An intriguing compilation of 16 Buddy Holly soundalike singles, circa 1959-1963. With the exception of Tommy Roe's number one hit (and "Peggy Sue" ripoff) "Sheila," these are all taken from excruciatingly rare 45s on tiny labels. Of course, this is not a substitute for listening to Buddy himself, but in the spirit of digging the Knickerbockers' superb Beatle knockoff "Lies," this is a nifty sampling of the best Holly imitations, from such never-weres as Bobby Jamesons, Marty Evans, Royce Clark, and Ray Ruff. Not only that, you get several different attempted angles on cornering the Holly sound: rockabilly raveups, sweet orchestrated ballads, easygoing three-chord guitar tunes. Sometimes the similarity is close enough to tell exactly what song they have in mind to evoke, be it "Peggy Sue" (used more than once), "Everyday," or something else. As sub-Buddy Holly attempts go, this anthology is much more successful -- and much more enjoyable listening -- than the efforts during the same era by the Holly-less Crickets. Besides Roe (who has two obscure cuts in addition to "Sheila"), other names to watch for here are Bobby Fuller, with both sides of his first locally pressed 45 (different than the versions on his Tapes reissue), and one David Box, who was briefly the lead singer for the Crickets after Holly died.
Buddy Holly Sound Review
by Richie Unterberger