July 2, 2011 12:49 am

Various Artists: Rave On Buddy Holly

Various Artists

Rave On Buddy Holly

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IN Arts

(Fantasy Records/Concord Music)

4 stars

The high regard with which Buddy Holly is held is signalled by the varied and highly impressive line-up of acts in this compilation album of covers, released to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the singer’s birth. (He died in a plane crash in 1959, aged 22.) Florence and the Machine contribute a fabulously lithe “Not Fade Away”, Cee Lo Green diverts his classic soulman’s voice into rock n’ roll in “(You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care” and Julian Casablancas turns “Rave On” into slouchy New York fuzz-rock.

However the two best covers come from members of the generation that succeeded Holly in the 1960s. Lou Reed’s “Peggy Sue” is a powerful and oddly moving return to the ominous feedback and groaning orchestral arrangements of his Velvet Underground days, while Paul McCartney has an outrageously good time yowling “It’s So Easy” over crunchy guitar and Beatlesy backing harmonies, complete with a comical coda when Macca imitates the wild ravings of a hormonal 1950s American teen.

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