In the firmament of rock ‘n’ roll’s first-generation creators, no artist looms larger than Chuck Berry. In a consistently innovative recording career that spanned more than 60 years, the iconic singer-songwriter-guitarist, who passed away on March 18, 2017, laid much of the groundwork for modern rock ‘n’ roll, while creating some of rock’s most distinctive and enduring anthems, from “Johnny B. Goode” to “Roll Over Beethoven,” “Rock and Roll Music” to “Reelin and Rockin’,” and many more.
Geffen/UMe will pay tribute to the immortal spirit of Chuck Berry, who would have turned 91 last month, with the ultimate vinyl version of his landmark greatest hits compilation, The Great Twenty-Eight, as it celebrates its 35th anniversary, with The Great Twenty-Eight: Super Deluxe Edition. On December 15, the album will be released as a limited edition five-disc box set on ‘Chess Blue’ vinyl, limited to only 500 copies worldwide and available exclusively via UDiscoverMusic.com. A wide release standard black vinyl edition will be available next year on January 26, 2018.
Housed in a textured box, the Super Deluxe Edition will complement the original two-LP, 28-song compilation with an additional LP, More Great Chuck Berry, containing 14 more hits, rarities and B-sides missing from the original, as well as a rare live album, Oh Yeah! Live in Detroit, available on vinyl for the first time. The collection will also include a newly created bonus ten-inch EP Berry Christmas, featuring four holiday-themed classics on “Rudolph-Red” vinyl, with one song on vinyl for the first time as well.
Berry’s classic recordings for Chicago’s seminal Chess label have been extensively anthologized in the CD era. But for many Berry devotees, the two-LP vinyl collection The Great Twenty-Eight remains both a sentimental favorite and a definitive document of Berry’s musical genius. It’s no wonder that The Great Twenty-Eight was ranked number 21 on Rolling Stone‘s “500 Greatest Albums of All Time,” the highest-ranking hits compilation on that list. For those interested in the original 28-track edition of The Great Twenty-Eight, it is now back in print in its original two-LP format for the first time since its initial release in 1982.
The Great Twenty-Eight: Super Deluxe Edition also includes a handsome 12″ x 12″ book featuring a special introductory essay by Keith Richards, a new essay by best-selling author and SiriusXM host Alan Light, complementing Michael Lydon’s liner notes from the original version of The Great Twenty-Eight, and reminiscences from DJ Lee Alan, plus complete U.S. single, album and EP discographies. The text is enhanced by reproductions of Berry’s original LP cover art and rarely-seen photographs.
As Light writes, “When The Great Twenty-Eight was released in 1982, it was immediately recognized as one of the essential albums in rock ‘n’ roll history… Enter this edition of The Great Twenty-Eight, with thirty more Chuck Berry recordings—the Great Fifty-Eight, as it were—fleshing out the story of rock ‘n’ roll’s poet laureate while also demonstrating, through the addition of a riveting live album from 1963, his power as a stage performer… The opportunity to spotlight additional facets of his music is the greatest contribution to his history that this collection offers.”
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