ChuckBerry TheGreatTwentyEight.png

2020 Album Draft- Round 12 Pick 2- Compilations- Hanspostcard selects- Chuck Berry- The Great Twenty- Eight.

“If you had to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry.” John Lennon.

See the source image

Picking a compilation album was difficult- if I could take two- I would have of course taken The Beatles- the Red -1962-66 and the Blue 1967-70 best of albums which were released in 1973. I also considered a number of other compilations most notably Elvis Presley – The Sun Sessions. It came down to Elvis or Chuck and while Elvis was great- I am more of a Chuck Berry guy- so I have to go with The Great Twenty-Eight.

See the source image

The Great Twenty- Eight is the blue print of rock n roll music. How many rock and roll bands were based on what Chuck Berry did in the 1950’s? Would there be a Rolling Stones without Chuck? How many Keith Richards guitar riff’s come from Chuck Berry? He was a huge influence on about every real rock and roller that followed him. In Chuck Klosterman’s thought provoking book “What If We’re Wrong” he writes an essay on which rock star will endure in 300 years- Klosterman predicted that the artist who most closely captured the essence of rock and roll and the artist who will be remembered in 300 years is Chuck Berry.

” Well all Chuck’s children are out there playing his licks”- Bob Seger.

This album of -28 songs contains 21 a-side singles, 6 of their b-sides and one album track. The Great Twenty-Eight features the rock ‘n’ roll side of Chuck- and contain the songs he is best known for [and thankfully no “My Ding-A-Ling” which would have totally ruined everything}

Here is the 28 Great.- I do think a second album – Another 28 could well be called for- this covers most of the essentials but there are some classic rock and roll songs of Chuck’s that could be added- off the top of my head “Tulane” and “Promised Land” come to mind- plus one aspect of Chuck Berry that is overlooked some times- he wrote and performed a lot of great slower blues type tunes which are outstanding.

A great compliment to The Great Twenty-Eight would be a documentary that was done in the late 80’s- Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll- which is about Chuck- and centers around a concert with Chuck and an All-Star Band- which was organized by one of Chuck’s children- Keith Richards. If I weren’t taking this as my compilation I would have considered Hail! Hail! Rock And Roll as my music related film.

Side 1-

  • Maybellene
  • Thirty Days
  • You Can’t Catch Me
  • Too Much Monkey Business
  • Brown- Eyed Handsome Man
  • Roll Over Beethoven
  • Havana Moon

Side 2

  • School Day
  • Rock and Roll Music
  • Oh Baby Doll
  • Reelin’ And Rockin’
  • Sweet Little Sixteen
  • Johnny B. Goode
  • Around And Around

Side 3

  • Carol
  • Beautiful Delilah
  • Memphis, Tennessee
  • Sweet Little Rock and Roller
  • Little Queenie
  • Almost Grown
  • Back In The U.S.A.

Side 4

  • Let It Rock
  • Bye Bye Johnny
  • I’m Talking About You
  • Come On
  • Nadine {Is It You?}
  • No Particular Place To Go
  • I Want To Be Your Driver
Rock 'n Roll Has Two Daddies? New Revelations from Johnnie Johnson vs.  Chuck Berry Lawsuit

A few more notes on Chuck Berry- One of the those unsung heroes of rock and roll- Johnnie Johnson. He was a pianist who worked with Chuck during the glory years- and co-wrote songs with Chuck notably- “School Days”, “Roll Over Beethoven”, “Carol” and “Nadine” among others. Reportedly Chuck’s greatest song- and possibly the greatest rock and roll song of all times ‘Johnny B. Goode” was written as a tribute to Johnson. In the Hail! Hail! Rock and Roll doc- Keith shines the light on Johnson- and that attention gave Johnson’s career a late life boost. Johnson had been driving a bus at the time- the attention from the doc got him back headlining shows.

Chuck Berry would make my “Mount Rushmore”- in a couple categories for sure- he is one of my favorite rock lyricists and guitar players.

“[My mama] said, ‘You and Elvis are pretty good, but you’re no Chuck Berry.'” -Jerry Lee Lewis


  1. This is the Holy Grail for Rock and Roll. Just think if Chuck could/would have sued people using his licks…he would have a piece of almost every song. All rock and roll guitar roads run through Chuck. Great pick Hans.

    • Chuck always kind of came off as a bitter man about things- especially the business end of things- I don’t know what the bottom line was on his finances- but for what he did in the 50’s- he probably had reason to feel as he did.

    • I’ve read after his first or second bout with the law he changed considerably. He did have a nice place in Saint Louis.

  2. This an awesome pick. He was a complex package of superb talent, personality, attitude and endurance. I love his music and respected his attitude. Lucky you to have Chuck on your island.

  3. Man this is a good pick Hans. Why didnt I think of it? One of many that I could have chosen. So many great tunes (The Great 28). I’m a little jealous of you snagging this but it’s good to see one of the pioneers get his due. Chuck would have liked that.

    • Thanks. That album has always been a favorite of mine. I will play it loud so you can hear it your island is just a stones throw away.

  4. Chuck is foundational to rock n roll music, no doubt. Keith talks at least some about Chuck in his book also. Nice lively choice for a compilation album, Hans, and a good write-up also.

Comments are closed.