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Pat Dinizio Sings Buddy Holly

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The Smithereens re-recorded The Beatles' Meet the Beatles and now their singer has paid tribute to an earlier rock icon in Buddy Holly with this 11-track collection. DiNizio is a powerful no-nonsense singer and he does little to fancy up these sturdy enduring tracks, allowing Holly's natural brilliant sense of melody to drive the proceedings. Tasteful string arrangements from the legendary Charles Calello, whose work includes Neil Diamond, Barbra Streisand and the Four Seasons, add an extra lush dimension to "Words of Love," "True Love Ways," "Raining In My Heart," and DiNizio's duet with Bobby Vee, "Listen to Me." Holly's short career featured a stunning amount of fine songs, so it was virtually impossible for DiNizio to misstep, and he pulls out gem after gem, from the obvious and obligatory ("Peggy Sue," "That'll Be the Day") to the humbly essential ("Learning the Game," "Everyday"). The album is a simple, unpretentious pleasure.

Customer Reviews

Deck The Halls With Bows For Holly!

Despite a short musical career that was nipped in the bud by his untimely death on February 3, 1959, Buddy Holly's music still managed to influence many musicians over the years. Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens was one such writer/musician whose life was changed forever that day in 1979 when he bought a vinyl copy of Buddy Holly's second album. Reportedly, he was so moved by what he heard in those grooves that he was inspired to write his own songs with a similar "no-nonsense" Buddy Holly pop writing approach. Pat even went so far as to wear horn-rimmed glasses like Buddy, play a Buddy Holly Model Reissue Fender Stratocaster, write the song "Maria Elena" as an homage, and to buy Buddy's Ampex reel-to-reel tape recorder and microphone at a Sotheby's auction in 1991. So who better to record a heartfelt tribute to one of his musical idols than Pat DiNizio for this 50th anniversary year of Buddy Holly's death? The first indication that this isn't going to be just some rote collection of Buddy Holly cover tunes becomes obvious immediately when the beautiful lilting strings begin to waft from the intro to the CD's opening track "Words of Love". The album's stunning new orchestrations by famed string arranger Charles Calello perfectly complement the unbridled emotion in Pat's vocals. The arrangements accompanying "Well Alright" manage to swing and rock while "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" builds to a rollicking crescendo. Calello's totally original orchestral arrangements and Pat DiNizio's vocals allow us to hear these familiar songs anew but without straying too far from their classic origins. Pat does not try to emulate Buddy's singing style or his trademark hiccup vocals on this album. However, the songs still seem like a perfect match when seamlessly meshed with DiNizio's passionate vocals, the authentic Buddy Holly-era guitar playing and the lush orchestrations. One need only listen to Pat's rendition of "Raining in My Heart" (with its Beatles/Jeff Lynne influenced production) or the majestic "True Love Ways" as irrefutable proof that he has lived with these songs in his head and in his heart for most of his life. Listeners will inevitably become swept-up (and perhaps even choked-up) by the raw emotion in his voice as he sings these and other Holly classics that still hit you with a wallop after all of these years. Bobby Vee (who filled-in on the ill-fated tour after Holly's death) lends vocal support on "Listen To Me" and contributes a moving essay to the accompanying CD booklet. Although a string quartet is used throughout most of this album, "Heartbeat" is one notable guitar-driven exception. The brilliantly performed acapella doo-wop arrangement of "That'll Be The Day" with Pat and four other seasoned vocalists is another. This is one of those rare albums that is genuinely worthy of being called a tribute in every sense of the word. Pat DiNizio and producer Kurt Reil have crafted a remarkable CD that is a tribute not only to Buddy's talent but to their own skills as well. As long as there are true "keepers of the flame" like Pat DiNizio around to pay proper homage to this musical genius, Buddy Holly's music will continue to rave on and not fade away.


One of the things thats always been under appreciated about Pat Dinizio is his range - there is a heck of a long way between "Blood and Roses" and "Elaine" and "No Love Lost". This album transforms Buddy Holly's songs from those of a lovestruck 23 year old kid into the perspective of a 50 year guy while still maintaining that Buddy Holly vibe. Not an easy thing to do, but Pat pulls it off very well here. Great album, give it a listen!!

A WONDERFUL album!!!

This is a wonderful album folks. It would be near a crime if you were to miss it. Just listen to Pat's take on True Love Ways. It will break your heart or it will make you want to hold the one you love tight. These aren't your standard covers of Buddy Holly tunes. These are heartfelt renditions done with as much love as a father would care for a child. Pat does nothing on this album as if it were a passing thought. Each track comes with care and fantastic string arrangements by the legendary Charlie Calello. The equally legendary Bobby Vee also makes an appearance. These aren't the kind of people who show up on just any album folks. These are the kind of people who show up on an album that they believe in. And they showed up on Pat Dinizio/Buddy Holly. That's good enough for me. How about you?


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Most folks know Pat DiNizio for the dark, British Invasion-influenced college rock of his longtime group the Smithereens. Few might also remember his 1997 solo album. The new millennium found DiNizio in some unexpected roles, however -- serving as a programmer for satellite radio, undertaking a solo tour in which he played at people's homes, and most surprisingly, launching a failed but quite serious campaign for the Senate. DiNizio and the Smithereens first rose to prominence in the '80s. After...
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