"Buddy Holly" Sounding Better Than Ever on This Analogue Productions 200g Reissue

Buddy Holly's last album before "the day the music died" released in 1958 belongs in every rock-based record collection. It's not even a close call. And this reissue sourced from the original analog tapes still in superb condition and cut by Kevin Gray is by far the best sounding edition ever.

I was involved with the "Heavy Vinyl" version MCA issued in the 2000s also cut by Kevin and that one was good but not this eerily transparent and pure-sounding. In fact the original metal parts from 1958 still exist and I got to hear a new pressing made from those parts and this is better in every way.

Lubbock, Texas born Buddy Holly was 21 when he recorded this collection that includes "I'm Gonna Love You Too", "Peggy Sue", "Everyday", "Words of Love" and a few other originals and covers including Leiber and Stoller's "You're So Square" and Fats Domino's "Valley of Tears".

While Norman Petty's production sounds basic, the more you listen the more you appreciate the small but defining touches baked into some of the classic mono tunes, like the way the toms in "Peggy Sue" seem to undulate towards and away from you, making them sound like a steam locomotive. Or the thigh slapping rhythm section on "Everyday" behind which is the purest sounding celeste. Though these are sixty year old recordings they sound fresh and transparent as few productions today manage.

Of course the real wonder is Holly who makes the Stratocaster chime so purely and whose unique hiccuping vocal accents sounded otherworldly then and now. Where did he come from? I know. The small town of Lubbock but that hardly explains it. Sure there's country (Holly was signed to MCA in Nashville), NOLA and some Elvis but.....

The gatefold "Tip-on" packaging features an "outtake" cover photo inside and an iconic black and white shot of Buddy and The Crickets under which is a Graham Nash (The Hollies) quote. I think Chad Kassem got it from Graham when he was in town to play a gig and got a tour of the QRP pressing plant.

A must for everyone who collect American rock'n'roll...or any kind of music for that matter.

Music Direct Buy It Now

vinylisgreat77's picture

This Album along with "The Chirping Crickets" debut both are superb reissues from AP. Excellent 200g pressings and great looking artwork make this an essential for anyone who enjoys classic rock & roll. I have both of the AP records and will remain a permanent part of my collection. Buddy Holly, a true legend who did so much in his short time and is still relevant to this day. Thanks to Michael for the great review!

Bart's picture

Dear Mr.Fremer,

not everybody has both a mono and a stereo-cartridge. I see the sound of this album is given 10 points. But was this a result due to the use of a mono-cartridge? If so, what would be the score with a stereo-cartridge? (Everybody knows mono-recordings sound a lot better played with a mono-cartridge.)

AnalogJ's picture

Modern mono records don't get much advantage when played with mono cartridges. Where you REALLY hear the difference with using a mono cartridge is when you play early mono recordings from the '50s and 'early '60s with a mono cartridge and stylus appropriate for the time.