When was it recorded? Sept. 3, 1963
When was it first released, and on which album? Nov. 30, 1994 on “Live at the BBC”
Who wrote it? Chuck Berry
Have I heard this song before? No
What my research dug up:
Beatles favorite Chuck Berry wrote “Too Much Monkey Business” and recorded the original version Apr. 16, 1956. He released it as a single five months later.
“Too Much Monkey Business” did moderately well on the American charts, peaking at:
- #4 on Billboard’s Most Played In Juke Boxes chart (I know, I’m surprised that was a real thing, too)
- #7 on the Top Sellers in Stores chart
- #11 on the Most Played by Jockeys chart
Not too shabby.
Across the pond, “Too Much Monkey Business” was popular with many ‘British Invasion’ bands. According to the Beatles Bible, the Fab Four first used “Too Much Monkey Business” in their live shows, from 1960 until they signed with EMI.
The Beatles also covered “Too Much Monkey Business” four times for BBC Radio.
- Recorded Mar. 16, 1963 for “Saturday Club” (aired live)
- Recorded Apr. 4, 1963 for “Side By Side” (aired Jun. 24)
- Recorded Jun. 1, 1963 for “Pop Go the Beatles” (aired Jun. 11)
- Recorded Sept. 3, 1963 for “Pop Go the Beatles” (aired Sept. 10)
The last version was the one to appear on 1994’s “Live at the BBC.” According to my sources, the rest can be found on bootlegs though.
I liked this one! Granted, I like the Chuck Berry original more than the Beatles’ cover, but that was bound to happen. Either way, it’s a jaunty little number.