Capitol Records Celebrates 75th Anniversary With Vinyl Reissues, Essay Book & Docuseries



In honor of Capitol Records’ 75th anniversary, the record company plans to give music fans a better glimpse into the history of the label with reissues of old favorites and more.

The celebration kicks off Nov. 15 when Capitol Records becomes the first record company to receive a star of recognition from the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to be placed in front of Capitol Tower near the Hollywood Walk of Fame.

Capitol Music Group Chairman and CEO Steve Barnett announced Tuesday (Nov. 1) that the company has three endeavors planned out that include music, film and literary projects that pay tribute to eight decades worth of artists signed to the famed West Coast label.

The first is a year-long major vinyl reissue campaign called The Capitol Records 75th Anniversary Collection, which features 75 albums. The list spans many Capitol eras, genres and artists and includes well-known and lesser-known releases.

Capitol joined noted music journalists, authors and other renowned creative figures to decide on the final list, which includes artists like Coldplay, Katy Perry,Bonnie Raitt, The Beatles and Frank Sinatra. The album is set to be launched in partnership with Crate & Barrel and will become available through music retailers throughout 2017.

The second endeavor from the label is the publication of a deluxe photograph and essay book from Taschen called 75 Years of Capitol Records, to be released Dec. 15. The book will follow the evolution from Capitol’s founding in 1942 to the music of today.

Along with a foreword from Beck, the book will include essays by cultural historians and music and architecture critics. It is currently available on Capitol’s online store.

The last project is the development of a Capitol Records docuseries produced by Nigel Sinclair’s Whitehorse Pictures (The Beatles: Eight Days A Week – The Touring Years, No Direction Home: Bob Dylan). Slated for an autumn 2017 release, the series will go into the company’s extensive archives and tell stories that have taken place at Capitol Tower from the last 75 years and will tell the story of America’s love affair with popular music and how Capitol’s artists have helped define our lives.

The Los Angeles City Council will also proclaim Nov. 15 as Capitol Records Day in the city. Beginning that evening, the spire on top of the Capitol Tower that has emitted “Hollywood” in Morse code will change to “Capitol 75” and will continue to flash in that manner for the next year.

Stock list 22/10/16


artist title label catno format status price comments media_condition sleeve_condition weight
Savanna Silver Band Pure Silver Champagne Records (3) CHA 7001 LP Sold 100 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Galapagos Duck The Voyage Of The Beagle Festival Records Pty. Ltd. L-38081 “LP, Album” For Sale 20 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
“Luiz Bonfá, Don Burrows, George Golla” Bonfa Burrows Brazil Cherry Pie CPF 1045 “LP, Album” For Sale 20 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
The Nolan-Buddle Quartet The Odd Couple M7 MLF 100 “LP, Album” For Sale 68.05 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Peter Boothman For The Record 44 Records (2) 6357 705 LP For Sale 52.83 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Luiz Bonfá Jacaranda Interfusion “L 34,966” LP For Sale 100 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Bill Plummer & The Cosmic Brotherhood Bill Plummer And The Cosmic Brotherhood Impulse! A-9164 “LP, Album, Promo, Mono” Sold 56.44 Very Good (VG) Very Good (VG) 230
Kanguru Dreaming Larrikin Records LRB096 “LP, RE” For Sale 70 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
Brian Brown (3) Winged Messenger Aija Recordings AIJA 004 LP For Sale 45.99 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
Tazzad Tazzad Jarra Hill Records JHR 2006 “LP, Album” For Sale 70 Very Good (VG) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Don Burrows The Tasman Connection Cherry Pie L 37664 LP For Sale 30 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Judy Bailey Solo Eureka E-107 “LP, Album” For Sale 20 Very Good (VG) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Yasmin And The Tea Leaves Yasmin & The Tea Leaves Pumphandle Production PLP 009 “LP, Album” For Sale 20 Very Good (VG) Very Good (VG) 230
Can Tago Mago “United Artists Records, United Artists Records” “UAD 60009, UAD 60010” “2xLP, Album” For Sale 150.44 Very Good (VG) Very Good (VG) 460
Serge Ermoll With Richie Cole & George Golla Clouds AIM (2) AIM 1009 “LP, Album” For Sale 50.66 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Elton Dean / Joe Gallivan / Kenny Wheeler The Cheque Is In The Mail Ogun OG 610 “LP, Album” For Sale 46.57 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Bill Evans Symbiosis “MPS Records, BASF” 21 22094-3 “LP, Gat” For Sale 77.75 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
Jim Jarvis Outskirts Of Town Larrikin Records LRF-012 “LP, Album” For Sale 99.99 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
Col Nolan Soul Syndicate Live At Jason’s Avan-Guard SVL 501 “LP, Album” For Sale 86.84 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
LA4 Zaca Concord Jazz CJ-130 “LP, Album” For Sale 32.59 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Blues On The Boil Potent Brew Larrikin Records LRF 187 “LP, Album” For Sale 20 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
The Don Burrows Quartet At The Sydney Opera House Cherry Pie CPS 1017-2 “2xLP, Album, Boo” For Sale 21.15 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 460
LA4 Just Friends Concord Jazz CJD-1001 “LP, Album, Ltd, Dir” For Sale 88.12 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
Ray Brown’s All Stars Don’t Forget The Blues Concord Jazz CJ-293 LP For Sale 16.96 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Dizzy Gillespie + Freddie Hubbard + Clark Terry + Oscar Peterson + Joe Pass + Bobby Durham + Ray Brown The Alternate Blues Pablo Records 2312 136 “LP, Album” For Sale 39.54 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
Peppino Di Capri E I Suoi Rockers Nessuno Al Mondo Carisch TCA 15305 “LP, Album” For Sale 15 Good Plus (G+) Very Good (VG) 230
Andy Forray Drac’s Back 7 Records MSD 328 “12””” For Sale 30.59 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Curved Air Phantasmagoria “Warner Bros. Records, Warner Bros. Records” “K 46158, K46158” “LP, Album” For Sale 39.03 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
INXS Shabooh Shoobah WEA 600133 “LP, Album, Ltd, Pos” For Sale 41.11 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
Jimmy Barnes Soul Deep “Mushroom, Mushroom” “TVL 93344, TVL93344” “LP, Album” For Sale 40.73 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Madleen Kane Forbidden Love / You And I 7 Records MSD 312 “12””, Ltd, Pin” For Sale 20 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
People Under The Stairs Carried Away Om Hip Hop OH 387 “2xLP, Album” Sold 100.1 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 460
Stereophonics You Gotta Go There To Come Back V2 VVR1021901 “2xLP, Album” For Sale 91.22 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 460
Culture Club Profile Extra-Terrestrial Productions EC1N 2JA.01-242 0391 “12””, Pic, S/Edition” For Sale 15 Very Good (VG) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Linda George Linda Image (5) ILP 741 “LP, Album” For Sale 20 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Shirley Jacobs Endless Highways Crest Record Co CRT-12-SLP-018 “LP, Album, Mono” Sold 20 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Grownups Grownups Musicland Releases “MUS 12″” 2010″ “12””, EP” For Sale 10 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Michael Jackson Thriller 25 “Legacy, Epic, Sony BMG” 88697233441 “2xLP, Album, RM, Gat” Draft 30.82 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 460
Mother Goose Don’t Believe In Fairytales Mushroom L 37147 “LP, Album” Sold 51.31 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Ariel (13) Goodnight Fiona CBS SBP 234867 LP For Sale 30 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Sebastian Hardie Four Moments Polydor 2907 016 “LP, Album, Gat” For Sale 25 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Golden Avatar A Change Of Heart Sudarshan Disc SD-1 LP For Sale 20 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Sweetbottom Double Motion Not On Label SB-20280 LP For Sale 45 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good (VG) 230
Hunters & Collectors The Fireman’s Curse White Label Records L 38066 “LP, Album” Sold 20 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
The Beatles The Beatles At The Hollywood Bowl Parlophone PCSO 7577 “LP, Album” For Sale 20 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
The Benders (2) E Hot Records (2) HOT 1002 “LP, Album” Sold 50 Ringwear on cover Very Good Plus (VG+) Good Plus (G+) 230
The Cult Dogtown Not On Label (The Cult) none “LP, Unofficial” For Sale 135.63 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
The Cult Lil’ Devil “Beggars Banquet, Beggars Banquet” “BEG 188TD, CULT 11T” “2×12″”, Single” For Sale 30 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 460
The Cult Wildflower (Special Ltd Edition Australian Tour E.P.) Virgin VOZ 195T “12””, EP, Ltd” For Sale 10 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Depeche Mode Landscape “Lounging Records, Lounging Records” “LR – 862, 01432100” “2xLP, Unofficial” For Sale 53.65 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 460
Adrian Belew Young Lions Atlantic 7567-82099-1 “LP, Album” For Sale 36.55 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
The Purple Hearts The Sound Of The Purple Hearts Sunshine Records (6) “QX-11,173” “7””, EP” For Sale 200 Good (G) No Cover 60
Ed Rush I Wanna Stay In The Jungle Not On Label (Ed Rush Self-released) ER007 “12””” Sold 62.21 Very Good (VG) Very Good (VG) 230
TISM 40 Years (Then Death) Platinum Studios 6864 5 “12””, W/Lbl, Whi” For Sale 100 Near Mint (NM or M-) Generic 230
Kylie Minogue Locomotion “Mushroom, Mushroom” “K319, K-319” “7””, Single” For Sale 33.9 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 60
The Final Four Grand Central Station Scope (5) SP 007 “7””” For Sale 50 Very Good Plus (VG+) Generic 60
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Maps Interscope Records B0002074-11 “10””, Red” For Sale 20.34 Near Mint (NM or M-) Generic 135
Hot Half Hour Hot Half Hour Man Made Records MM 001 “12””, EP” For Sale 35 ringwear Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
Bring Philip Endoscopy Major Record Company Records YPRX 2119 “12””, EP” For Sale 30 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Walter Carlos Switched-On Bach “CBS/Sony, CBS/Sony” “SOCN 14004, SOCN-14004” “LP, Album, Quad, Gat” For Sale 52.41 Very Good (VG) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Various From Here To Eternity EMS Records EMS TV 7134 “LP, Album, Comp” For Sale 20 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Jeff Beck With The Jan Hammer Group Live Epic 25-3P-60 “LP, Album, RE” For Sale 41.05 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Various ACTU Achievement Not On Label YPRX 1584 “LP, Album” For Sale 30 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Linus Of Hollywood Your Favorite Record Franklin Castle Recordings FC-003 LP For Sale 23.9 Very Good Plus (VG+) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Robert Calvert Lucky Leif And The Longships United Artists Records UAG 29852 “LP, Album” For Sale 48.02 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Cypress Hill Rise Up “Priority Records, Emi” “2648110, 5099962648110” “2xLP, Album” For Sale 50 Signed by the band (ask for photos) Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 460
Toy Dolls Geordie’s Gone To Jail Volume Records (5) VOLT 21 “12””” For Sale 21.18 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Toy Dolls Singles 83/84 Volume Records (5) VOLM 20 “LP, Comp” For Sale 20 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Toy Dolls We’re Mad “Volume Records (5), Volume Records (5)” “VOL T10, VOLT. 10” “12””, Single” For Sale 20 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
Serious Young Insects Housebreaking “Epic, Native Tongue” ELPS 4294 “LP, Album” For Sale 28.77 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Normie Rowe & The Playboys Normie Rowe Á Go-Go Sunshine Records (6) “QL-31,802” LP For Sale 50 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
The Vampires Unknown Title Satellite (6) STL-222 “7””, EP” For Sale 200 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 60
Led Zeppelin Acoustically “Atlantic, Atlantic” “EPA-228, EPA 228” “7””” For Sale 70 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 60
Helen Ripley-Marshall Green Chaos Freefall (8) Free 006 LP For Sale 150 Very Good Plus (VG+) Good Plus (G+) 230
Sex Pistols Pretty Vacant Wizard Records (5) ZS-184 “7””, Single” For Sale 50 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 60
Sex Pistols The Collection Telmak TMAK174 “LP, Comp, Gat” For Sale 80.5 Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
The Damned Anything MCA Records MCG 6015 “LP, Album, Gat” For Sale 200 Signed by the band (ask for photos) Near Mint (NM or M-) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
Toy Dolls A Far Out Disc Volume Records (5) VOLP 2 “LP, Album” For Sale 25 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
The Walker Brothers The Sun Ain’t Gonna Shine Anymore Smash Records (4) MGS 27082 “LP, Mono” For Sale 40.36 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
The Foreday Riders Once A Week Eureka E 102 “LP, Gat” For Sale 50 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
The Foreday Riders Playin’ Up Eureka E-106 “LP, Gat” For Sale 61.17 Very Good Plus (VG+) Very Good (VG) 230
AC/DC T.N.T. Albert Productions APLPA 016 “LP, Album, RP” For Sale 50 Very Good (VG) Very Good Plus (VG+) 230
The Master’s Apprentices The Master’s Apprentices “Astor, Astor” “ALP 1025, ALP-1025” LP For Sale 367.27 “Ring wear on front, signed by Jim Keays on back” Very Good (VG) Very Good (VG) 230
John Handy Quintet The 2nd John Handy Album Columbia BP 233406 “LP, Album” For Sale 40 Near Mint (NM or M-) Near Mint (NM or M-) 230
The Kinks Something Else By The Kinks Astor SPLP 1225 “LP, Album” For Sale 59.88 Very Good (VG) Good Plus (G+) 230
The Who The Who Sell Out “Polydor, International Polydor Production” 613002 “LP, Album” For Sale 50 Very Good (VG) Very Good Plus (VG+)

The Kinks In Mono Vinyl Box Set Of Classic Mono Recordings To Be Released December 16


The Kinks –The Mono Collection packages the band’s first 8 albums in glorious mono, including the previously out of print in the U.S. mono mix of ‘Live At Kelvin Hall’. The set also includes the bonus double LP compilation ‘The Kinks’ (aka ‘The Black Album’) PLUS a lavish hardcover 48-page book including never-before-seen photos and new interviews with Ray Davies, Dave Davies and Mick Avory.

With the recent renewed interest in analog recordings in the vinyl format, these essential Kinks albums have been collected together, as their original vintage 1960s equivalents continue to command major sums on the collectors’ market. From the real-time invention of the punk and heavy metal riff on “You Really Got Me”, “All Day And All of The Night” and “I Need You”, the melodic mellotron swirls throughout “Autumn Almanac” and “Days” to the bold brass characterising “Victoria” and “Shangri-La”, the full spectrum of The Kinks In Mono is here to be appreciated and enjoyed anew.

Brash, loud, quirky, reflective – are just some of the opposing adjectives that have been applied to The Kinks. While hailed as one of the great British singles bands of the 1960s, the superlative run of albums they released during those years chart a fascinating career trajectory – from young, white London boys emulating black Chicago R&B on their debut through to ambitious thematic works like ‘The Village Green Preservation Society’ and ‘Arthur’ that anticipated Ray Davies’ ambitions in film and theatre.

In between, ‘Kinda Kinks’ and ‘The Kink Kontroversy’ testify to the relentless, white hot pace of creative output demanded by their record label Pye in the mid ’60s (both were released within the year 1965). ‘Face To Face’ and ‘Something Else By The Kinks’ illustrate Ray Davies’ vision expanding beyond the traditional ’60s pop format, containing such evocative character vignettes as “Rosie Won’t You Please Come Home”, “Two Sisters” and “David Watts” (later a hit in its own right for The Jam). There was even room in the catalog for a primitively recorded but excitingly executed audio vérité concert document (‘Live At Kelvin Hall’). The quality of the albums was further bolstered by the inclusion of such timeless Kinks hits as “You Really Got Me”, “Tired Of Waiting For You”, “Till The End Of The Day”, “Sunny Afternoon” and “Waterloo Sunset” as well as Dave Davies’ solo emergence with “Death Of A Clown” and “Susannah’s Still Alive”.

Throughout the 1970s and beyond these classic recordings were mainly available in stereo – sometimes rechannelled stereo which blunted their dynamism. This state of affairs overlooked a key thing – the albums were originally conceived with Mono in mind. Unlike America, until the late 1960s, stereo was considered something of a novelty in Britain. For the leading players in the British beat boom, all efforts were directed at perfecting recordings made to be heard on radiograms, Dansettes and tinny transistor speakers. “I wanted the tracks to sound how we would play them live,” Ray says of the Kinks’ early recordings. “I wrote lots of songs for a particular sound and production.”

The Kinks – The Mono Collection will be released December 16, 2016 by BMG and is available now for pre-order:


Disc One – ‘Kinks’ (1964)

Side A

Beautiful Delilah
So Mystifying
Just Can’t Go to Sleep
Long Tall Shorty
I Took My Baby Home
I’m a Lover Not a Fighter
You Really Got Me

Side B
Bald Headed Woman
Too Much Monkey Business
I’ve Been Driving On Bald Mountain
Stop Your Sobbing
Got Love if You Want It

Disc Two – ‘Kinda Kinks’ (1965)

Side A
Look for Me Baby
Got My Feet On the Ground
Nothin’ In the World Can Stop Me Worryin’ ‘Bout That Girl
Naggin’ Woman
Wonder Where My Baby Is Tonight
Tired of Waiting for You

Side B
Dancing in the Street
Don’t Ever Change
Come On Now
So Long
You Shouldn’t Be Sad
Something Better Beginning

Disc Three – ‘The Kink Kontroversy’ (1965)

Side A
Milk Cow Blues
Ring the Bells
Gotta Get the First Plane Home
When I See That Girl of Mine
I Am Free
Till the End of the Day

Side B
The World Keeps Going Round
I’m On an Island
Where Have All the Good Times Gone
It’s Too Late
What’s in Store for Me
You Can’t Win

Disc Four – ‘Face To Face’ (1966)

Side A
Party Line
Rosy Won’t You Please Come Home
Too Much On My Mind
Session Man
Rainy Day in June
House in the Country

Side B
Holiday in Waikiki
Most Exclusive Residence for Sale
Little Miss Queen of Darkness
You’re Looking Fine
Sunny Afternoon
I’ll Remember

Disc Five – ‘Something Else By The Kinks’ (1967)

Side A
David Watts
Death of a Clown
Two Sisters
No Return
Harry Rag
Tin Soldier Man
Situation Vacant

Side B
Love Me Till the Sun Shines
Lazy Old Sun
Afternoon Tea
Funny Face
End of the Season
Waterloo Sunset

Disc Six – ‘Live At Kelvin Hall’ (1967)

Side A
Till the End of the Day (Live)
A Well Respected Man (Live)
You’re Looking Fine (Live)
Sunny Afternoon (Live)
Dandy (Live)

Side B
I’m On an Island (Live)
Come On Now (Live)
You Really Got Me (Live)
Medley: Milk Cow Blues/ Batman Theme/ Tired of Waiting for You/ Milk Cow Blues (Live)

Disc Seven – ‘The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society’ (1968)

Side A
The Village Green Preservation Society
Do You Remember Walter?
Picture Book
Johnny Thunder
Last of the Steam-Powered Trains
Big Sky
Sitting By the Riverside

Side B
Animal Farm
Village Green
Phenomenal Cat
All of My Friends Were There
Wicked Annabella
People Take Pictures of Each Other

Disc Eight – ‘Arthur or the Decline and Fall of the British Empire’ (1969)

Side A
Yes Sir, No Sir
Some Mother’s Son

Side B
Mr. Churchill Says
She’s Bought a Hat Like Princess Marina
Young and Innocent Days
Nothing to Say

Discs Nine and Ten – ‘The Kinks’ (a.k.a. “The Black Album”) (Compilation 1970)

Side A
You Really Got Me
Long Tall Shorty
All Day and All of the Night
Beautiful Delilah
Tired of Waiting for You
I’m a Lover Not a Fighter

Side B
A Well Respected Man
Till the End of the Day
See My Friends
Don’t You Fret
Dedicated Follower of Fashion
Sunny Afternoon

Side C
Dead End Street
Death of a Clown
Two Sisters
Big Black Smoke
Susannah’s Still Alive
Autumn Almanac

Side D
Waterloo Sunset
Last of the Steam-Powered Trains
Do You Remember Walter?
Animal Farm


Chuck Berry: from enduring Jim Crow to a comeback album at age 90


A key influence on the Beatles and Rolling Stones, Berry overcame racism to become a principal architect of rock’n’roll. Now he’s releasing a new album

Chuck Berry, one of rock’s principal architects, is celebrating his 90th birthday today with the announcement he will release a new album of original songs in 2017.

“I’m growing old! I’ve worked on this record for a long time. Now I can hang up my shoes!” he said in a statement released early on Tuesday.

Chuck will be his first album of new songs in 38 years. The album is a strictly local affair: it features his children Charles Berry Jr on guitar and Ingrid Berry on harmonica as well as musicians who have backed him up for more than two decades of shows at Blueberry Hill, his St Louis club in the city’s Delmar Loop neighborhood.
Across the street from Blueberry Hill is an eight-foot-tall bronze statue of Berry. Indeed, Berry is a towering figure in rock music for his deep catalogue of songs, including Roll Over Beethoven, Maybellene, Rock and Roll Music, Sweet Little Sixteen, Little Queenie, School Days and Johnny B Goode. They served as the shortest bridge between rhythm and blues and rock, the revolutionary new sound embraced by white teenagers in the late 1950s and early 1960s.
Unlike his contemporaries on Chess Records, the Chicago label that included Muddy Waters, Little Walter and Howlin’ Wolf, Berry wrote songs that articulated the angst of modern teenagers, not the nightlife of adults, which made his songs acceptable for play on white radio stations, where he became a major hitmaker. The songs were a fever dream of sex and cars, the open road and school dances, and carried a jolt of sexual tension. Through defining lyrics like “Hail, hail, rock’n’roll / Deliver me from the days of old”, Berry helped a generation of young people communicate an identity separate from their parents. Long before rock became associated with teenage alienation and considered a tool against conformity, Berry was infusing white suburbia with the blues, translated on the sock hop floor as a tight combination of stinging guitar riffs, chugging piano chords, and a stomping beat.

The irony, of course, is that the pioneer who helped end racial segregation in music grew up under the weight of Jim Crow and was often a target of the system. By the time Berry released Maybellene, his first single, in 1955, he was a 29-year-old who had already served several years in state prison for stealing a car when he was a teenager, even when it was evident he was using a defective gun. The experience forced him to miss graduating high school, despite many years later becoming a chronicler of the experience for others. His popularity among white teenagers made life difficult. After he played a local dance in Meridian, Mississippi, in 1959, a small mob formed after Berry was seen returning a kiss to a white girl. He was jailed for disturbing the peace and was forced to hand over the $700 he made that night to the sheriff.
Berry also fell victim to corruption early in his career. Radio disc jockey Alan Freed demanded he receive a co-writing credit on Maybellene in exchange for making it a hit. An early manager also failed to give him proper attendance numbers at his live shows, which resulted in diminished returns. The experiences made Berry fiercely skeptical of promoters and record labels for the rest of his life and he developed a touring regimen of demanding cash upfront and only playing with local musicians he met moments before going onstage.

Like his contemporary Bo Diddley, Berry defined early rock guitar style, inspired by the precision and force of T-Bone Walker and Charlie Christian. His popularity also transcended the music due to his showmanship. Before Berry, white audiences had rarely seen a guitarist unglue himself from the floor and perform physical acrobatics like hopping on one foot or, in Berry’s case, performing the “duck walk”, his signature move, in which he squatted low to the floor and stalked the stage with one leg hanging in the air.
His success is shared with the piano player Johnnie Johnson, Berry’s longtime collaborator, who hired the guitarist to join his band in 1952. Soon enough, Johnson ceded leadership of the band to Berry and it is Johnson’s bouncing piano that accompanies Berry’s guitar riffs. Berry wrote Johnny B Goode as a tribute to Johnson. However, Johnson long said he was partly responsible for the creation of the songs and, at the suggestion of Keith Richards, Johnson sued Berry to receive royalties in 2000. A federal judge dismissed the suit, saying too much time had passed. Johnson died in 2005.

The British Invasion borrowed heavily from Berry’s songbook as the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and many others recorded his songs on their earliest albums. Two years ago, in liner notes to a collection of Berry recordings, Paul McCartney called him “one of the greatest poets America has ever produced”. In inducting Berry into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame in 1986, Richards admitted he himself “lifted every lick [Berry] ever played”.

Berry hasn’t released a new album since 1979, when Atco released Rock It. He maintained his residency at the Duck Room in Blueberry Hill until 2014. He has remained largely reclusive, rarely giving interviews or performing high-profile shows.

The new record has been in the works for years but word of the sessions, which took place at several studios throughout St Louis, hadn’t traveled far outside the city. At a tribute concert in 2012, Berry hinted new songs were on their way, saying: “As soon as I can get someone to guide me – and I do know a little about the business – I want to push them out.” Finally, they will be released next year.