This 2004 Universal CD reissue gives us all 12-tracks of Chuck Berry's November 1964 stereo album "St. Louis To Liverpool" issued on Chess LP 1488 in the USA - bolstered up with 3 bonus tracks (40:23 minutes). Erick Labson of Universal has digitally remastered all 15 songs from the 1st generation Stereo and Mono master tapes - and a wonderfully warm job has been done.
The 16-page booklet exactly reproduces the lovely full-colour front sleeve on Page 1 with its rear sleeve on the last page of the inlay - in between is a new essay on the album by noted reviewer BUD SCOPPA with the original liner notes also reproduced on Page 8 and 9. There's session details, reissue credits and even the blue and white Chess label of the original LP is pictured under the see-through tray - all nice touches and great attention to detail.
But the real good stuff starts with the songs and the SOUND. Unlike the rough and ready debut "After School Session" from 1957 (also in this series), this album has the muscle of STEREO and what a punch it packs! "No Particular Place To Go" is simply fantastic - fun, in your face and rockin' - packing all the wallop you'd expect from a truly great Chuck Berry song but with that great extra muscle in the reproduction.
As with "After School Session" - it's also wonderful to hear Berry's songs again in their original inspiring form and realise what an astonishing influence for good Chuck and his music has been. When you think of every garage band, every bedroom poser, every guitar maestro on the planet and how they all cut their teeth on Chuck Berry songs at some point in their careers - his influence has been little short of World changing. The brevity, the wit and cleverness of the lyrics, the infectiousness of the beat - its all here! Catch a snippet of "You Never Can Tell" with its irresistible piano and brass fills - fabulous stuff!
A fantastic listen then and an important and timely reissue. Start your journey to the dark side here children - and remember - best not tell your parents the reason for said joy - ROCK 'n' ROLL!!
PS: It should also be noted that this issue is part of the "ROCK 'N' ROLL 50th ANNIVERSARY EDITION" Series issued in 2004 by Universal in the USA. 'Rock 'N' Roll 50th Anniversary Edition' is a secondary series title and is displayed vertically on the side inlay beneath the see-through tray of each release, but unfortunately, if you try to search databases for ANY titles under this moniker, it doesn't recognize the 'name' at all. For those interested - the series includes:
1. "After School Session" by CHUCK BERRY (1958 debut LP on Chess, see REVIEW)
2. "St. Louis To Liverpool" by CHUCK BERRY (1964 STEREO LP on Chess, see REVIEW)
3. "The Chirping Crickets" by THE CRICKETS (their 1957 debut LP featuring BUDDY HOLLY, see REVIEW)
4. "Bo Diddley Is A Gunslinger" by BO DIDDLEY (1960 STEREO LP on Checker, see REVIEW)
5. "Rock Around The Clock" by BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS (ground-breaking 1955 LP on Decca, see REVIEW)
6. "Buddy Holly" by BUDDY HOLLY (1958 1st solo LP on Coral, see REVIEW)
7. "Rock, Rock, Rock! - From The Motion Picture" by THE MOONGLOWS, CHUCK BERRY and THE FLAMINGOS (1956 1st Chess LP - a Rock'n'Roll Soundtrack - see REVIEW)
There is also a pictorial display of all 7 in LISTMANIA (in Amazon)
I bought all 7 of these titles and I can't recommend them enough - each album remastered, colour artwork lovingly restored and each bolstered up with 3 to 5 relevant releases from the time (many previously unreleased). Fans of Haley, Holly, The Crickets, Berry, Diddley and Rock'n'Roll in general should quickly acquire all of these exemplary CDs. They make for the best basis of a collection in a minefield of lesser compilations.