Producers: Phil and Leonard Chess
Released: Sept. '57, Chess
19 Weeks; No. 8
This was a manifesto. "I was heavy into rock & roll and had to create something that hit the spot without question," Chuck Berry wrote in his autobiography. "I wanted the lyrics to define every aspect of its being." Set to a jolting rumba rhythm, "Rock & Roll Music" features Berry's genre-defining guitar licks and bass work from the legendary Willie Dixon. Berry's original made the Billboard Top 10, and the Beatles and the Beach Boys cut popular versions as well. For years it was this simple: If you played rock & roll, you knew this song.
Appears on: Johnny B. Goode: His Complete '50s Chess Recordings (Chess/Hip-O Select)