Ritchie Valens

Ritchie Valens

Though we lost him when he was just 17, rock 'n' roll wunderkind Ritchie Valens had already proven himself a forward-looking genius on his only completed studio album. It's still hard to resist jumping onto the dance floor whenever the rumbling beat of "La Bamba" or the sly "Ooh! My Head" kicks in. The gauzy ballad "Donna" glows with the sweetness of teenage love, and Valens' sweetly relaxed take on "Bluebirds Over the Mountain" showcases his underrated way with a standard.

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