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The Great Twenty-Eight

4.7 out of 5 stars 58 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 25, 1989
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Editorial Reviews

Chuck Berry Biography Chuck Berry's vast contribution to the music world is reflected in the plaudits he has won from many of the most well known artists who followed him. As a songwriter, guitarist and performer, he shaped rock and roll and has more than earned his place in the Top 5 of the Rolling Stone list of The Immortals. In 2004 six of his songs found their way onto the magazine's list of The 500 Greatest Songs... Chuck Berry is still alive. Sixty years ago, he invented rock 'n' roll. He all but vanished. He still plays, though. Even records new material. But not for us. . . . He was maybe six, maybe seven when he found his father's perpetual-motion machine Friction. It didn't work. But the son chuck Berry made something that's still going. You still hear it today, One of the first records he made was tucked away inside the Voyager spacecraft, chosen to represent humanity itself to the cosmos, and that spacecraft is now somewhere way out there, on the edge of the solar system, barreling through the frictionless vacuum. So he succeeded where his father failed. He created something that will go on forever. Chuck Berry invented rock 'n' roll. Okay, nobody invented rock 'n' roll. It's a patchwork of blues and country and folk, and it's more than that, too. Chuck Berry's music wasn't totally anything. His first single, "Maybellene," was built out of an old white hillbilly country song, then fed through the blender of Berry's guitar and Willie Dixon's bass until something entirely new poured out. And whatever that was, that new sound, that white-black hybrid, Berry ran with it, and the rest of the world did, too. There's no arguing that the songs that Berry wrote in the mid-1950s - songs like "Johnny B. Goode," "Sweet Little Sixteen," and "Roll Over Beethoven" - are the bedrock substrates underlying pretty much everything we now call rock 'n' roll. "If you tried to give rock 'n' roll another name," he said, "you might call it Chuck Berry."
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 25, 1989)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: MCA
  • ASIN: B000002Q61
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (58 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #51,087 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
For someone on a budget who is interested in the music of this legendary artist, look no further than this single disc album. The sound and track selection here are excellent. Anyone interested in early Rock 'N Roll needs to have at least one Chuck Berry album in their collection and you can't go wrong here. For those of you have a few extra dollars around, I strongly suggest 2 disc set, "Anthology 2"; or upgrade even further to the 3 disc "The Chess Box" set. "The Box Set" can easily be considered one of the foundations of rock n roll & the Mt Olympus of Chuck Berry collections.
****July 2006 Update. The release of the "Definitive Collection" now puts "Great Twenty-Eight" in the #2 slot. "Definitive Collection" has every track included here (in basically the same order), but includes two more tracks: "Promised Land" & "My Ding-A-Ling". So if you're budget dictates a single disc album purchase, "Definitive Collection" should be your choice.
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Format: Audio CD
Some of the newer "remastered" packages have better sound quality, but if you are looking for a restrospective sampling of some of the best "roots of rock n roll" music ever, this might well be it. 28 songs on one cd, I mean you will feel like you have died and gone to Chuck Berry heaven. The full staple of hits is here, including some gems little heard. My favorites next to the ones everyone knows would be "30 Days"...a real cookin classic and "Nadine". This version of "Roll Over Beethoven" is simply the best ever done...not many songs will give a person goose bumps or send a shiver down the spine, but this is one of those....absolutely fantastic! It is no wonder so many of the world's greatest rock n roll groups were influenced by Mr. Berry...he had the soul to make rock n roll great.
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Format: Audio CD
We've waited a long time for a stellar one-CD set of Berry's music, and this is it! The sound quality is very good, there are no live versions (which mar other Berry "greatest hits" packages), and there is nothing but great music here.
It's a shame that Chuck Berry is not universally recognized as one of the greatest rock lyricists and most innovative figures. This CD will convince even skeptics of his brilliance. Without Chuck Berry, there would be no Beatles, Rolling Stones or Kinks, or at least in the forms they eventually took.
This CD contains all of Berry's original recordings, pristine and beautifully remastered. Who can deny that his way with words was umatched: "He never, ever learned to read or write so well, but he could play a guitar just like a-ringing a bell..." It's a tragedy that most people have grown up listening to inferior musicians do paltry cover versions of the songs Berry wrote and performed better than anyone else.
This set is an absolutely essential component of any collection, of any genre. Chuck Berry was a pioneer with words and music and his influence is sorely underestimated today. Had Chuck Berry been born white, he would be regarded as a rock God instead of being neglected and virtually forgotten in many circles. These 28 magnificent songs just about cover his catalogue of hits. This is a great sampling, but incomplete, so if you want to experience Berry's real genius, branch off into his lesser known songs. But for the money, this one rocks!
1 Comment 12 of 13 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
This is the definitive single disc Chuck Berry compilation. The title says it all. It contains 28 great songs. Not necessarily Chuck's "greatest" songs, but great nonetheless. "You Never Can Tell" is unquestionably one of Chuck's greatest songs, and it's not here. But, c'est la vie. The songs that they do include are great, so I won't complain. Highly recommended.
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Format: Audio CD
In October of 2006 Chuck Berry will be 80 years old. Of the founders of rock `n' roll, he is today the one whose honor and esteem is most out of whack with his actual contributions. By any standards, Chuck Berry is one of the founding titans of rock. Musically, he contributed more than any other of the original inductees into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Elvis put rock `n' roll on the map, but Chuck is the one who drew it. Before Bob Dylan and the rash of great rock `n' roll song writers to spring up in the wake of Beatlemania, Chuck Berry was hands down the finest rock songwriter, with the lone exception of his equal Buddy Holly. It is only a slight over implication to state that most rock since Berry has been a variant of his original adaptation of rhythm and blues. And lyrically Berry was the most gifted lyricist before the advent of Bob Dylan. Of all the rock and roll performers, Berry was the easiest to understand when he sang, precisely pronouncing every word and for a very good reason: they were good words. Indeed, his diction was so superb that his earliest listeners refused to believe that he was a black man; they were convinced he was white. Chuck Berry has long been criticized for his lack of involvement in the Civil Rights movement and for reinforcing some negative images of black males, but by presenting himself as an undeniably intelligent and gifted black at a time when many whites were denying that blacks were as intelligent was itself an important contribution. Besides, working as a black crossover artist he was sometimes able to get his own back by subtle messaging. We all know, for instance, that in "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" he wasn't really talking about eye color.Read more ›
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