Review #51: The Great Twenty-Eight, Chuck Berry

Karla Clifton
3 min readMar 10, 2021

#51: The Great Twenty-Eight, Chuck Berry

By the time this album came on it was after 7 p.m. and practically pitch black. I was over an hour from my hotel for the night. At this point in my first road trip I was practically passing out on the road, but tonight I felt pretty good. Chuck Berry found me in a good mood.

Similarly to Legend, this album is a “Greatest Hits.” This particular compilation album is made up of singles and B-sides that Berry released from 1955 through 1965, though it was released in 1982.

He’s also famous for being kind of an asshole. Brian Johnson of AC/DC called him “the biggest piece of shit I ever met in me life. The rudest man I ever met.”

BUT, all that being said, he is Keith Richards’ personal hero, and who am I to question the judgment of Keith Richards?


“Maybellene” — Apparently this song is about a car race — that’s fun!

“Thirty Days” — I love songs with threats.

“You Can’t Catch Me”Like a cooooool breeze.

“Brown-Eyed Handsome Man” — Listen, I don’t like it any more than you do, but it’s a relatable song.

“Roll Over Beethoven” — How basic is it to admit that I first fell in love with the Beatles’ crazy cover of this song? But of course the original is great.

“Havana Man” — Why is this one so beautiful? This sticks out like a sore thumb on this album.

“Rock and Roll Music” — OKAY, one of my favorite bands, the Manic Street Preachers, has a really excellent angry cover of this song.

“Reelin’ And Rockin’” — I just love old school songs about partying.

“Johnny B. Goode” — This opening riff speaks for itself.

“Carol” — This one made me laugh. Don’t let him steal your heart away/ I’m gonna learn to dance if it takes me all night and day! Buddy, if Carol says it’s because you can’t dance, it’s because she’s not into you.

“Almost Grown” — This one is just very relatable. Don’t bother me, leave me alone/ Anyway I’m almost grown. AMEN, CHUCK.

“Bye Bye Johnny” — A sequel to “Johnny B. Goode”! Oh no, his poor mother!

“No Particular Place To Go” — This one was stuck in my head for days afterward. Even though I technically had a destination, it did at times feel like I was driving around with no par-tic-ul-ar place to go.


“Sweet Little Sixteen” — Look, I know this song is from 1958 and it was okay to creep on sixteen-year-old girls back then. That doesn’t mean I have to like it.

“Beautiful Delilah” — Get over it, Chuck! Sounds like Delilah moved on to better things!

“Sweet Little Rock ’N’ Roller” — This song is fun in theory but does he say at the beginning of this song that she’s NINE?! He does!!!

“Little Queenie”Too cute to be a minute over seventeen. STOP.


So clearly Chuck Berry belongs on this list. He’s foundational rock & roll, after all. This is the only Chuck Berry on the list, and it’s a greatest hits album. The question then becomes: Why this one and not one of his studio albums?

The RS blurb says that this album is made up of “a string of singles that defined the sound and spirit of rock & roll.” Okay … but singles are not albums. Anything else about this particular greatest hits album that makes it notable, like is it his bestselling album or something? Not as far as I can tell.

Smells like “full of it” to me.

Here is what I propose: Chuck’s 1959 release Chuck Berry is on Top should be here. That one has eight of the songs that are on this album, including “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven.” That’s good enough for me, and it should be good enough for Rolling Stone. Stop overcompensating.

Review #50: The Blueprint, Jay-Z

Review #52: Station to Station, David Bowie