From 2120 To 1000 The Definitive Chess Sessions (The Godfatherecords G.R.1000)
(78:53) June 10-11, 1964 – It’s All Over Now, I Can’t Be Satisfied, Stewed And Keefed, Around And Around, Confessin’ The Blues, Down In The Bottom, Empty Heart, Hi-Heel Sneakers, Down The Road Apiece, If You Need Me, Look What You’ve Done, Tell Me Baby, Time Is On My Side (Version 1), Reelin’ And Rockin’, Don’t You Lie To Me, 2120 South Michigan Avenue – November 8, 1964 – What A Shame, Fanny Mae, Little Red Rooster, Time Is On My Side (Version 2), Goodbye Girl, Key To The Highway, Mercy Mercy (Version 1) – May 10, 1965 – Mercy Mercy (Version 2), That’s How Strong My Love Is, The Under-Assistant West Coast Promotion Man, (I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction
From 2120 To 1000 The Definitive Chess Sessions collects three studio sessions recorded at Chess Studios in Chicago between 1964 and 1965. Both Mick and Keith were huge fans of the recordings that came out of Chess Studios so it was only appropriate for the band to put some time aside during their US tours to visit and record in a place that had inspired them so much. There have been dozens of bootlegs documenting the various tracks from these sessions but Godfather seems to be one of the best ways to get them all on one title. The sound quality throughout is immaculate, very clean and enjoyable to say the least.
The first 16 tracks come from the June 1964 session. “It’s All Over Now”, ‘I Can’t Be Satisfied”, and “Stewed And Keefed” come from June 10th with the remainder recorded the following day. Most tracks were covers and come from their blues influences like Chuck Berry, Muddy Waters (who was present at the studio when the Stones pulled in), and Willie Dixon to name just a few but this first session also produced a couple of unique tracks most likely written on the spot. “Stewed And Keefed” is an aptly titles blues jam highlighting Ian Stewart and Keith Richards, hence the title, and “2120 South Michigan Avenue”, the Chess Studio street address, which features some nice organ from Stew, Brian Jones on harmonica, and of course a cool outro solo from Keef.
The next seven selections come from their second session recorded on November 8, 1964. Featuring more blues covers, this session also saw the Stones re-record “Time Is On My Side” which would be the version that reached number one in the UK in January 1965 and also brought in a rare Bill Wyman composition “Goodbye Girl” (also known as “Get Back To The One You Love”) which according to the liner notes, remains unreleased to this day.
The final session recorded on May 10, 1965 would produce three recordings, “Mercy, Mercy”, “That’s How Strong My Love Is”, and “The Under-Assistant West Coast Promotion Man” all featured on both the UK and US version of Out Of Our Heads. To round out the day, Keith presented the riff for “Satisfaction” that would ultimately be finished at RCA Studios in Hollywood two days later and perhaps become the most memorable Stones melody ever written.
The packaging is what we come to expect from a top notch label like Godfather. The tri fold cardboard case is adorned with photos from the studio sessions all in black & white which nicely ties in with the sixties era. The gold lettering on the front cover breaks up the colorless theme and adds a touch of elegance. This comes with a 4 page booklet with some excellent notes from Ian Iachimoe and being that this is the label’s 1000th disc they include a special 16 page booklet cataloging their entire discography. The Definitive Chess Sessions is just that and a must have for any Stones collector. It is rumored that the initial run sold out right away with Godfather producing a second batch to keep up with the demand. Highly recommended.