Feb 032020
 

Some covers are more equal than others. Good, Better, Best looks at three covers and decides who takes home the gold, the silver, and the bronze.

come on let's go covers

A long, long time ago — well, sixty-one years ago, anyway – the direction and course of music was altered forever when Charles Hardin Holley, Jiles Perry Richardson, and Richard Steven Valenzuela were killed in a plane crash in Clear Lake, Iowa, in the early morning hours of February 3rd. Better known as Buddy Holly, the Big Bopper, and Ritchie Valens, these early rock and rollers were taken before they reached levels of success that most people projected for them. How significant was this loss? Well, there’s a reason February 3, 1959 is called The Day the Music Died. The music, though, lives on. What really died that day was the opportunity for these artists to influence the direction of the music they loved, going forward.

Perhaps the most acute loss that day was that of Ritchie Valens. At the time of his death, Valens was a mere 17 years of age, had been performing for less than a year, and had only a couple of hits. But he was a true pioneer, and is widely considered the first musician of Mexican descent to achieve crossover success in mainstream popular music. Despite his tragically truncated output, his influence in the field of Latino-based rock can be felt through the years, in Hispanic artist like Selena and Los Lobos; even Jimi Hendrix cited him as an influence.

One of Valens’s best-known songs is the oft-covered “Come On Let’s Go.” The question here is, which of these covers comes out on top? There are many from which to choose, some by bigger names (editor’s note: Paley Brothers & Ramones for me!), but the three selected for inclusion here all have something interesting to offer.
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Sep 082010
 

Song of the Day posts one cool cover every morning. Catch up on past installments here.

Put Girl in a Coma’s Adventures in Coverland series on your must-buy covers shortlist (you do have such a list, right?). See, the whole thing is a game to promote the band’s final show in San Antonio. You buy all three volumes on vinyl or iTunes and fit together the covers to make a game board. I’m unclear on the rest exactly, but it’s a neat concept!

The last song of the series goes back to rock and roll pioneer Ritchie Valens, who had a string of hits in the ‘50s before dying in the same plane crash that took Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper (“the day the music died”). “Come On, Let’s Go” was one of his first singles, and one of the best. Continue reading »