It's hard to think of rock music without the everlasting influence of Chuck Berry. Though we lost the iconic musician and guitarist in March, he has left the world one final parting gift, a new LP. 2017's Chuck is the legend's first new album since 1979's Rock It. Recorded with his children and grandchildren with occasional support from Gary Clark Jr. and Tom Morello, Berry crafted a mixture of new songs and some covers of old standards.
Chuck is an album filled with reflections on love and mortality . In a statement released in conjunction with the album's announcement, Berry stated how he has "worked on this record for a long time." and that "now I can hang up my shoes!”. Berry dedicated the album to his wife of sixty-eight years, Thenetta "Toddy" Berry. This love is shown through songs like "Wonderful Woman" and "Darlin'", a duet he recorded with his daughter Ingrid. According to his son Chuck Jr., whose guitar work is featured throughout the album , "Darlin'" "brought my mom close to tears."
Recording and playing music since the early 1950s, Berry's contributions to rock history are immense. His greatest songs ("Rock and Roll Music", "Roll Over Beethoven") have been covered by nearly every major rock group in the past sixty years. His most famous song, "Johnny B. Goode" is ranked number seven on Rolling Stones' list of the 500 Greatest Songs of All Time. It is also one of the few music recordings selected by NASA to be include on the Voyager Spacecraft, so in some distant star system some extra-terrestrial species will have the joy of discovering Berry's music for themselves.