Music

Evolution of a Song: "Rave On"

It's no doubt that my favorite album from 2009 was M. Ward's sensitive and unassuming Hold Time. Every time I listen to it, I'm romantically transported to a perfect sunset circa 1960 and Ward seems to be a fan of that era as well. I've read various articles about his fascination with old-timey analog recording tools and instruments. Listening to his music always provides a soulful escape from what can be an all-too-modern collage of noise and images out in the world.

As is often the case, I have one of M. Ward's songs in my head. The song is a cover of Buddy Holly's 1958 single, "Rave On". The song was actually first recorded by Sonny West, but made popular by Holly. I'm not a Buddy Holly expert, but it's always interesting to connect the dots with some internet research. So I've included Holly's "Rave On" below, followed by a young Waylon Jennings riffing on the tune with mariachi horns, a rare John Lennon cover of the same song and, finally, M. Ward's 2009 version.

The First Record: Aretha's Gold

The concept album that is Aretha's Gold follows the chronology of Aretha Franklin's hits, all released in 1967 and 1968, apex years of the decade not just in terms of numbers but also as an apogee of its cultural and political zeitgeist.

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