Tag Archives: Chuck Berry

365 Days of Album Recommendations March 18

The American Graffiti Soundtrack


For the first 4-5 years of my life, I don’t know that I knew there was any other music other than this music. I pretty much grew up on this soundtrack. And this is where I discovered Chuck Berry.

It is testament to the importance of the man’s music that 90 years feels too short to have had him on this planet.

I recommended a Chuck Berry collection a few recommendations ago, so it occurred to me that it would be nice today to both honor the moment I first heard his music, but also, to present him in the context of his own history. This is the music that was going on around him as he was coming up, and while I absolutely love everything collected here, it’s also patently obvious that as a songwriter, and as a master craftsperson, Chuck Berry was simply heads above the rest.

To me, Chuck ¬†Berry was a cross between a fly in amber, and a haiku master. In some respects, he never really changed or “evolved” what he did, and in that respect, he sort of remains a gem locked in time. But at the same time, the revelations he provoked within the seemingly simple constraints of a rock n’ roll song are on par with Basho for their timeless relevance.

It is with boundless respect and deep bows that I bid farewell to Charles Edward Anderson Berry. The greatest rock n’ roll master of them all.

365 Days of Album Recommendations – Feb 20

Chuck Berry – After School Session


When you stop and think about, and then start to count, just HOW many hit songs Chuck Berry wrote, the whole thing becomes rapidly fucking mind-boggling.

When you realize, upon further reflection, just how many of these were on his FIRST album, you realize you’re in the presence of Rock n’ Roll’s Mozart.

After School Session is Chuck Berry’s “official” first album. Versions of it available today include 3 additional singles that weren’t on the original release, as they were only released as singles at the time. But given that they were released virtually simultaneously, I think it’s fair to consider it all part of the package.

Which means this man, this songwriter, this artist, DEBUTED with 15 songs that included:

School Days

Too Much Monkey Business

Brown-Eyed Handsome Man

You Can’t Catch Me

30 Days


THAT … is crazy. When you realize that within a mere 5 additional years, he would also give us: Rock and Roll Music, Reelin’ and Rockin’, Sweet Little Sixteen, Johnny B. Goode, Almost Grown, Back in the U.S.A., and more, the Mozart comparison is genuinely apt.

But no need to even skip ahead to those songs just yet. Just start here. And in addition to the hits, check out the slow blues of Wee Wee Hours, the playful camp of Havana Moon, or the spooky, rumbling Americana of Down Bound Train. It’s all pretty darn remarkable.

Rock Me, Chuck Berry.


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