The Buddy Holly Collection

by: Buddy Holly

Given the reluctance of MCA to release a CD version of the complete Buddy Holly recordings (due to either legal issues or a skepticism of its commercial worth), the double-disc 1993 set The Buddy Holly Collection stands as the most comprehensive and greatest CD-era retrospective of the legendary rock & roller. Though it contains all the big hits, this is not the place to turn if you're only looking for "That'll Be the Day," "Not Fade Away," "Everyday," "Oh Boy!," "Peggy Sue," "Maybe Baby," "Rave On," "Well All Right," and "It Doesn't Matter Anymore" -- they're all here, but they don't start unrolling until track 15 on the first disc. No, this collection is for listeners who know the hits but need more; namely, they need proof that Holly was one of the greatest, most inventive artists in the first wave of rock & roll, which this collection certainly illustrates, through its selection of lesser-known sides that showcase both his wild-man rockabilly ways and his sensitive songwriting. If the set takes a little while to get going -- it kicks off with the dynamite "Down the Line," but then the collection, and Holly, take a little while to find a groove -- there are also no bum tracks here, and taken as a whole, Buddy's gifts as a songwriter and a rocker are staggering. Until the complete box is finally issued on CD, this will have to stand as the most comprehensive Holly collection on CD, and as such, it's absolutely necessary for anybody who loves American music of the 20th century. ~ Stephen Thomas Erlewine

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