.
http://assets-s3.rollingstone.com/assets/images/album_review/4f2d32286a893316a205cce177c81eed1ea617a0.jpg Have Mercy: The Complete Chess Recordings 1969-1974

Chuck Berry

Have Mercy: The Complete Chess Recordings 1969-1974

Hip-O Select
Rolling Stone: star rating
Community: star rating
5 3 0
May 24, 2010

How's this for weird? Chuck Berry's only Number One pop single was not "Maybellene" or "Johnny B. Goode." It was the naughty 1972 cheeseball "My Ding-A-Ling." That freak smash, recorded live at a show in England, unfairly defined Berry's last years at Chess, during which he made solid cruising-rhythm records with electric-country overtones such as 1971's San Francisco Dues and 1973's Bio. This four-CD collection opens with Berry's last great original song, the 1970 gallop "Tulane." His observations on the hippie youth explosion ("San Francisco Dues") lack the wit and malt-shop argot of his Fifties hits. But amid the covers and live remakes of his classics, Berry plays a lot of masterful guitar. The studio instrumental "London Berry Blues" is six prime minutes of choked riffs and fluid blues lines with that unmistakable tart treble — recorded two days after "My Ding-A-Ling."

prev
Album Review Main Next

ADD A COMMENT

Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...

COMMENTS

Sort by:
    Read More
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.

    X

    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “American Girl”

    Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

    It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

    More Song Stories entries »
    www.expandtheroom.com