A pivotal catalyst in the formation of rock & roll, Chuck Berry welded beat poet lyrics to revved-up blues riffs and had an easy knack for spinning believable and universal narratives in his songs, all of which seemed to feature cars and motion. He sketched out a new kind of American music in the mid-'50s, and then almost single-handedly put the electric guitar at the center of it all. This 17-song set includes some absolutely immortal songs, including the iconic "Johnny B. Goode," the brilliant "No Particular Place to Go," the fluid and just slightly eerie "You Never Can Tell," and the classic in every way "Sweet Little Sixteen." There are more extensive single-disc sets on the market that include these songs and more, but what's here is indispensable, and that means every last note of it (well, maybe not "My Ding-A-Ling," even it was Berry's last big hit).
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett