Rolling Stones unreleased: Reelin’ and Rockin
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Written by: Chuck Berry
Recorded: Chess Studios, Chicago, USA, June 10-11 1964
From Martin Elliott’s book THE ROLLING STONES COMPLETE RECORDING SESSIONS 1962-2012:
Another Chuck Berry song performed at a sedate, relaxed pace. The two lead guitars are distinctive. Charlie Watts drums sound is the metronome of the song as he perfectly controls the rest of the band. Mick Jagger’s vocals are an intrinsic part of the three and a half minute track as he guides the musicians.
“Reelin’ and Rockin'” is a song written and recorded by Chuck Berry. It was originally recorded in 1957 and released as the B-side of “Sweet Little Sixteen”.
The song was recorded on December 29-30, 1957 in Chicago, Illinois.
Chuck Berry, vocals and guitar
Johnnie Johnson on piano
Willie Dixon on bass
Fred Below on drums
The session was produced by the Chess brothers, Leonard and Phil.
The song was released as Chess single 1683.
A live version of the song was released in late 1972, peaking at number 27 on the US Billboard Hot 100 in early 1973. It reached number 21 in Canada and number 18 in the UK.
The Dave Clark Five covered “Reelin’ and Rockin'” in early 1965. The single peaked at number 24 in the UK, number 23 in the US, and number 12 in Australia. Their rendition became the first and overall highest-charting version of the song. Cash Box described it as “a rollicking terpsichorean-themed contagious rocker.”
“Reelin’ and Rockin'” was also covered by Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Rolling Stones, George Thorogood, Conway Twitty, Alex Harvey, and many others.
Almost an autobiographical song for the rock & roll lifestyle, “Reelin’ and Rockin'” is, like “Around & Around,” one of Chuck Berry’s narratives of what an evening is like in the planet of rock & roll. The hours fly by, and by the time the night should have ended, it’s only really started — as long there is rock & roll. The self-admitting Berry keeps looking at his watch, and certainly doesn’t care. Musically, Berry again goes with his strengths: jump blues and swing along with blues and country, with his (and pianist Johnny Johnson’s) fabulous licks.
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