- Published on 1964
- Author: Berry
- Track 4 on “Beatles For Sale“
About “Rock and Roll Music”
“Rock and Roll Music” is a song written and recorded (in May 1957) by Chuck Berry. It has been widely covered and is one of Berry’s most popular and enduring compositions.
The Beatles performed the song in many of their early Hamburg shows, and also played it on the BBC show Pop Go the Beatles. In late 1964, exhausted from non-stop touring and recording and short of original material, they decided to record several of their old rock and rhythm and blues favorites to fill out their LP release Beatles for Sale. Among these was a version of Berry’s tune that eventually became as well-known as the original.
The lead vocal in the Beatles’ version was performed by John Lennon. In contrast to Berry’s even-toned rendition, Lennon sang it as loudly and dynamically as his voice would permit. In the USA, it was released on the LP Beatles ’65.
The Beatles’ version of “Rock and Roll Music” was released as a single in some countries, and topped the charts in Norway.
Meaning of “Rock and Roll Music”
The lyrics of “Rock and Roll Music” celebrate the power and appeal of rock and roll music itself. The narrator expresses a deep passion for the genre, emphasizing its ability to provide joy, energy, and a sense of escape. The song’s lyrics highlight the universal and timeless nature of rock and roll, suggesting that it transcends cultural and generational boundaries.
The Beatles’ cover of “Rock and Roll Music” was part of their early repertoire, and it became a popular live performance. The band’s rendition captures their enthusiasm for rock and roll and showcases their ability to infuse their own style into a classic song.
The song is a tribute to the enduring spirit and impact of rock and roll music, and it became an iconic part of The Beatles’ catalog.
- John Lennon – vocals, rhythm guitar, piano
- Paul McCartney – bass guitar, piano
- George Harrison – lead guitar
- Ringo Starr – drums
- George Martin – piano