15 good covers of Chuck Berry classics

Chuck Berry’s musicianship and charismatic performances make adult usually partial of his legacy: His tunes also made a bedrock of America’s stone and hurl songbook. The mythological musician, who died Sunday during a age of 90, wrote fast songs that have been interpreted by luminaries of a British Invasion, punk and complicated steel powerhouses, and hip-hop beatmakers. Here are 15 of a best covers of Berry classics by artists trimming from a Beatles to LL Cool J.

The Beatles, “Roll Over Beethoven”

As a Fab Four came into their possess as songwriters, they available decisive versions of marks penned by Berry, Smokey Robinson, Barry Gordy, and more. Their take on “Roll Over Beethoven” initial cropped adult on With a Beatles, their Nov 1963 British release, before American tag Capitol Records slotted it as a opening lane on The Beatles’ Second Album 6 months later. With vocals from George Harrison, “Roll Over Beethoven” garnered assuage draft success, peaking during No. 68 on a Billboard Hot 100. It also helped move Berry’s strain to uninformed audiences: In Nov 1964, Chess Records reissued some of his tunes as St. Louis to Liverpool to gain on immature audiences spooky with bands like a Beatles.

The Rolling Stones, “Carol”

“Best Chuck Berry cover” could be a initial indicate of quarrel in a almighty Beatles contra Stones debate. Like their rivals, a British rockers honed their qualification covering American artists, and their interpretations of Berry songs are essential components of their history. The Stones’ 1963 entrance single, “Come On,” was a Berry original; their take on Berry’s “Carol,” off their eponymous 1964 debut, was an early showcase for Mick Jagger’s howl. They’d after perform a chugging delivery of a balance on a 1970 live album Get Yer Ya-Ya’s Out!

Jimi Hendrix, “Johnny B. Goode”

Before apropos a superstar, a guitar God served as a sideman on a Chitlin’ Circuit for Berry-adjacent acts including a Isley Brothers and Little Richard. Hendrix’s most ordinarily cited delivery of “Johnny B. Goode,” from a May 1970 gig months before his death, is crowded of a six-string exercices on that he built his name. It after seemed on a 1972 live album Hendrix in a West and hit No. 35 on a U.K. Singles Chart.

David Bowie, “Round and Round”

Originally recorded in 1971 during a Ziggy Stardust sessions, Bowie released his chronicle of “Around and Around” (with a somewhat altered name) as a B-side to Aladdin Sane singular “Drive-In Saturday” in 1973. With a breakneck dash and bomb Mick Ronson guitar solo, a cut epitomizes Bowie’s early ’70s character and matches stylistically with tunes like “Suffragette City” and “Panic in Detroit.”

Electric Light Orchestra, “Roll Over Beethoven”

As stone and hurl transitioned into a sonic investigation of a ’70s, so did Chuck Berry covers. On their second album, symphonic art-rockers Electric Light Orchestra took Berry’s wordplay literally, opening their 1973 chronicle of “Roll Over Beethoven” with an orchestral delivery of a famed opening of a German composer’s Fifth Symphony. And clocking in during over 8 minutes, that’s only a initial stop on a band’s furious cover, that blends adventurous fibre arrangements and grating coronet with the piano, guitar, and outspoken melodies of Berry’s original.

Emmylou Harris, “(You Can Never Tell) C’est La Vie”

Replete with fiddles and steel guitars, a lead singular off Harris’ 1977 album, Luxury Liner, is one of nation music’s good tributes to Berry. Both spacious and bracing, Harris’ cover confirms the reciprocity between Berry’s foundational stone and nation music; her recording strike No. 6 on Billboard’s nation singles chart.

Grateful Dead, “Around and Around / Johnny B. Goode”

When they weren’t going on vast explorations of their own, a Grateful Dead were clinging students of folk, country, and early stone and roll. Though songs by Johnny Cash, Willie Dixon, and Merle Haggard also became staples of their sprawling live shows, Berry’s tunes were a many ordinarily lonesome by a Dead. Between “The Promised Land,” “Around and Around,” and “Johnny B. Goode,” hobbyist statisticians estimate a rope achieved a rocker’s songs upwards of 1,100 times. Singer-guitarist Bob Weir led a assign on Berry cuts, that a Dead mostly used to open and tighten sets.

Elton John, “Johnny B. Goode”

John’s 1979 album Victim of Love is something of an outlier in his catalog. It’s his odd take on a disco disturb and opens with a weird cover of “Johnny B. Goode” that tops 8 minutes. Sure, there are a soulful subsidy vocals, groan saxes, and molten electric guitars that tangible John’s best work — though there’s also musty drum over a Saturday Night Fever-worthy stroke track.

Sex Pistols, “Johnny B. Goode”

Like many of rock’s pioneers, Berry was seen as a rebel by comparison generations — so it’s judicious that successive low-pitched firebrands would find impulse in his music. When The Great Rock ‘n’ Roll Swindle, a 1980 film starring a Sex Pistols that farfetched their start story, strike theaters, frontman Johnny Rotten had already left a group. But filmmakers salvaged vocals from a punk icon’s demos for a soundtrack, including his snarling, profanity-laced chronicle of “Johnny B. Goode.”

Peter Tosh, “Johnny B. Goode”

Berry’s strain sensitive genres over stone and a derivatives. As British artists were appropriating American blues and rock, Jamaican musicians were sketch on jazz and stroke and blues to form a character that would eventually turn reggae. While in a Wailers with Bob Marley, Peter Tosh would cover James Brown and Curtis Mayfield — and he’d continue honoring American artists when he went solo. For his interpretation of “Johnny B. Goode” off 1983’s Mama Africa, Tosh updated a lyrics (“Deep down in Jamaica, tighten to Mandeville”) and remade a balance from a firmly wound descant into a deafening dub jam.

LL Cool J, “Go Cut Creator Go”

As hip-hop beatmakers dug by dry record crates to repurpose selected essence and blues for a burgeoning genre, they fundamentally incited to Berry’s dear riffs. For “Go Cut Creator Go” off his 1987 album Bigger and Deffer, LL Cool J deployed a “Johnny B. Goode” riff as a pre-chorus bridge. He also loosely interpreted Berry’s lyrics for his own, autobiographical verses: “Way behind in a days before we clocked some mix / we used to go to a uncover and lay in a front row.”

Judas Priest, “Johnny B. Goode”

Judas Priest’s barreling “Johnny B. Goode” soars with the arena-ready grandiosity of late ’80s complicated metal. And audiences ate a cover up: Priest’s 1988 recording of a balance reached No. 47 on Billboard’s Mainstream Rock chart.

Paul McCartney, “Brown Eyed Handsome Man”

On 1999’s Run Devil Run, Paul McCartney’s initial manuscript after a 1998 genocide of his wife, Linda, a former Beatle returned to a ’50s and ’60s songs that primarily sensitive his essay style. Recorded three-and-a-half decades after a Beatles put their spin on Berry’s “Roll Over Beethoven,” McCartney prisoner a totally opposite vibe, loading a cut with accordion for a breezy, Cajun feel.

Green Day, “Johnny B. Goode”

The pop-punk contingent has prolonged played decades-spanning medleys during their concerts, covering artists from Jefferson Airplane to Journey to Guns N’ Roses. But “Johnny B. Goode” occupies a special place in frontman Billie Joe Armstrong’s heart: Last year, he told EW it was a initial strain he schooled to play on guitar. “It made all we did after that, subconsciously, for a rest of my life,” Armstrong said.

M. Ward, “Roll Over Beethoven”

The indie-folk artist has consistently regenerated selected stone and nation sounds, and his ebullient, scuzzy take on “Roll Over Beethoven,” released as a B-side to his 2012 singular “Primitive Girl,” demonstrates how a fundamentals of Berry’s character continue to change a genre a half-century later.


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