Nadine - Chuck Berry

Remembers classic songs from the late 1950s and 1960s

Nadine - Chuck Berry

Postby (admin) » Fri Apr 06, 2012 12:46 pm

With Roy's permission I thought it would be fun for each of us to discuss the songs we have put forward that had womens' names as titles. By keeping the song title and artist in the subject of these posts they will be easy to link to from the original list.

Chuck Berry was on a roll during the mid to late 1950s with a string of hits including Maybellene (1955), Roll Over Beethoven (1956), Rock and Roll Music (1957) and Johnny B Goode (1958).

An edgy performer and known by some to bend boundaries, Berry spent more than three years in prison from 1960 to 1963 due to an improper relationship with a minor.

He had a number of singles in 1964 and 1965 which were in the top 20 but overall did not allow him to regain his successful pre-prison days. These songs included No Particular Place To Go, You Never Can Tell and Nadine. Whether coincidence or design, the observation that the name Nadine means hope is intriguing.

A brief excerpt of the lyric in the chorus " Nadine, honey is that you? Oh, Nadine honey is that you. Seems like every time I see you darling you got something else to do."

It is somewhat ironic, perhaps, that Berry seemed to be striving for the unattainable, crossing the line in ways that would have him facing hard times and legal troubles on multiple occasions.

Nadine had the stuff to put him back on top, however, he did not have the focus, enthusiasm and his once scintillating performance following his prison stint as evidenced by his trouble 1964 UK tour. The song holds up very well in my view with the same straight forward construction and tempo of his other hits. His guitar work was also beginning to wear a bit thin although admittedly it was never stellar.

Although in Nadine he claims that he was "campaigning', shouting like a southern diplomat" at the end of the day this was lip service and the lost momentum was never regained.

I would be interested in hearing your thoughts about this song.
Life, as with music, often requires one to let go of the melody and listen to the rhythm

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