The Chuck Berry International Directory
by Morten Reff is becoming the most comprehensive and the most complete reference work for any serious Chuck Berry collector.
Volumes 1 and 2 of 2008
have 1,000 pages describing each and every Chuck Berry record issued in the U.S., in the U.K., or in any other country. The combined 19 chapters also covered bootlegs, movies, TV shows, books and much much more.
Now there is Volume 3 presenting chapter 20 which has 600 pages on its own. This issue of the Chuck Berry International Directory
lists and describes all those records where some other artist recorded their own version of a Chuck Berry song.
Paul McCartney's Yesterday
is said to have been recorded in 2,200 cover versions. Berry's Johnny B. Goode
must come on one of the next places as Morten Reff here lists 648
recorded versions. And from this book we learn that McCartney and the Beatles made one of them. In addition the Beatles recorded and officially released 16 further Berry covers, while the Stones only have 11.
Morten Reff included just the official releases, not counting any bootlegs or such. Still then, the book lists more than 2,400 artists having recorded one or more Berry songs.
In contrast to the Beatles which besides Yesterday
don't have many songs covered that much (if you excluded tribute bands), it's highly interesting to learn that almost 20 Berry songs have been covered at least 100 times, with Memphis
and Sweet Little Sixteen
following Johnny B. Goode
on the list.
As with the other lists, Reff included much more than just dates and catalog numbers. There's a short paragraph for each artist and for most of the recordings there's one or more additional paragraphs describing the recording or its use. Photo pages present the most interesting sleeves.
Again this has been a tremendous amount of work. It is a fun to browse thorough it or look up famous artist's names. I wish there had been an index over song titles as well so one could look up those who recorded Beautiful Delilah
, for instance. But according to the author this index had to wait for Volume 4 due early next year. The size of the book at more than 600 pages did not allow putting it in.
As with the other volumes of this series there's only one recommendation: Hurry up and get you one! Here's some shops: Click here!