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The Crickets: The Collection

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Album Review

The Crickets: A Collection was a British-only collection of the Crickets' music from 1961-1965, issued as the band went on what proved to be a long hiatus. Mostly it's made up of later singles, including "Teardrops Fall Like Rain" (which is modeled after "Everyday"), and their final U.K. hits, "My Little Girl" (which owes a bit to "Peggy Sue"), "Don't Try to Change Me," "(They Call Her) La Bamba," "Lonely Avenue," and "You Can't Be in Between" (from their final Liberty Years LP). Among the rarities present are several B-sides; among them "Lost and Alone," which features backing vocals from Glen Campbell and Bobby Vee, and other flotsam from what proved to be their last continuous existence as a contemporary group (as opposed to an oldies act). The sound is a mix of slightly updated '50s rock & roll, early-'60s pop/rock ("Lost and Alone"), and country-flavored rock ("Don't Try to Change Me"), all of it pleasant and alluring, if not earth-shattering. As with their other post-1959 offerings, the group continued making very good, highly commercial records after Buddy Holly's death, some of them even fairly challenging for their day — "Right or Wrong," co-authored by Sharon Sheeley and Jackie DeShannon, was as fine a hard-rocking, guitar-driven rocker as you were likely to find coming out of the U.S. in 1963, and in its harmony vocals, even directly anticipates elements of what became the British invasion-sound later that year. (Note: The Crickets: A Collection was reissued on CD by BGO in 1995, in tandem with the contents of the album variously known as California Sun, Collection: California Sun/She Loves You, or The Crickets).

Biography

Formed: February, 1957 in Lubbock, TX

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '50s, '60s

The "Crickets" started out as pure fiction — the name a ruse used by Buddy Holly, Jerry Allison, and Joe B. Mauldin to avoid the provisions of a 1956 contract that Holly had signed with Decca Records, that would have prevented the release of their then-new recording of "That'll Be the Day" on the Brunswick label. The name stuck, and for the next 15 months, there were records by the Crickets and records by Buddy Holly — which were virtually interchangeable — and they were billed...
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