Rock and roll, ground zero. I think I mentioned this box in passing a couple of weeks ago, though incorrectly stated it was a German pressing. Nope. It is a 6LP UK pressing, issued in the late 70’s. NOT the Charly reissue that followed a few years later, but rather the original MCA issue. This is a SEALED set, remaining encased in the original importer’s (Jem Records) double layer of loose shrink. While there are some tears to the first layer of shrink, it appears the second layer is completely intact. The textured and hinged external box itself, which is all I am privy to, is in superb shape. Seriously beautiful.

As for the musical details, I’m going to defer to my god friend William Ruhlmann at All Music Guide for the details. Okay, he’s not my good friend. He’s not even a friend. But hey, I’m sure he is a super swell guy. But I’m feeling somewhat lazy this morning, and if someone else has already done an excellent job detailing the contents, why do I need to paraphrase (ie-steal) that verbiage and make it my own? I mean, other to make you think I know more about this box than I really do. Okay, here ya go…

“In the wake of the number one British ranking for “20 Golden Greats” in 1978 and the release of the feature film “The Buddy Holly Story”, MCA U.K. assembled this six-LP box set (which finally was released in the U.S. in February 1981). It traces Holly’s career from his country & western duo with Bob Montgomery in 1954/1955 to his 1956 Nashville sessions for Decca Records; the Clovis, NM, recordings with the Crickets and producer Norman Petty that launched his career in 1957; the New York sessions of 1958; the final 1958 demo recordings; the various posthumously overdubbed versions of the demos; and other assorted rarities. In other words, all the material that Decca/MCA previously had spread across seven LPs — The Chirping Crickets, Buddy Holly, That’ll Be The Day, Reminiscing, Showcase, Holly In The Hills, and Giant — between 1957 and 1969 (not counting the many compilations) was here, plus more. The box also contained an extensive scrapbook, lots of liner notes, and a detailed discography. It was, thus, the state of the art in box sets just prior to the CD era, and given Holly’s importance in the history of rock & roll, an essential album for any serious collector. With the passing of the LP era, it is out of print, and MCA claims to be gathering more unreleased material for some comparable box set, though years go by without its appearing. Meanwhile, if you needed one record album to demonstrate what the most popular music of the second half of the 20th century sounded like, this would be it.”

Thanks a bunch, Mr. Ruhlmann. I should have you guest here more often. What can I add? Well, there are just over 120 original mono and stereo master recordings, with exhaustive notations regarding who plays on what and when & where they played. The box was compiled and annotated by John Beecher and Malcolm Jones. And, finally, the “extensive scrapbook” clocks in at 60 pages. I would indeed call that extensive.

Outside of that, it’s here. And it’s heavy. Just a tad under 4 pounds. So heads up to any international buyers who my be interested. It’s gonna be a bit pricey to get it there, somewhere around $40. Oh, the box itself is $100 and you can find it at the following virtual shops…

Discogs…http://www.discogs.com/buy/Vinyl/Buddy-Holly-The-Complete-Buddy-Holly/37079037?ev=bp_rel_det

Musicstack…http://www.musicstack.com/item/51406485

Gemm…http://www.gemm.com/item/Holly-c—Buddy/Complete–Buddy–Holly/GML1451054127/

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