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VINYL REVIEW

 

BUDDY HOLLY and THE CRICKETS

'Off The Record'

Roller Coaster ROLL 2025

 

That'll Be The Day (1)/Peggy Sue (1)/Oh Boy (1)/Maybe Baby/Peggy Sue (2)/Everyday/Peggy Sue (3)/Drown In My Own Tears/That'll Be The Day (2)/Peggy Sue (4)/Oh Boy (2)/It's So Easy & Interview (1)/Heartbeat/It's So Easy & Interview (2).

 

 

Thanks to the good people at Roller Coaster Records, we finally have all known surviving live recordings by Buddy Holly and The Crickets collected together on one beautiful 10" vinyl album. Okay, some of these tracks have been in circulation for quite a few years amongst Holly fanatics but here they are all under one roof and some are on disc for the first time - and available to the general public.

 

The unaccredited, but highly informative and interesting, liner notes detail the sources of the recordings, complete with the broadcast dates. Thus we have 'That'll Be The Day/Peggy Sue/Oh Boy' from the band's appearances on the Ed Sullivan Show on 1st December 1957 and 28th January 1958 whilst 'Maybe Baby' is from a live appearance on the British BBC Television's show 'Off The Record' that was recorded on 14th March 1958 but broadcast at a later date. A further version of 'Peggy Sue' is from the live appearance by the group on the Arthur Murray Dance Party USA television show that was originally broadcast in colour.

 

Whilst all the preceding tracks were full length versions of the songs, there are also two snatches of 'Everyday' and 'Peggy Sue' lasting under 30 seconds each, that Holly recorded for radio KLLL in Lubbock on 1st September 1958 as promotional jingles for the station and thus have significantly different lyrics. The duet on 'Drown In My Own Tears' between Buddy and Jerry Lee Lewis recorded backstage at the Dade County Auditorium, Miami, Florida on 24th February 1958 is very short and of low-fi sound quality but, of course, it is oh so historically important. There is also the briefest of snatches of 'Hallelujah I Love Her So' from the same event plus a mystery sliver of 'Everyday'.

 

The three songs, 'That'll Be The Day/Peggy Sue/Oh Boy', from the band's appearance on the top rated British television show Sunday Night At The London Palladium on 2nd March 1958 are included in their entirety. I remember watching the show back then and recall the appalling introduction from compere Robert Morley. He announced Buddy Holly and then declared 'or should that be holly buddy' waving a branch of holly bush around, giggled at his attempt at humour and disappeared thankfully rather quickly. Holly and the boys quickly retrieved the situation and rocked away superbly.

 

The final tracks on this album are actually the studio recordings but come complete with the full accompanying interview between Holly and the respective hosts. Thus we have the appearance on Alan Freed's Big Beat television show from 2nd October 1958, where they mimed to 'It's So Easy', and the appearance on Dick Clark's American Bandstand from 28th October 1958 where the songs were 'Heartbeat' and 'It's So Easy. The interviews are interesting and, in the case of that with Freed, rather prophetic as the pair talk about flying.

 

This album represents a marvelous addition to any rock 'n' roll collection and is oh so important I to the annals of rock 'n' roll history. Recommended.

 

Tony Wilkinson

July 2010.


Page Posted October, 2010