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Ritchie by Ritchie Valens
Released: Oct 1959
Label: Rhino/Del-Fi
Valens' career as a rock 'n' roller was brief. By Ritchie, his sophomore full-length, which hit the pop market only months after his death in February 1959, manager Bob Keane and the Del-Fi label were already opening up the vaults, so to speak. Nevertheless, there are some great tunes here. "Cry, Cry, Cry" is a killer rave-up, one that must have left deep impressions upon The Beatles, The Kinks and any other young Brit paying attention. At the other end of the pop spectrum sits the home-recorded demo "My Darling Is Gone," a weepy ballad that's utterly twee in its naked simplicity.
Justin Farrar