Stephen Chapman

The second incarnation of my blog

Rolling Stone top 100 albums: #92 Buddy Holly And The Crickets – 20 Golden Greats

Based on the top 100 albums in Rolling Stone magazine’s top 500, I have set myself the challenge of hearing and appraising each album. I hope to be surprised and educated along the way.

At number 93 is another compilation, this time by Buddy Holly & The Crickets with 20 Golden Greats. I grew up with the music of Buddy Holly played around the house and I know all of the tracks.

Buddy Holly was a musical genius. He wrote more catchy tunes in his depressingly short life than most musicians make in a lifetime*.  When you think that Rock ‘n’ Roll was in its infancy when the songs were recorded, the Crickets had little to base their ideas on, so had to be original.  Buddy inspired many musicians, including Lennon and McCartney of course.

The production is basic, but innovative for the time and is very clear and well mixed. The album kicks off with That’ll be the day then Peggy Sue.  You can’t fault these songs, other than some people may not like Buddy’s hiccup vocal style.  There are lesser singles here, but everyone must surely know Oh boy!, Maybe baby, Heartbeat and It doesn’t matter anymore.

A personal favourite is True love ways that I think stands up equally against the orchestra led ballads by Nat King Cole. The song was issued in 1960 shortly after Buddy had died and was not a big hit, which is shocking.

Whenever you want to hear some well crafted, short, catchy rock ‘n’ roll, you cant go wrong with this album.

My rating: 9/10

Standout tracks: All of them!

Listen to the album via Spotify here.

See the Top 100 here.

* Worth noting that although Norman Petty has a writing credit on most songs, he did not contribute to the writing of the songs.

2 comments on “Rolling Stone top 100 albums: #92 Buddy Holly And The Crickets – 20 Golden Greats

  1. Raybeard
    October 28, 2013

    Yes, I recall Buddy Holly being revered as a GOD in his day. Nobody criticised him or his songs while he was with us, so it’s not as though his reputation has been whitewashed in hindsight following his tragic early end. His influence was deservedly enormous.
    I’ve looked at which tracks are on this album and all but one of them I knew without having to be reminded what it was like, the exception being ‘Words of Love’ which I don’t recall at all. But that omission’s now been rectified.

  2. Raybeard
    December 2, 2013

    And now having listened to the album in its entirety if I give it a 7 it’s not for any lack of excellence (which it doesn’t) but more because I find that albums of greatest hits or familiar/very familiar tracks don’t work so well as a listening experience. I find the variety offered on an album recorded as just that has more interesting ups and downs and chance discoveries which make the experience a potentially more exciting one.

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