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Tag Archive: best rock ‘n’ roll


As Rock and Roll is concerned, there was no one bigger than Chuck Berry–no one that more great musicians credited with their own successes, and no one more synonymous with the music multiple generations think of when they hear a singer holding a guitar leading a band with a lively, loud, and fast rhythm, bending guitar strings and blending styles, as well as the very image of the brash, cocky headliner across the world today we know simply as the “rock star”.  Berry passed away this weekend at the age of 90.  Unforgettable hits Johnny B. Goode, Maybelline, No Particular Place To Go, Roll Over Beethoven, My Ding-a-Ling, My Tambourine, and Sweet Little Sixteen only highlight his long career.

Even modern generations know his name thanks to a joke in Back to the Future, where Michael J. Fox plays his trademark song Johnny B. Goode with a band that happens to include a fictional cousin of Chuck Berry named Marvin.  The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, and The Beach Boys all incorporated elements from Berry’s music, including covering his songs.  John Lennon said of Berry, “If you tried to give rock ‘n’ roll another name, you might have called it Chuck Berry.”  Berry never stopped performing.  Only five years ago Berry performed Johnny B. Goode at a concert in his honor with modern legends including fellow Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Darryl McDaniels from Run DMC.  And a new album was in the works.

Chuck Berry with Carl Sagan at a concert commemorating the Voyager accomplishments.

NASA and outer space enthusiasts will remember that Chuck Berry performing Johnny B. Goode is one of only two modern American songs included on the Voyager space probe golden records, which we’ve discussed before here at borg.com.  The Voyager missions are celebrating their 40th year in space in 2017.  The selection of music was made by Carl Sagan and the small team that collected music and images for the records (the complete playlist is listed here).  By our count this leaves only one remaining living performer whose music was featured on the albums: Valya Balkanska, a Bulgarian folk singer whose song “Izlel je Delyo Hagdutin,” was included on the golden records.  Balkanska is 75 years old, and performed the song for the album at age 30.

Where are the Voyager space probes, and Chuck Berry’s historic albums, now?

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mix tape

When you’re done voting for the future of your community today, come on back here and vote in our Best Rock Song.  Ever.  Poll.  Why?  What better way to celebrate the announcement that the soundtrack to Guardians of the Galaxy, Star Lord’s own mix tape, will be released at the end of this month in its original cassette tape form.  As Star Lord would say: You’re welcome.

Back in college I remember getting harassed by a neighbor for making a mix tape.  His logic?  “An album is a work of art, meant to be heard as a whole.”  Yeah, right.  Flash forward to the 21st century.  It’s not so easy to find someone who doesn’t have all their faves on their iPod or similar digital device.

So what songs are on your mix tape?  How about a Best Rock Ever tape?  Can we all just agree on at least one song to make the cut?

gaurdians-of-the-gallexy-cassette-2014

In honor of Guardians of the Galaxy going Old School with its to-be-released cassette tape and this thing today called Election Day, we offer up this poll to find the single Best Rock Song.  Ever.  Did we include all the best songs to choose from?

Mix tapes are personal things and say as much about a person as their favorite movies or books.  I came across my own mix tape from the late 1980s this weekend.  Titled on the cassette “EVERYTHING,” it has A-ha’s “Take on Me,” Phil Collins’ “Sussudio,” Paul Simon’s “You Can Call Me Al,” The Travelling Wilburys’ “Poor House,” George Harrison’s “I Got My Mind Set on You,” Roy Orbison’s “Oh, Pretty Woman,” Billy Joel’s “My Life,” The Beach Boys’ “Kokomo,” America’s “Horse With No Name,” Toto’s “Africa,” and the Eagles’ “Take it Easy.”

Most “best of” lists on the Web carve up their lists by decade or some other division.  For today’s Best Rock Song. Ever. Poll, we simply pulled out a few dozen of the best tunes by big singers and big bands, from Chuck Berry to Daft Punk.  We also included some songs we wouldn’t think would make the cut just to give them a shot at the prize.  So groan, wince, or roll your eyebrows as you’d like.  If you don’t like these picks, add your own in the comments.  We dare you.

Vote early and often (actually just once, please).  If our Best Bond Girl poll is any indication, we’re thinking our reader base will pick one of the classic rock tunes to take #1.

C.J. Bunce
Editor
borg.com

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