Recently an unnamed Chuck Berry fan collected what he called ‚ÄěThe Ultimate Collection of Hard-to-find Rarities, Live Performances, Demos & Out-Takes‚Äú. I don‚Äėt know who this fan is, but I know for a fact that he/she follows the articles in this blog closely.
Probably, this privately-made collection has been made available on one of the typical bootleg sites. For some time, privately-made CD copies of this collection were sold by an American bootlegger on ebay using the album name ‚ÄěSuch A Sight To See ‚Äď Vol. 1‚Äú. There are other Volumes containing all kinds of live performances. The bootleg CDs have a printing ‚ÄúMade in Japan‚ÄĚ and a barcode (all the same), which are intended to make them look ‚Äúofficial‚ÄĚ.
We do not encourage to buy bootlegs as we believe that music creators (artists, musicians, studios, labels) deserve a fair compensation for creating the work we all enjoy. However, we would like to encourage Bear Family and similar re-issue labels to take this collection as a pattern of what urgently needs to be re-released soon.
On the first two CDs of this collection, the creator included 55 (53) studio recordings by Chuck Berry. All follow a simple rule: they have been released in the past before but were omitted from the omnibus Rock And Roll Music - Any Old Way You Choose It
(Bear Family BCD 17273 PL, 2014). Which tells us that if Bear Family would have included just two more CDs in their 16-CD boxset, they‚Äôd had indeed made the ‚Äėultimate‚Äô Berry collection.
Many of the tracks are from the out-of-print HIP-O-Select boxsets, some are from other CDs and records and were missing even on these ‚Äúcomplete‚ÄĚ sets. All have been discussed on this site before. One should note, though, that some of these tracks are omitted from the Bear Family set by intention e.g. because of the poor sound quality (Go Go Go, Top Gear tracks). Anyway, they are ‚Äúout there‚ÄĚ and thus missing.
The collector‚Äôs effort in combining the missing recordings is worth to be repeated here for all of you who would like to know what they missed when buying the Bear Family box. Thus here it is (with a few corrections from me):
1. La Jaunda (EP Version) ‚Äď We prefer the spelling La Juanda because this is what Chuck sings.
2. Rock and Roll Music (Alternate Take)
3. Sweet Little Sixteen (Original Demo ‚Äď Longer Ending) ‚Äď nowadays considered to be Take 1.
4. Sweet Little Sixteen (Take 3 )
5. Sweet Little Sixteen (Take 8 ) ‚Äď which in fact is a combination of Take 11 and Take 13.
6. Sweet Little Sixteen (Take 11 )
7. Sweet Little Sixteen (Master ‚Äď Original Speed)
8. Night Be At (Take 3 ) ‚Äď correct title is Night Beat, of course.
9. Time Was (Take 4 )
10. Reelin‚Äô And Rockin‚Äô (Take 1 )
11. Reelin‚Äô And Rockin‚Äô (Take 7 )
12. Reelin‚Äô And Rockin‚Äô (Take 8 )
13. Johnny B. Goode (Take 1 )
14. Johnny B. Goode (Take 2 )
15. Johnny B. Goode (Take 3 )
16. Around And Around (Overdub ‚Äď Take 2 )
17. Around And Around (Overdub ‚Äď Take 3 )
18. Ingo (Overdub ‚Äď Take 3 )
19. Beautiful Delilah (Takes 15 & 16 )
20. 21 (Take 14 )
21. Carol (Alternate Piano Overdub 1 )
22. Carol (Alternate Piano Overdub 2 )
23. Anthony Boy (Take 6 )
24. Sweet Little Rock ‚ÄėN‚Äô Roller (Take 5 )
25. Merry Christmas Baby (Album Version)
26. Little Queenie (Take 8 )
27. Do You Love Me (Alternate Take)
28. Almost Grown (Take 14 )
29. Almost Grown (Take 28 )
30. Blue on Blue (Take 3 )
31. Betty Jean (Take 14 )
32. Betty Jean (Take 17 )
33. Childhood Sweetheart (Alternate Take)
34. I Just Want to Make Love to You (Take 3 )
35. Broken Arrow (Take 21 )
36. Let It Rock (Alternate Mix)
37. Too Pooped To Pop (Take 4A )
38. Go Go Go (Alternate Take)
39. Nadine (Stereo Remix)
(40.) The Little Girl From Central (Stereo) ‚Äď the stereo version IS in the Bear Family box, though.
41. O Rangutang (No Fade)
(42.) Big Ben Blues (Stereo) ‚Äď likewise also this stereo version is not missing in Bear Family‚Äôs set.
43. Promised Land (Stereo Remix)
44. No Particular Place To Go (Stereo Remix)
45. Little Marie (Stereo Remix)
46. I Want To Be Your Driver (Stereo Remix)
47. Nadine (BBC Top Gear) ‚Äď these three are from BBC Radio 1965
48. Promised Land (BBC Top Gear)
49. No Particular Place To Go (BBC Top Gear)
50. Oh Captain (Original Unsynched)
51. YMCA Radio Spot
‚Äď‚Äď‚Äď missing here is the NAPRA Radio Spot of 1975
52. Ridin‚Äô Along In My GTI
53. Go Shabba Go (With Shabba Ranks)
54. Independence Air Commercial
55. Independence Air Safety Briefings
Congratulations to the collector for this next-to-complete list. Along with the Bear Family set this combines every surviving studio recording ever made by Chuck Berry (except for the late Dualtone release and a couple of TV and radio studio recordings).
Thus a request to Bear Family and the other labels: This is what collectors would like to be able to buy legally!