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Chess Pieces: The Very Best of Chess Records

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10/17/2005

Review

Although Chess Records is generally regarded as a blues label, the imprint, owned and run by brothers Leonard and Phil Chess, actually released a fair amount of R&B, early soul, gospel, nascent rock & roll, and the occasional jazz title, and as this powerful two-disc set shows, the range of classic music that came out of the label's Chicago studios in the 1950s and 1960s is pretty eye-opening. Included here are Elmore James' seminal "Dust My Broom," Clarence "Frogman" Henry's "Ain't Got No Home," the Jaynetts' eerie and delightful "Sally Go 'Round the Roses," Fontella Bass' "Rescue Me," Chuck Berry's "Maybellene" and "No Particular Place to Go," Bo Diddley's "Bo Diddley," and Dale Hawkins' "Susie-Q," and these tracks are just the tip of the iceberg. The brothers sold the label in 1969 to GRT, which promptly moved operations to New York City, effectively ending Chess Records' run as an important label. But a ton of great music was set down before that happened, and not all of it was blues. This is simply a great set, and revelatory as well. ~ Steve Leggett
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  1. # Track Artist Length
  2. 1 Rocket 88 Jackie Brenston & His Delta Cats 2:46
  3. 2 How Many More Years Howlin' Wolf 2:41
  4. 3 Juke Little Walter 2:42
  5. 4 Sugar Mama John Lee Hooker 3:11
  6. 5 Dust My Broom Elmore James 2:59
  7. 6 Reconsider Baby Lowell Fulson 3:8
  8. 7 Maybellene Chuck Berry 2:19
  9. 8 Bo Diddley Bo Diddley 2:43
  10. 9 Mannish Boy Muddy Waters 2:54
  11. 10 Don't Start Me to Talkin' Sonny Boy Williamson II 2:33
  12. 11 When the Lights Go Out Jimmy Witherspoon 2:49
  13. 12 (I'm Your) Hoochie Coochie Man Muddy Waters 2:49
  14. 13 My Babe Little Walter 2:38
  15. 14 Ain't Got No Home Clarence "Frogman" Henry 2:19
  16. 15 Smokestack Lightnin' Howlin' Wolf 3:5
  17. 16 Susie-Q Dale Hawkins 2:14
  18. 17 Walking by Myself Jimmy Rogers 2:46
  19. 18 Johnny B. Goode Chuck Berry 2:38
  20. 19 The Walk Jimmy McCracklin 2:45
  21. 20 Ten Commandments of Love Harvey & the Moonglows 4:2
  22. 21 Say Man Bo Diddley 3:10
  23. 22 I Just Want to Make Love to You Etta James 3:3
  24. 23 Rinky Dink Dave "Baby" Cortez 2:50
  25. 24 You Can't Judge a Book by Its Cover Bo Diddley 3:6
  26. 25 Mama Didn't Lie Jan Bradley 2:0
  27. 26 Sally Go 'Round the Roses The Jaynetts 2:56
  28. 1 Something's Got a Hold on Me Etta James 2:44
  29. 2 No Particular Place to Go Chuck Berry 2:40
  30. 3 Selfish One Jackie Ross 3:16
  31. 4 I Had a Talk with My Man Last Night Mitty Collier 3:41
  32. 5 High Heel Sneakers Tommy Tucker 2:47
  33. 6 Soulful Dress Sugar Pie DeSanto 2:48
  34. 7 Don't Mess Up a Good Thing Fontella Bass 2:58
  35. 8 Rescue Me Fontella Bass 2:51
  36. 9 The Entertainer Tony Clarke 2:33
  37. 10 We're Gonna Make It Little Milton 2:36
  38. 11 Sitting in the Park Billy Stewart 3:14
  39. 12 Wade in the Water Ramsey Lewis Trio 3:44
  40. 13 Searching for My Love Bobby Moore & the Rhythm Aces 2:28
  41. 14 Summertime Billy Stewart 4:54
  42. 15 Wang Dang Doodle Koko Taylor 2:59
  43. 16 Dirty Man Laura Lee 2:51
  44. 17 You Left the Water Running Maurice & Mac 2:39
  45. 18 Here Comes the Judge Pigmeat Markham 2:40
  46. 19 Woman of the Ghetto Marlena Shaw 5:57
  47. 20 I Am the Black Gold of the Sun Rotary Connection 5:38
  48. 21 Give Your Baby a Standing Ovation The Dells 4:35
  49. 22 Let Me Wrap My Arms Around You Solomon Burke 3:58

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