Q (12/92, p.146) - 5 Stars - Indispensable - "..virtually every track is a classic...if you could have only one pre-'60s album in your collection, then--Elvis notwithstanding--this would have to be it...It's extraordinary that such simple songs can still sound so brilliant 35 years later.."
Personnel: Buddy Holly (vocals, guitar); Al Caiola, Donald Arnone, Niki Sullivan, George Barnes, Al Chernet (guitar); Sam Taylor (tenor saxophone); Norman Petty (piano, organ, celeste); Vi Petty, Ernest Hayes, C.W. Kendall, Jr. (piano); Joe B. Mauldin, Sanford Bach (bass); Panama Francis, Phillip Kraus, Jerry Allison (drums); The Helen Way Singers.
Producers: Norman Petty, Dick Jacobs, Bob Thiele.
Recorded at Norman Petty Studios, Clovis, New Mexico and Bell Sound Studios, New York, New York between 1957 & 1958. Originally released as Coral Records (57210). Includes liner notes by Bill Dahl.
This is part of "Rock 'N' Roll 50th Anniversary" series.
This 1958 release is one of the first indisputably great rock albums. Holly's range here still impresses; he's equally fluent with rockabilly (or at least, his own highly original take on it, as witness "Rave On" and "I'm Gonna Love You, Too"), R&B (a cover of Little Richard's "Ready Teddy" that has, as they used to say, the real gone spirit), and even a sort of riff-driven folk rock ("Words of Love") that presages power pop. Meanwhile, the instantly recognizable "Peggy Sue" (echo and hiccups) and "Everyday" (wistful melody, haunting celeste accompaniment) remain among the most perfectly crafted singles ever made.