Buddy Holly Songs Ranked

Charles Hardin Holley (September 7, 1936 – February 3, 1959), known professionally as Buddy Holly, was an American musician and singer-songwriter who was a central and pioneering figure of the mid-1950s rock and roll. He was born in Lubbock, Texas, to a musical family during the Great Depression, and learned to play guitar and sing alongside his siblings. His style was influenced by gospel music, country music, and rhythm and blues acts, which he performed in Lubbock with his friends from high school. He made his first appearance on local television in 1952, and the following year he formed the group “Buddy and Bob” with his friend Bob Montgomery. In 1955, after opening for Elvis Presley, he decided to pursue a career in music. He opened for Presley three times that year; his band’s style shifted from country and western to entirely rock and roll. In October that year, when he opened for Bill Haley & His Comets, he was spotted by Nashville scout Eddie Crandall, who helped him get a contract with Decca Records. During his short career, Holly wrote and recorded several songs. He is often regarded as the artist who defined the traditional rock-and-roll lineup of two guitars, bass, and drums. He was a major influence on later popular music artists, including Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Hollies (who named themselves in his honor), Elvis Costello, Marshall Crenshaw (who later played Holly), and Elton John. He was among the first artists inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in 1986. Rolling Stone magazine ranked him number 13 in its list of “100 Greatest Artists”. Here are all Buddy Holly songs ranked.

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16. It Doesn’t Matter Anymore (The Buddy Holly Story, 1959)

“Song about how Buddy tries his best to be with his love one, but since it didn’t work out, he “moves on”. Perfect song to listen to after a break up!”

15. Dearest (Showcase, 1969)

“The reason why this song doesn’t get enough credit is because Buddy barely got to play around with it. It was recorded merely months before his fatal death, yet the first two takes sound incredible alone. I’d honestly say this is my personal favourite.”

14. Heartbeat (Heartbeat, 1958)

“This is one of my favorite songs of all time. I listen to it often when I’m on the road. It’s so sweet and beautiful. It really shows Buddy’s large range in his vocal ability. Truly remarkable and real raw talent.”

13. Words of Love (Buddy Holly (Original Album Plus Bonus Tracks), 1958)

“This definitely deserves to be in top 10. Turned me on to buddy holly after hearing the Beatles cover, worked back to buddy holly and its just a beautiful tune and song”

See more: Buddy Holly Albums Ranked

12. Raining In My Heart (The Buddy Holly Story, 1959)

“This song is so relatable and beautiful all at the same time. The orchestra helps to set the tone of the piece as well as compliment Holly’s already beautiful voice. You can really feel the emotion in this one.”

11. Think It Over (The “Chirping” Crickets, 1957)

“Probably his best song and the only one where her does not play the guitar. In my opinion that was his best, and it is my favourite. Perfect melody and voice.”

10. (You’re So Square) Baby, I Don’t Care (Buddy Holly (Original Album Plus Bonus Tracks), 1958)

“What a great song. I like the original, and as a Queen fan, I’ve seen it at Wembley. Great! Such a catchy song. I can already hear it playing.”

9. Maybe Baby (Maybe Baby, 1957)

“I always liked this one after watching The Buddy Holly Story. He sings this the best of anyone! Perfect melody and voice.”

8. True Love Ways (The Buddy Holly Story, Vol. 2, 1960)

“I loved this song in the movie too. It is so beautiful. Buddy Holly was before my time. I wish I had a chance to meet him. This song is just too beautiful! Besides Buddy’s great voice, the music in the background is great.”

7. It’s So Easy (The “Chirping” Crickets, 1957)

“This song always makes my heart skip a beat. Holly’s vocals in this track are absolutely perfect. This song is a perfect example of Buddy’s unique lead/rhythm hybrid guitar style”

See more: Phil Ochs Albums Ranked

6. Not Fade Away (Not Fade Away, 1957)

“This is just the best one he ever made that’ll be the day is the most well known This song was way ahead of its time, & did not sound like anything before it.”

5. Oh Boy! (The “Chirping” Crickets, 1957)

“I always feel happy when I hear this song, by the way, I’m 16 born in the late 90s loving all 50s 60s and 70s Rock n roll! Watch the video of this song and look at buddy’s hands when he goes into turbo drive in the bridge”

4. Peggy Sue (Peggy Sue, 1957)

“One of the most simple yet fantastic songs of all time. Buddy Holly is the best. All Buddy Holly songs are great, but this one is the best! First holly song I heard in the ’50s. This is my favorite.”

3. Rave On (Rave On, 1958)

“A better guitar player than Elvis Presley. Elvis was the King but Buddy Holly was at the very least the prince of rock and roll. May kids today wake up to his great ability and keep his music alive for years to come.”

2. Everyday (Buddy Holly (Original Album Plus Bonus Tracks), 1958)

“This song will go down in history as being one of the greatest simple songs of all time. The lyrics are simple and the instrumentation is nothing more than a glockenspiel, bass, and simple percussion. But because of its simplicity it’s become a great song throughout generations.”

1. That’ll Be the Day (Jukebox 1957, 1957)

“Buddy wrote this song after he watched John Wayne’s film “The Searchers”. In the film John Wayne said, “that will be the day” several times and it was this phrase that inspired this hit song.”