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The Chess Box

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Audio CD, July 19, 1990
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$45.00 $14.96

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Disc 1:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Bo Diddley 2:48$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. I'm A Man (Single Version) 3:00$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. You Don't Love Me (You Don't Care) 2:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Diddley Daddy 2:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Pretty Thing 2:50$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Bring It To Jerome (Alternate Take) 2:41$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Bring It To Jerome 2:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  8. Diddy Wah Diddy 2:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  9. I'm Looking For A Woman 2:33$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Who Do You Love 2:29$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen11. Down Home Special 3:13$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Hey! Bo Diddley 2:12$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen13. Mona 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Say! Boss Man 2:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen15. Before You Accuse Me (Take A Look At Yourself) 3:06$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen16. Say Man (Single Version) 3:13$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen17. Hush Your Mouth (Alternate Take) 3:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. The Clock Strikes Twelve 2:59$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen19. Dearest Darling (Alternate Take) 3:18$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Crackin' Up 2:06$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Don't Let It Go (Hold On To What You Got) 2:46$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen22. I'm Sorry 2:26$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen23. Mumblin' Guitar 2:49$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen24. The Story Of Bo Diddley 2:53$0.99  Buy MP3 

Disc 2:

Song Title Time Price
listen  1. She's Alright 4:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Say Man, Back Again (Alternate Take) 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Road Runner (Single Version) 2:49$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Spend My Life With You 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  5. Cadillac 2:47$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Signifying Blues (Extended Version) 4:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. Deed And Deed I Do 2:22$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  8. You Know I Love You 2:56$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  9. Look At My Baby 2:30$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen10. Ride On Josephine 3:03$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen11. Aztec 2:28$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen12. Back Home 2:29$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen13. Pills 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen14. Untitled Instrumental 2:23$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen15. I Can Tell 4:27$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen16. You Can't Judge A Book By It's Cover 3:14$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen17. Who May Your Lover Be 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen18. The Greatest Lover In The World 2:43$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen19. 500% More Man 2:55$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen20. Ooh Baby 2:50$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen21. Bo Diddley 1969 2:37$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 19, 1990)
  • Number of Discs: 2
  • Label: Chess
  • ASIN: B000002P8J
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,317 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

He's celebrated for the syncopated beat bearing his name that has spanned rock & roll's entire history. Unfortunately, his namesake also gets him mislabeled as a one-trick pony. This two-disc set does much to remedy the situation, tracking 1955 through 1968 and featuring all the hits. However, The Chess Box also displays Diddley's rock and blues versatility, from the reggae-ish (before there was reggae) "Crackin' Up" and the Who's onstage hard-rock anthem "Roadrunner" to the wonderful formerly U.K.-only "Greatest Lover in the World" and rock's first song about a junkie ("Pills," later revived by the New York Dolls). Most surprising is Diddley's beautiful yet previously unreleased doo-wop classic, "You Know I Love You." The excellent liner notes by MCA's primo compiler, Andy McKaie (with Diddley himself), and the late Robert Palmer add extra value to the package. --Bill Holdship


The extraordinary rhythmic sense of Ellas "Bo Diddley" McDaniel is evidenced on forty-five songs (classics and obscure gems alike) recorded between 1955 and 1969, one of the all-time peaks of creativeness in rock 'n' roll. The sides filling two discs in this handsome boxed set also show that the Mississippi native who was raised on Chicago's South Side has a guitar and voice acute in blues intonation and a penchant for lyrics that are barbed-wire sharp with irreverent humor. The accompanying twenty-two-page booklet includes a Robert Palmer essay, sessions details, and remembrances by Diddley. -- © Frank John Hadley 1993 -- From Grove Press Guide to Blues on CD

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
4 star
3 star
2 star
1 star
See all 13 customer reviews
Bo was one of the great founding fathers of rock and roll.
Johnny Heering
The packaging, booklet, and selection are all fantastic and it's a solid value.
Alistair McHarg
Bo Diddley is one of the most underrated rock and roll artist.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By J P Ryan on December 26, 2008
Format: Audio CD
Bo Diddley's 1990 "Chess Box" was a revelation to me when I first bought it 18 years ago. A longtime fan of great popular music, I'd loved the Stones, The Clash, Muddy Waters, Yardbirds, New York Dolls and Billy Stewart, to name just a handful of greats whose work was profoundly shaped by Mr Diddley. After forming his superb group during 1948 - 50, Bo & Co. (Jerome Green, Clifton James, Billy Boy Arnold) honed their chops and identity in Chicago clubs, and by 1954 were shopping demos to the likes of Edward Abnak at Vee Jay, who dismissed them. Undaunted, Bo soon visited the Chess brothers, who signed him to the label's Checker imprint. Checker issued Bo's first single early in 1955, when the artist was 26, and armed with one of rock 'n' roll's greatest singles, 'Bo Diddley'/'I'm A Man', the label had a smash on its hands. Bo's recording debut came out shortly before Chuck Berry's 'Maybelline' and nearly a year before Elvis made 'Jeartbreak Hotel' for RCA. Bo was no sex symbol, and he was not white, so unlike Elvis he never exuded the raw sexuality that had girls shrieking every time Presley hip-shaked, attaining near instant status as rock n' roll's first true icon and cultural lightning rod. More classic Bo Diddley singles were released later in 1955, with less dramatic success, setting a hit-and-miss pattern that continued for more than a decade. Yet Bo Diddley's influence exceeded his star power; he would never be the subject of a lavish reissue campaign, not even when Bo turned 60, 75, or passed the 50th anniversery of his recoding debut. Unlike bown-eyed-handsome-Chuck Berry Bo has never been considered marketable enough to warrant a terrific Hollywood tribute film shaped by a (in 1988) big-name director, Taylor Hackford along with music director Keith Richards.Read more ›
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Christopher Ingalls on July 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Forget Elvis Presley -- Bo Diddley is the king of rock and roll. The man behind the famous "shave and a haircut" beat opened the doors for raw, unbridled passion in rock and his influence is still felt every day. Not only does this stunning two-disc anthology cover the classics you already know ("Bo Diddley," "I'm A Man," "Bring It To Jerome," etc), it also spotlights some terrific obscure Bo cuts ("Pills," "Ride On Josephine"). Bo wasn't just known for the famous Bo Diddley Beat, either. The set also includes forays into ballads ("I'm Sorry"), blues ("The Clock Strikes Twelve," "Before You Accuse Me"), instrumental excursions ("Aztec") and some funky, quasi-Latin sounds ("Ooh Baby"). Despite the fact that his name is not nearly as well-known as his less-talented contemporaries, Bo Diddley's music deserves to be heard. Pick up a copy and discover the true beginnings of rock and roll.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Alistair McHarg on November 18, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
If you're unfamiliar with the great Bo Diddley, this is not the place to start. However, if you know some of his classics, and you want to dig deeper into the trademark groove, you couldn't do any better. The packaging, booklet, and selection are all fantastic and it's a solid value. Because Bo Diddley is one of rock's Founding Fathers, people forget that he's great fun, possesses a sly and irreverent wit, and has diverse musical interests. He also doesn't get enough credit for being a terrific singer. All the essential tracks are here, and plenty of great surprises. Too many standouts to mention except for one, I Can Tell - it sneaks up on you and just won't let go. Anyone who wears a cobra snake for a necktie is all right with me. Go for it.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on March 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Bo Diddley didn't invent the "shave and a haircut, two bits" rhythm, but he made it his own. The Bo Diddley beat was a prominent part of such classics as "Bo Diddley," "Mona," "Hush Your Mouth" and "Cadillac." Examples of the longevity of the Bo Diddley beat are numerous: Listen to the Johnny Otis Show's "Willie and the Hand Jive," The Strangeloves' "I Want Candy," the Who's "Magic Bus" or George Michael's "Faith" just to name a few.
But Diddley was no mere one-trick pony. Along with long-time maracas player Jerome Green, he created such classics as "I'm a Man," "Diddy Wah Diddy," "Who Do you Love," "Before You Accuse Me" and "Road Runner." In addition to being an inventive guitar player, Diddley was a prolific songwriter, writing all but four of the songs on this 45-song box set.
If you're on a budget you could get by with the 20-track "His Best: The Chess 50th Anniversary Collection." However, for sheer breadth the box set provides an excellent overview of one of rock's early pioneers and is the preferred place to start. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By J. E FELL on April 18, 2001
Format: Audio CD
I recommend you pick up this set quickly before it goes out of print. This 2 cd anthology is comprised of Bo Diddley's (vintage) Chess sides from 1955-68. I will start by saying right off he deserves a 3 cd set like Chuck Berry, Howling Wolf & Muddy Waters. The man was ahead of his time from designing his own guitars, to distortion filled solos and trash talking lyrics. His music is just as influential as Chuck Berry's but he is still criminally underrated. Bands such as the Rolling Stones, the Animals, the Yardbirds, Quicksilver Messenger Service, Eric Clapton, George Thorogood, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the New York Dolls have covered his songs. This does not include the thousands of bands who have lifted his "Bo Diddley Beat" for their own songs. The material here ranges from popular tunes such as "I'm A Man", "Who Do You Love" and "Mona" to killer blues tracks like "Before You Accuse Me". It includes autobiographical songs such as "The Story Of Bo Diddley" the braggadocio of "The Greatest Lover In The World" to his guitar instrumental prowess in "Aztec" and "Mumblin' Guitar". He even plays violin in "The Clock Strikes Twelve". In addition, there are a number of rare tracks and alternate takes. My favorites are too many to name but here a few; "Crackin' Up", "Road Runner", "Pills", "I Can Tell" and "You Can't Judge A Book By Its Cover." These sessions include such musicians as Jerome Green, "The Duchess", Otis Spann, Billy Boy Arnold, Willie Dixon, Lafayette Leake, and the Flamingos just to name a few.Read more ›
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