Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Not Fade Away: Complete Studio Recordings & More
Genres: Pop, Rock
The great and highly influential Buddy Holly had a relatively brief three year professional recording career. However, because of his enormous talent, enthusiasm for music, and the fortunate emergence of recording tape wh... more »
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The great and highly influential Buddy Holly had a relatively brief three year professional recording career. However, because of his enormous talent, enthusiasm for music, and the fortunate emergence of recording tape while he was quite young, we have been left with a vast recorded legacy of 203 tracks that fill out the six CDs of this new limited edition Hip-O Select box set, "Not Fade Away/The Complete Studio Recordings And More." The 203 tracks range from his earliest recordings when 12 to 15 years old to demos with Bob Montgomery; from his earliest recordings with The Crickets and a set of garage recordings to his first studio recordings for Decca in Nashville; from the Coral and Brunswick recordings and hits that made him famous to his heralded apartment tapes. There are 6 previously unreleased tracks, including most of an August 1955 session, plus another 11 recordings previously unreleased in the U.S. Furthermore, all of the original, locatable undubbed original recordings are here as well as all 57 of the overdubbed versions recorded both in New York City and Clovis months and even years after the "day the music died." Many of these recordings are also hard-to-find or are making their CD debut, having only appeared on the 1979 LP/cassette box set . The music on "Not Fade Away" is packaged in a yearbook size 80 page book, featuring numerous rare photos and session-by-session recording information. There are also two sets of liner notes: "Legacy" by Billy Altman, which puts Buddy's career in perspective, and "The Music" by Bill Dahl, a lengthy tome that traces the music session by session. Consultant for this project is noted Holly historian Bill Griggs, with special thanks to Maria Elena Holly. "Not Fade Away" was produced by Universal's Andy McKaie.
Martijn | Montclair, NJ United States | 11/25/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Not since the 6-lp set "The Complete Buddy Holly" was released an odd 30 years ago has there been a Buddy Holly release of this magnitude.
This box set is more or less an expanded version of a combination of the also excellent "Down the Line: Rarities" and "Memorial Collection". I'm sure there will be people griping about the fact that this set was released only a relatively short time after those 2 releases. The cynic in me even suspects that that's why this 6 cd set was released under the relatively obscure sub-label "Hip-o Select" (which is part of Universal/Geffen Records).
To be fair however, there is nothing at all to complain about with regard to "Not Fade Away: The Complete Studio Recordings And More". This set is a must for any self-respecting Buddy Holly fan.
The set has been spectacularly remastered and is accompanied by a full-color 80-page book (in fact the whole box looks more like a book than a 6-cd set). The 203 tracks are presented in chronological order and sound quality on the vast majority of tracks is better than ever.
Take for example "You Are My One Desire" - a track which I always regarded as a bit of a dud. Definitely not one of Buddy's big hits. But on the cd here, the sound quality literally gave me goosebumps- it's almost like being right there in the studio. The bass is full. No crackles or pops or hiss or anything. And then Buddy's voice sounding just magnificent. And this is a 53-year old recording!
The sound quality on many of the other tracks is great too for as far as that's realistically possible - the garage tapes for example (previously presented on "Down the Line") are of course not hi-fi, yet they sound probably as good as they will ever sound. The same goes for all the early Buddy and Bob recordings, which are all presented here in their undubbed form (as well as their overdubbed form on the last cd).
Another thing I'm grateful for on this set are the Jack Hansen overdubs - all 6 of them are included in this set. These rarely appear on official releases, let alone as clean as they're presented here.
In short, it's all here in this comprehensive set: home recordings, garage recordings, Buddy & Bob, Decca recordings, Coral, Brunswick, alternate takes, dubbed AND undubbed versions, apartment tapes. There's really very little missing from this set in terms of Buddy's recordings.
So if you're a Buddy Holly fan who bought the Memorial Collection and Down the Line and regret buying those now that this is here- I would say put them on eBay, buy a good set of headphones, and get this instead.
Despite all of the above, there is one small exception: the recording of "You're the One" sounds curiously slow to me (in fact it's 2 seconds slower than all the other versions I have on other cds). Also the sound quality of this track is worse than other releases I have. But this is the only track where I found this to be the case."
Unbelievably Great! Worth the wait (Although we should not
William Lynd | Poestenkill, NY United States | 11/26/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Well, let me begin with a huge Thank You to Hip-O-Select for finally resolving all the legal problems and getting this release out. It's been a very frustrating wait! I worry that many of Buddy's fans are long gone - hopefully the next generations of music fans will pick up on the genius of this great talent.
What's on the set? The easy answer is everything! Some will likely complain that a few of the sessions Buddy played on as a backing musician did not make the cut, and there are obviously no live tracks. But the title basically is correct - "The Complete Studio Recordings and More". It's important that for the first time on many songs, you hear both dubbed abd Undubbed versions. This is important as many of Buddy's tracks were messed with after he died, sometimes to terrible effect. Then again some of the demos also sound good with the added instrumentation.
Disc One begins with a recording from 1949 when Buddy was a teenager and he took a crack at Hank Snow's "My Two Timin' Woman" The quality of this and the next few recordings are certainly a little rough, but obviously important to have. From these early recordings the set moves to recordings made in 1954-1955 with Bob Montgomery in Texas. These are the undubbed recordings - just as "Buddy and Bob" made 'em and they are actually pretty cool - real country music and just about every song has "Heart" in its title. Rounding out 1955 are Buddy's first recordings as basically a solo artist. "Baby Won't You Come Out Tonight", "I Guess I Was Just A Fool" "Don't Come Back Knockin" and "Love Me". All four were recorded again in Nashville but these early cuts are good also and undubbed.
The 23rd track into the set is the beginning of the Nashville 1956 recordings and are a real highlight. They are undubbed and sound good with one small complaint There is some distortion about 30 seconds into "I Guess I Was Just A Fool". This should have been corrected for this set - a clean version is available on the excellent import - "Ohh Annie" which also covers the 1956 recordings. The remainder of Disc 1 is excellent!
Disc 2 begins with additional Nashville tracks from 1956 including classics like "Rock Around With Ollie Vee" and "Modern Don Juan" Tracks 17-25 are more home recordings of a bunch 50's classics and are all undubbed - "Rip It Up", "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" and "Good Rockin' Tonight" (also covered by Elvis.)
The great hits of Buddy's catalog recorded at Clovis New Mexico with Norman Petty producing round out disc 2 with standouts like "That'll Be The Day", "Not Fade Away" and "Everyday". Along the way you hear alternate versions and tracks like "Not Fade Away" without backing vocals. These are simply terrific to hear!
Disc 3 continues the amazing Clovis recordings with the likes of "Peggy Sue", "Oh Boy" etc.. This disc also includes 4 rehearsal or outtakes of Bo Diddley's "Mona" which was never finished properly but still great to listen to. I personally really enjoyed this sequence. The disc also includes a generous amount of outtakes, including "Oh Boy" without backing vocals. There are two tracks on Disc 3 that fans were hoping would be clean sounding versions - the undubbed "Send Me Some Lovin'" and "It's Too Late". Neither track sounds very good unfortunately, but that isn't the fault of Hip-O-Select. Apparently these two songs were only saved on acetate and the tapes are not available.
Disc 4 begins with the great "Think It Over", but not the version we all know and love - instead it's an amazing rehearsal take where Buddy asks drummer (Jerry Allison) Can You go "pow,pow,pow,pow -right after the first part?"! As we all know he could and did, and created another Buddy and The Crickets classic! (heard later in the disc). The remainder of disc 4 complete the Clovis recordings from 1958 and heads onto the NY recordings made with the Norman Petty Orchestra. The Orchestra tracks sound great and are included in Mono and Stereo. Finishing off disc 4 are possibly the holy grail of Buddy's recordings - the solo demos recorded in his NYC apartment. 6 original recordings stand out as highlights and are simply amazing and sound fantastic. On a good stereo, you feel like you are in his apartment 50 years ago.
Disc 5 continues with additional demo recordings from late 1958 and early 1959 made just before his untimely death. Like the first reviewer, I was also disppointed with "You're The One" The sound is definitely off and when I transferred this set to my iPod, I used a version from a different CD along with the better version of "I Guess I Was Just A Fool". Track 10 begins the "overdub" recordings. From here on out, through the end of Disc 6, all the tracks are overdubs of previously recorded songs. The Jack Hansen overdubs start us off and are great to have as they have been very difficult to find in the U.S. for the past few decades! The Norman Petty overdubs of these same recordings follow later on this disc and are superior in my opinion, but the Hansen overdubs are still good to have.
Overall, I think Hip-Select did an amazing job. I am disappointed with the two tracks listed above, but out of 200 songs, that's not bad. I'm a little torn about the packaging. I really like the book idea and it's a very nice book with pretty good detailed recording data, but I prefer to have CD's in jewel cases, so I did that and made some custom artwork. I also had a small complaint with the lack of focus on The Crickets - all of the CD's used artwork from Buddy's releases and The Crickets were not just side men in my opinion, they helped with the sounds. Things like Jerry Allison using a cardboard box for "Not Fade Away" were just awesome and so innovative.
Lastly, I wonder if having all of the masters together on one set of Cd's and then the outtakes on other would have been better. I really enjoy the outtakes, but sometimes hearing the same song three times in a row can be a bit much.
In short, if you are a Buddy fan, this is it! - snap it up, it's a limited edition."
Aj Watson | Sydney, Australia | 12/05/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I have to agree, this is one great package. As the title suggests, this is the complete studio recordings. Consequently it omits Holly's live appearances. If you really need those, as well as interviews and more alternates, invest in El Toro's 'Complete Recordings' 1956 and 1957 sets.
The only real error I could find concerns 'Wait Til The Sun Shines Nellie' (track 31, CD 5). The liners would have you believe this is the 45 version of that song, as released on a Coral single in 1962. It's not, it's the 'Reminiscing' album version, which was given extra overdubs on each channel to give the song a stereo effect. As a consequence, we get the album version TWICE in this package - it's also on CD 6, albeit with slightly widened separation. As a consequence, the 45 version is still MIA on any Holly comp. Given the research which went into this project, an error such as this should never have occurred.
The 80 page hard cover book is great and is packed with pics and a full sessionography. The only thing which stops me giving this a 5 star rating is the error with 'Nellie', as well as the fact that little or no effort appears to have been made to clean up the sound on some of the demo recordings included in this set. A fairly straightforward task given the abundance of software programs available. Thankfully, those tracks are in the minority.
Don't wait, grab this set while it's still available. You won't be disappointed. A fitting tribute to the late star.