Buddy Holly

Love's Made a Fool of You

Song Review by

It is a testament to the amount of good music Buddy Holly packed into his short recording career that some of the songs he did not only didn't become appreciated near-standards during his lifetime; some weren't even released in his lifetime. That was the case with "Love's Made a Fool of You," which didn't come out until 1964, although it was recorded in 1958. It was cut as a demo in hopes of having it covered by the Everly Brothers, though that didn't come to pass. Part of that demo feel still comes across in the Holly track, not in the performances and production, which are very good, but the relatively sparseness of the arrangement. Like Holly's "Not Fade Away," there's a slight Bo Diddley feel to the stop-start rumbling quality of the rhythms. "Love's Made a Fool of You" is more pop than Bo Diddley, however, though not to its detriment. It's melodic rock'n'roll with hints of country and blues, decorated by crackling up-and-down electric guitar picking and emphatic, echoing handclaps. The tune's wistful yet forceful, especially when it briefly goes into a slightly ominous mode at the beginning of the bridge. Although the words are fairly simple, it's similar to some other Holly songs in that its view of love is a little more complex than those in most other rock'n'roll songs of the time. It's not just about heartbreak; it's about the more self-conscious realization that heartbreak is an unavoidable part of experience. And although the song and performance are fairly upbeat, it delivers a sly and wicked message: love will make a fool of you, there's no escaping it. Once "Love's Made a Fool of You" finally got released, it found its way into a number of other artist's repertoires. Bobby Fuller, who often sounded similar to Holly, did a fine, reverent cover version in 1966 that made the Top 30, smoothing out the rhythm and adding far more muscle to the arrangement. Also in 1966, just-ex-folkie Tom Rush covered it on the "electric" side of his LP Take a Little Walk with Me, in which the folk singer went rock for the first time with a bunch of oldies covers.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
Showcase 1964 Geffen 2:01
The Buddy Holly Collection 1993 MCA 2:01
The Very Best of Buddy Holly [Dressed to Kill] 2000 Dressed To Kill 2:07