Chuck Berry – Have Mercy: His Complete Chess Recordings, 1969-1974

January 01, 1970

(Hip-O Select/Universal)


This last box in U Music’s Berry-at-Chess collection isn’t
as bold as the previous (You Never Can
l) or as predictable as its initial offering (Johnny B. Goode) but it’s a thriller from start to finish and
filled with surprises Phil Chess always said that Berry would return to the
label that made the duck walker a star and after three years at Mercury Records,
you can hear the slick haired guitarist tear into chunky blues (“Annie Lou”) and
boogie with country-buck aplomb as he does on cuts like “Tulane” and
“Have Mercy Judge.”


Pay as little attention as possible to “My Ding-A-Ling
(live)” and head instead to the additional concert cuts absent from the
original The London Chuck Berry Sessions featuring cats from The Faces and Traffic in Berry’s band. (Members of Steely Dan and Average
White Band play as well) From the pedal steel stretch of “Too Late” and
“I’m Just A Name” to cutting dust-funk instrumentals
“Woodpecker” and “Turn on the Houselights” (nice solo, Chuck) to the
6-minute poem “My Pad” that Berry reads to deep and tender poignancy,
the box is a shockingly stately and epic coda to the series.


“Christmas” “Fish & Chips” “I’m Just A Name” A.D. AMOROSI



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