The Great 28

The real KING of rock and roll — even Jerry Lee Lewis says so and Elvis probably would’ve admitted the same. While this isn’t the most definitive or esoteric collection, it is one that has all of the genre-defining, culture-changing songs that Chuck ever recorded. Chuck influenced everyone who came after and is definitely one of the human guideposts on the Guitar Highway. Inspired by T-Bone, Walker, Muddy Waters and his lifelong piano buddy Johnny Johnson, Berry crafted a guitar style that launched a thousand bands and probably literally millions of guitar players. My favorites off this collection include—ALL OF ‘EM! Well except School Days. I’ve never liked that song.

While most of these tunes have done by everyone, most them, including Too Much Monkey Business, Maybellene, and Beautiful Delilah were never done better than what is on this record. While the style of double-stop chokin’ and furious rhythmic bending combined with great rhythm and blues sensibilities Chuck put the FUN in guitar playing. Oft and I mean really OFTEN imitated (and I don’t just mean Keith Richards-punk and garage rock would not exist without Chuck Berry) but never equaled, the debt rock owed to the late Mr. Berry can never be fully repaid. The Great 28 should be shot into space so that years into the future aliens will come to Earth looking to boogie and rock that joint round and round.

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