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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Box Set Reviews > Ritchie Valens

 

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Ritchie Valens

Come On, Let's Go! (Del-Fi DFBX 2359) 1998

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Copyright 2001 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.
Revised: August 05, 2015.

Description
Ritchie Valens is a legend in rock & roll, although probably more for what happened to him... he was killed in a plane crash with Buddy Holly and the Big Bopper... than any great knowledge of his music.  While his single "La Bamba" is an acknowledged rock and roll classic, very few people probably know many of his other songs.  Just "Donna," which is a pretty but somewhat bland ballad and maybe the Tex-Mex stompers "Come On, Let's Go!" and "Ooh, My Head!"
What's Good About It?
Judging from the music, Valens does deserve his legendary status.  The two albums Valens recorded while alive (included on the disk in full) are pretty much wall to wall early rock and roll ambrosia.  And a rare live disk, In Concert at Pacoima Jr. High is rescued from obscurity as an energetic, sloppy bit of rock and roll history.   Also, the packaging is terrific, made up to look like an old drive-in movie and including mini-stills, a poster and a terrific booklet.
What's Bad About It?
Valens died at seventeen with only two albums recorded, both of which fit on the first disk.   And frankly, he did not have much else.  So in order to fill out three disks, Del-Fi has used many rehearsal, stereo and slightly varied versions of the same several songs.  There are FIVE different variations of "Cry, Cry, Cry" and "Donna" and another FOUR of "La Bamba."  That's just too much for anyone but the most rabid completist.
What's Missing?
Not a single thing.  This is pretty much everything Valens ever recorded.  If Ritchie Valens had an answering machine, the message would be on this set.
PopEntertainment.com final grade: B- 
A lot of truly fantastic music and terrific packaging, but frankly it is too padded. 

Sabrina Stevens

Copyright 2001 PopEntertainment.com. All rights reserved.Revised: August 05, 2015.