Various Artist – Chess Classics (2005)

FrontCover1Chess Records was an American record company established in 1950 in Chicago, specializing in blues and rhythm and blues. It was the successor to Aristocrat Records, founded in 1947. It expanded into soul music, gospel music, early rock and roll, and jazz and comedy recordings, released on the Chess and its subsidiary labels Checker and Argo/Cadet. The Chess catalogue is currently owned by Universal Music Group and managed by Geffen Records.

Established and run by two Jewish immigrant brothers from what was then Poland, Leonard and Phil Chess, the company produced and released many singles and albums regarded as central to the rock music canon. The musician and critic Cub Koda described Chess as “America’s greatest blues label”.

Chess Office

Chess was based at several locations on the south side of Chicago, initially at South Cottage Grove Ave. The most famous was 2120 S. Michigan Avenue, from May 1957 to 1965, immortalized by the Rolling Stones in “2120 South Michigan Avenue”, an instrumental recorded there during the group’s first U.S. tour in 1964. The building is now the home of Willie Dixon’s Blues Heaven Foundation. In the mid-1960s, Chess relocated to a much larger building, the former home of Revere Camera Company at 320 E. 21st Street, the label’s final Chicago home. Shortly before the death of Leonard Chess in 1969, the brothers sold the company. (wikipedia)

Chess Brothers

Founded in 1950, Chess Records captured a vibrant new style of American music with roots in the American South that influenced and inspired rock and roll pioneers from Chuck Berry to the Rolling Stones. It has become synonymous with American rhythm and blues. (


An here´a nice and rare sampler with music from this legendary label, publish by the Mojo magazine (“15 tracks hand-picked by Mojo – Given away free with MOJO August 2005. Not to be sold separately”)

Don´t wait … listen … And I learned that Chess Records was much more than just a blues label


01. Ramsey Lewis Trio: Wade In The Water (Lewis) 3.47
02. Marlena Shaw: Liberation Conversation (Shaw/Evans) 1.59
03. Bo Diddley: Gun Slinger (McDaniel) 1.50
04. Chuck Berry: Night Beat (Berry) 2.42
05. Rotary Connection: I Am The Black Gold Of The Sun (Stepney/Rudolph) 5.32
06. Muddy Waters: Tom Cat (Williams) 3.35
07. Howlin’ Wolf: Spoonful (Dixon) 2.47
08. Tommy Tucker: Hi-Heel Sneakers (Higginbotham) 2.47
09. Sonny Boy Williamson: Fattening Frogs For Snakes (Williamson) 2.19
10. The Radiants: Voice Your Choice (Sims/McAlister) 2.30
11. Fontella Bass: I Surrender (Davis/De Mell/DeSanto) 2.50
12. Terry Callier: Ordinary Joe (Callier) 4.09
13. Etta James: I’d Rather Go Blind (Foster/Jordan) 2.29
14. Mitty Collier: I Had A Talk With My Man Last Night (Cleveland) 3.38
15. Maurice & Mac: You Left The Water Running (Penn/Franck/Hall) 2.41





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