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Listen To Me: Buddy Holly

4.3 out of 5 stars 56 customer reviews

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Audio CD, September 6, 2011
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Editorial Reviews

2011 tribute to the legendary Rock 'n' Roll pioneer, released as part of a year-long celebration, on the eve of Holly's 75th birthday celebration. Produced by the Grammy Award-winning Peter Asher, who assembled a very diverse group of artists to record their favorite Buddy Holly songs, he encouraged each artist to add their own artistic signature to their recording. Rock legends such as Ringo Starr, Brian Wilson, Jeff Lynne, Stevie Nicks and Jackson Browne are joined by contemporary artists Zooey Deschanel, Eric Idle, Chris Isaak, The Fray, Patrick Stump, Cobra Starship, Imelda May, Natalie Merchant, and Pat Monahan. Each offers their own unique take on some of Holly's timeless classics.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (September 6, 2011)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Verve Forecast
  • ASIN: B005GKIL0U
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #98,152 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Steve Vrana HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWER on September 6, 2011
Format: MP3 Music
This latest entry in the Tribute-To-Buddy-Holly sweepstakes is an enjoyable collection of many of Holly's best known songs on the eve of what would have been his 75th birthday. Overall executive producer Peter Asher has done an excellent job of maintaining Holly's legacy with a string of faithful covers.

Virtually every song pays homage to Holly's original arrangements. Highlights include Brian Wilson's rendition of "Listen To Me," Jeff Lynne's Beatlesque version of "Words of Love," and of course Ringo's affable take on "Think It Over" is a real joy. Not all tracks are new recordings, however. Linda Ronstadt's cover of "That'll Be the Day" is her 1976 hit version.

And just like the recently released RAVE ON tribute album, there is one clunker on this set. Eric Idle's reading of "Raining In My Heart" reminds me of when Steve Allen used to do dramatic readings of rock 'n' roll song lyrics as poetry as host of The Tonight Show. [Check out Steve Allen + "Be Bop A Lula" on YouTube.] This train wreck at the end of the album nearly ruins everything that came before it.

If you can ignore this misstep, you'll find much to enjoy here. RECOMMENDED
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Serves as a handy reminder, if one was needed, of the many many catchy tunes Buddy Holly wrote and the influence he had on so many artists. I like all of it...except Eric Idle. What the hell was he thinking? Almost ruins the collection, especially since it's the last cut on the album....the last thing you hear. Jeff Lynn seems to be doing the Beatles' version of "Words of Love," but then he loved the Beatles, so that's not surprising. All in all, however, a great disc.
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To my ear, this Buddy Holly tribute produced by Peter Asher has a slightly harder edge than the Hear Music set "Rave On." It suits the material well. Stevie Nicks' version of "Not Fade Away" opens the set with her vocals raw & intense. Pat Monahan's take on "Maybe Baby" pounds and thunders and is sublime. Brian Wilson sings "Listen to Me" with his layered vocals making me feel like I've been transported to a rock & roll candyland. Chris Isaak's reading of "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" nails the longing of the lyric, melding seamlessly into this Holly classic. Linda Rondstadt's "That'll Be the Day" still blows me away, with the remastered version searing out of the speakers. Patti Smith's soft & slow reading of "Words of Love" from the "Rave On" tribute spent time in my personal top ten. On this set, ELO's Jeff Lynne bubbles & throbs on the same tune, showing its great interpretive possibilities. Lyle Lovett shines on "Well All Right," "Our lifetime love will be all right!" Natalie Merchant's version of "Learning the Game" is stunningly poignant with Jay Unger's violin oozing emotion. Patrick Stump on "Everyday" bounces out of the speakers with the magical marimba bubbling joyfully. "Listen to Me" is a superb tribute with stellar performances. Enjoy!
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Format: Audio CD
This is a remarkable collection not only because of its excellent music but also due to the care taken with the overall package and especially the liner notes. If you haven't already seen the EPK, you should check it out-- it really shows the joy and care invested by everyone in this project. You really feel this is a labor of love for all involved. I also really love that this whole project was put together to help benefit charities supporting new musicians. I read on the official Buddy Holly website that his widow said that this was a dream of Buddy's. What a great way to celebrate his legacy

While remaining very true to the intent of all of the songs, there is a freshness to the interpretations by Natalie Merchant and The Fray that really show the true depth of Buddy's lyrics. Imelda May is someone I just discovered on NPR when I first heard her track from this album: like so much else on this album, her track is a real up. And while I understand that the Eric Idle track may not be everyone's cup of tea, I think it is a wonderful way for this Monty Python vet to show his love of Buddy-- using his own art, the voice of comedy.

Much better and certainly more respectful to Buddy's legacy than that other tribute. I found most of that one really hard to listen to...sorry.
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Fantastic tribute to Buddy Holly. I really like that the artists stayed close to the original format so that the songs are instantly recognizable, yet they were still able to incorporate their own flavor or style in the songs. Jackson Browne sounded hauntingly like Buddy on his rendition of "True Love Ways". Nice twist on Peggy Sue with the male/female counterparts in this upbeat version of the tune. Natalie Merchant pours just the right amount of sadness into "Learning the Game". All the cuts were good; even Eric Idles rendition, though somewhat out of kilter with the others, grew on me with each listen. Take it with you in the car, roll down the windows and crank it up, cause Buddy still rocks.
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What can you say about the songs of Buddy Holly that hasn't already been said a thousand times. This is the guy and the music that inspired a young John Lennon and a younger Paul McCartney to form The Beatles and who gave The Hollies their name. Great reinterpretations of these classic songs. Especially loved Ringo's great version of Think it Over. Just buy it. You won't be disappointed!
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