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Download Fresh Berry's

by Chuck Berry
  • Release type: Album
  • Year: 1965
  • Tracks: 12
  • Duration: 29:37
  • Size, Mb: 41.36
  • Bitrate: MP3 192
  • Genre: Pop/Rock, R&B


The 26 songs here, recorded in 1964 and 1965, constituted the tail-end of Chuck Berry's first stay at Chess Records, which had begun a decade earlier with "Maybelline." This material slots into the same period as his appearance on the T.A.M.I. Show doing "Nadine"; little here is as well-known as "Nadine," but not because it isn't worth hearing. Apart from "It Wasn't Me" (featuring Mike Bloomfield and Paul Butterfield), none of these songs have been extensively anthologized, and all are among the least known of his work for Chess. And that is a pity, because it shows Berry -- amid the flurry of activity surrounding his songs, growing out of the British Invasion -- making a concerted effort to evolve his music in new directions. Whether it was the knowledge that the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and company had given his career a new lease on life, after the setbacks and jailings in the early '60s, or just a natural progression on his part, Berry seemed to take his lead from the Stones, moving toward a more self-consciously bluesy sound, drawing freely on such familiar fare as "Key to the Highway" (on "I Got a Booking") and "St. Louis Blues," and writing in a more distinctly blues idiom. He still tried for a rock sound on occasion, as on "His Daughter Caroline," "You Came a Long Way from St. Louis," and "Dear Dad," a car song that borrows its break from "Too Pooped to Pop" but sounds like a throwback here. There are a couple of good but unexceptional instrumentals (nothing like his dizzying work on Two Great Guitars or Concerto in B Goode), and even a couple of Latin-flavored pieces like on the older albums, but the music and the performances are all tighter and leaner, and the singing more mature, and all of it just a tiny bit slowed down so that the listener could luxuriate in the playing. Berry had no way of knowing it then, especially as these albums didn't really sell all that well, but he did provide inspiration for the next wave of rock musicians, specifically with "I Want to Be Your Driver," which Bob Dylan used as his jumping-off point for "Obviously Five Believers" from Blonde on Blonde. These records didn't sell well and weren't played that often, and evidently MCA in the U.S. hasn't even considered reissuing them domestically, so for most listeners, this CD will amount to newly discovered prime Chuck Berry. The sound is clean but loud, the textures rough and raunchy, and the notes reasonably informative.

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