Paste (magazine) (p.68) - "[T]wo discs of material for fanatics and scholars -- from a home recording of a Hank Snow song, laid to tape before Holly's voice had changed, to the entire Buddy & Bob oeuvre and recordings of The Crickets' from the Hollys' garage."
Record Collector (magazine) - p.854 stars out of 5
-- "[With] solid stabs at Louvin Brothers harmonies on 'Door To My Heart,' 'Footprints In The Snow' and sundry other country staples....Its downhome charm is limitless."
Personnel: Buddy Holly (vocals, guitar, acoustic guitar, electric guitar, background vocals); Bob Montgomery (vocals, guitar); Jerry Allison (vocals, drums, percussion, background vocals); Sonny Curtis (guitar, fiddle); Donald Amone, Al Caiola, Tommy Allsup (guitar); Don Guess (steel guitar, bass guitar); Norman Petty (piano); George Atwood, Joe Mauldin, Larry Welborn (bass guitar); Bob "Crow" Clarke (drums); Merrill Ostrus, William Marine, Robert Harter, Robert Bollinger, Abby Hoffer, William Marine, Robert Bollinger, Abby Hoffer, Robert Harter, Niki Sullivan (background vocals).
Audio Remasterer: Erick Labson.
Liner Note Author: Bill Dahl.
Recording information: Buddy & Maria Elena Holley's Apartment, New York, NY (??/??/1949-01/20/1959); Clovis, NM (??/??/1949-01/20/1959); New York, NY (??/??/1949-01/20/1959); The Holley Family Home, Lubbock, TX (??/??/1949-01/20/1959); Wichita Falls, TX (??/??/1949-01/20/1959).
Photographer: Lewis Allen.
Arrangers: Bob Montgomery ; Buddy Holly.
Released to coincide with the 50th anniversary of his death, the revealing 59-track, two-disc DOWN THE LINE: THE RARITIES offers a glimpse of the man and the recordings behind the Buddy Holly legend. While not for newcomers, members of Holly's not insubstantial cult will find a treasure trove of obscure and previously unreleased gems, highlighted by recordings of Holly and classmate Bob Montgomery, the Crickets' "Garage Tapes" cut in the Holly family's garage in late 1956, and the legendary "Apartment Tapes," the last recording made by Holly before his death--all in virgin, un-dubbed form. The set also includes outtakes and alternate versions of better known Crickets' cuts, all of which offer an insightful glimpse into Buddy Holly at work in the studio.