Graham Reid | | <1 min read
There's not a lot needs be said about this 50 song, double disc compilation that hasn't been said elsewhere at Elsewhere about Buddy Holly's particular songwriting gifts: he crafted stories and characters, was an interesting and inventive arranger, adopted different voices . . .
The first disc here is where most of the classic material lies but because the lesser known songs are stacked on the second is where the surprises come. As with many of his time he was obliged to put a lot of familiar filler on his albums (covers of songs Elvis, Fats Domino and others had scored chart hits with) but Holly was also writing his own material outside of those huge and perhaps overly familiar hits: the weirdly arranged Learning the Game; the twanging rockabilly of Changing All Those Changes; the doo-wop coloured That Makes It Tough . . .
Holly's body of music was small (some studio demos were overdubbed and released after his death as new songs) but it was exceptionally influential. There's a lot of innocent magic here, but as always with such collections a decent liner essay wouldn't have gone amiss.
Still, you've got that lengthy Elsewhere essay to fill the gaps.