STELLAR GOLD RECORD COMPILATION OF HITS
Mark | Santa Monica, CA | 10/09/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)
Assuming this is identical to the 1978 vinyl disc that I own...
This is probably the best place to start for anyone who wants to learn about Buddy Holly and his music. Compiled by Holly expert John Beecher in England, it sold over 500,000 copies. The Gold Record was awarded to Norman Petty shortly before his death from leukemia in 1984.
These 20 tracks showcase a particularly brilliant stretch of Holly's extraordinary range and creativity. Unlike many artists, with Holly it was never, "here's Buddy and the Crickets doing this song, and here they are doing another song...". Buddy approached each session as if he had never recorded a song before. He often created a completely new sound just for that song. The classic example is the single "Peggy Sue/Everyday". The two sides do not remotely resemble one another.
Three posthumous overdubs that charted as singles in the U.K. are here:
"Peggy Sue Got Married" is the Jack Hanson Orchestra overdub, 1960. "Bo Diddley" and "Brown Eyed Handsome Man" are Fireballs overdubs from the 1963 album "Reminiscing". "Wishing" is undubbed, and all other tracks are original releases in Holly's lifetime.
One wonders why MCA/USA has not reissued this stellar gold record compilation. Apparently the present catalog (old recordings) producers seem to be "purists" reluctant to release overdubs. I can't argue with that, except to say it keeps some fine Holly performances out of their catalog.
Meanwhile the Crickets have been screwed royally...
Unlike this album, MCA no longer credits the Crickets on its Buddy Holly releases. Even the Brunswick recordings ("That'll Be the Day") which were originally released as simply "The Crickets".
Perversely, adding insult to injury, someone in authority between 1985-1990 gave license to a group called the Picks to overdub any and all Holly songs with their vocal harmonies. These modern overdubs deface Holly's finest work, and are widely distributed as "Buddy Holly and the Picks".
As result, there are surely a lot of people out there who think Holly's band was the Picks, and that Holly and the Picks were not very good (they're not).
The price for this single disc CD is admittedly outrageous -- but if the sound quality is good it's worth every penny.
If you want to introduce someone to Holly, this is probably the most impressive CD you could give them.
Not Fade Away
Tom Without Pity | A Major Midwestern Metropolis | 02/23/2010
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is a review for the MCA CD release of "20 Golden Greats" by Buddy Holly & the Crickets." Everything on this disc was recorded between 1956 and 1958,
and the most famous recordings were released between 1957 and 1959.
By the way, The Crickets were Jerry Allison , an innovative drummer,
Joe B. Mauldin on bass and eventually newcomer Nikki Sullivan on rhythm guitar
It's hard to know where to begin with this CD, there's so much to discuss and all of it was done in such a short time. Leading off are the big hits like "That'll Be the Day" and "Peggy Sue," although to me just about everything on this reissue of the 1978 LP was or should've been a hit record. It makes one wonder what Buddy would've done had he lived, he certainly had the ability to stay on top for as long as he cared to.
You have cuts like "Heartbeat," "Everyday," and the classic "Not Fade Away,"
followed by goodies like "Oh Boy!" "Maybe Baby, " and "Listen to Me."
One thing is clear, listening to these recordings, Buddy was not happy unless
he or the group came up with some type of new or at least novel sound for every recording, they always seem to be trying a different approach.
"Listen To Me," "Heartbeat," "Think It Over" and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" each have their own flavor and listening to "It's So Easy," "Well....All Right," a particular favorite of mine along with "Rave On," "Raining In My Heart" and "True Love Ways" makes one realize what a variety of musical atmospheres Buddy and producer Norman Petty must've considered for these recordings.
Finally you have four titles that were not released in Buddy's lifetime,
"Peggy Sue Got Married," "Bo Diddley," "Brown-Eyed Handsome Man" and "Wishing."
That sums up this must-have CD for any fan of early rock, yes, there are more complete collections available, but foreign or domestic, this is a concise
collection of what Buddy Holly and The Crickets were doing all those years ago and why they and their music will not fade away. Not in memory or in our hearts.