Tuesday, 28 June 2011

"Not Fade Away - The Complete Studio Recordings And More" by BUDDY HOLLY. A Review of the 2009 Hip-O Select 6CD Box Set.

"…In My Heart…You’re The One…"

First available via Hip-O Select’s own website from 30 October 2009, “Not Fade Away – The Complete Studio Recordings And More” saw its commercial US release on 23 November 2009 (delayed to 2 Dec 2009 in the UK). 203-tracks are housed on 6 label-themed CDs in an oversized hardback book – a worldwide limited edition of 7000 (non-numbered). As well as including almost the entirety of the 57-track “Down The Line Rarities” 2CD set from 2009, a further 8 are ‘Previously Unreleased’ with 14 more ‘Previously Unreleased in the USA’. Here’s a disc-by-disc breakdown first…

Disc 1 features 1949-1956, 35 Tracks, 76:22 minutes:
Tracks 1, 4-12 and 19-22 are from the 2CD set “Down The Line Rarities” (January 2009)
Tracks 2, 3, 14, 16, 24 and 25 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED in the USA
Tracks 13, 15, 17 and 18 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
Tracks 23, 26, 27 and 28 are from the LP “That’ll Be The Day” (April 1958)
Tracks 29, and 31-35 are from the LP “For The First Time Anywhere” (February 1983)
Track 30 is from the LP “Showcase” (May 1964)

Disc 2 features 1956-1957, 36 Tracks, 70:52 minutes:
Tracks 1-5, 7 and 9 are from the LP “That’ll Be The Day” (April 1958)
Track 6 is from the 6LP Box Set “The Complete Buddy Holly” (March 1979)
Tracks 8, 10 and 14 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED in the USA
Tracks 11-13, 16-25, 30 and 34 are from the 2CD set “Down The Line Rarities” (January 2009)
Tracks 26-27 and 31 are from the LP “For The First Time Anywhere” (February 1983)
Tracks 28, 29 and 35 are from the LP “The Chirping Crickets” (November 1957)
Tracks 32, 33 and 36 are from the LP “Buddy Holly” (February 1958)
[NOTE: Track 15 “Have You Ever Been Lonely” is miscredited in the booklet as Track 13 and has no LP reference, but recording details make it from the

Disc 3 features 1957-1958, 34 Tracks, 72:45 minutes:
Tracks 1, 2, 7, 8, 10, 22-24 and 29 are from the LP “Buddy Holly” (February 1958)
Tracks 3, 4, 6, 9, 30 and 32-34 are from the 2CD set “Down The Line Rarities” (Jan2009)
Tracks 5, 11 and 12 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED
Tracks 13-21 are from the LP “The Chirping Crickets” (November 1957)
Tracks 25-28 are PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED in the USA
Track 31 is from the LP “The Buddy Holly Story, Vol. II” (March 1960)

Disc 4 features 1958, 32 Tracks, 67:17 minutes:
Tracks 1-4, 11, 26-27, 30 and 32 are from 2CD set “Down The Line Rarities” (Jan 2009)
Tracks 5, 14, 17 (Mono “True Love Ways”) and 23 are from the LP “The Buddy Holly Story, Vol.11” (March 1960)
Track 6 and 8 are from the LP “Holly In The Hills” (January 1965)
Track 7, 9-10, 12, 19 and 21 are from the LP “The Buddy Holly Story” (March 1959)
Track 13 is PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED in the USA
Track 15 is from the LP “Showcase” (May 1964)
Tracks 16, 18 (Stereo “True Love Ways”), 20 (Stereo “It Doesn’t Matter Anymore”), 24 (Stereo “Moondreams”) and 28-29 and 31 are from the 6LP Box Set “The Complete Buddy Holly” (March 1979)
Track 22 is from the LP “The Best Of Buddy Holly” (April 1966)
*** Track 25 is the 1958 original of “You’re The One” and is miscredited as being from the 1968 overdubbed LP “Giant” (January 1969) ***

Disc 5 features 1958-1963, 33 Tracks, 72:40 minutes:
Tracks 1-9 are from the 2CD set “Down The Line Rarities” (January 2009)
Tracks 10-15 are from the LP “The Buddy Holly Story, Vol.11” (March 1960)
Tracks 16-23 and 33 are from the LP “Reminiscing” (February 1963)
Track 24 is from the LP “Holly In The Hills” (January 1965)
Track 25 is from the 2LP set “Buddy Holly – A Rock & Roll Collection” (August 1972)
Tracks 26-30 are from the 6LP Box Set “The Complete Buddy Holly” (March 1979)
Track 32 is from the LP “Showcase” (May 1964)
[NOTE: Track 31 is “Wait Till The Sun Shines Nellie” and is uncredited to an LP]

Disc 6 features 1962-1968, 33 Tracks, 69:57 minutes:
Tracks 1-2 are from the LP “Holly In The Hills” (January 1965)
Tracks 3-4 is from the LP “Reminiscing” (February 1963)
Tracks 5-9, 15 and 21 are from the LP “Holly In The Hills” (January 1965)
Tracks 10-14 and 19 are from the LP “Showcase” (May 1964)
Tracks 16-18, 20 and 22-23 are from the 6LP Box Set “The Complete Buddy Holly” (March 1979)
Tracks 24-33 are from the LP “Giant” (January 1969)

PACKAGING and SOUND:
Worldwide Buddy Holly authority BILL GRIGGS acted as consultant, while long-time R’n’B and Doo Wop champ BILL DAHL does the knowledgeable and hugely affectionate liner notes. ANDY McKAIE was compiler and co-ordinator, while one of Universal’s top engineers ERICK LABSON (nearly 1000 mastering credits to his name - including most of the Chess catalogue) did the remastering. The sound varies as you can imagine from the barely tolerable (demos) to the sublime (official studio tracks). For the most part I found the transfers warm and beautifully rendered throughout – “Little Baby” from “Buddy Holly” sounds just amazing (lyrics above).

Niggles - as you tell from a photograph of it, Hip-O Select knew they’d a prestigious project on their hands and pulled out the stops packaging-wise. It is a lovely thing to behold. Having said that – if Bear Family had done this – the book would have been a work-of-art – and new ‘Buddy’ stuff would festoon every page. The book is lovely don’t get me wrong, but it’s over all too soon. Also – Page 20 has a full-page black and white shot of Buddy alighting the tour bus on 19 Jan 1958 in the snow and it’s just eerily beautiful – I wish they’d used it as the cover art instead of the rather naff and safe choice they did choose.

Summing up – fans have waited years for a CD replacement of their beloved “Complete Buddy Holly” 6LP/6MC Box Set from 1979 by the wonderful JOHN BEECHER and MALCOLM JONES – and this tastily presented homage is the closest they’re going to get to it.

What an artist – and what a legacy. Rave On indeed...

PS: For fans, I’ve created an album-by-album Discography referencing the entire contents of this box (took me a while that) – see separate posting...

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