Chuck Berry

The Latest and the Greatest/You Never Can Tell...

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The value of this two-for-one CD from England's Beat Goes On Records is greater than the sum of its parts -- most of the important tracks here can be found on either the Chuck Berry box or one of the individual MCA-Chess CDs, but they sound infinitely better here, in new late-'90s transfers, than they do on MCA's mid-'80s digital editions. And "good" in this case means they're clean but mean, crisp but raunchy, not like the over-cleaned up versions off of the Chess Box's first disc. The notes are a bit vague as far as the origins of the two LPs are concerned -- they were patchwork creations from recent singles and old U.S. album tracks, done specifically for the British market by Pye Records -- but the sound makes up for those shortcomings.

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