Top positive review
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A great collection but not 'the best'
on 17 June 2013
I have been a fan of Buddy Holly since 2008 and the only other album I have of his is 'The ultimate collection' which is an awesome compilation with much of his best material on. This album here was a clear choice for me because it has many songs which aren't on that album. It is called 'The very best of' but I don't agree with that title. It would be better to have called it something less pretentious like 'The Buddy Holly collection' because a lot of his great songs which are featured on the aforementioned album are not on this one and therefore I don't think it deserves the title of 'The very best of'. Some of his best work like Learning the game, Raining in my heart, It doesn't matter anymore, Moondreams, Midnight shift and Love is strange are all absent. This compilation is actually a collection of his first 2 albums (he only ever made 3) with bonus tracks from the time. Disc 1 is Buddy Holly - his debut solo album released in 1958. Disc 2 is Buddy Holly and The chirpin' crickets - released a few months before on a different label. Both these albums have some of his well known tracks with disc 1 having Peggy sue, Everyday, Rave on and Heartbeat, while disc 2 features Oh boy, Maybe baby, That'll be the day (apparently 1 of his first solo songs written which went to number 1 here in the UK) and Early in the morning. The album has a cardboard outer sleeve and interesting inner notes. The CD's look like vinyl LP's which I like.
I just noticed that the track listing differs a bit from the actual CD playlist which is quite shabby. Besides the more popular songs I have mentioned there are some really decent lesser known tracks of Buddy's on this collection album which as I've said is what attracted me to it in the first place. Disc 1 opens with I'm gonna love you too which has that trademark Buddy Holly sound all over it and is a charming song. Peggy sue was absent from 'The ultimate collection' and I believe with reason to be honest. I know this song is popular with fans but for me it is nothing special. It is repetitive and uninteresting to listen to. It's very overrated and I can't see what all the fuss is about. If you are like me and you're not a huge fan who has heard nearly all of his material then these new unrecognisable songs will not be uncomfortable to hear because there are so many favourites to balance them out. Mailman, bring me no more blues is 1 of my favourites. Little baby is an example of a lesser known track here which doesn't have the best quality sound to it but I can appreciate that looking at the age of the song which is over 50 years old. Well... all right has an acoustic guitar backdrop and an upbeat swing feel to it and it's 1 of the best lesser known songs here. Real wild child is definitely a highlight but if this is Buddy Holly on vocals then I'll be damned!! Now we're one is a wedding anthem with a cool sweetness and must've had a meaning for Holly having asked his wife to marry him 2 days after they 1st met! Oh you beautiful doll is the wackiest track which is somewhat of an instrumental with weird vocals by Holly with the title being the only coherent lyric. It's all sung with what sounds like him playing up and down on his lips throughout! Lonesome tears is a proper rock n' roll track and a decent ender.
Disc 2 does have more prominent backing vocals by The Crickets but besides that the music is very similar. This has Not fade away which sounds similar to a few other Holly songs but is a good song. Tell me how is another Holly song where he mentions the word 'love' about 100 times throughout a song showing his affectionate and soft-hearted style but it's 1 of the highlights. I'm looking for someone to love is an upbeat fun track which was another early song. An empty cup is one of his melancholy tracks; not quite as effective as It's too late but not bad either. Rock me my baby is a sweet rock n' roll track with a fun sound. Modern Don Juan has Holly confessing "I ain't nothing but a man in love" which suits his style even though it's got quite a different sound. First time I heard Rock around with Ollie Vee was a live Stray cats version - this version is more simple but also much better too. Ting-a-ling has Holly telling us he's "a poor young boy and these girls just drive me wild" which has a youthful attitude reminding us just how young this guy actually was. I am older than he lived to now and I got into his music as an 18 year old. Think it over has strong Crickets backing vocals, a great sound and is a good ending to this CD.
The CD would be a brilliant addition to any fan's collection and would appeal to the more serious fan who doesn't have all the songs present on this CD as well as the new fans as I think it serves as a good introduction of the man. I would have given the collection 5 stars but because of the track listing on CD 1 being partially mixed up and because of the title being unjustified. This album is Holly's first two albums and although it does offer up some fantastic material as well as some of his best songs, with most of it being strong and interesting, this is not always the very best of Buddy Holly and therefore doesn't deserve the title it has.