The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame elected musicians like Elvis Presley, Ray Charles, James Brown, Jerry Lee Lewis and a few select others to be inducted into its grand opening in 1986. Among these artists was an unprecedented guitar playing, rhythm and blues singer, Chuck Berry. Today, Chuck Berry celebrates his 90th birthday with a hair-raising announcement for fans. Berry has confirmed a new studio album will be released in 2017. Meaning, almost four decades since 1979 which happens to be the release of his last album, Rock It.
Rumored in the 1990s Berry had been mixing up new music in his hometown; St. Louis, MO and Rolling Stone had done an issue in 2001 confirming these rumors for his 75th birthday. As time passed, we heard very little from Berry about the new music. Ever so often, there would be an interview or a short briefing talking about the upcoming album. In the early 2000’s he mentioned digitally recording for the first time and explained it was a “big change.” He furthered his interview, “I’ve done 30 hours there already, and I’m going to finish the record there. It’s great, really up to date, and brand-new.” Once again, in 2006 another tease hit the market; Associated Press had confirmed the album was still in the works. Keeping the dream alive for fans all over. Then again in 2012 an interviewer asked him for an update on the newest album, he responded, “As soon as I can get someone to guide me- and I do know a little about the business- I want to push them (new songs) out,” He furthered explain himself, “I’m going to come back and push them out if you know what I mean, somehow. They might be old, but they are the same type of music that I have been playing.” Seemingly, Berry was hesitant about the newer generations general reaction to “older” sounding music.
However, as of today Chuck Berry has fans holding onto their hats for the release of his newest album, Chuck. Information has not been confirmed when the album is releasing nor an official track list. In spite of the unknown, the press release revealed, “comprised primarily of new, original songs written, recorded and produced by the founding of rock and roll legend.” The album features his longstanding group consisting of Charles Berry Jr. (son, guitar), Ingrid Berry (daughter, harmonica), Jimmy Marsala (bass), Robert Lohr (piano) and Keith Robinson (drums). Charles Berry Jr. explained to the press, “These songs cover the spectrum from hard driving rockers to soulful though provoking time capsules of a life’s work.” In the mean time, fans nostalgically listen to classics such as, “Johnny B. Goode”, “Roll over Beethoven” and “Rock and Roll Music.”
(UPDATE 3/20): According to Paste, Chuck Berry’s family will still release his final album. It is expected to be released at some point in 2017. The album was announced late last year on the singer’s birthday. The family said in a statement that they has received a great number of inquiries about the future status of the album. Luckily for music fans, it appears the final recordings of Berry will see the light of day, and soon.