Friday Song: “Around & Around”
First popularized by the Rolling Stones, this Chuck Berry classic is rockin' again thanks to Tom Petty
“Around and Around” is song that has been present at crucial moments in music across multiple decades, including this one.
Written and first performed by Chuck Berry in 1958, it was the B-side to the single “Johnny B. Goode,” one of the most recognizable songs in pop music.
In 1962, it was the first song Mick Jagger sang when he and Keith Richards sat in with the group Blues Inc. It was also the first song the Rolling Stones ever recorded — cut in 1962, that version was never released. They re-recorded it in 1964, and opened their appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show with it (shown here). The Stones played the song live as recently as 2012 during a tour stop in Newark, NJ.
The Grateful Dead played the song more than 400 times during their tours, making it a staple of their act.
Other bands to record covers of the song or play it live include David Bowie, .38 Special, the Animals, Pearl Jam, Meat Loaf, and the Germs.
In the recently released box set “Live at the Fillmore (1997),” Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers opened with the song at times during their 20-show residency. Six of the shows were professionally recorded, and the resulting collection debuted last week in the Top 10, becoming Petty’s 21st Top 40 album.
It’s a simple song, but one which requires the band to be fundamentally tight in order to pull it off.
Around and around we go.