Buddy Holly – 20 Golden Greats: Buddy Holly Lives: #791 of best 1,000 albums ever!

Buddy Holly - 20 Golden Greats

Why is Buddy Holly’s 20 Golden Greats: Buddy Holly Lives on my best 1,000 albums ever list?

Not fade away, indeed. That says it all for one of the early rock n’ roll greats.

What does 20 Golden Greats: Buddy Holly Lives mean to me? What does it make me feel? Why is it exciting or compelling?

One of the great joys of this here best 1,000 albums ever project is putting myself into a place of listening to music with intent, with fresh ears. So when I put my headphones, and really give the time and attention to songs like “Not Fade Away,” performed by Buddy Holly and The Crickets, it’s an astonishing listen.

It’s stripped down, wonderful, early rock ‘n roll by one of the true greats (who was taken from us at a tragically young age – more on this below). Also, I can’t think of a song title for a rock song that could possibly be better than “Not Fade Away.” It’s absolutely perfect.

“That’ll Be The Day” has long been one of my Buddy Holly favorites. Holly’s vocals along with the crooning background vocals from The Crickets and the vintage 1950s guitar strumming create such an era-specific yet timeless vibe.

I have very similar feelings about “Oh Boy!” It feels like it comes from a more innocent time – though I’m sure that’s much more myth than truth. But what does feel true and real is that these are the sounds of the birth of rock ‘n roll.

Rock on.

Pop culture stuff that’s somehow related to 20 Golden Greats: Buddy Holly Lives

It’s bonkers that Holly created so much incredible music before tragically dying in a plane crash at the age of 22 while on tour in the winter of 1959. Two other enormously talented and famous rock stars of the era – Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper – also died.

“American Pie,” by Don McLean, memorializes the event as “the day the music died.” I heard “American Pie” one too many times during parties at college and kind of still hate it to this day.

A much better and enduring tribute to Holly in my view is Weezer’s early breakout hit, called “Buddy Holly” as luck would have it.

It’s one of the all time great music videos as well.

If you’re as big of a Sopranos nerd as I am, you’ll know that Tony Soprano sneeringly sings a little bit of the chorus of “Maybe Baby” while walking out of Dr. Melfi’s office at one point. Here’s the song, which is also one of my Holly faves.

“Peggy Sue Got Married” was a pretty big hit movie back in 1986, with sort of a plot that’s not that different from Back to the Future in some respects?

Here’s Holly’s “Peggy Sue Got Married,” which of course, again, great.

Some stats & info about Buddy Holly – 20 Golden Greats: Buddy Holly Lives

  • What kind of musical stylings does this album represent? Rock Music, Rockabilly, Pop Music
  • Rolling Stone’s greatest 500 albums ranking – #166
  • All Music’s rating4.5 out of 5 stars
  • When was 20 Golden Greats: Buddy Holly Lives released? 1974
  • My ranking, the one you’re reading right now – #791 out of 1,000

Buddy Holly’s 20 Golden Greats: Buddy Holly Lives on Spotify

What does the “best 1,000 albums ever” mean and why are you doing this?

Yeah, I know it’s audacious, a little crazy (okay, maybe a lot cray cray), bordering on criminal nerdery.

But here’s what it’s NOT: a definitive list of the Greatest Albums of All-Time. This is 100% my own personal super biased, incredibly subjective review of what my top 1,000 albums are, ranked in painstaking order over the course of doing research for nearly a year, Rob from High Fidelity style. Find out more about why I embarked on a best 1,000 albums ever project.