The London Chuck Berry Sessions
Studio album / Live album by
ReleasedJune 1972 (1972-06)[1]
VenueLanchester Arts Festival, Coventry, England
StudioPye Studios, London[2]
GenreRock and roll
ProducerEsmond Edwards[2]
Chuck Berry chronology
San Francisco Dues
The London Chuck Berry Sessions
London Sessions chronology
The London Muddy Waters Sessions
The London Chuck Berry Sessions
The London Bo Diddley Sessions
Singles from The London Chuck Berry Sessions
  1. "My Ding-a-Ling"
    Released: June 1972
  2. "Reelin' and Rockin'"
    Released: November 1972
Professional ratings
Review scores
Christgau's Record GuideC−[4]

The London Chuck Berry Sessions is the sixteenth studio album by Chuck Berry, and consists of studio recordings and live recordings released by Chess Records in October 1972 as LP record, 8 track cartridge and audio cassette.[6] Side one of the album consists of studio recordings, engineered by Geoff Calver; side two features three live performances recorded by the Pye Mobile Unit, engineered by Alan Perkins, on February 3, 1972, at the Lanchester Arts Festival in Coventry, England. At the end of the live section, the recording includes the sounds of festival management trying in vain to get the audience to leave so that the next performers, Pink Floyd, can take the stage; the crowd begins chanting "We want Chuck!". His backing band were Onnie McIntyre (guitar), Robbie McIntosh (drums), Nic Potter (bass) and Dave Kaffinetti (piano). Both McIntosh and McIntyre would later form The Average White Band.

"My Ding-a-Ling", from the live side of the album, was edited to approximately 4 minutes for release as a single. A novelty song based around sexual double-entendres, it was Berry's first and only single to reach number 1 in both the US and the UK.


In May 1970, Howlin' Wolf traveled to Olympic Sound Studios in London, England, to record songs for The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions.[7] The album was released in August 1971[8] and peaked at number 28 on Billboard magazine's R&B Albums chart and number 79 on the Billboard 200.[9] Because of Wolf's success, Muddy Waters recorded his own London Sessions album in December 1971, and Berry did the same in 1972.

Critical reception

William Ruhlmann of Allmusic called the album Chuck Berry's "commercial, if not artistic, peak".[3] Robert Christgau thinks the album is of bad quality, that his voice is croaky and the studio material only fillers.[4]

Commercial performance

The album was not even out for a month, when on October 27, 1972, The London Chuck Berry Sessions was certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of America with sales of 1,000,000 units. It is Berry's only album to be certified by the RIAA,[10] and is his most successful release.

Track listing

All songs written by Chuck Berry except as noted

Side one (studio recordings)

  1. "Let's Boogie" – 3:10
  2. "Mean Old World" (Little Walter) – 5:45
  3. "I Will Not Let You Go" – 2:49
  4. "London Berry Blues" – 5:55
  5. "I Love You" – 3:26

Side two (live recordings)

  1. "Reelin' and Rockin'" – 7:07
  2. "My Ding-a-Ling" (Dave Bartholomew) – 11:33
  3. "Johnny B. Goode" – 4:23

The release on cassette exchanged "I Love You" and "Johnny B. Goode" to create sides of near-equal length.

This version of "Johnny B. Goode" replaces the first verse of the original with the first verse of "Bye Bye Johnny".



According to sleeve notes[2]




Chart (1972) Peak
US Billboard 200[11] 8
US Billboard R&B Albums[11] 8

US Singles

Year Single Chart Position[12]
1972 "My Ding-a-Ling" Billboard Hot 100 1
1973 "Reelin' and Rockin'" Billboard Hot 100 27

UK Singles

Year Single Chart Position[13]
1972 "My Ding-a-Ling" Official Charts 1
1973 "Reelin' and Rockin'" Official Charts 18


Region Certification Certified units/sales
United States (RIAA)[14] Gold 500,000^

^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.


  1. ^ Rudolph, Dietmar. "A Collector's Guide to the Music of Chuck Berry: The Back at Chess Era (1969-1975)". Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  2. ^ a b c The London Chuck Berry Sessions (Vinyl sleeve). Chuck Berry. United States: Chess Records. 1972. Inner sleeve notes. LP-60020.((cite AV media notes)): CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  3. ^ a b c Ruhlmann, William. "The London Chuck Berry Sessions: Overview". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  4. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (1981). "Consumer Guide '70s: B". Christgau's Record Guide: Rock Albums of the Seventies. Ticknor & Fields. ISBN 089919026X. Retrieved February 21, 2019.
  5. ^ Sexton, Paul (October 1990). "Chuck Berry: The London Chuck Berry Sessions". Select. No. 4. p. 127.
  6. ^ "Chuck Berry - the London Chuck Berry Sessions". Discogs.
  7. ^ The London Howlin' Wolf Sessions (Deluxe Edition) (CD liner). Howlin' Wolf. United States: MCA Records. 2002. 088 112 985-2.((cite AV media notes)): CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  8. ^ Schumacher, Michael (1995). "Chapter 6: Why Does Love Got to Be So Sad? (1969–70)". Crossroads: The Life and Music of Eric Clapton. New York: Hyperion. pp. 137–141. ISBN 0-7868-6074-X.
  9. ^ "Howlin' Wolf: Billboard Albums". Allmusic. Rovi. Retrieved January 10, 2011.
  10. ^ RIAA Certification Search Type "Chuck Berry" under Artist for search results.
  11. ^ a b "Chuck Berry - Billboard Albums". Allmusic. United States: Rovi Corporation. Retrieved November 28, 2010.
  12. ^ "Billboard Hot 100 - Chuck Berry". Billboard. Retrieved November 1, 2017.
  13. ^ "UK Official Charts - Chuck Berry". Retrieved November 2, 2017.
  14. ^ "American album certifications – Chuck Berry – The London Chuck Berry Session". Recording Industry Association of America. Retrieved August 1, 2023.