Chuck Berry Richard Williams - Essay

Richard Williams

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Charles Edward Berry was to the Fifties what Dylan was in the succeeding decade: the poet of the age. Over boogie-derived rhythms which rolled like a hot-rod Ford, he sang about girls, cars, school, rock 'n' roll, cars, school, cars, and girls. Nobody ever voiced the preoccupations of a particular generation more accurately, and with more real wit.

Richard Williams, "Albums: 'Chuck Berry's Golden Decade'," in Melody Maker (© IPC Business Press Ltd.), June 3, 1972, p. 18.

If a vote were ever taken to determine the single figure who most embodies the spirit and best qualities of rock, chances are the majority would plump for [Chuck Berry]….

[Chuck Berry's songs are] rock anthems—even to kids who were in their prams at the time they were recorded.

Berry's music has a habit of coming into fashion time and time again….

Now, with the revived interest in "roots music," Chuck is back at the top—and his songs are often used by "progressive" groups as certain encore-getters.

No single person has had more impact than Chuck on our music. The riffs, the subtle and humourous lyrics, the magnificent Duck Walk—he's The Man, all right….

"Rock 'n' Roll Lives!" in Melody Maker (© IPC Business Press Ltd.), August 5, 1972, pp. 24-5.