Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Rock 'N' Roll Rarities
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Format: MP3 Music|Change
Price:$9.49
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on March 23, 2000
I bought this CD because of the songs I didn't already have: "Promised Land," "You Never Can Tell," "Run Rudolph Run," "It Wasn't Me," "County Line," "Oh Yeah," etc. All in all, 10 songs from this 20-song CD are on "The Great 28" package, but looky here: by "rarities" they mean alternate takes, stereo remixes, some chatter before songs--"take 15" "sho 'nuf?"--which makes this a nice companion to your hopefully sturdy Chuck Berry collection. There's a sequel to this album out there and I need that one now. Highly recommended!
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on December 1, 2004
There's something unsettling (and ultimately wonderful) about hearing a different version of a song that has been deeply set into your psyche. That's what this record is all about; listen to Chuck and the boys as they work out his immortal songs in the Chess studio.

Take "Sweet Little Sixteen" for example. That genre-defining guitar intro develops itself in fits and starts. A few more takes and we're in legend-territory, but right now we're just figuring stuff out. Compelling listening, to say the least.

Chuck Berry never realized that he was writing the soundtrack of a generation. Good thing, because that would have been too much pressure for one man to bear, don't you think?

My advice: Buy Anthology first. Fall in love with it. Then grab this and watch Mr. Berry sew the seeds of Rock 'n' Roll.
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on August 9, 2004
This CD is an essential addition to anybody building an already awesome Chuck Berry collection. The alternate takes and occasional brief outtakes on tunes like "Johnny B Good" just hit home his hepness, and the great (and way underappreciated) tunes like "Run, Rudolph, Run" and "Bye Bye Johnny" make this album an absolute pleasure to listen to. This is an absolutely solid collection of unique Chuck Berry music.

That said... if you are just becoming acquainted with Chuck Berry's music, this CD might not be the place to start. There are scores of Five-Star Chuck Berry albums out there, which will likely have you addicted to his legacy in no time. After you have sufficiently primed your ear with a few classic Chuck Berry albums, I advise you add this to your CD rack.

Bottom line, Chuck Berry is the coolest of the pioneering rockers! Don't grab just one Chuck Berry CD for your collection...one is not enough!
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on January 1, 2014
Some real gems on here like versions of "It Wasn't Me", Johnny B. Goode", "Time Was" and "Bye Bye Johnny" all exclusive to this collection. Great Stereo versions and out takes. Highly recommended.
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on October 13, 2006
even though these are different takes and whatnot, these sides are as good or better that the original issues -- remember that chuck berry didnt have first say which takes were to be released and ill put my money on Chuck Berry's taste or anothers decision rather than that of Leonard Chess or Phil Chess any day (these two brothers owned Chess Records who blatantly took advantage and/or ripped of artists along with most independent record label owners who did the same thing) --- (read Chess Records by Mike Rowe -- great book about Chess records with superb photos)
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on February 22, 2005
The main reason I got this CD was because next to the Chess Box, it is very hard to find "Run Rudolph Run" on any CD. I got this and listened to Chuck Berry put together all of his famous hits with flaws and originals. There is just an even mix of originals and different recordings. "Run Rudolph Run" is an original and some others are or are just stereo remixes, but close to original. This is a unique CD, and any Chuck Berry fan should get it.
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on July 6, 2013
Double vinyl album set capturing 20 rare and unreleased Chuck Berry songs on Chess Records. This albm was produced and remixed for this vinyl compilation by the audiophile master Steve Hoffman so you know that the sound is awesome!
This is really an exceptional compilation with some great late 50's and 60's rock n roll. Considering many of the tracks featured are unreleased or newly released versions the quality is superb.....there are no bad demo tracks on this set!
No question Chuck Berry was huge in his day and I would recommend this vinyl set to all lovers of rock! On Johnny B. Goode you can hear Chuck asking the keyboardist to lay off the "Rollover Beethoven" lick .....and then it kicks into a thrilling unreleased version of the tune!
One of my favourite Chuck Berry tracks "Promised Land" is presented here is stereo remised by Hoffman and its sounds like a fresh new song.
And just like the Hoffman : Ray Charles Dunhill Record releases, Steve worked directly with the artists and in this case Chuck Berry in both song selection and audio mastering.

Chuck Berry fans will need to own this compilation and Audiophiles will love this too "
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on April 5, 2012
I got my first compact disc player in 1984, just about when they first came out. Then I started looking for programming, but there wasn't much available. Some of the things that came on the market rather early were compilations of oldies but goodies. Well, I just loved the old fifties rock 'n' roll so I started picking up these CDs and one of them was Chuck Berry with "Rock 'n' Roll Rarities." Man this stuff was great! I was a bit of an audiophile and I worried that the old monaural recordings such as these might not sound good on my high-end stereo. No so! On most of the cuts, the sound is just excellent, but quality of recording varies quite a bit from cut to cut. In general, I'm quite satisfied, but it takes a bit of effort on the controls.

The songs are just great, but, of course, it's Chuck Berry. He's amazing! His music is more like country and it was not particularly enjoyed by African-Americans at the time. I heard Berry quizzed about this on a talk show one time and he said he wrote these songs because the white people liked them. Well he was spot on and goes down as a major, major figure in the history of rock 'n' roll. On most of these cuts, Berry is backed by his guitar, bass, piano and drums. The mix is quite different on the different cuts. This was not produced as an LP and probably has many different engineers on the different songs. When listening, see if you can't tune in on the piano player. It's worth it! See how ably he follows every Berry nuance. It's amazing! Be sure to follow Berry's guitar also. He's renounced as a guitar player! Gosh, I'm gushing. But if you like Chuck Berry, this is just a great album!

Gary Peterson
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on December 12, 2007
One of the greatest CD's to purchase to bring back memories of the 50's and Chuck Berry. Needs to be in every music lovers library. Excellent!
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on September 22, 2014
Victim of Amazon's sorting arrangement. If you're looking for the full chuck berry album, this isn't it...unless you value nostalgia over the full song and consider partially recorded tracks or chuck berry recording studio banter more valuable than the song. These take 1through 5 tracks were swept off the floor and assembled into a compilation and bumped to the top of a pandora induced amazon search for chuck berry. Extreme disappointment as your mind is expecting the next chord/verse/word only to be let down by the song trailing off into a jumble of noise and chatter.
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