Updated: Apr 18
Well…Alright is one of the most covered songs for a reason. Buddy Holly is one of the biggest influences in rock history; his songs were some of the firsts written for the youth, connecting directly to the teen’s feelings. Think about this: When this music came out in 1958, the most beloved rock icons were teenagers, Keith Richards was 15, Bob Dylan was 16, and Paul McCartney was 17; the influence he had on these people is what transformed music and society. He was also one of the first to assemble a rock group with two guitars, vocals, bass, and drums and to write, perform and produce his music. Paul McCartney famously said about Buddy: “I can do that too!”
Listening to these original recordings is like traveling in time. With a little imagination, one can understand how transformative the subtle messages in his songs were. Like "Well...Alright: It’s alright when people say, those foolish kids can’t be ready for the love that comes their way, well alight, we will live and love with all our might.” This basically said, “F*** you adults. We will do whatever we want, whether you like it or not.”
With only two full albums, Buddy Holly had a very short career. He died in an airplane accident along with Richie Valens (La Bamba), and the Big Bopper. This accident would inspire American Pie by Don McLean a few years later. Despite this, he was able to impact a whole generation of musicians and leave us with many classics like Peggy Sue, Rave On, Well…Alright, and Words of Love.
We know a lot of the songs in this album for famous covers by The Beatles (Words of Love), Linda Ronstand (It’s So Easy), Grateful Dead and The Rolling Stones (Not Fade Away), Santana (Well Alright), Bruce Springsteen (Not Fade Away), and many others. If you’ve never listened to the originals, I invite you to become a teen in the 50s and enjoy the music that transformed our society. It is fun, simple, and as good as any pop song of today.