Played the Chuck Berry Album I Haven’t Played In the Longest Time Today

Namely, ROCKIT (American Beat reissue, 2007) (original issue 1979)

I breezed through this a couple-few times when I got the reissue and thought — “eh.” But I think I was fixating on the quite extended recasting of “Havana Moon,” which is pretty yargh any way you cut it, but this time I heard that he had figured out how to do longer tunes in his own manner — an accomplishment. And it’s followed by what I consider the near-masterpiece on the album, “Wuden’t Me,” a harrowing escape from jail story (love the Trump-supporter trucker with the swastika armband), that only somebody who’s been in the clink far too much could get this right. Then there’s “Move It,” deft update of classic moves, and “House Lights” where he finally figures out how to address playing in front of huge crowds.

They say dying is the biggest promotional move you can make, so this album Chuck coming out in the summer could set off righteous final fireworks. Maybe the original wave of rock and roll will come back.

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