Chuck Berry

No Particular Place to Go

Composed by Chuck Berry

Song Review by

Chuck Berry actually only served 18 months in jail in the early '60s, between February 1962 and October 1963, but his career was effectively derailed by the legal troubles that led up to his incarceration, dating back to the late '50s. By late 1963, Berry's music was serving as the basis for both the California surf music scene and the British rock scene that would soon engulf the U.S. Understandably, when he got to make his first records in two and a half years in early 1964, he went right back to having hits, placing five singles in the pop charts that year. The most successful of these was "No Particular Place to Go," a characteristic rocker that found the singer in a car with his girl by his side, once again reflecting on the joys of youth and driving. Berry's comic sense came out in the song's narrative, as the singer and his girl have their romantic plans foiled by a seat belt that won't open -- a typical metaphor from the lightly poetic songwriter. (And was it any accident that, late in the song, he referred to his car as a "calaboose" [i.e., a jail]?) Fronting a rhythm section, Berry played more guitar than usual, but "No Particular Place to Go" sounded a lot like his 1950s recordings, especially 1957's "School Days." At a time when the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, and Johnny Rivers were hitting the charts with his old songs, however, that only made "No Particular Place to Go" timely, and by July 1964, it was in the Top Ten -- Berry's first Top Ten hit in six years and his last one for eight. That same month, Jerry Lee Lewis covered it at a concert recorded for his The Greatest Live Show on Earth LP, released later in the year. But it has not earned as many cover versions as many of Berry's other songs; his followers seem to prefer his '50s work to the material he recorded in much the same style in the '60s. One exception is George Thorogood, who played "No Particular Place to Go" frequently in his shows and put it on his gold 1982 album Bad to the Bone.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
St. Louis to Liverpool 1964 Chess / Geffen / MCA 2:45
No Image 1976 Chess
The Great Twenty-Eight 1982 Chess 2:44
No Image 1983 Chess
Sweet Little Rock N Roller [Mercury] 1984 MCA 2:44
No Image 1986
Various Artists
MCA
Rockin' Down the Block, Vol. 1 1987
Various Artists
Special Marker 2:44
The Chess Box 1988 Chess 2:41
Let Me Hear Some of That Rock and Roll Music! 1989 Peter Pan (ISP) 2:41
History of Rock: The 60s, Pt. 5 1990
Various Artists
Collectables 2:44
James Dean: Tribute to a Rebel 1991
Various Artists
Compose Records / Peter Pan (ISP) 2:44
Car & Driver: Greatest Car Songs and Other Lost Treasures of the Road 1992
Various Artists
Compose Records 2:42
Rock 'N Roll Music [Charly] 1993 Charly Records
The Great Chuck Berry 1993 Goldies 2:43
No Image 1994 Hollywood/IMG
Stardust: Rock, Vol. 3 1994
Various Artists
Stardust Records 2:42
Chess Rhythm & Roll 1994
Various Artists
Chess / MCA 2:43
Vintage Collectibles, Vol.  6: 1958-1967 1995
Various Artists
Universal Special Products 2:42
Cruisin' 1996
Karaoke
Legacy 2:41
The Hit Box 1 1996
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:41
The EP Collection 1996 See For Miles Records
No Image 1996 Universal Distribution
Hot Rod: Rev It Up 1997
Various Artists
The Right Stuff / Capitol 2:40
His Best, Volume 2 1997 Chess 2:46
Shout [Coyote] 1997
Various Artists
Coyote Records 2:42
The Best of Chuck Berry [MCA #2] 1997 MCA 2:43
Wonderful Music of Chuck Berry 1998 Allegiance Records 2:43
Hot on the Highway 1998
Various Artists
2:43
Member's Edition 1998 AAO Music 2:39
Ultimate Legends of Rock 'N' Roll 1998
Various Artists
The Ultimate Music Collection 2:40
The Best Sixties Album in the World...Ever! [1998] 1999
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:41
Hot Rod Box Set 1999
Various Artists
The Right Stuff 2:43
Twin Best 1999 Chess
Hot Rods & Custom Classics 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:41
20th Century Masters - The Millennium Collection: The Best of Chuck Berry 1999 MCA / Universal 2:42
Hard Rock Cafe: Rockin' Down the Highway 1999
Various Artists
Rhino 2:42
The 60's Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2  [Box Set] 1999
Various Artists
Collectables
The Anthology 2000 Chess / Geffen 2:45
The Ultimate Collection [Universal] 2000 Universal International 2:44
The Ultimate Jukebox Hits of the '60s, Vol. 1 2001
Various Artists
Collectables 2:44
Jukebox Hits of the '60s [Collectalbes] 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:44
40 Years of Jukebox Hits: The 50's, 60's, 70's & 80's 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:44
Rock 'N' Roll Legends [Direct Source] 2003
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:40
History of Rock Box 2003
Various Artists
Collectables 2:44
Ultimate Legends: Chuck Berry 2003 United Multi License 2:41
Best of the 50's and 60's, Vol. 3 [United Audio] 2003
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:41
Pottery Barn: Summer Vibes 2003
Various Artists
Rock River Records
John Lennon's Jukebox 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:42
Best Air Guitar Album, Vol. 3 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:41
I Love Rock & Roll, Vol. 19 2004
Various Artists
Collectables 2:40
No Image 2004
Various Artists
Collectables
Hot Rod Cruisin' Classics 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:41
Chess Pieces: The Very Best of Chess Records 2005
Various Artists
Geffen / Universal 2:41
Greatest Hits [Silver Star] 2005 Silver Star Records 2:43
Universal Masters Collection 2006 MCA 2:44
The Definitive Collection 2006 Geffen/Chess 2:44
Driving Songs 2006
Various Artists
Virgin 2:41
The Chess Story 2006
Various Artists
Island
Sweet Little Sixteen 2006 Allegro Corporation
The Best of Chuck Berry [Direct Source] 2006 Direct Source 2:41
Rock Songs for the Open Road 2006
Various Artists
Direct Source 2:41
Most Famous Hits [DVD] 2006 St
Ultimate Chuck Berry 2007 UMVD 2:42
Yow 2007
Yow
Primo Records 2:47
Cavern: The Most Famous Club in the World 2007
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:41
Colour Collection 2007 Spectrum Music / Universal 2:43
Only the Best of the History of Rock the 60s 2007
Various Artists
Collectables 2:44
The Ultimate Collection, Disc 3 2007 Spectrum Music 2:42
No Image 2008 Bell
Rock 'N' Roll Legends 2008 Universal Distribution 2:43
Chuck Berry Is on Top/St. Louis to Liverpool 2008 Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab 2:46
Sweet Soul Music: 1964 2008
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:43
The Best of Chess Records 2008
Various Artists
Geffen / Chess / Universal-Island Records
No Image 2008 Universal / Universal Distribution 2:42
You Never Can Tell: The Complete Chess Recordings 1960-1966 2009 Hip-O Select 2:42
No Image 2009 Universal 2:43
Ultimate Collection: Dad 2009
Various Artists
Ultimate 2:43
A Complete Introduction to Chess 2010
Various Artists
Universal / Universal Distribution 2:41
Sixties: Collected 2010
Various Artists
USM 2:44
Icon 2011 Chess / Geffen 2:42
Rocks 2011 Bear Family Records 2:43
No Image 2013 Golden Sky Records 2:42
No Image 2013 Reloaded 2:44
No Image 2013 Reloaded 2:44
The Greatest Ever Rock 'N' Roll 2014
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 2:44
Rock and Roll Music: Any Old Way You Choose It 2014 Bear Family Records 2:43
Greatest Ever! Driving Songs [Union Square Music] 2015
Various Artists
Greatest Ever
Beach Party RTL Georges Lang 2015
Various Artists
WEA 2:41
Greatest Hits [10Ten Media] 2016 10Ten Media / Zebralution 2:40
20 Greatest Hits Black Tulip
300 Hits: Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing / Wienerworld 2:44
Back in the USA: The Best of Chuck Berry Gralin Music 2:41
No Image Universal 2:42
Best of the Blues: Chuck Berry - Blues Berry Éditions Atlas
Dreamboats and Petticoats: 10th Anniversary Collection
Various Artists
UMOD 2:42
Drive Time
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:44
No Image Tring
John Laws on Route 66-22 Legendary Driving Songs
Various Artists
Sony Music Distribution
Johnny B Goode
Various Artists
Bellevue Publishing 2:44
Just Go Wild over Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:44
Maybellene [ABM] ABM 2:44
No Image
Various Artists
Now!
On the Charts: 1948 to 1972 - Blues, Soul, R&B and Rock 'n Roll
Various Artists
AMC
No Image Fourmatt 2:44
Rock Around the Clock: Early Rock 'n' Roll Jukebox
Various Artists
Universal 2:43
No Image
Summer: Ultimate Collection
Various Artists
Ultimate
U.S. Top Hits of the 60's, Vol. 3
Various Artists
Success
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