H, 1951: What exactly was the magic of Buddy Holly and his band? To fully appreciate his contributions, you have to place him in historical context. He was one of the first to mix country with blues and R&B. He also brought a distinctive but subtle taste of the American Southwest to the music. But also he and the Crickets were one of the first artistically independent groups, writing their own material, playing and singing their own songs, and recording in an independent studio that allowed them the time and the freedom to experiment until they got the sound they wanted. They also mixed and melded their instruments and vocals in innovative and cohesive ways, demonstrating just how much interest and variety and excitement four young boys with electric guitars and drums and a little attitude could generate when left to their own devices. No wonder, then, that four young lads from Liverpool would emulate Holly’s band when choosing the name of their own group a few years later.
This particular album has quite a few great tracks, including “Oh Boy!”, “Not Fade Away”, “Maybe Baby” and “That’ll Be The Day” — but most of the rest is filler. It’s on this list for its historical significance, but there are Holly compilations that offer better music for the money.