Personnel: Buddy Holly (vocals, guitar); Niki Sullivan, Sonny Curtis (guitar); Boots Randolph (tenor saxophone); Don Guess, Joe Mauldin, Larry Welborn (bass instrument); Jerry Allison (drums).
With his geek-chic glasses, nasal voice, and sleek, smart, perfect rock & roll songs, Buddy Holly's status as the first real "alternative" rocker has yet to be truly acknowledged. All the more reason to buy and relish Geffen/Decca's two-disc GOLD compilation, which gives a definitive portrait of Holly's output. The 50 songs are arranged chronologically (all of Holly's material was recorded between 1956 and '59--the lone exception being a '54-'55 recording of "Down the Line"), and the set includes everything from Holly's best- known hits ("That'll Be the Day") to his lesser known gems ("Heartbeat") to obscurities (his version of Lieber and Stoller's "You're So Square (Baby I Don't Care)." An essential addition to any complete rock library.