Buddy Holly

The Ultimate EP Collection

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The four-song 7" EP disc, a vinyl format in between full-length albums and singles, was a popular configuration particularly in financially strapped Europe in the late '50s and early '60s, the heyday of Buddy Holly & the Crickets, so many of them were released on the group. Those releases now provide the excuse for this 53-track, two-CD set from British reissue label See for Miles, its material licensed primarily from MCA, though one track, a radio interview with Holly, comes from elsewhere. "Excuse" is the right word to describe the organizing principle, since, although a list in the hardcover CD packaging traces the origins of most of the songs to British or French EPs, the sequencing does not follow the order of release of those original EPs. This is not to say the album would be better sequenced if it did; assembled as afterthoughts, Holly's EPs made for a haphazard release of his singles and album tracks. A more serious concern is that, since Holly's popularity continued unabated in Europe well after his death in 1959, many of the posthumous EPs contained unfinished demo material given overdubs by Holly's producer, Norman Petty. Twelve such tracks are included here, from EPs released through January 1965. (Had the compilers actually included all of the material released on the British EPs, there would have been even more.) Nevertheless, all of Holly's major hits are featured, and the listener can simply dispense with the "EP" conceit and consider the album a two-hour, randomly sequenced collection of Buddy Holly music. For that, it's fine, although, of course, there are plenty of other Holly compilations out there.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:32
2 2:22
3 2:09
4 2:08
5 1:56
6 1:37
7 1:50
8 2:09
9
2:02
10 2:18
11 2:14
12 2:10
13 2:11
14
1:59
15 2:21
16 2:04
17
2:49
18 1:51
19
2:42
20 2:40
21 2:37
22 2:05
23 2:00
24 1:56
25
2:22
26 2:05

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:24
2 1:52
3
2:04
4 2:24
5
1:32
6
1:58
7 2:05
8 2:13
9 2:22
10
2:07
11 2:15
12 2:05
13
2:14
14 1:58
15
3:31
16 2:12
17 2:05
18 1:45
19
2:30
20 2:13
21
2:08
22 2:19
23 1:52
24
1:48
25
2:41
26 2:03
27
8:17
blue highlight denotes track pick