Buddy Holly
The Chirping Crickets


4.5
superb

Review

by Ben Greenbank USER (41 Reviews)
October 2nd, 2008 | 23 replies | 9,727 views


Release Date: 1957 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A brilliant album from a rock and roll legend.

1 of 1 thought this review was well written

When John Lennon walked on to the set of the Ed Sullivan show in 1964 his first words were “Is this the stage that Buddy Holly played on?” When Bob Dylan accepted a Grammy in 1998 he stated, “And I just want to say that when I was sixteen or seventeen years old, I went to see Buddy Holly play at Duluth National Guard Armory and I was three feet away from him...and he looked at me. And I just have some sort of feeling that he was - I don't know how or why - but I know he was with us all the time we were making this record in some kind of way.” The conclusion of this is simple; Buddy Holly is in no uncertain terms a musical legend. As an artist he is a primary influence behind The Beatles, Bob Dylan, The Beach Boys and The Rolling Stones, even if his music were near unlistenable his name would be cemented in musical history for that alone.

As with any artist of this stature there is a certain mystique that surrounds their music and honest opinions (most notably negative ones) are hard to come by. Just look at The Beatles, how can anyone say the Beatles made bad music, when they are The Beatles; the biggest, most significant and most successful musical act of all time? Thankfully such moral dilemmas are of no issue here because in addition to being massively musical significant Holly was also a hugely talented and innovative musician in his own right, and that is an often understated aspect of his legacy.

Perhaps the most initially striking thing about Holly’s music which history often discounts is that Holly is not cool, at all. He is for want of a better word, a square. One look at the man himself reveals the obvious and it’s abundantly clear from his music. He was the Rivers Cuomo of his day, unlucky in love, unlucky in life but a genius at writing a pop hook. As a native of Lubbock, Texas (a town with more churches per person than anywhere else in the world) Holly is exactly the opposite of everything Elvis was. He was a grittier alternative to the king, a critic’s rock and roll pioneer instead of a housewives’ favourite and unlike Elvis he successfully converted the black audience with his talent, avoiding the white man stealing black music criticism which is so often targeted at Elvis.

The Chirping Cricket’s was Buddy Holly’s debut album and his only one released before his tragic death at the age of 22. Musically Holly’s melodies are still fresh and interesting half a century later and sound something like Brian Wilson if he were a hillbilly. Although slightly top heavy the album is still full of catchy ditties and Holly’s trademark “Hiccup” vocals matched up with complimentary (and for the time groundbreaking) harmonies. Instrumentally it’s bouncy 50’s/60’s pop with a feint bluegrass/country vibe, a homage to Holly’s roots but also features many “new” instruments from the genre such as the use of a Celesta. Lyrically too Holly made great strides forward in that he gradually moved away from writing love songs. By modern standards (or even the standard ten years later) his lyrics are weak and cliché but judged within the context of the age in which they were made Holly was once again ahead of the game. Choice cuts are the fast paced rocker ‘Not Fade Away’ and the more ballady “You’ve Got Love” but there isn’t a weak song to be found and at only twenty eight minutes in length the album is a swift and enjoyable blast from the past. The Chirping Cricket’s is an album worth checking out not just because of the legend of Buddy Holly and not just because of the impact it had on music but because the guy wrote a lot of damn good tunes.



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Chart.
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Comments:Add a Comment 
americanmusicmachine
October 2nd 2008



3953 Comments


Great review a lot of my family is from Lubbock and Buddy Holly is literally on god’s level in that town

P13
October 2nd 2008



1327 Comments


Just look at The Beatles, how can anyone say the Beatles made bad music, when they are The Beatles; the biggest, most significant and most successful musical act of all time?

I'm sorry, but I have to say that I don't like the Beatles music because I find it generic. And: if you use that train of thought then Soulja Boy is pretty damn good.

marksellsuswallets
October 2nd 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

All of my hugs, all of my kisses, you don't know what you been a missin' oh boy...I love Buddy Holly...pretty good review

johnnypocketed
October 2nd 2008



30 Comments


this thing reads like a fucking eulogy

lunchforthesky
October 2nd 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5


I'm sorry, but I have to say that I don't like the Beatles music because I find it generic. And: if you use that train of thought then Soulja Boy is pretty damn good.


To be generic you need to have copied someone else. As The Beatles copied no one in the latter part of their career, the only part that's worth caring about, they cease to be generic.

The Beatles are still hugely influential and highly though of 40 years after they split up.

If Soulja Boy is still selling loads of albums and making best of lists in 40 years feel free to make this point again, at which point it may be valid.This Message Edited On 10.02.08

P13
October 2nd 2008



1327 Comments


I meant generic as in more common chords/rhythms, and I meant that because soulja boy has had so many people download his garbage then he must be good. Never said that the Beatles are bad, I just said that I think they are bland.

marksellsuswallets
October 2nd 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Of course they seem bland 40 years later after countless bands took the sound and refined it and expounded on it...I agree that most of their early stuff is bland and fairly generic brit-pop but their later stuff was pretty interesting and still is to this day...I do get the point you were trying to make though...

lunchforthesky
October 2nd 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

That is the most anachronistic way to view music ever. It's very silly to label a band bland after a million others came along and rip them off, they were in there first making that music.

Have you actually checked out The Beatles stuff like Abbey Road and Sgt Pepper's because it is far from bland, or have you only heard their hit singles "Penny Lane", "She Loves You", "Ticket to Ride" and the like?

P13
October 2nd 2008



1327 Comments


Yes, I have listened to the band, and I THINK/IMO that they are boring to listen to FOR ME.... IMHO

lunchforthesky
October 2nd 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

If you think they are boring then fine. I don't care. However, they are not remotely generic.

marksellsuswallets
October 2nd 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

If that was directed at me I don't view it as bland because of those reasons...I said its easy to view it that way after hearing all the music that came after it...I enjoy listening to The Beatles older stuff too at times and I've pretty much heard their entire discography thanks to my father and the countless people I know that listen to nothing but The Beatles and Zeppelin...

P13
October 2nd 2008



1327 Comments


Naw mark, it was to lunch. I just wanted to get it across thats how I viewed it.

marksellsuswallets
October 2nd 2008



4848 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I knew that I meant if lunch's response was directed at me haha

P13
October 2nd 2008



1327 Comments


:D

lunchforthesky
October 2nd 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5


What? The "white man stealing black music" thing was retrospectively applied years after Elvis died, and Buddy Holly was no more accepted by black people people than he was. Holly just happened to die before the impact of his achievements could be felt.


According to "The Buddy Holly Story" (A documentary/film of his career) the band were booked to play the predominantly black venue The Apollo Theatre in New York City as the bookers expected them to be black. When they weren't the crowd were pretty adverse to them but Buddy won them over after repeated performances, and continued to play there frequently.

The black man stealing white music was applied by two groups at the time. The obvious being the white racists who criticised him for playing black music and the second being the black people themselves.

"When "That's All Right" was played, many listeners were sure Presley must be black, prompting white disc-jockeys to ignore his Sun singles. However, black disc-jockeys did not want anything to do with any record they knew was made by a white man.[94] To many black adults, Presley had undoubtedly "stolen" or at least "derived his style from the Negro rhythm-and-blues performers of the late 1940s", [95], though such criticism ignored Presley's use of "white" musical styles"

According to wiki, which is in this instance sourced.


This Message Edited On 10.02.08

P13
October 2nd 2008



1327 Comments


Oh them white folks.

lunchforthesky
October 2nd 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5


Also from wikipedia: "A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man's music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis." - Jackie Wilson

There probably aren't many people who have had more **** talked about them than Elvis. He didn't appeal to a broad section of black people for obvious reasons, but neither did Buddy Holly, particularly.


Buddy certainly had some crossover appeal contrary to what you claimed and Elvis was indeed shunned by the black audience in general (obviously there were some exceptions) again contrary to what you first claimed.

lunchforthesky
October 2nd 2008



1039 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5


What? The "white man stealing black music" thing was retrospectively applied years after Elvis died, and Buddy Holly was no more accepted by black people people than he was


I disproved both those claims.

SylentEcho
February 3rd 2009



1570 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This album is awesome. I'm listening to it now after so many years.

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
July 27th 2011



14983 Comments


"not fade away" kicks ass but the rest is sorta boring. will give a few more listens



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