Gotta Roll! The Early Recordings 1949-1955

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
RevOla's 2006 collection Gotta Roll! The Early Recordings rounds up all of the demos that Buddy Holly cut before he signed to Decca, reaching all the way back to 1949 for a cover of Hank Snow's "My Two-Timin' Woman" (available here in two different edits) and concluding with sessions from the end of 1955, just as the Crickets were beginning to take flight. This isn't devoted just to covers and rough songwriting sketches from Buddy -- it also finds him performing duets with Bob Montgomery and providing rhythm guitar and harmonies on tracks credited to future Cricket Sonny Curtis, Jack Neal, and Ben Hall. Given that these are early, non-professional recordings, it...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
RevOla's 2006 collection Gotta Roll! The Early Recordings rounds up all of the demos that Buddy Holly cut before he signed to Decca, reaching all the way back to 1949 for a cover of Hank Snow's "My Two-Timin' Woman" (available here in two different edits) and concluding with sessions from the end of 1955, just as the Crickets were beginning to take flight. This isn't devoted just to covers and rough songwriting sketches from Buddy -- it also finds him performing duets with Bob Montgomery and providing rhythm guitar and harmonies on tracks credited to future Cricket Sonny Curtis, Jack Neal, and Ben Hall. Given that these are early, non-professional recordings, it shouldn't come as a huge surprise that the aural quality is pretty rough and the music itself isn't polished -- but that, of course, is a large part of its charm, particularly since large portions of Gotta Roll! make Buddy's country influences a bit more evident than they were on his Decca recordings. Most excitingly, it's possible to hear him develop his signature rockabilly on the loose "Love Me" and hear him test out his trademark vocal hiccup on "Moonlight Baby." These, along with a rough but exciting version of Elvis' "I Wanna Play House with You" and Buddy & Bob's "Down the Line" are the best things here, not just because they're the most energetic performances but because this is where Holly started pulling all of his influences together to become Buddy Holly. Much of the rest of Gotta Roll! is devoted to Buddy sticking close to those country influences, either as a leader or as a sideman, which makes this quite interesting from a historical perspective. But for as interesting as this collection is, this isn't an album designed as entertainment: it's an archeology project, a historical document that suffers from poor fidelity -- the recordings have been restored as best as they could, but these are old takes and haven't been well-preserved -- and some of the performances are interesting primarily because they among the first recordings of a major talent. These are the cuts where Buddy is the sideman, but on the stuff that's front-loaded toward the beginning of the compilation -- all that aforementioned rockabilly -- it's possible to hear his genius, which is why this is necessary for the true fans and scholars even if they may not listen to it all that much.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 9/19/2006
  • Label: Rev-Ola
  • EAN: 5013929447424
  • Catalog Number: 174

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Buddy Holly Primary Artist
Joe Foster Synthesizer
Buddy & Bob Track Performer
Richard Taiter Synthesizer
Technical Credits
Hank Snow Composer
Buddy Holly Composer
Sonny Curtis Composer
Arthur Neal Gunter Composer
Pee Wee King Composer
Norman Petty Composer
Redd Stewart Composer
Mary Drummond Composer
Dave Penny Producer, Liner Notes
Joe Foster Producer
Don Guess Composer
Jack Neal Composer
Jessie Mae Martin Composer
Andy Morten Artwork
Sue Parrish Composer
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