Dualtone, a Nashville-based music label, has released "Big Boys," a scorching Berry romp featuring Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello and Nathaniel Rateliff. It's the lead single from Berry's upcoming album, "Chuck," available June 16. It's the late rock-n-roll legend's first album since 1979 and one he had been working on since 1991.
Kicking off with a classic Berry guitar riff, "Big Boys" offers the tale of a little boy who wants to party like the older boys do. Berry and Rateliff trade vocals, and while most of the guitar breaks are Berry's, the track ends with a solo from Morello.
Rolling Stone has a look inside Berry's final album, which includes a Johnny B. Goode sequel "Lady B. Goode," and a re-write of "Havana Moon" called "Jamaica Moon."
According to the magazine, some of the songs have their origins in the 1980s, when Berry was touring the oldies circuit.
"He always had a pad and a pencil with him," says frequent Berry bass player Jimmy Marsala. But a fire at the singer's home, Berry Park, in 1989 destroyed 20 years’ worth of tapes.
Berry worked to recapture much of the music, switching to digital production and teaching band members parts he'd written on piano.
"Sometimes he'd show us the bass line or the piano line that he wanted," Marsala told Rolling Stone. "He heard things differently than most people do, let's put it that way."
Then Berry would check the music with his wife of 68 years, Themetta "Toddy" Berry.
"My mom would give a thumbs up or a thumbs down," remembers Charles Berry, Jr. "Thumbs up, he was done. Thumbs down, 'I've got more work to do.'"
Here's the track list: