This year marks the 75th anniversary of the birth of Rock N Roll icon Buddy Holly, a musical icon that was taken from this planet far too soon at the age of 22. The indelible mark Holly left on popular music is unquestionable and as a result has produced two separate tribute albums released this year. The second of these releases is now available in record stores across Toronto and online for music fans, young & old. It’s time to give “Listen To Me: Buddy Holly” a spin.
With an all-star lineup of musicians I dare say that this second tribute record has gotten it a little more right then its predecessor. Kicking off the record with the great Stevie Nicks she tears into “Not Fade Away” with her trademark passion and fervor. Having cut the vocal live in one take, her intensity and passion come through on the track and is a real grabber. Brian Wilson checks in fairly early on with a tender version of “Listen To Me” giving it a ‘Wall Of Sound’ kind of feel reminiscent of the time period and is yet another reminder of the musical genius that Brian Wilson possesses.
It’s not all classic rockers on this set either, as Cobra Starship jumps in with a version of “Peggy Sue” that is actually pretty close the original track. We also get some classic interpretations of Holly’s songs from the likes of Pat Monahan of Train, The Fray, Natalie Merchant. The real stand outs of the newer artists are Patrick Stump of Fall Out Boy’s orchestral version of “Everyday” and Zooey Deschanel’s tender version of “It’s So Easy”.
The album ends with Eric Idle’s hilariously irreverent version of “Raining In My Heart” and you’ve got to believe that if Buddy can hear his version wherever he may be, he’ll have a grin from ear to ear on his face.
With 16 tracks in all, not every cut on this tribute record works as well as you might hope. However the ones that do, are pretty excellent and if you’re a fan of Buddy Holly or any of the artists mentioned on this tribute album, “Buddy Holly: Listen To Me” is worth a spot in your record collection.
Key Track: “Everyday”: Patrick Stump.
4 out of 5 stars.
“Buddy Holly: Listen To Me” is available on ITunes and at record stores across Toronto, click here for a list of some of the finer ones near you.
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