Personnel includes: Chuck Berry (vocals, guitar, steel guitar); Otis Spann, Johnnie Johnson (piano); Willie Dixon (bass); Fred Below, Japer Thomas, Ebby Hardy (drums).
Recorded in Chicago, Illinois. Originally released on ChessLP (1426).
Featuring a motley assortment of tunes recorded in 1955 and 1956, Chuck Berry's first Chess LP (released in 1957) could have also been titled THE MANY MOODS OF BERRY. Featuring three superior instrumentals ("Deep Feeling," "Roly Poly," "Berry Pickin'"), the moody Charles Brown-like "Wee Wee Hours," the proto-doowop "Together (We'll Always Be)" and the rock 'n' roll anthem "School Days," this classic Chicago production demonstrates Berry's professional versatility. The great songwriter leaves no bet uncovered in his first bid for pop universality, venturing so far as to offer the country-flavored "Downtown Train" right after the Latin-tinged "Havana Moon," (the witty inspiration for the far cruder "Louie, Louie"). If you close your eyes, you can even imagine a little Hawaiian exotica infusing "Deep Feeling," even more so on "Drifting Heart" which ends this all-American panorama on a genuinely lyrical note. Secret ingredient: the essential piano work of Berry's close collaborator Johnnie Johnson.