Hmph. I’m getting a bit frustrated with this 10th Record project. Does my collection just suck? Do I need to do more digging and purchasing, inflate my collection a bit more to make sure that there’s more outta sight records to support endeavors like this?
I’ll combine my origin story on this with my write-up. I had pretty much overlooked Chuck Berry for most of my life; I thought I knew his songs, I knew covers of his songs, and I’d heard combinations of those two float in and out of commercials and movies in perpetuity. I didn’t really feel like there was much to explore there until I worked at a record shop where a co-worker frequently put on Berry’s “The Great 28” compilation, and I was able to push past those immediate hits and get into the juicier stuff. I loved the raw rock and roll sound and the great songwriting, there were so many great songs to discover. As I got deeper into the Beatles/Kinks/Rolling Stones catalogs, the Berry songs would keep bubbling up, helping me pay attention to not only those songs but the other covers that would fill in the gaps on those early LPs. While I’d buy my own copy of, say, a Larry Williams compilation inspired by those listens, I never got “The Great 28” since it was basically always around when I needed it.
Flashing forward many years later, when I pulled out my turntable and decided to rediscover music through a more intimate listening, I made a quick list of albums I knew I still needed to get in order to really make that listening sparkle. That list, sadly soon abandoned, had “The Great 28” on it, for sure. It wasn’t too long after that I saw a friend posting some records he was dumping, and seeing this record in the batch I was happy to get at least partially towards having some quality Chuck Berry in my collection. I wasn’t being very mindful at that point, and didn’t really scrutinize what was coming into my shelves. Oops!
Another 10th Record, and another record marred by fake stereo! This one’s pretty difficult to listen to, there’s so much echo that it sounds like Chuck Berry is recording in the shower (har-har) and the top and bottom ranges are just absolutely missing any definition. There’s just a big blur of bass and drum mess and no real guitar energy to speak of. I still haven’t replaced it with a better Chuck Berry album, but I’m sure I’ll find one soon.
This cheap reissue was put out by Pickwick, so the kid who grew up listening to Pickwick children’s (Mr. Pickwick!) and cheap reissue albums definitely felt my sore ears soothed a teeny bit by that little fragment of nostalgia. Otherwise, this should go in a garbage bin.