In the 1950s everything was simple: Singles had to run two minutes or 2:30 the max. Albums were just a collection of singles plus some tracks too bad for a single release.
In the 1960s albums became an artistic concept on their own. Singles were selected from the album tracks. And because album tracks often became longer and longer, record companies edited album tracks down to a running time reasonable for radio stations to play. That was something in the area of 3 to 4 minutes. By the way: According to The History of the 45 RPM Record
, the longest 45 rpm track ever released was Bruce Springsteen's Incident on 57th Street
When collecting Chuck Berry records, you will find a couple of single edits. The most well-known is of course My Ding-A-Ling
which was 11:52 on the original album and cut down to 4:16 for the famous #1 single. Ding-A-Ling has been re-issued on CD multiple times, so getting both the album version and the single edit is easy. However, some single edits are quite rare to find and you need indeed get yourself the original 45 rpm single to listen to the shortened version.
Here's a table of tracks which have been edited to fit on a hit single. Not included are the many album tracks which have varying lengths on CDs or LPs due to different fades or space restrictions.
|Year||Song||Original album track||Shortened single track|
|1964||Chuck's Beat||10:36 on Two Great Guitars (Checker LPS-2991)||2:55 on Checker 1089|
|1964||Bo's Beat||14:04 on Two Great Guitars (Checker LPS-2991)||2:55 on Checker 1089|
|1969||It's Too Dark in There||3:53 on Concerto in B. Goode (Mercury SR-61223)||2:58 on Mercury 72963 (promotional release only)|
|1972||My Ding-A-Ling (live)||11:52 on The London Chuck Berry Sessions (Chess CH-60020)||4:16 on Chess CH-2131|
|1972||Johnny B. Goode (live)||4:38 on The London Chuck Berry Sessions (Chess CH-60020)||3:53 on Chess CH-2131|
|1972||Reelin' and Rockin' (live)||7:10 on The London Chuck Berry Sessions (Chess CH-60020)||4:19 on Chess CH-2136 (US version)|
4:30 on Chess 6145 020 (UK version)
2:42 on Durium LdA-7811 (Italian Jukebox version)
4:55 on Chess CH-25002 (French version, faded only, not edited)
|1973||Bio||4:21 on Bio (Chess CH-50043)||3:45 on Chess CH-2140 (US version only)|
full length in all other countries