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His Best, Vol. 1

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Issued as the first of two volumes in MCA’s Chess 50th Anniversary series, His Best, Vol. 1 offers Chuck Berry’s early singles from 1955 through 1958. It’s surely stunning to a newcomer to hear just how fully developed Berry was from “Maybellene” on through. He wrote the introductory textbook to rock ’n’ roll guitar with these songs, and his literate, often witty and humorous lyrics showed a songwriter with a perfect grasp on what his largely suburban, teenaged audience wanted to hear. He was daring from the beginning with socially astute songs like “Brown Eyed Handsome Man” and “Sweet Little Sixteen.” The Rolling Stones, among many other British groups, based their early work on Berry’s influence and covered many of his songs through the years. Berry’s variety of themes and his prolific output ensured his musical dominance throughout the '50s and '60s, despite personal issues that significantly curtailed his commercial impact in the '60s.

Customer Reviews

The True King of Rock 'N Roll

Chuck Berry invented rock guitar period! Anyone who has ever picked up a guitar owes a debt of gratitude to Chuck Berry.

A Great Album!

A Must Have!!!!!!

"You Better Free That Brown Eyed Man!"

.."Well; They Never Stopped Rockin 'Til The Moon Went Down!"..Ohh; Yeah; Chuck Berry could write, sing, arrange & "Play That Guitar Just Like Ringin A Bell!" Chuck understood early on the "Power Of The Hit Single" with the teenagers; And pretty soon his own special brand of "Rock N Roll Music" was blasting out of jukeboxes & cars all across the U.S.A.! "Primal Guitar Hero"; Heck; Yes! {No less a "Guitar God" himself; Keith Richards shamelessly admitted: "I stole everything from him!"} And the Duckwalk & the T.V. shows helped to cement Chuck Berry's reputation as a "Real Rockin Cat!" Berry's Licks, Lyrics & Attitude influenced legions of budding young Rockabillies & Teddy Boys from L.A. to Liverpool! Dig these ripe berries: Memphis; Maybelline; Around And Around & Johnny B. Goode!-Real Gone! Grimmbo.


Born: October 18, 1926 in St. Louis, MO

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Of all the early breakthrough rock & roll artists, none is more important to the development of the music than Chuck Berry. He is its greatest songwriter, the main shaper of its instrumental voice, one of its greatest guitarists, and one of its greatest performers. Quite simply, without him there would be no Beatles, Rolling Stones, Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, nor a myriad others. There would be no standard "Chuck Berry guitar intro," the instrument's clarion call to get the joint rockin' in any setting....
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