Chuck Berry: 20 Essential Songs

"Johnny B. Goode," "Roll Over Beethoven" and other masterpieces that laid the groundwork for rock & roll as we know it

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"Brown Eyed Handsome Man" (1956)

Berry was inspired to write this song while he was touring through heavily black and Latino areas of California. As Berry put it, "I didn't see too many blue eyes." He did see a good-looking Chicano nabbed for loitering until "some woman came up shouting for the policeman to let him go." Over a manic guitar lick, the song spins a riotous tale about a dark-eyed loverman.

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