Chuck Berry: After School Session 

Bluesmaster Berry's 1957 debut album is reissued, remastered, on 180g vinyl together with four bonus tracks


Originally released in May 1957, After School Session was the debut album for one of the inventors of rock ’n’ roll. It was only the second long-playing album from Chess Records (the first being a various-artists compilation, Rock, Rock, Rock). In line with its name, its main objective was to provide a soundtrack to Berry’s teen audience but also to capture the excitement of a live recording, in contrast to a more polished studio finish.

This impressively remastered 180g vinyl reissue provides original liner notes and features four additional bonus tracks from the same period including Rock & Roll Music, Thirty Days (To Come Back Home), Sweet Little Sixteen and Maybellene, the latter rising to number one on the US R&B charts back in 1955.

It also includes lesser-known tracks such as the instrumental blues Deep Feeling, the calypso-flavoured Havana Moon and other dance-inducing instrumentals such as Roly Poly and Berry Pickin’.

I imagine many jazz purists might turn a blind eye on Berry but his legacy and influence on American culture cannot be understated. His affinity with jazz was frequently recognised in Jazz Journal in the early 60s, often very favourably. Graham Boatfield thought him the best act in Jazz On A Summer’s Day. What better album of his to have on vinyl than his debut?

Schoolday (Ring Ring Goes The Bell); Deep Feeling; Too Much Monkey Business; Wee Wee Hours; Roly Poly; No Money Down; Maybellene; Rock & Roll Music (21.49) – Brown Eyed Handsome Man; Berry Pickin’; Together We Will Always Be; Havana Moon; Down Bound Train; Drifting Heart; Sweet Little Sixteen; Thirty Days (To Come Back Home) (21.49)
Berry (v, elg) with various musicians. Chicago, 1955-7.
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