Record of the day: Chuck Berry, "Classic Chuck Berry"

Record of the day: Chuck Berry, “Classic Chuck Berry”

Chuck Berry
Classic Chuck Berry (Cd MCA/Universal 112172-2)

Here is the authentic King of Rock'n'Roll: his place has been usurped since the end of the fifties by a beach guy with a quiff, dancing hips and (crucially) white skin, but Chuck Berry knows very well to be the greatest, author of immortal songs inscribed in the DNA of modern music.
You have undoubtedly heard these songs millions of times, sung and played by all the biggest names in rock: “Maybellene”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Johnny B. Goode”, “Rock and Roll Music”, “Carol “, “School Days”, “Little Queenie”, “No Particular Place to Go” and dozens of others.

Everyone copied from Berry: Beatles, Stones, Led Zeppelin, Beach Boys and countless others. The lyrics he introduced for the
for the first time a direct language that spoke directly to the kids of the generation that rebelled against their fathers in a radical way. Simple words just like his music, which was born from the tradition of classic blues (Berry arrived at the Chess label recommended by Muddy Waters) to revitalize it by grafting it with the R&B of Fats Domino and Charles Brown, releasing an energy that until then had not been was never heard and paving the way for Little Richard, Jerry Lee Lewis, Buddy Holly.

The guitar style present in these records, extremely rhythmic and dynamic, quickly became popular; his songs became the voice of teenagers, they burned anger, energy, enthusiasm and continue to do so in an incredible way. His turbulent life and bad temper are well documented in the film “Hail, Hail, Rock'and Roll”, which is also highly recommended.
Of course, not only was Berry not white, he wasn't even nice, he didn't make mothers cry in his army uniform and he didn't play dumb in idiotic films set in Hawaii; all he was interested in was playing authentic rock'n'roll and he continued to do so throughout his life, not caring about fashions and stylistic whims, as he knew that anyone who decided to pick up an electric guitar owed him something.

Carlo Boccadoro, composer and conductor, was born in Macerata in 1963. He lives and works in Milan. He collaborates with soloists and orchestras in different parts of the world. He is the author of numerous books on musical topics.

This text is taken from “Lunario della musica: A record for every day of the year” published by Einaudi, courtesy of the author and the publisher.