Rockit (album)

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Rock It
Chuck Berry - Rock It.jpg
Studio album by Chuck Berry
Released1979
StudioBerry Park Studios, Wentzville, Missouri
GenreRock and roll
Length36:00
LabelAtco
ProducerChuck Berry
Chuck Berry chronology
Chuck Berry Live in Concert
(1978)
Rock It
(1979)
The Great Twenty-Eight
(1982)

Rock It is the nineteenth studio album by Chuck Berry, released in 1979 by Atco Records. It was his only release for the label, following Berry's departure in 1975 from Chess Records.[1] It was Berry's last studio album for 38 years, until Chuck in 2017.[2]

Title and packaging[edit]

The album cover depicted Berry's guitar in the image of the Millennium Falcon starship, from the 1977 film Star Wars.[3] According to Stephen Thomas Erlewine, the artwork bizarrely (and somewhat appealingly)" capitalized on "the post-Star Wars wave as it features Chuck's signature Gibson orbiting the Earth (which also nicely plays into the pun of the title, a pun so slight that it's possible to not realize it's a pun without the artwork)".[1]

Critical reception[edit]

Reviewing Rockit in 1979 for The Village Voice, Robert Christgau gave the album a B-plus grade and was surprised by its quality:

"The inventor of rock and roll hasn't made an album this listenable in fifteen years--no great new songs, but he's never written better throwaways (or covered 'Ozymandias,' either). Both Berry and Johnny Johnson--the piano half of his sound for a quarter of a century--have tricked up their styles without vitiating or cheapening them, and the result is a groove for all decades. Minor for sure, but what a surprise.[4]

Along with 1964's St. Louis to Liverpool, Christgau considered Rock It one of two full-length albums recorded by Berry in his lifetime that were "worthy of the name", a "groove" record "sharpened by two back-end songs skewering the racist society he'd striven so audaciously to integrate and enlighten".[5] Observer journalist Ron Hart named it among Berry's five best albums.[3] In a retrospective review for AllMusic, Erlewine gave Rockit three-and-a-half out of five stars and said, despite conceding to contemporary music trends with a somewhat "bright and tight" production, Berry offered "three or four terrific songs and a bunch of enjoyable straight-ahead rockers that aren't quite as memorable but sure sound good as they play".[1]

Track listing[edit]

All songs written by Chuck Berry

  1. "Move It" – 2:31
  2. "Oh What a Thrill" – 3:08
  3. "I Need You Baby" – 3:11
  4. "If I Were" – 3:04
  5. "House Lights" – 4:30
  6. "I Never Thought" – 3:52
  7. "Havana Moon" (re-recording) – 5:08
  8. "Wuden't Me" – 2:42
  9. "California" – 2:19
  10. "Pass Away" – 5:35

Personnel[edit]

Musicians[edit]

Technical[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (n.d.). "Rock It - Chuck Berry". AllMusic. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  2. ^ Kreps, Daniel. "Chuck Berry Celebrates 90th Birthday With First Album in 38 Years". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 18 October 2016.
  3. ^ a b Hart, Ron (October 18, 2016). "Chuck Berry Turns 90: The Father of Rock 'n Roll's Top 5 Best Albums". Observer. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  4. ^ Christgau, Robert (1979). Consumer Guide. The Village Voice. Retrieved September 21, 2018.
  5. ^ Christgau, Robert (June 9, 2017). "Thoughts on a Fucked Up Genius: Robert Christgau Reviews Chuck Berry". Vice. Retrieved June 10, 2017.

External links[edit]