Saturday, July 29, 2023

Classic Pat - La Bamba

Now this was a super cool idea! Classic Pat (guitarist in one of my favorite bands, The Putz) has covered the La Bamba movie soundtrack in its entirety! It's the second installment in his Why Not? series (he previously covered Tiffany's self-titled album from 1987). The La Bamba soundtrack was an absolutely crucial album in my musical education. In 1987, I was 16 years old and still a classic rock/metal kid. After purchasing the La Bamba tape and listening to it daily, I became fanatical about listening to oldies radio and learning about early rock n' roll (the rest is history, I suppose). And of course I became a huge van of Ritchie Valens, who remains one of my favorite first generation rock and rollers. Because I listened to that soundtrack so many times, returning to it now is like catching up with an old friend. Classic Pat does a great job with these songs. His renditions are faithful, yet they've also been punked up a little. And that makes perfect sense when you think about the way '50s rock n' roll and doo wop influenced so many pop-punk bands. As groups like The Beatersband are demonstrating today, pop-punk and early rock n' roll belong together (pun fully intended). And Pat's interpretation of this material acknowledges that. His version of Valens' "Donna" fits in just as nicely alongside The Young Hasselhoffs or Vista Blue as it would on an oldies playlist. I've often claimed Buddy Holly as the true father of pop-punk, and this album's version of "Crying, Waiting, Hoping" evidences that idea fully. Pat's take on "La Bamba" (which, as arranged by Valens, would massively influence garage rock and punk) is totally killer. While "Why not?" may be the concept, this album is no joke. If you grew up on the La Bamba soundtrack (and movie) as I did, this version will give you warm feelings. But anyone who loves timeless and tuneful rock n' roll should enjoy the heck out of this release. 

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