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Monday, 20 March 2017


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Ummm...Beethoven wrote 32 piano sonatas.

My favourite would be 'Around and around', and the Rolling Stones version is better. In my youth I listed to the Stones sing this so often, I can still play it in my head without needing any player whatsoever. But Chuck was the pioneer.

Hi Mike,
I still play Chuck Berry CD's in the car. Chuck, Buddy Holly and Eddie Cochran are the three Guitarists that inspired me to play in the early 60's.
I still listen to them all in the car but not so much on vinyl anymore.
I don't play the guitar much now either.
Maybe I will get it out, tune it up, and run thru "Still Got The Blues" one more time.

The LP era started with Columbia's introduction of the LP, not RCA's. RCA was pushing 45rpm records as "miniaturized 78s."

About a decade ago I caught one of Chuck Berry's monthly performances at Blueberry Hill, St. Louis MO. The gig was in the Duck Room which is a rather small venue. People took turns standing next to the stage. There were no security present. I was surprised to meet people from all over the globe.

Considering he was an octogenarian, Chuck gave an amazing performance. Occasionally he seemed a bit bored and mechanical though. He would start each song with his classic style and switch to riffs using dissonant chords.

Then his daughter (who came directly from the airport to Blueberry Hill) surprised him by walking on stage. Chuck's face lit up like a light bulb. He introduced the audience to "dariln' Ingrid". She performed and they sang duets. Chuck was re-energized. He even did a couple of Duck Walks. Bad-boy Chuck emerged. Chuck selected about ten women from the audience to dance with him on stage. Of course Chuck made inappropriate remarks. The crowd (and the women) loved it.

Chuck Berry was not a very nice person. Scandalous tales of his escapades abounded in St. Louis. Berry was one of those rare original artists. Berry was influenced and inspired by T-Bone Walker. However he was was not a derivative artist.

Hail, Hail Rock 'N' Roll

Not meaning to create controversy, but Beethoven wrote 32 piano sonatas.


Isn't it 32 ? The Beethoven sonatas

I saw C.B. play at a high school gymnasium graduation in the 1960s in St. Louis. I think he was trying to make a "comeback" at the time, or maybe he just knew somebody there and was doing a favor. I went to see him with my cousin who heard he was going to play. There was no raised stage, he played at floor level, without a crowd "buffer." Been a fan ever since. I believe he made St. Louis his home for a time, and thereafter often played around town.

Your fave was perfect for the dance scene in Pulp Fiction.

Except Beethoven wrote 32 piano sonatas. Despite this, I'm a fan of your site and your photography writing.

Just to confuse the issue....artists are now releasing 20+ "track-lists" to monopolize the charts in the era of streaming.


I loved Chuck Berry's music. I think besides being an iconic guitarist, the lyrics to his songs are great social commentary on American life in the fifties and early sixties. He really was Rock N' Roll!

Album. A book with blank pages.

I'm old enough (75) to remember when 78's were the common thing, and an album was either a collection of singles, or for concert music, the various movements arranged in a sequential "stack", so that one could place 4-5-6 records on the spindle, let them play through, then turn over the stack and play through to the end.

45's were a big innovation, but just the outer dimensions of the album was reduced.

The Beatles "Sgt Pepper" was, I believe, one of the first instances of non-concert -popular- music conceived as a unified oeuvre.

My favorite of the ":concept" albums, well, several favorites, are all by Pink Floyd.

Hi Mike;
I saw Chuck open for Hendrix at the Fillmore in the 60's. I have seen little as impressive as those two (together) since.

What Peter Wright said +infinity.

The Stones live version of Around and Around from Toronto is worth the price of that double album (Love you Live) for that one song!

[Funny, in the early '70s I collected all the original early Decca UK Stones albums (plus 12x5 on London). But I forgot about that cut. I never listen to those albums. I should pull it out and see how it sounds. --Mike]

Well apparently more people are streaming not actually purchasing those songs. https://www.thurrott.com/music-videos/65576/streaming-now-popular-form-music-consumption-u-s We switched to a spotify subscription for the family and it is fantastic. No more having to decide if its worth buying just listen and download. So not only has the album era ended maybe the era of owning music has too???

Vinyl album sales are going up. My son's next album is going to be an LP or maybe a double LP. His last one was released on cassette (!)* and downloads only, no CDs.

*I don't understand either, but cassettes seem to sell to the same people who ride bicycles with no brakes.

The album era has recently ended in music

Those evil albums! It was a scandal how they used to stop the music from playing!!

Sorry, Mike I couldn't resist.

As for Chuck Berry, I'm still in shock. He was foundational. I just thought he would go on forever.

Rest in peace.

Didn’t you love that scene in Back to the Future (no. 2?) when the McFly kid if playing at the school dance and trying to liven up the band with a bit of contemporary R&R. He does an imitation of Church Berry and one of the band members jumps on the phone and dials: "Hey, Chuck, you’ve gotta hear this!" and he holds up the phone. A fitting tribute to Chuck Berry. And in addition, one of those lovely time travel "chicken and egg" twists.

True, Chuck Berry was not necessarily the first name you would think of if you were trying to summon up someone to come into the bosom of your family, but by God he could rock!

Cheers, Geoff

I always rate the documentary Hail, Hail, Rock and Roll as one of the best of its kind. Chuck is revealed as the ornery fellow he was, and Keith Richards, his biggest fan, the best Chuck Berry wannabe guitarist, who it could be argued surpassed the original. There is no question though that Chuck provided so many songs for bands, great and small, to cover that without him, musical life would be much poorer.

Though I come from the vinyl age I have embraced digital music those last years. But unlike the youngsters I still enjoy complete albums. I can't get my head around playlists and such.

An album was thought as such by the artist and even if there's one or two gems on it, the rest has a right to be there too.

But unfortunately I think the music industry will also take up the single track mentality in the future...

Reply to Geoff's post: "Didn’t you love that scene in Back to the Future (no. 2?) when the McFly kid if playing at the school dance and trying to liven up the band with a bit of contemporary R&R. He does an imitation of Church Berry and one of the band members jumps on the phone and dials: "Hey, Chuck, you’ve gotta hear this!" and he holds up the phone."

Hope you noticed the band's name in that movie: MARVIN Berry and the Starlighters, supposedly Chuck's brother!

It goes back and forth. Decades ago Pete Townshend, who I think most people would consider an album-oriented guy, what with his rock operas and such, told any number of interviewers that had little interest in albums and was a big fan of singles. Ehh...most artists still think in terms of album structure, including all of the current big sellers.

I tend to think of the current vinyl revival as more of a scam than anything else, but at least it brings back the concept of a "side" to a new generation. People will argue the point, but I think the end of the side was a huge, huge loss that came with the CD.

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