Why can’t you be true: the best of Chuck Berry

I understand recoiling from “Sweet Little Sixteen” knowing that Chuck Berry was accused of sticking video cameras in women’s bathrooms. The further we examine the rock tradition, the worse the male pioneers look. I’m fairly certain the brown-eyed handsome man writing this post would have had his ass kicked for being a gay man around any male pioneer not Little Richard. Who knows? Maybe Richard would have too. Setting biography aside, I regard “Sweet Little Sixteen” as wish fulfillment: brutish only if listeners concentrate on the lyrics, closer to fantasy when you listen to Berry’s inflections and guitar.

1. Johnny B. Goode
2. Tulane
3. You Never Can Tell
4. Sweet Little Sixteen
5. No Particular Place to Go
6. Roll Over, Beethoven
7. Maybellene
8. Brown Eyed Handsome Man
9. Too Much Monkey Business
10. Drifting Heart
11. Rock and Roll Music
12. School Days
13. Back in the U.S.A.
14. We Wee Hours
15. Run Rudolph Run
16. Nadine
17. Jo Jo Gunne

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