Friday, July 27, 2012

The Norton Anthology of Rock n' Roll

On a road trip recently Chuck Berry's "Too Much Monkey Business" came up on the 'ole iPod and both me and my wife had a blast picking out the clever lines ("Blonde haired, good lookin' - tryin' to get me hooked/Want me to marry - settle down - get a home - write a book!"). It got me thinking how under-discussed Berry's lyrical prowess is.

And then lo and behold Steven Akey over at The Millions writes an article called: Chuck Berry: Neoclassicist that puts a great deal of discussion into the poetic power of Berry's words. Please go read it and then feel free to tell us what you think!


  1. Ha! I'd just read that article two nights ago, so when I saw your post, and before I got to your reference to the article, I thought, "He oughta read that article at The Millions." What I'd add to the obvious about Chuck's writing, is that his singing was ace, too. His enunciation allowed those sterling lines to be appreciated, and his phrasing was full of character. He was the complete package as an artist. It was sophisticated pop music in an era when such wasn't the norm.
    Now, don't get me started on why Dylan is one of the greatest vocalists of the rock era. That's a grand essay I may commit to paper some day....
    C in California

    1. I'm with you on the genius of Dylan's phrasing.

  2. "Motorvating".

    I've always heard "motorvating over the hill", not "motivating".

    Anyone else?

    1. "motorvating' sounds more fitting to me.


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