Monday, October 6, 2008

Track of the Week: Back in the U.S.A. by Chuck Berry

This week's track is for my friend who is studying in Spain for the semester. Oh, man! The whole country fell apart when you left! There are no jobs and nobody has a house and rich people found out they don't know anything about money so we have to help them! This is the Greatest Depression! It has iPhones! And a black guy might become president and even win a couple of Southern states! And I'm trying to help him!

Now that that is out of the way...Chuck Berry released "Back in the U.S.A." in 1959. It features one of Berry's patented intro riffs and continues rockin' for almost two and a half minutes with jangling piano and chugging guitar. "Back in the U.S.A." should be one of those songs people always play for patriotic reasons. Actually, it should replace "God Bless the U.S.A." because that song is boring and sappy and boringboringboringboringboringboringboringboring. We have two good covers for you, too, from the MC5 and the Modern Lovers.

And there are not any videos of the two cover versions.

I louz teh internetz.

Proto-punk rockers, the MC5, inject as much energy into their cover as they are capable into any of their own songs. The guitar work also stands out. Meanwhile, the Modern Lovers cover is more laid back than either of the other versions. It is probably the weakest of the three, but Jonathan Richman loves rock 'n' roll and that shines through.

Back in the U.S.A. by Chuck Berry
Back in the U.S.A. by MC5
Back in the U.S.A. by Modern Lovers

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