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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"Reelin' and Rockin'" (1972)

One of Berry's great boogie-woogie numbers, "Reelin' and Rockin'," with its cascading piano lines and stop-on-a-dime verses, is a simple ode to dancing to rock & roll music 'til the break of dawn. "I'm gonna keep on dancin' 'til I get my kicks," Berry sings on what was originally the B side to "Sweet Little Sixteen." He recalled in his autobiography sneaking into a Chicago club as a teenager and seeing Big Joe Turner sing "Rock Around the Clock." "If ever I was inspired as a teenager, it was then," he wrote. "What I then heard and felt, I tried to reprovoke in the song I then entitled, 'Reelin' and Rockin'." He captured a feeling with staying power; the tune was reissued as an A side in 1972 and charted in the Top 30.

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