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  • Posted October 1, 2010


    Born and raised in Lubbock, Texas, Buddy Holly not only wears the crown as a rock and roll pioneer, but his influence remains immeasurable. His tragic and untimely death, which was caused by a plane crash that also claimed the lives of The Big Bopper and Richie Valens, occurred fifty years ago, yet his style and approach has continued to resonate strongly throughout dozens of recordings over the decades. A two record set, "Buddy Holly Gold," features a nice mix of hit singles and lesser known tracks. Buddy's earliest cuts like "Down The Line," "Midnight Shift," "Blue Days" and the chirpy instrumental grooves of "Holly Hop" capture the fledging star performing a varied stew of musical genres, ranging from pop to rhythm and blues to country and western, with substance and taste. By 1957, rock and roll was dominating the airwaves, and that was when Buddy and his group, The Crickets, scored their first nationwide chart topper with "That'll Be The Day," a song so catchy that it there was no way it could be ignored. Fresh and invigorating, the tune introduced the world to Buddy's boyish, hiccupping vocals, accompanied by his ringing guitar riffs, which as noted, inspired generations of kids to emulate such a sound. Had there been no Buddy Holly, there would be no Beatles, Rolling Stones, Byrds, Todd Rundgren, Raspberries, Bruce Springsteen, Tom Petty, Ramones and the list goes on and on. And of course, there's The Hollies, who went as far as nicking their name from their idol. A self-contained band, The Crickets had chops to spare, which proved to be a perfect fit for Buddy's finely crafted songs. Sparkling arrangements, joined by streams of snappy hooks and tight and enthused playing characterize the music, that half a century later, still smacks of innovation and adventure. From the mid-tempo balladry of "Words of Love" to the shuffling beat of "Not Fade Away" to the hard rocking rushes of "Oh Boy!," "Rave On" and "Think It Over," here's a record flooded with energy and excitement. Now add ""I'm Gonna Love You Too," "Fool's Paradise," It's So Easy," "Peggy Sue," "Tell Me How," "Heartbeat" and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" to the show, and you've got a certified masterpiece right at your fingertips. As evidenced by this well conceived collection, Buddy Holly exercised his creativity and originality to full effects, leaving behind him some of the greatest pop rock nuggets ever put to tape.

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