Chuck Berry - Rock n' Roll Rarities and More Rock n Roll Rarities - info

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by James_S888, Jun 24, 2019.

  1. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Way back in 1986 Steve mastered or worked on two issues:
    Chuck Berry;
    - Rock n Roll Rarities
    - More Rock n Roll Rarities from the Golden age of Chess Records,

    Both are highly unusual, previously unreleased tracks, new stereo remixes, demo versions, it's all fascinating, fascinating, really interesting stuff to nutters fascinated by early rock n roll. In particular Chess studios and Chuck Berry. Like me.

    The first is a double LP, here's the tracklist:
    Tracklist Hide Credits
    A1 No Particular Place To Go 2:40
    A2 Rock And Roll Music 2:22
    A3 It Wasn't Me 2:32
    A4 Reelin' & Rockin' 3:34
    A5 Come On 1:48
    B1 Johnny B. Goode 3:08
    B2 Bye Bye Johnny 2:02
    B3 Little Marie 2:34
    B4 Time Was 2:26
    B5 Promised Land 2:28
    C1 Little Queenie 2:34
    C2 You Never Can Tell 2:40
    C3 Sweet Little Sixteen 3:08
    C4 County Line 2:14
    C5 Run Rudolph Run 2:42
    D1 Nadine 2:46
    D2 Betty Jean 2:28
    D3 I Want To Be Your Driver 2:16
    D4 Beautiful Delilah 2:28
    D5 Oh Yeah 2:30


    And here's where it gets interesting:

    A1: Stereo remix. Recorded March 26, 1964
    A2: Previously unreleased version. Recorded May 15, 1957
    A3: Previously unreleased version. Stereo. Recorded September 1, 1965
    A4: Original demo version. Recorded December 29, 1957
    A5: Previously unreleased version. Stereo. Recorded July 29, 1961
    B1: Previously unreleased version. Recorded December 30, 1957
    B2: Stereo remix. Recorded February 12, 1960
    B3: sequel to Memphis. Stereo remix. Recorded September, 1964
    B4: Previously unreleased. Recorded May 2, 1958
    B5: Stereo remix. Recorded February 25, 1964
    C1: Previously unreleased version. Recorded October 21, 1958
    C2: Stereo remix. Recorded November 15, 1963
    C3: Previously unreleased version. Recorded December 29, 1957
    C4: Original version. Recorded July 29, 1959
    C5: Recorded September 9, 1958
    D1: Stereo remix. Recorded November 16, 1963
    D2: Recorded July 29, 1959
    D3: Stereo remix. Recorded August 18, 1964
    D4: Previously unreleased version. Recorded April 20, 1958
    D5: Recorded May 2, 1958


    Then, a few months later, this one: More Rock n Roll Rarities
    A1 Ain't That Just Like A Woman [Stereo Remix]Written-By – C. Demetrius*, F. Moore* 2:42
    A2 Rock And Roll Music [Original Demo]Written-By – C. Berry* 2:36
    A3 Down The Road A Piece [Stereo Remix]Written-By – D. Raye* 2:24
    A4 Brown Eyed Handsome Man [Second Version]Written-By – C. Berry* 1:46
    A5 Route 66 [Previously Unreleased/Stereo Remix]Written By – B. Troup* 2:48
    A6 Sweet Little Rock And Roller [Previously Unreleased]Written-By – C. Berry* 2:24
    B1 My Mustang Ford [Stereo Remix]Written-By – C. Berry* 2:48
    B2 Sweet Little Sixteen [Original Demo]Written-By – C. Berry* 3:10
    B3 I Got To Find My Baby [Stereo Remix]Written-By – C. Berry* 2:12
    B4 I'm Talking About You [Stereo Remix]Written-By – C. Berry* 1:48
    B5 House Of Blue LightsWritten-By – D. Raye*, F. Slack* 2:24
    B6 Go Go Go (Johnny B. Goode) [Stereo Remix]Written-By – C. Berry* 2:46


    As one can see, fascinating stuff. Both issues I am happy to say I have. Recent acquistions, so I haven't actually gotten around to cleaning 30 years of dust out of the grooves yet and playing them.


    Over to Steve, maybe you can talk a bit about these issues:
    • Did you do them all-analog back then?
    • Or were there any digital steps in the remixing to stereo?
    • How on earth did you go about remixing what I'm assuming were two tracks to stereo. Or what did you have.
    • What sort of sources did you get? Masters or 1:1 flat transfers?

    This must have been one fascinating project to work on.

    Quite frankly, these two records are fascinating. And going on other stuff I have from this reissue series should sound really good.
     
  2. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    They were meant to be companion pieces to the already released "The Great 28."

    No digital steps.

    We had just bought the Chess catalog, this was my nosing around the collection, making sure that we got everything we were supposed to get. The powers-that-be decided that the stuff was good enough to be released.

    The original masters were used in the case of the monos.

    The four track session reels were used in the case of the stereos.

    The early four tracks had material left/right/center and the fourth channel was a mono combine. The EQ was AME (ugh). The later stuff was four track using all four channels, NAB 15 ips.

    Mixed to 30 IPS 1/2" analog tape AES using two ATRs by me at Whitney, Glendale. Tom Baker aligned the machines and gave me encouragement.
     
  3. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    So the early stereo stuff was AME, when was that up to? 1960? Cutoff date?
    Good to be aware and expecting the mid range distortion...
    how bad is it?
     
  4. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    The AME EQ (Ampex Master EQ) was first used at Chess Studios on their new four-track when they got it, 1959. They seemed to have revamped everything to NAB by the end of 1962.

    No distortion on anything either way. Just harder for me to mix the AME stuff. The only distortion is sometimes on Chuck's guitar, and that was intentional.
     
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  5. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    If this was meant to be companion pieces to the already released "the Great twenty-eight", did you also work on the MCA - "The Original Chess Masters" reissue of this?
    I think this was done by Erik Thorngren.
    Mastered at Trutone. Or at least some variations were.

    I have an original 1982 issue of The Great Twenty-Eight, done by Sterling, with the STERLING in the deadwax. Which I think sounds pretty good.

    Was the "Original Chess Masters" version an improvement over the original Sterling?
    Ie., analog, not digital.

    I have a number, well, a lot of the Original Chess Masters reissue series, most sound great, but there are a few duds. Flat, early digital sounding stuff.

    If you tell me that the Original Chess Masters reissue from 1984 was all analog, I will definitely go pick up a copy.
     
  6. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Good news. Not like the Sinatra Reprise stuff - Sinatra and Strings and the Swingin Brass record - then. As much as I love Sinatra....
     
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  7. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    These two sets among others - turns out to be a lasting document of alternate tracks and stereo mixes not found elsewhere. And not going to be found elsewhere.

    I’m not sure that there were ever any additional rarities or remixes to stereo performed on Chuck Berry session reels. And now there cannot be any more.
     
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  8. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Mastering Engineer Your Host

    I didn't work on those.
     
  9. CBackley

    CBackley Chairman of the Bored

    I just picked up a beautiful promo copy of the 2-LP Rarities set and a CD of More Rarities. This is wonderful stuff, to say the least. Some fantastic music!

    A couple of years ago, I bought the first Rarities collection on iTunes. It doesn’t sound nearly as good as the 2-LP set I just got. Even accountant for usual differences between my analog vs digital gear. I need to grab a CD of the first set to see if it sounds better than what’s on iTunes.
     
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  10. James_S888

    James_S888 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Both the LP sets sound fantastic
     
  11. quicksrt

    quicksrt Senior Member

    Location:
    City of Angels
    Reviews at the time were very positive - but several commented about lack of good liner notes. There were some notes printed on back jackets, but for rare takes and mixes on the material that is considered the bedrock or rock & roll, the notes were rather skimpy. At least each track is annotated with some detail.
     

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