Buddy Holly

Down the Line: Rarities (Geffen / Decca)

Phases & Stages

Buddy Holly

Down the Line: Rarities (Geffen/Decca)

Fifty years after Buddy Holly's death, remnants of his genius are still being uncovered. Down the Line: Rarities, a companion piece to recent 3-CD set Memorial Collection, lacks definitive new finds, but it's an accessible entry point full of historical significance. From the Lubbock native's first home recording in 1949, a precocious reading of Hank Snow's "My Two-Timin' Woman," to The Apartment Tapes, his final solo recordings in Manhattan a decade later, this 2-CD collection covers the arc of Holly's all-too-brief career. The unretouched intimacy of the latter, most of which were overdubbed for the posthumous Buddy Holly Story 2, highlight the earnest sincerity of the singer's songcraft ("Crying, Waiting, Hoping"). His early potential plays out similarly, notarized here through his Western and bop duets with Bob Montgomery ("Flower of My Heart," "Door to My Heart," "Soft Place in My Heart"). Yet, Holly didn't hit his streak until Elvis rolled through town, resulting in the startlingly confident, rockabilly romp "Down the Line," the birth of his golden hiccup on Arthur Gunter's "Baby, Let's Play House," and the jukebox standards collectively known as The Garage Tapes. Rough cuts of songs reveal the subtle nuances that separate each version, like Holly's drawn out delivery on the alternate take of "Gone" and eventual perfection of "Think It Over." Savor every moment.


A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More Buddy Holly
Learning the Game
Learning the Game
Buddy Holly's biggest bang

Raoul Hernandez, Feb. 5, 2010

More Music Reviews
Review: Holy Wave, <i>Five of Cups</i>
Review: Holy Wave, Five of Cups
Five of Cups (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Sept. 1, 2023

Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, <i>Emergency Leisure</i>
Review: The Bright Light Social Hour, Emergency Leisure
Emergency Leisure (Record Review)

Raoul Hernandez, Aug. 4, 2023

More by Austin Powell
The American Analog Set’s Heavy Return and Seven More Songs From Austin Artists
The American Analog Set’s Heavy Return and Seven More Songs From Austin Artists
New music picks from Pelvis Wrestley, NOOK Turner, the Teeta, and more

Nov. 3, 2023

Review: Explosions in the Sky, <i>End</i>
Review: Explosions in the Sky, End
ATX instrumental band's seventh studio album is also its first in seven years

Sept. 29, 2023


Buddy Holly

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Keep up with happenings around town

Kevin Curtin's bimonthly cannabis musings

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle