The amount of hits Buddy Holly churned out in his short time as a rock 'n' roll star is really quite amazing. When Holly died in a plane crash back in 1959, he was just 22 years old and had only been in the limelight for a mere two years, when his first single "That'll Be the Day" went number one in 1957. Somehow though, the soon to be rock 'n' roll legend was able to assemble a colossal of pop classics within that period of time, many of which have gone down in history as anthems of his generation.
The musical community has always remembered Buddy Holly as a rock pioneer, but now, with the Rave On Buddy Holly tribute record, it's finally official. Many A-list names, some new some old, feature on the album—from Paul McCartney and Lou Reed to The Black Keys, Cee Lo Green, Fiona Apple, and Kid Rock. Compared to other recent tribute cover records, it's a much more familiar and well-known line up. Thankfully though, Rave On Buddy Holly proves to be more than just a collection of big names, as each of the 19 artists add their own impressive take on Holly's timeless catalog.
Choosing favorites from such a varied and extensive list of covers is tough I must say, but there are a few moments that stand out from the rest. Paul McCartney, who has previously stated that Holly was one of the Beatles' biggest influences, revisions the stunning song "It's So Easy", throwing everything he's got and then some into the track, howling wildly over the scruffy guitars before breaking off into a eccentric soliloquy about how he's going to "entertain" his lady friend. Another certified winner is Cee Lo Green's take on Holly's "(You're So Square) Baby I Don't Care". The Grammy award winning vocalist gives his best rockabilly Elvis impression, providing the track's old-school rock reverb with his signature soulful croon. It's a whole lotta' rhythm for only 92 seconds, but leave it to Cee Lo to absolutely own it. One of the more surprising highlights on the album comes from none other than Kid Rock, as he juices up the classic "Well All Right". Rock sings incredibly tough over this high flying jam, and with the infusion of a horn section, there's no way you'll be able to control yourself from bopping your head in satisfaction.
The overall best part about Rave On Buddy Holly though, is it's wide-ranging diversity. Sitting at nineteen tracks, this album is likely to have something for every music lover—from blues enthusiasts to new age pop fans. Usually, such a long record brings about filler tracks, but here there's surprisingly few. Each artist does their best to take Holly's music to uncharted heights, staying true to it's foundation but most importantly making it their own. You're probably right to think that Rave On Buddy Holly is one of the more hyped about cover albums in recent memory. But after one listen all the way through, you'll agree that it's also one of the best.