The rhythm, the groove, the style, and the swing; everything you relate to rock and roll can be linked back to the legend Chuck Berry.
Starting with his single Maybellene in 1955 and continuing into the 60s, Berry’s influence on the industry can still be seen today. He began with and maintained a sound that was different from everyone else: a mix of groovy jazz and blues, but with enough pop to make it all timeless.
His work is probably a huge influence for some of your favorite artists. Bob Dylan has referred to him as “the Shakespeare of rock and roll” and Paul McCartney and the Beatles have said his songs “hit us like a bolt of lightning.” The Rolling Stones’ Keith Richards has written “Chuck had the swing. There’s rock, but it’s the roll that counts,” and Aerosmith’s Joe Perry says, “That feeling of excitement in the pit of my stomach, in the hair on the back of my neck: I got more of it from Chuck Berry than from anybody else… Berry is like the Ernest Hemingway of rock and roll.”
His guitar skills were top notch and changed the way the instrument would be used for rock and roll songs for the rest of time. It leads the charge on many of his songs, which made them fast and exciting. There’s a reason Berry is number 7 on Rolling Stone’s 100 greatest guitarists and their number 5 greatest artist.
Unfortunately, Berry passed nearly a year ago on March 18 at 90, but he still lives on in his music. Here’s our look at Chuck Berry’s top 5 songs.