Chuck Berry

No Particular Place to Go

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
No Image 1964 Chess
St. Louis to Liverpool 1964 Chess 2:44
No Image 1976 Chess
The Great Twenty-Eight 1982 Chess 2:42
No Image 1983 Chess
Sweet Little Rock N Roller [Mercury] 1984 MCA 2:44
Rock 'N' Roll Rarities 1986 Chess / Universal 2:40
No Image 1986
Various Artists
MCA 0:00
Rockin' Down the Block, Vol. 1 1987
Various Artists
Special Marker 2:44
Best of 60's Party Rock 1988
Various Artists
Priority Records
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 60's, Pt. 5 - WCBS FM 101 1990
Various Artists
Collectables 2:44
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
The Great Chuck Berry 1993 Goldies 2:43
No Image 1994 Highland Records
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 Multi Consign 2:41
The EP Collection 1996 See For Miles Records
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
Chart Toppers: Rock Hits of the 60s 1998 Priority Records 2:44
Wonderful Music of Chuck Berry 1998 Allegiance Records 2:43
A Child's Celebration of Dance Music 1998
Various Artists
Rhino 2:41
Hot on the Highway 1998
Various Artists
2:43
Member's Edition 1998 AAO Music
The Latest and the Greatest/You Never Can Tell... 1998 Beat Goes On 2:45
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
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
60's Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2: The History of Rock 1999
Various Artists
Collectables 2:44
The 60's Ultimate Collection, Vol. 2  [Box Set] 1999
Various Artists
Collectables
The Anthology 2000 MCA / Chess 2:44
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
Best of the 50's and 60's, Vol. 3 [United Audio] 2003
Various Artists
United Audio Entertainment 2:41
John Lennon's Jukebox 2004
Various Artists
EMI Music Distribution 2:42
20 Great Tracks 2004 EMI 2:43
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
No Image 2005 Legacy 2:40
Hot Rod Cruisin' Classics 2005
Various Artists
Legacy 2:41
Chess Pieces: The Very Best of Chess Records 2005
Various Artists
Universal International 2:42
Greatest Hits [Silver Star] 2005 Silver Star Records 2:43
Reelin' and Rockin': The Very Best of Chuck Berry 2006 Universal Distribution / Chess / Universal International 2:44
Universal Masters Collection 2006 MCA 2:44
The Definitive Collection 2006 Geffen / Chess 2:44
Kings of Rock & Roll 2006 Universal International 2:43
Driving Songs 2006
Various Artists
Virgin 2:41
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
Kings of Rock 'N' Roll 2006 Spectrum Music 2:43
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
The Best of Chuck Berry [Geffen] 2007 Geffen 2:42
No Image 2007 Universal Distribution 2:45
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 0:00
El Traje del Muerto 2008
Various Artists
Universal Distribution 2:44
You Never Can Tell: The Complete Chess Recordings 1960-1966 2009 Hip-O Select / Geffen 0:00
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
The Greatest Ever Rock 'N' Roll 2014
Various Artists
Bellevue / Wienerworld 2:44
Greatest Hits [10Ten Media] 2016 10Ten Media / Zebralution
100 Essential 60's
Various Artists
Universal 2:44
100 Essential Hits: 60s
Various Artists
Brunswick / Universal Music 2:42
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
No Image
Various Artists
Seven Days
Just Go Wild over Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Spectrum Music 2:44
Maybellene [ABM] ABM 2:44
Rock Around the Clock: Early Rock 'n' Roll Jukebox
Various Artists
Universal 2:43
No Image
The Hits That Rocked the Airwaves
Various Artists
Universal 2:43
Total 60s
Various Artists
Universal 2:42