St. Louis to Liverpool
Like all pre-’65 rockers, Chuck Berry was mostly known as a great rock ’n’ roll singles artist—but he also assembled albums of surprisingly excellent quality. It was fairly customary at the time for albums to just feature a few strong singles, with the remaining space filled with tracks that stayed true to the genre at hand without worrying much about inspiration. Yet Berry was a competitive man. In 1964, as he saw The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and other British groups covering his songs while introducing the world to their take on American rock ’n’ roll, Berry opted to grab as many of their fans as he could. The first "side" here is packed with stellar Berry tracks like “Little Marie” (the sequel to “Memphis, Tennessee”), “No Particular Place to Go,” “Promised Land,” and “You Never Can Tell,” which future rock bands would add to their repertoires. The remaining tunes are more obscure, like the instrumentals “Liverpool Drive” and “Night Beat” and the underrated “Go Bobby Soxer” and “Brenda Lee.” This album proves that Berry could put together as solid, if not better, an album as any other rock ’n’ roller.