Every song you ever needed to hear by the legendary Chuck Berry.
The sad passing of Chuck Berry last week has the whole world reflecting on the birth of rock 'n' roll. To wave goodbye to one of the most important faces in the whole evolution of the genre has been a poignant experience for music lovers and his fellow artists.
Chuck Berry was rocking and rolling until the very end
Thus, it only feels right to take this moment to appreciate the work of the grandfather of rock 'n' roll, and enjoy a purely Chuck playlist featuring the best hits he ever had with Chess Records.
1. Johnny B. Goode: Probably one of the most famous rock 'n' roll tunes of all time, this 1958 single from the album 'Chuck Berry Is on Top' reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 and has been covered over and over again by the likes of the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Judas Priest. You might remember Marty McFly inventing the genre with the song in 1985's 'Back to the Future'.
2. You Never Can Tell: Well-known in this era for its appearance in the 1994 Quentin Tarantino movie 'Pulp Fiction', this song was released in 1964 from his 'St. Louis to Liverpool' album. Chuck wrote the song in prison and has since been re-recorded by Emmylou Harris, Status Quo and Bruce Springsteen.
3. My Ding-a-Ling: This novelty tune raised eyebrows upon its release in 1972 but it topped the charts in both the US and UK. It's from 'The London Chuck Berry Sessions' and was first recorded by Dave Bartholomew in 1952. The tune is taken from the folk song 'Little Brown Jug', and caused a little controversy due to the strong sexual innuendo with some radio stations refusing to play it.
4. Shake, Rattle and Roll: A 1975 classic from Chuck Berry's self-titled record, this was another cover originally recorded by Big Joe Turner in 1954. Bill Haley and Elvis Presley did more popular versions soon after the song's release, but Chuck's rendition will always remain an underrated classic.
5. Maybellene: Nothing to do with make-up, this was Chuck's debut single which he released in 1955 topping the US R&B Chart and coming in at number 5 in the Billboard Hot 100. It features on his 'Chuck Berry Is on Top' album and was inspired by the 30s traditional song 'Ida Red'. Frequently misspelled as 'Maybelline', the song is a pioneering number that was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 1988.
6. Roll Over Beethoven: Reaching number two in the US R&B chart upon its 1956 release, 'Roll Over Beethoven' is - as you can imagine - an ode to the future of rock 'n' roll music and a farewell to the classical sound of yesteryear. It was released with 'Drifting Heart' as the B-side and featured on the 'Rock Rock Rock' album.
7. Rock and Roll Music: Fairly self-explanatory, this was released in 1957 and was included on the 'One Dozen Berrys' album. Another tune that has seen countless covers from the likes of Bill Haley, the Beatles and, perhaps most notably, the Beach Boys, it remains a pioneering classic.
8. Sweet Little Sixteen: Another US R&B chart topper, this 1958 number also featured on 'One Dozen Berrys'. The tune is best known now as the tune to the Beach Boys' 'Surfin' U.S.A.', though it was also famously covered by the Beatles in 1963.
9. School Day (Ring! Ring! Goes the Bell): His only other number one on the US R&B chart came from this 1957 number that appeared on the album 'After School Session'. It features a similar arrangement to another song of Chuck's, 'No Particular Place to Go', and was later covered by Don Lang and His Frantic Five.
10. Back in the U.S.A.: A 1959 release from 'Chuck Berry Twist', this was also made a hit by Linda Ronstadt in 1978. It's a reflective account of live in the United States, following an eye-opening experience visiting the poverty-stricken Australian Aborigines.