Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Chuck Berry - Chuck Berry Is On Top

1950's Rhythm & Blues, Chuck Berry takes his Country inspirations and turns it into something magical. This is his first compilation album released in 1959, it includes some of his most famous singles. The legendary and ear catching Johnn B Goode, Maybellene & Roll Over Beethoven. This was Rock and Roll, aimed at the Black members of society.

Content wise, this is packed with his hits, it's an early compilation, it just showcases his early career. Almost Grown starts the album in a Doo-wop style, everything keeps the general rhythm which is very Bluesy. The piano stands out here, it's one of the key features to Chuck's sound. 

'Carol' is more R&B orientated, you can here the Country influences here, this is one of the tracks where Chuck Berry surprises me with the guitar work. The little solo's he does throughout are so warming.

'Maybellene' kicks in with a different intro, thank god. This is a cover song, but in this Country western, story based track, it sounds fulfilled. It's one of his most known hits, it's a terrific rendition of the classic song.

The following two tracks start, with the Chuck Berry intro sound, where he uses the exact same pattern just changed slightly each time. It's kind of repetitive on a Compilation album, when you hear the intro, you know it's Chuck Berry. However this would have been amazing hearing it on the radio back in the 50's, you knew what to expect.

'Johnny B Goode' is the prime intro, and prime track from his career. Again the piano drives the track forward with his pounding Gibson guitar. Remarkable single and guitar work. Many of the following sings follow a certain pattern, the intro then breaking into a R&B tune with the Country rhythm, it does get repetitive. 

'Roll Over Beethoven' is one of his greatest hits, it has the same style, with kicking, relevant lyrics at the time of release. This track is all about the beginning of Rock music as we know it, the demise of simple structure vocal groups and classical pieces being played at the dinner table. Most of the tracks are great songs, for the time. They just don't fit played back to back like this.


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