Thursday, July 12, 2012

Buddy's Best

Say what you want about the age of technology and the millions who wander around oblivious to their surroundings like George Romero extras, while plugged into their PDAs and portable music gadgets. Is there a greater thrill for a music fan than the iPod Shuffle blindsiding you with something amazing?

I had a "Words Of Love" moment while creeping along the "N" subway line last night. It was two moments, actually, just a few songs apart. The first was "Ummm...Oh Yeah," a song I first heard on the Buddy Holly "Showcase" LP.  A few seconds into the intro, my mind shot back to that day, and in less than two minutes I found myself sitting in my room and listening to this brief but gorgeous tune. At the time, all I knew was The Beatles version of Holly's "Words Of Love," a favorite off a favorite album, "Beatles For Sale." I wasn't quite savvy enough yet to love and appreciate or even know much about Buddy Holly. So, "Ummm...Oh Yeah" was a revelation. Oddly, it's usually referred to as an early version of Holly's "Dearest" even though it clearly sounds like the demo for "Words Of Love." (If anyone can clear that up, please let me know.)

As the next songs played, I thought, I need to make "Words Of Love" tomorrow's Song Of The Day. But then Nick Lowe's "Poor Side Of Town" came on. (Damn, what a beautiful cover.)  Next, the Apple gremlins took over and Patti Smith's absolutely dreamy version of "Words Of Love" queued up.

There you have it.

I think it just might be Buddy's best song and though it is not theirs, The Beatles just might own it.
And once in a while, I think I may love "Ummm...Oh Yeah" most of all, whether or not it truly is "Words Of Love."

Listen to all, as well as other great versions by Shoes, Paul Burch and Jeff Lynne.



Great stuff Sal -- thanks.

Words of Love is a wonderful song and these are great versions. The jewel in that crown comes from Patti Smith -- she just takes your breath away.

iggy said...

What a great surprise. Thanks, Sal.

Anything Should Happen said...

You know of my love of Buddy Holly Sal and Words Of Love is amazing.

My parents were big Buddy Holly fans and I'd have to admit that the great man was what spiked my interest in music as a young kid.

sclinchy said...

Poor Side of Town is a great cover. I heard Lowe on the radio when The Convincer came out and he said that he always likes to put an obscure cover on every record. He had no idea when he recorded this that Johnny Rivers had had a big hit with it in the US.

FD13NYC said...

Can't argue about a great song. Wherever it stemmed or was derived from, it's three chord heaven, like many other of Buddy's songs.

The Beatles, Shoes and Jeff Lynne really nail it. The Patti Smith version, I think I'll take a pass on. Too much of a dirge.

Good choice Sal!

John Wicker said...

I love the fact (among others) that the drums are J.I.'s levis.

Robin said...

This put a big smile on my face. Love my Buddy and "Words of Love", partial to the Beatles one of course (their sincere admiration for Holly infuses their version), but I really like all of them.

I have always loved "Poor Side of Town" specifically Rivers' version, his phrasing/singing. Thanks for sharing the Lowe one, nice. It was actually the earworm I woke up with this morning, so it was weird seeing it here though in a different version of course.

Anonymous said...

Poor Side is a great song. Try the Laura Cantrell version...but beware, she can become addictive!

jeff k said...

I love all of Buddy's stuff but especially from his last period. Those apartment recordings are terrific, and as far as covers go, I can never get enough of Rick Danko singing "Rainin' in My Heart", a song that sounds as if it were written for him.