The legend, guitarist Chuck Berry, who merged blues, country, gospel, jazz and swing into the phenomenon of rock’n’roll, died on Saturday aged 90, according to Missouri police. We’re not putting together a greatest song list (maybe later…) but we will try to honour the master by finding 11 songs that are too often overlooked.
What is a “buried treasure”, “a hidden gem” or “an underrated gem” ? Well, to me, it’s a great song that seldom (or never) is on the “best-of” lists of the artist, and it could have/should have been.
I am talking about great songs that are often overlooked. We are talking about personal favourites that you wouldn’t rate among the artists top 20 (maybe), but deserve some more praise and recognition than they get.
There stood a log cabin made of earth and wood
Where lived a country boy named Johnny B. Goode,
Who never ever learned to read or write so well
But he could play a guitar just like a ringin’ a bell.
You can’t copyright guitar licks and maybe that’s good, because if you could, Chuck might have hoarded them as he does his Cadillacs. Without The Chuck Berry Riff, we’d lose not just the Beach Boys, but essential elements of the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Bob Seger, and Bruce Springsteen — to mention only the most obvious examples. In a way, what was at the center of the first wave of the British Invasion could be described as a Chuck Berry revival.
~Dave Marsh (The Heart of Rock and Soul)