Tribute albums continue to pay homage to the man, including Listen to Me: Buddy Holly that includes covers from Jackson Browne, Brian Wilson, Lyle Lovett and Imelda May and Rave On Buddy Holly that features the Black Keys, Paul McCartney, Patti Smith, My Morning Jacket, John Doe and the Detroit Cobras. Los Angeles has declared his birthday "Buddy Holly Day" and his star will be unveiled on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
Putting these songs into any kind of order is a tad odd.Wake up on a different day and they assemble themselves in other ways. Holly wrote many of them and covered others. But they are all worthy of being considered his songs, since he made everything he touched his own.
Be sure to write in your own faves in the comments section so generously supplied by the nifty folks at Y! Music.Sonny Curtis onto guitar and proved that early in Holly's career, he had a way with a tune.
24) "I'm Looking For Someone To Love": Since Buddy Holly barely lived, all his material was recorded within a few years, making his accomplishments that much more impressive. These days, it takes artists years to make a record and the results are often worse!Mickey & Sylvia hit was recorded by Holly in his New York apartment, just him and his guitar, proof that talent succeeds with or without producers, whose true function is to make artists sound good, not to make people artists.
22) "Rock Around With Ollie Vee": Several known takes of this track prove Holly didn't always have a handle on a tune right away. But even tracks not up to his standards sound pretty darn tootin' to the rest of us.Norman Petty were among Holly's most successful. This begs the question as to why New Mexico isn't a hotbed of musical activity.
18) "Blue Days-Black Nights": The Nashville sessions were closer to rockabilly than the New Mexico sessions, since, after all, they were closer to Memphis. This was Holly's first single.Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller tunes. And the best of the lot got great recordings out of the deal.
16) "Love Me": "Love Me" is a song that any songwriter would be proud of.Unless you're a terrible songwriter with lousy aesthetics.
14) "Don't Come Back Knockin'": More great Nashville recordings. Amazing Holly was able to get such inventive recordings in a town then known for its musical conservatism.The Knack version, but then you have to consider the age of the general populace.
While it was nice of Pavement to nick the melody for their own "Silence Kit," it just goes to show how derivative Pavement were and how enduring classic 1950s melodies are. Holly's drummer didn't use his drums for this track, but, rather, his knees.Linda Ronstadt for covering it. It shows she has good taste. What was she supposed to do? Cover lousy songs so the purists wouldn't get mad? Little Richard cover that Holly rocked out in his New York City apartment that was also released with posthumous overdubs. Either way, it sounds great.
8) "Maybe Baby": Some of these songs sound so obvious now. But someone had to write them (in this case, Buddy Holly and Norman Petty) and then someone -Holly - had to record it and make it immortal.
6) "Learning the Game": It also shouldn't surprise anyone that Holly's last recordings in his New York City apartment were among his best. He was only getting better as is expected for someone just 22 years old.
4) "Oh Boy": Holly's writers and producers understood what kind of song would help Holly shine. The simplicity by today's standards makes the song rather quaint. But better catchy and quaint than dense and crappy.Terry "Seasons In the Sun"Jacks to Jimmy "Led Zeppelin" Page to Blondie covered this track. It's a monster.Holly didn't write it, but he had the good sense to cover it. It was the leadoff track on his second album, Buddy Holly.
2) "Rave On": Bruce Springsteen did a cool version of this song in concert. It's another track Holly didn't write, but that he delivered with sincere authority. It might be a good idea if today's bands and singer-songwriters concerned themselves less with writing their own material.It would leave more time to party!