Chuck Berry’s Posthumous New Album Now Has A Single & A Release Date
UNIVERSITY CITY, MO – MARCH 19: The statue of singer and musician Chuck Berry serves as a memorial as people stop to pay their respects to the music legend in University City, Missouri, on March 19, 2017. The rock ‘n’ roll pioneer died on Saturday at the age of 90 at his home in a suburb of St. Louis, Missouri. (Photo by Michael B. Thomas/Getty Images)
This past weekend, the world lost one of its greatest rock and roll icons as Chuck Berry passed away at the age of 90. Fans of his music everywhere are still in mourning, but thankfully, the musician has one last gift on the way.
Berry’s new album of all original material, the simply-titled CHUCK, now has a release date of June 16, and music lovers everywhere are surely counting the days until they can get their hands on the collection. For the first time in what feels like forever, Chuck Berry officially launched a new single today, and it proves that even after all this time, he can still rock like he always did. Lead cut “Big Boys” features everything that made millions fall in love with him in the first place: a sing-a-long simple chorus, catchy songwriting, and some comfortingly familiar guitar licks, ones which will always trace their roots to Berry, no matter who is playing them.
While he has always been one of the best that has ever strummed the guitar, Chuck Berry had been all but silent when it came to releasing new music for a very, very long time. In fact, CHUCK will be his first album of original songs since 1979. During the decades since, Berry has played shows and the various record labels he had been involved with all repackaged his music into greatest hits compilations and collections of rarities, but no proper new albums emerged.
Releasing new material around the death of a great, popular artist is a common music industry practice, as it not only appeases fans who might be distraught, it also ensures higher than usual sales. With Berry, this is not what’s going on. This upcoming album was actually announced last October on the rocker’s ninetieth birthday, and he had been hard at work on it in the months in between the revelation and his passing. When he died, the family issued a statement on Facebook that suggested some of the final pieces still needed to be put into place, but surely the record label behind the project, Dual Tone, moved the project forward now that his name is in the news once again.
Interest in Berry’s music has been renewed in the most incredible fashion, and this announcement couldn’t have been more timely. Just days after news of his death spread, fans rushed out to buy and stream his many hits, and they’ll continue to do so for some time to come. His catalog sales rocketed by more than 10,000% collectively, and that figure may continue to climb as the days pass. CHUCK may not be available yet, but his online storefront is already offering pre-orders on CDs, downloads, a limited edition vinyl and plenty of merchandise all featuring the logo associated with this new album, so it’s clear that while they are sad to see him go, Berry’s record label and his estate are focused on giving fans more of what they want.