Chuck (Chuck Berry album)

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Chuck
A black-and-white digital image of Berry holding a guitar toward the camera with "CHUCK" written in white on a black background
Studio album by Chuck Berry
Released June 9, 2017 (2017-06-09)
Recorded 1991–2014
Genre Rock and roll
Length 34:51
Label Dualtone, Decca
Producer Chuck Berry
Chuck Berry chronology
Chuck Berry – In Concert
(2002)
Chuck
(2017)
Singles from Chuck
  1. "Big Boys"
    Released: March 21, 2017
  2. "Wonderful Woman"
    Released: April 26, 2017
  3. "Lady B. Goode"
    Released: May 24, 2017

Chuck is the final studio album by American rock and roll singer and guitarist Chuck Berry. The first studio album in decades by Berry was received positively by critics who considered it a return to form and a poignant last statement. Berry died between the announcement of its recording on his 90th birthday and its release in 2017. It posthumously became his first UK Top 10 chart entry since 1977, debuting at No. 9.

Overview[edit]

Chuck is Berry's first album in 38 years to consist of mainly new material, since his 1979 record Rock It.[1] The album is dedicated to his wife Thelmetta "Toddy" Berry. The album was announced on Berry's 90th birthday, October 18, 2016, with a release date in 2017.[1][2] Performers on the album include his live backing band as well as his children.[3] Prior to his death on March 18, 2017, it was implied that this album was to be his last.[1]

Recording and releases[edit]

Recording was completed on schedule before his death, for which his estate was prepared. On March 21, 2017—three days after Berry's death—it was announced that the album would be released on June 16, 2017. Also on March 21, a song from the new album was released—Berry's first single in 40 years—entitled "Big Boys". The tune is an upbeat rock and roll song about a teenager wanting to do all the things that grownups do. The album features 10 new recordings, including a sequel to his 1958 track "Johnny B. Goode" entitled "Lady B. Goode".[4]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
AnyDecentMusic? 6.9/10[5]
Metacritic 72/100[6]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[7]
The A.V. Club A−[8]
Chicago Tribune 2.5/4 stars[9]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[10]
The Independent 2/5 stars[11]
Mojo 4/5 stars[12]
Pitchfork 6.3/10[13]
Rolling Stone 3/5 stars[14]
The Times 3/5 stars[15]
Vice A–[16]

Chuck received generally positive reviews from critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream publications, the album received an average score of 72, based on 16 reviews.[6] Exclaim! critic Daniel Sylvester believed the songs sounded familiar but still distinct from one another, as "Berry covers a lot of musical ground on Chuck, and most importantly, reveals just how much fun he was still having at the end of his storied life."[17] Noel Murray from The A.V. Club credited the record for making "a casually profound closing statement".[8] Writing for Vice, Robert Christgau regarded Chuck as "both a summation [Berry] put his all into and a little something he might have followed up if he hadn't up and died at 90". Christgau called the musician "mischievous and horny and locked in", showcasing "undiminished guitar" playing, strong vocals, and shrewd lyrics on "eight well-crafted new ones and two savvy covers that indicate he's learned a few things—the warm songs to the long-suffering wife he married in 1948 and the progeny who chime in like they've earned it have the kind of detail he always reserved for his fictions, musical and otherwise."[16]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Chuck Berry, except as shown.

  1. "Wonderful Woman" – 5:19
  2. "Big Boys" – 3:05
  3. "You Go to My Head" (Haven Gillespie, J. Fred Coots) – 3:21
  4. "3/4 Time (Enchiladas)" (Tony Joe White) – 3:47
  5. "Darlin" – 3:20
  6. "Lady B. Goode" – 3:00
  7. "She Still Loves You" – 2:55
  8. "Jamaica Moon" – 3:50
  9. "Dutchman" – 3:47
  10. "Eyes of Man" – 2:27

Personnel[edit]

The Blueberry Hill Band

Additional musicians

  • Charles Berry Jr. – guitar
  • Charles Berry III – guitar on "Wonderful Woman" and "Lady B. Goode"
  • Ingrid Berry – vocals, harmonica
  • Tom Morello – guitar on "Big Boys"
  • Nathaniel Rateliff – background vocals on "Big Boys"
  • Gary Clark Jr. – guitar on "Wonderful Woman"
  • Debra Dobkin – drums and percussion on "Jamaica Moon"
  • The New Respects – background vocals on "Darlin'"
  • Jeremy Lulito – additional drums

Charts[edit]

Chart (2017) Peak
position
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria)[18] 19
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[19] 61
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[20] 39
Czech Albums (ČNS IFPI)[21] 21
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[22] 61
French Albums (SNEP)[23] 39
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[24] 31
Italian Albums (FIMI)[25] 72
New Zealand Heatseekers Albums (RMNZ)[26] 7
Scottish Albums (OCC)[27] 10
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[28] 23
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[29] 34
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[30] 14
UK Albums (OCC)[31] 9
US Billboard 200[32] 49
US Independent Albums (Billboard)[33] 2
US Top Rock Albums (Billboard)[34] 9

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c "Chuck Berry, 90, Announces First Album in 38 Years". The Guardian. October 16, 2016. 
  2. ^ Blevins, Joe (October 18, 2016). "At 90, Chuck Berry Has a New Album in the Works". The A.V. Club. 
  3. ^ Kreps, Daniel (October 18, 2016). "Chuck Berry Celebrates 90th Birthday with First Album in 38 Years". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. 
  4. ^ "Music From Chuck Berry's Final Album to See Release This Week". Ultimateclassicrock.com. March 20, 2017. Retrieved March 24, 2017. 
  5. ^ Anon. (n.d.). "Chuck by Chuck Berry reviews". AnyDecentMusic?. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  6. ^ a b Anon. (n.d.). "Critic Reviews for CHUCK". Metacritic. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  7. ^ Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (n.d.). "Chuck – Chuck Berry". AllMusic. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  8. ^ a b Murray, Noel (June 15, 2017). "Chuck Berry’s final album makes a casually profound closing statement". A. V. Club. 
  9. ^ Kot, Greg (June 9, 2017). "Chuck Berry's final album a mix of glory-days references, a few surprises". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  10. ^ Simpson, Dave (June 8, 2017). "Chuck Berry: Chuck Review – Instantly Recognisable Rock'n'roll Royalty". The Guardian. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  11. ^ Gill, Andy (June 7, 2017). "Album reviews Katy Perry – Witness, London Grammar – Truth Is a Beautiful Thing, and more". The Independent. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  12. ^ Anon. (July 2017). "Review". Mojo. p. 94. 
  13. ^ Minsker, Evan (June 13, 2017). "Chuck Album Review". Pitchfork. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  14. ^ Levy, Joe (June 8, 2017). "Review: Chuck Berry's 'Chuck,' His First LP Since 1979, Is Another Casual-Sounding Classic". Rolling Stone. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  15. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (June 9, 2017). "Pop review: Chuck Berry: Chuck". The Times. Retrieved June 15, 2017. (Subscription required (help)). 
  16. ^ a b Christgau, Robert (June 9, 2017). "Thoughts on a Fucked Up Genius: Robert Christgau Reviews Chuck Berry". Vice. Retrieved June 10, 2017. 
  17. ^ Sylvester, Daniel (June 14, 2017). "Chuck Berry: Chuck". Exclaim!. Retrieved June 15, 2017. 
  18. ^ "Austriancharts.at – Chuck Berry – Chuck" (in German). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  19. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chuck Berry – Chuck" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  20. ^ "Ultratop.be – Chuck Berry – Chuck" (in French). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  21. ^ "Czech Albums – Top 100". ČNS IFPI. Note: On the chart page, select 201724 on the field besides the word "Zobrazit", and then click over the word to retrieve the correct chart data. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  22. ^ "Dutchcharts.nl – Chuck Berry – Chuck" (in Dutch). Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  23. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums – SNEP (Week 24, 2017)". Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Retrieved June 20, 2017. 
  24. ^ "Offiziellecharts.de – Chuck Berry – Chuck" (in German). GfK Entertainment Charts. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  25. ^ "Italiancharts.com – Chuck Berry – Chuck". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  26. ^ "NZ Heatseekers Albums Chart". Recorded Music NZ. July 3, 2017. Retrieved June 30, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Official Scottish Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  28. ^ "Top 100 Albumes — Semana 24: del 09.06.2017 al 15.06.2017" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. Retrieved June 21, 2017. 
  29. ^ "Swedishcharts.com – Chuck Berry – Chuck". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 16, 2017.
  30. ^ "Swisscharts.com – Chuck Berry – Chuck". Hung Medien. Retrieved June 21, 2017.
  31. ^ "Official Albums Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved June 17, 2017.
  32. ^ "Chuck Berry – Chart history" Billboard 200 for Chuck Berry. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  33. ^ "Chuck Berry – Chart history" Billboard Independent Albums for Chuck Berry. Retrieved June 20, 2017.
  34. ^ "Chuck Berry – Chart history" Billboard Top Rock Albums for Chuck Berry. Retrieved June 20, 2017.

External links[edit]