The Crickets & Their Buddies is an incredibly intriguing album, both because it features the original members of a storied group that has been around for fifty years (J.L. Allison, Sonny Curtis and Joe B. Maudlin were all original Crickets, along with Buddy Holly, of course) playing on their classic songs (some of which are post-Buddy), and because of the eclectic range of artists -- from Bobby Vee to Mötley Crüe's Vince Neil -- who sit in on guest vocals. Most of it works surprisingly well, although Neil's version of "I Fought the Law," written by Sonny Curtis, sounds more cartoonish than defiant, and Eric Clapton's rendition of a post-Buddy song, "Someone Someone," seems a bit tentative. Among the cuts that do work here are the version of "Rave On" sung by Phil Everly and his son, Jason Everly, and Waylon Jennings' blue collar take on "Well...Alright" (this was the last studio recording Jennings did before his death, meaning he began and ended his career with the Crickets). A clear highlight is "The Real Buddy Holly Story," written and sung by Sonny Curtis, which attempts to set the record straight on Holly's career, which was severely distorted in the biopic that starred Gary Busey. Less we forget, Holly and the Crickets started as a kick-ass country band, fiddles and all, and while Holly was clearly a genius songwriter, Curtis was no slouch, either. Also featuring songs sung by Rodney Crowell, Nanci Griffith, Graham Nash , Johnny Rivers and John Prine, The Crickets & Their Buddies is made up of way more hits than misses.
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AllMusic Review by Steve Leggett