23.11.17

Chuck Berry or the birth of a myth

A unanimous tribute was paid to Chuck Berry last March, after news of his passing. Three months later, and nearly forty years after his previous record, his posthumous album, simply called “Chuck” was released.

Photo by Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images

A unanimous tribute was paid to Chuck Berry last March, after news of his passing. Three months later, and nearly forty years after his previous record, his posthumous album, simply called “Chuck” was released.

Charles Edward Anderson Berry, better known as Chuck Berry, was born in Saint Louis, Missouri, USA, on October 18, 1926. A virtuoso guitarist, a singer with a recognizable voice and a brilliant songwriter, he made his mark on the history of American music with songs such as Maybellene (1955), Roll Over Beethoven (1956), Rock and Roll Music (1957) and Johnny B. Goode (1958).

The father of rock’n roll

Surfing the wave of the rhythm and blues of his time, he brought in distinctive elements and founded what would become rock’n roll: teen-centric lyrics, a critique of consumerism and tunes that put the emphasis on guitar solos and performance.

Thus, in the nearly unanimous general opinion of experts and other artists, Chuck was the black pioneer of a musical style popularized and then perpetuated by white artists. From Bruce Springsteen to Rod Stewart to the Rolling Stones, all paid tribute to him.

Musical will

In October 2016, the singer had already announced the release of an album to celebrate his 90th birthday. A revelation that surprised and delighted the world of the music, the American artist having been discreet for several decades. His relatives confirmed that Chuck had been giving all his attention to this project until the end of his life.

The posthumous album offers unpublished works to the delight of Chuck Berry fans around the world. His legendary title Johnny B. Goode becomes Lady B. Goode. With Big Boys, we found his raw blues-rock. We were also surprised by Dutchman, a sort of surrealist lament where Chuck recites his words more than he sings. The artist also reveals his tender side with Darlin’ and She Still Loves You. The latest title, Eyes of Man, sounds like a vibrant praise of femininity, sublimated and magnified by the words of the rocker. The participation of prodigy guitarists Gary Clarck Jr and Tom Morello completes this opus and gives it an exquisite melodic flavor …

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