Too Much Monkey Business

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"Too Much Monkey Business"
Single by Chuck Berry
from the album After School Session
B-side "Brown Eyed Handsome Man"
Released September 1956 (1956-09)[1]
Format 7" 45-RPM, 10" 78-RPM
Recorded April 16, 1956, Chicago, Illinois[2]
Genre Rock and roll, rhythm and blues
Length 2:56
Label Chess 1635[1][2]
Writer(s) Chuck Berry
Producer(s) Leonard Chess, Phil Chess[2]
Chuck Berry singles chronology
"Roll Over Beethoven"
(May 1956)
"Too Much Monkey Business"
(September 1956)
"You Can't Catch Me"
(November 1956)

"Too Much Monkey Business" is a song written and recorded by Chuck Berry, released by Chess Records in September 1956 as his fifth single. It was also released as the third track on his first solo LP, After School Session, in May 1957; and as an EP.[1] The single reached number 4 on Billboard magazine's Most Played In Juke Boxes chart, number 11 on the Most Played by Jockeys chart and number 7 on the Top Sellers in Stores chart in 1956.[3][4]

Recording[edit]

"Too Much Monkey Business" was recorded on April 16, 1956, in Chicago, Illinois. The session was produced by the Leonard Chess and Phil Chess. Backing Berry were Johnnie Johnson (piano), Willie Dixon (bass), and Fred Below (drums).[2]

Cover versions[edit]

Elvis Presley recorded a cover of the song during a warm-up at the sessions for Stay Away, Joe[5] and later released the song on Elvis Sings Flaming Star in 1969.

Several British invasion bands recorded cover versions of "Too Much Monkey Business". The Beatles recorded their version on September 3, 1963, with John Lennon on vocals; it aired on the BBC Light Programme Pop Go the Beatles on September 10. This recording was released on the album Live at the BBC in 1994.[6] The Hollies recorded the song for their second album, In The Hollies Style, in November 1964. The Yardbirds featuring Eric Clapton used the song to open up their performance at the Marquee Club, which was released on Five Live Yardbirds. The Kinks recorded their version for their self-titled debut album in 1964; it was one of two songs by Berry on the album, the other being "Beautiful Delilah". The Youngbloods released a version of the song on their 1967 album, Earth Music.[7] Eric Clapton recorded a cover version of the song for the album of the same name, released in 1984 by Astan records.[8] This album did not chart.[9]

The Beatles' version[edit]

The Beatles played the song on many of their BBC performances, one of which was included on the album Live at the BBC, recorded on September 3, 1963.

Personnel[edit]

Influences on other songs[edit]

"Too Much Monkey Business" was an influence on Bob Dylan's "Subterranean Homesick Blues".[10] The punk rocker Johnny Thunders paid tribute to Berry's song in "Too Much Junkie Business," a mix of "Pills", by Bo Diddley, and "Too Much Monkey Business." Berry's song was the basis for "Too Much", by KMFDM, released on their compilation album 84–86. The song influenced Michael Jackson's "Monkey Business", from his album Ultimate Collection (2004), which contains the lyric "too much monkey business".

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rudolph, Dietmar. "A Collector's Guide to the Music of Chuck Berry: The Chess Era (1955-1966)". Retrieved 2009-09-03. 
  2. ^ a b c d Gold (CD liner notes). Chuck Berry. United States: Geffen Records/Chess Records. 2005. pp. 21, 27. 0602498805589 http://www.discogs.com/viewimages?release=1987023 |url= missing title (help). 
  3. ^ "Chuck Berry - Billboard Singles". Allmusic. Rovi. Retrieved December 3, 2010. 
  4. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2006). The Billboard Book of Top 40 R&B and Hip-Hop Hits. New York: Billboard Books.
  5. ^ Jorgensen, Ernst. Elvis Presley A Life in Music: The Complete Recording Sessions. New York: St. Martin's Press, 1998
  6. ^ Lewisohn, Mark (1992). The Complete Beatles Chronicle. Hamlyn. ISBN 0-600-60033-5. 
  7. ^ The Youngbloods, Earth Music Retrieved May 20, 2015
  8. ^ Allmusic.com
  9. ^ billboard.com
  10. ^ Hilburn, Robert (2009). Cornflakes with John Lennon. Rodale. p. 256. ISBN 978-1-59486-921-1.