Personnel includes: Buckwheat Zydeco (vocals, accordion, piano, organ);
Selwyn Cooper (guitar); Calvin Landry (trumpet); Lee Allen Zeno (bass);
Nathaniel Jolivette (drums); Elijah Cudges (rubboard).
Recorded in 1983 & 1985.
Personnel: Stanley Dural (vocals, accordion, piano, organ, keyboards); Lee Allen Zeno, Selwyn Cooper (guitar); Calvin Landry (trumpet); Nathaniel Jolivette (drums); Elijah Cudges (rub-board).
Audio Mixers: Glenn Berger; Gregg Lunsford; Rob Feaster.
Recording information: Blue Jay Recording Studio, Carlisle, MA (04/1983-04/1983).
Photographer: Rick Olivier.
Arranger: Stanley Dural.
Rounder has been working the zydeco genre pretty heavily for quite a while, but the last few years have been something of a highlight for the label, with multiple compilations of the finest pieces coming out. As such, a few greatest-hits compilations from the biggest stars on the label were certainly in order, including this album of Buckwheat Zydeco hits comprised from earlier Rounder albums. As Rounder actually had only four previous albums from Buckwheat, two of which were remasters and compilations, there are in actuality only two albums making up the origins of Classics here. Nonetheless, it's an excellent album. With four tracks from Turning Point and six more from Waitin' for My Ya-Ya, the disc is already filled with enjoyable works. Regrettably, some of the classics from the Island recordings aren't here, but then again the Rounder focus leaves a stronger foundation of zydeco with a better balance of R&B infusions than some other albums. Here, the tempo is almost always hot, and the band is always groovin'. At the forefront of the sound is Buckwheat himself, powering the songs with his charisma and joyousness. As with many greatest-hits compilations, the album makes an excellent starting point for new listeners and curious newcomers, but the ideal items for acquainted listeners would be the original albums themselves. Pick it up as a collector, a completist, or a newcomer alike, but go for both Turning Point and Waitin' for My Ya-Ya if you're just looking for more Buckwheat after hearing the Island albums. ~ Adam Greenberg