The "Chirping" Crickets by The Crickets, Vogue-Coral label 1958, value, first pressing £150; second pressing £100

PAUL McCartney once said, "If it wasn't for The Crickets there wouldn't be any Beatles, this was the band that we wanted to be like." The original Crickets, left to right are Niki Sullivan, Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly and Joe B Maudlin. In 1958 they became the greatest rock 'n' roll band in the world. The tracks on this album speak for themselves: That'll Be The Day, Maybe Baby, Oh Boy! and Not Fade Away, still take some beating even by today's standards. McCartney and his friend John Lennon as The Quarrymen recorded their own version of That'll Be The Day; the acetate is valued at well in excess of £100,000 making it the most valuable recording in the world.

The Crickets were the first band to write lyrics, compose music, playing, producing and recording their own material. Their two guitars, drums and bass became a virtual blueprint for all rock bands that followed. This led to a torrent of bands that followed in the sixties, not only The Beatles but The Hollies, Rolling Stones and many more. The album cover depicts the foursome standing on the rooftop of the Brooklyn Paramount Theatre, where the group were playing along with Chuck Berry, Fats Domino that very night, late in '57. It was that picture that inspired Brian Epstein to introduce The Beatles into the world wearing suits in the early sixties. The cover may appear a little bland, but it is a priceless timepiece before the days when graphic designers were used. This simple image prompted dozens of teenagers to say, "let's go and form our own band!"

Sixty years ago on February 3 a private charter plane carrying Buddy Holly, J P Richardson (The Big Bopper) and Ritchie Valens crashed near Clear Lake, Iowa leaving no survivors. This day has become known as 'The Day The Music Died' immortalised in the Don McLean song American Pie, a misnomer if ever there was one. This album not only brings the music back to life, it celebrates the day the music was born. This was the band that defined the essence of popular music, even today it still sets the standards of excellence that influences so many musicians. A collectable album that should be filed under 'E' for Essential.