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Tuesday, August 9, 2011

"Johnny B. Goode"

Chuck Berry - Johnny B. Goode (1958)

There was Rock and Roll before Johnny B. Goode. There were great Rock and Roll guitar players before Chuck Berry. Heck, Chuck Berry had some great hits before he laid this track down. But this is one of the seminal records, and you know it the moment it starts. One of the most recognizable opening licks in music; and non stop for two and a half minutes, this song still teaches kids to dance today. It's also a musical version of the American Dream, a sort of Horatio Alger with a guitar thing.

Listening critically, the guitar is repetitive, the piano doesn't get enough love (too much focus on the guitar in the mix) , and the drums are so dull a child could play. That being said, it was wildfire when it came out. Chuck Berry may have had bigger hits, and may have had better songs. But this one is still a hit, and if you aren't ready for it, well... your kids are gonna love it.

1 comment:

  1. How can you not mention the injustice surrounding this song, as we all know this song was stolen by Chuck Berry from high school student Calvin Klein! To not mention this injustice is downright criminal.