Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Last week I bought Chuck Berry's Gold, which is the Anthology from 2000 with new cover art and liner notes. It's got 50 tracks spread across two discs, and all but a handful are ass-rapingly great. I hadn't heard Berry in years and had forgotten how scorching his guitar playing is. On "Carol" and particularly on "Roll Over Beethoven," he sounds like Marc Ribot half the time - startling to realize that Billy Zoom, while consciously aping Berry on X's "Johny Hit And Run Paulene," was actually playing cleaner than the man himself! Plus, the rhythm section speeds up and slows down and lurches in and out of the groove - basically, just like a real band interacting in real time. Shocking, that. These are some of the most punk rock songs you'll ever hear in your goddamn life, and if you're too young or too historically ignorant to have spent time seriously wallowing in the classic Berry singles, or even if you're just looking to re-acquaint yourself after years away, like me (I owned The Great Twenty-Eight years ago, but it went out the door in a particularly misguided purge), you oughta do it right away.

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