From the Vault...


Ritchie Valens
"The Best Of Ritchie Valens"

© Del-Fi Records

Year of Release: 1981


track listing
  • La Bamba
  • Bluebirds Over
    The Mountain
  • In A Turkish Town
  • Ooh My Head
  • Paddi-Wack Song
  • Stay Beside Me
  • Malaguena
  • Framed
  • Come On Let's Go
  • Donna
  • Fast Freight
  • We Belong Together
  • That's My Little Suzie
  • Hurry Up
  • Little Girl
  • Hi-Tone

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    Ritchie Valens Website
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    Ritchie Valens
    "The Best Of Ritchie Valens"

    We were fortunate to enjoy Ritchie Valens' music for only 8 months, before his untimely death in a plane crash on February 3, 1959, with other rock and roll stars Buddy Holly and J.P. Richardson, aka "The Big Bopper." His most biggest hit was "La Bamba," a song that keeps continuing to be performed by many artists, of Latin/Spanish ethnic origins and others.

    "Bluebirds Over The Mountain" and "In A Turkish Town" displays the softer side of Valens' where his most popular soft ballad was "Donna." The rocking "Ooh! My Head" is very different, having the Little Richard feel, with the grit in his voice as Little Richard had recorded this song. "Paddi-Wack Song" is another good Latin rock to enjoy, where "Stay Beside Me" is another soft track, and can be compared to the soft ballads of Ricky Nelson. Blues."

    The familar music of "Malaguena" will easily be recognized by anyone who has ever been to a baseball game. As this intstrumental has a very impressive Latin flavor. "Framed" is another song that has been covered by many artists (Bill Haley, Jerry Reed, Cheech & Chong); Valens' version has a more bluesy feel. Like "La Bamba" and "Donna," "Come On Let's Go" was another memorable song when the name Ritchie Valens is mentioned.

    "Fast Freight" is another instrumental, having a surfing music style. "We Belong Together" is a beautiful song, categorized in the early 1950s doo-wop style, with Valens' Latin vocals, making it his own. Valens' continues his own rocking Latin style on "That's My Little Suzie" and "Hurry Up." The Ricky Nelson style is similar on "Little Girl," and "Hi-Tone" is another good Valens upbeat song.

    Del-Fi Records was the original label Valens recorded on, and there's a note on this back of the CD, indicating that every attempt was made to present the songs in their best form, due to some of the original tapes were lost. As far as I know, these songs (especially the most popular) sound original as I can remember, and although this particular CD is now out of print, there are other compilations of Valens' music that has surfaced. There are only 16 songs on The Best Of Ritchie Valens here, and I'm sure there are others with more, or as close. In the short amount of time we had Ritchie Valens on this earth, his music has inspired many in the decades that followed his death, and beyond. As Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens' life was focused in the movie La Bamba, starring Lou Diamond Phillips in the title role. (Gary Busey had played Buddy Holly in the movie The Buddy Holly Story. There is a DVD double feature of these two movies together, which is a treat to learn their lives and music, despite the tragic ending that occured to their lives.

    I have yet to see a movie on J.P. Richardson's life. His son, Jay Perry Richardson, currently tours, and sings his father's songs. Jay Perry was born after his father passed away. Jay invested his father's death, hearing internet rumors that his father may have survived. Big Bopper's casket was exhumed, and an autopsy was performed. It was revealed that the body inside the casket was that of his father.
    UPDATE: Jay Perry Richardson passed away on August 21, 2013, at the age of 54.

    "La Bamba" is one of the most popular songs in Rock & Roll History. There are more of Richie Valens' songs from his short life. We can only imagine what he could have done, if he, Buddy, and Bopper hadn't taken that plane, and what other incredible music they all could have recorded.

    © All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Del-Fi Records and is used for reference purposes only.

    Previous Review: #1065
    Mighty Sam McClain--One More Bridge To Cross
    Next Review: #1067
    The Knack--Serious Fun