It's about time that Bobby Vee, one of the most talented and successful of the early '60s teen idols, received something approaching the box set treatment. The British wing of EMI compiled Singles Collection, a three-disc set that collects the A- and B-sides of Vee's singles from 1959-1977. Groomed as Buddy Holly's replacement after his untimely death, Vee actually did capture the sound of Holly's final recordings when Holly was moving toward lushly orchestrated pop music. Vee could write songs but lacked Holly's supreme compositional skills and relied heavily on outside songwriters, including many of the greats, among them Sonny Curtis, John D. Loudermilk, Gerry Goffin and Carole King. Snuff Garrett's production work, augmented with meticulous string and vocal arrangements, is always interesting and easy on the ears, and Vee's performance style distinctive and strong. The later singles, recorded after Vee's early-'60s commercial peak, find him trying out various styles in pursuit of a hit, including British Invasion sounds, adult contemporary balladry, country-pop, and country-rock, but most of the recordings are generally in line with his established style. A number of songs make their stereo and/or CD debuts, and four Italian language versions of Vee's hits appear as a bonus.