The passing of Chuck Berry last week at the ripe old age of 90 has seen a flood of tributes to the great rock and roll innovator, and has also resulted in his first charting position in the Australian charts.
Chuck Berry: The Definitive Collection slide into the ARIA Albums charts at #48. As the title suggests, it is a greatest hits collection, and certainly not his first. But while others have been issued as catalogue items without any real marketing push, his death on Friday, March 18 has resulted in the only real week-long sales surge he has enjoyed to date.
As they say, death is a great career move.
In addition, Berry’s popular hits fell outside of the time when Australia had a national chart; ARIA have only published their official chart since 1988, taking over from the Kent Report, which launched in 1974. Before that, the Go-Set charts were introduced in 1966: the country’s first national chart.
Berry’s purple patch occurred during the late ’50s and early ’60s, missing the Go Set era by a few years. Music charts during this earlier period were regional-based, usually dictated by various radio stations for their countdown shows, which were based on requests and the U.S. Billboard chart.
So congratulations to Chuck Berry, definitely the oldest guy to chart this year, posthumously or not. Of course, we all know Mozart’s probably got a jam or two up his puffy sleeve…