Sunday, May 27, 2012

after school session

It took two years for Chuck Berry to finally release his first album of archetypal rock and roll. Many of the songs on 'After School Session' had been recorded and released as singles well before the album came out. It was only the second long player released by the small independent Chess label. Leonard and Phil Chess produced the material during only six seminal sessions at their Chicago studios. Berry's distinctive guitar style was already fully formed and these originals provided a template for the future of rock and roll music. The sessions also included Johnnie Johnson and Otis Spann on piano; Willie Dixon on bass; Jimmy Rogers on guitar; Jerome Green on maracas; L. C. Davis on tenor saxophone; and Fred Below, Jasper Thomas, and Ebby Hardy on drums.

'School Days' AKA 'School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell)' was one of the last songs recorded for the album in January of 1957. It went to number three on the pop chart and number one on the R&B chart.

Berry even raps in 'Too Much Monkey Business' which was recorded in April of 1956. It went to number four on the R&B chart that same year.

The bluesy 'Wee Wee Hours' went to number ten on the R&B chart. It was the b-side to the R&B number one single (and pop number five) 'Maybellene' and both were recorded in May of 1955 and released in July of that year. 

'No Money Down' was recorded in December of 1955. It went to number eight on the R&B chart.

'You Can't Catch Me' was featured in the film 'Rock, Rock, Rock' and inspired John Lennon in his composition of 'Come Together'. 

'After School Session' 
full album:

All songs written and composed by Chuck Berry. 

Side One
1. "School Days"   2:43
2. "Deep Feeling"   2:21
3. "Too Much Monkey Business"   2:56
4. "Wee Wee Hours"   3:05
5. "Roly Poly (aka Rolli Polli)"   2:51
6. "No Money Down"   2:59
Side Two
1. "Brown Eyed Handsome Man"   2:19
2. "Berry Pickin'"   2:33
3. "Together (We Will Always Be)"   2:39
4. "Havana Moon"   3:09
5. "Downbound Train"   2:51
6. "Drifting Heart"   2:50
Bonus Tracks
1. "You Can't Catch Me"   2:44
2. "Thirty Days (To Come Back Home)"   2:25
3. "Maybellene"   2:19

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