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Rockin' at the Hops
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Album: Rockin' at the Hops
# Song Title   Time
1)    Bye Bye Johnny
2)    Worried Life Blues
3)    Confessin' the Blues
4)    Too Pooped To Pop
5)    Mad Lad
6)    I Got To Find My Baby
7)    Betty Jean
8)    Childhood Sweetheart
9)    Broken Arrow
10)    Driftin' Blues
11)    Let It Rock
 

Album: Rockin' at the Hops
# Song Title   Time
1)    Bye Bye Johnny
2)    Worried Life Blues
3)    Confessin' the Blues
4)    Too Pooped To Pop
5)    Mad Lad
6)    I Got To Find My Baby
7)    Betty Jean
8)    Childhood Sweetheart
9)    Broken Arrow
10)    Driftin' Blues
11)    Let It Rock
 
Product Description
Product Details
Performer Notes
  • Personnel includes: Chuck Berry (vocals, electric guitar), L.C. Davis (tenor saxophone), Matt Murphy (electric guitar), Johnnie Johnson (piano), Willie Dixon (acoustic bass), Fred Below, Eddie Hardy (drums).
  • Reorded in Chicago, Illinois between July 1959-April 1960. Includes original album liner notes, and new notes by Bob Schnieders.
  • The two classic cuts that bookend this album should be enough to attract the uninitiated -- Berry at his best wrote danceable little "vest-pocket" screenplays dealing with teen life, of which "Bye Bye Johnny" and "Let It Rock" were two of his best; but because they've been so heavily anthologized, those two cuts don't have the pulling power here that they would have had 40-some years back. So get this record for everything else that's on it -- Rockin' at the Hops not only has no filler, but it's chock full of records that show off a bluesy side of Berry's output that was never fully appreciated at the time. His version of Big Maceo's "Worried Life Blues" shows how good a bluesman Berry might've been had he been more the Muddy Waters-type player and singer that Chess had been looking for; "Down the Road a Piece," a song written by Don Raye (of "Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy" fame), is a lost Berry single that could've rated right up there with "Roll Over Beethoven," except that its roadhouse ambience and story line were more mature than a lot of kids might've embraced in 1959; and Walter Brown's "Confessin' the Blues" and "Driftin' Blues" fit into the same category, Berry the adult bluesman rather than the teen-oriented teaser. "Childhood Sweetheart" is a sequel to "Wee Wee Hours," Berry's very first blues side, lifting a fragment or two from Elmore James' "Dust My Broom" for its guitar break. "Too Pooped to Pop" and "Betty Jean," by contrast, are a pair of enjoyably upbeat rock & roll numbers, each featuring uncharacteristic elements, a sax solo on the former, and a male chorus on the latter; in between them is "Mad Lad," an instrumental that presents Berry drifting into what would later be defined as a surf guitar mode -- a quicker tempo would have done it (and does anyone want to bet that a young Carl Wilson didn't wear out a copy or two listening to this track?). ~ Bruce Eder
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