ The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions (Deluxe Edition) (CD liner). Howlin' Wolf. United States: MCA Records. 2002. 088 112 985-2. 
  7. ^ Schumacher, Michael (1995). "Chapter 6: Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad? (1969–70)". Crossroads: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton. New York: Hyperion. pp. 137–141. ISBN 0-7868-6074-X. 
  8. ^ "Howlin' Wolf: Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi. Retrieved January 10, 2011. 
  9. ^ RIAA Certification Search Type "Chuck Berry" under Artist for search results.
  10. ^ a b "Chuck Berry - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 28, 2010. 
  11. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 - Chuck Berry". Retrieved November 1, 2017. 
  12. ^ "UK Official Charts - Chuck Berry". Retrieved November 2, 2017. 

External links[edit]