Down the Line: Rarities

Down the Line: Rarities

by Buddy HollyBuddy Holly

CD(Digi-Pak / Slip Sleeve)



Universal's 2009 triple-disc set Memorial Collection and its two-CD companion, Down the Line: Rarities, effectively act as a substitution for a reissue of the six-LP 1979 box The Complete Buddy Holly, long a holy grail item among rock & roll fanatics. That set never materialized on CD for various legal and logistical reasons, so bootleggers stepped into the void, assembling a ten-disc set that went far beyond the original vinyl box, and then as the original recordings crept into public domain in Europe, year-by-year chronicles started to pop up over there. These satisfied the needs of completists in a way Universal's twin 2009 CD sets may never, as there are too many missing alternate takes, apartment tapes, and demos -- not to mention live cuts, which are virtually absent -- but for hardcore fans who are less obsessive, these two releases are far easier to absorb than the bootleg, which gets weighed down in historical minutia that obscure the big picture. Spanning 59 tracks over the course of two discs -- nearly as many songs as those on the three-disc Memorial Collection -- Down the Line concentrates on boiling that minutia down to its essentials, to get the best of the alternate takes, demos, and "Apartment Tapes," or at least to find the music that fits the broadest audience. Again, this concentrates on studio, not live, sessions and it follows the same trajectory as Memorial Collection, beginning with Buddy's duets with Bob Montgomery and ending with a selection of highlights from his solo acoustic recordings in his New York apartment (many of which are also heard on Memorial). Down the Line adds detail and color to the story, digging deeper at Buddy's country roots -- the earliest cuts here sound downright hillbilly -- and spotlighting the Crickets' lean rock & roll via several selections that strip off all the overdubs, leaving behind just their propulsive jangle. Where Memorial Collection invites pure marvel at Buddy Holly's rapid progression, Down the Line hints at the work behind it all, the conscious editing and development of his sound and the cheerful record-plugging at radio sessions (there's a wonderful sequence of "That'll Be the Day" specially recorded for various prominent DJs), and this can make for fascinating listening. However, like a lot of archival releases of this nature, Down the Line requires some attentive listening: when alternate takes begin to pile up upon each other, it takes some serious attention from serious listeners to sort it all out. Naturally, there are some immense rewards here, lying in small details and flat-out knock-outs, like Buddy's slow, sexy reworking of "Slippin' and Slidin'," which is further proof that Holly was an inventive interpreter in addition to being a singular songwriter. While this set doesn't require intense concentration and Herculean patience the way that the bootleg The Complete Buddy Holly does -- that is strictly the province of fanatics -- Down the Line cannot be appreciated without a concentration that goes very, very deep: it's something for serious rock & rollers who fancy themselves scholars.

Product Details

Release Date: 01/27/2009
Label: Geffen Records
UPC: 0602517798915
catalogNumber: 001167502

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Buddy Holly   Primary Artist,Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar,Rhythm Guitar,Vocals,Background Vocals
Caiola   Guitar
Tommy Allsup   Guitar
Sonny Curtis   Fiddle,Guitar
Norman Petty   Piano
Jerry Allison   Percussion,Drums,Vocals,Background Vocals,Cardboard Box
Joe Mauldin   Bass,Bass Guitar
Niki Sullivan   Background Vocals
Don Guess   Bass,Bass Guitar,Steel Guitar
Larry Welborn   Bass,Bass Guitar
Bob "Crow" Clarke   Drums
Robert Harter   Background Vocals
Robert Bollinger   Background Vocals
Abby Hoffer   Background Vocals
George Atwood   Bass,Bass Guitar
Donald Armone   Rhythm Guitar
William Marine   Background Vocals
Bob Montgomery   Guitar,Vocals
Robert Harter   Background Vocals
Robert Bollinger   Background Vocals
Donald Amone   Guitar
Abby Hoffer   Background Vocals
William Marine   Background Vocals
Merrill Ostrus   Background Vocals

Technical Credits

Roy Brown   Composer
Hank Snow   Composer
Chuck Berry   Composer
Bill Doggett   Composer
Buddy Holly   Arranger,Composer
Carl Perkins   Composer
Clifford Scott   Composer
Mickey Baker   Composer
Dave Bartholomew   Composer
Arthur Neal Gunter   Composer
Jerry Leiber   Composer
Norman Petty   Composer,Producer,Audio Production
Jerry Allison   Composer
George "Funky" Brown   Composer
Peter DeRose   Composer
Fats Domino   Composer
Clarence "Frogman" Henry   Composer
Joe Mauldin   Composer
Ellas McDaniel   Composer
Smokey Rogers   Composer
Andrew B. Sterling   Composer
Mike Stoller   Composer
Harry Von Tilzer   Composer
Billy Butler   Composer
Eddie Bocage   Composer
Milton DeLugg   Producer,Audio Production
Bill Dahl   Liner Notes
Don Guess   Composer
Richard Penniman   Composer
Robert "Bumps" Blackwell   Composer
John Marascalco   Composer
Sonny LeGlaire   Composer
Horace Linsley   Composer
Carroll Loveday   Composer
Ethel Smith   Composer
Bill Tilghman   Composer
Sonny West   Composer
Traditional   Composer
Charles E. Calhoun   Composer
Ryan Null   Photo Coordination
Helmy Kressa   Composer
Sue Parrish   Composer
Berisford "Shep" Shepherd   Composer
Bob Montgomery   Arranger,Composer
Prentice Polk   Composer
Berisford Shepherd   Composer
Andrew Sterling   Composer
James Smith   Composer
Albert Collins   Composer

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