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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Rick Nelson: The Complete Epic Recordings...An Excellent Collection of Rick's final phase of career on Epic!,
This review is from: The Complete Epic Recordings (2CD) (Audio CD)Ricky Nelson's debut album Ricky on Imperial was released in 1957. After many successful albums, he
switched label to Decca with 1st release For Your Sweet Love in 1963. The last release on Decca was Garden Party in 1972. He then recorded Windfall for MCA in 1974, and was dropped by the label.
The Epic Era:
Rick then switched to Epic in 1977 with his first album Intake (Epic 34420)(with all 10 songs included in the current set). The singles coming out from this album, but failed to chart, are:
You Can Dance (Epic 850458) 1977
It's Another Day (b-side)(Epic 850458) 1977
Gimme A Little Sign (Epic 850501) 1978
Something You Can't Buy (b-side)(Epic 850501) 1978
His next planned album, Back to Vienna, recorded in 1978, was never released. All 10 songs from that unreleased album are also included in this set.
His next planned album, recorded in the winter of 1978-1969, but also never released, was called Rockabilly Renaissance, with 11 songs:
01 Rave On
02 That's All Right, Mama
03 True Love Ways
04 Send Me Somebody To Love
05 Almost Saturday Night
06 Sleep Tight Good Night Man
07 Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone
08 It's All Over Now
09 Stuck In The Middle With You
10 Dream Lover
11 That Ain't The Way Love's Supposed To Be
The single during this time was:
Dream Lover (Epic 850674) C&W 59/1979
That Ain't The Way Love's Supposed To Be (b-side)(Epic 850674)1979
On May 27, 1986 - less than six months after Nelson's death - Epic released a full album, dubbed The Memphis Sessions. It included ten titles from the original recordings, with only That's The Way Love's Supposed To Be missing. But these 10 songs were not the original versions from Rockabilly Renaissance session, but overdubbed and remixed.
There was a lot of controversy about this "new" version. According to Steve Buckingham, the producer for the Memphis Sessions album (his entire account of events was found in the Bear Family Box Set The Last Time Around's handsome table-sized book), when he heard the original tape, he found that Rick's voice was great, but the backing group's sound was weak and not up to par. So he hired many musicians to re-record the music part, making sure that the music sounded as close to that in the early 60s as possible. Thus, this new version of Memphis Sessions was born. Even James Burton (Ricky's guitarist) approved of the sound. In one of the autobiography, somebody stated that Rick was furious with this version. But this is not true. This album, The Memphis sessions, was done AFTER his untimely death, and the above information came directly from the producer himself.
Another special treat in this current set is the inclusion of 3 songs, found exclusively on the new vinyl format that Columbia/Epic was experimenting, called Nu Disc. This mini-LP was called FOUR YOU. The missing song was called It's All Right.
The song listing, plus their original source, is as follows:
From Intake album (Epic 34420) 1977:
01 You Can't Dance
02 Something You Can't Buy
03 I Wanna Move With You
04 Five Minutes More
05 Gimme A Little Sign
06 Stay Young
08 It's Another Day
09 One X One
10 Change Your Mind
From Back To Vienna album (unreleased) 1978:
11 Everyday I Have To Cry Some
12 Love You So
13 Chump Change Romeo
14 What Is Success
15 Carl Of The Jungle
16 No Words Of Love
17 New Delhi Freight Train
18 Mama, You've Been On My Mind
19 Getting It On
From Rockabilly Renaissance (unreleased) 1978-1979, later redubbed as Memphis sessions:
01 That's Alright Mama (Memphis Sessions Mix)
02 Send Me Somebody To Love (Memphis Sessions Mix)
03 Stuck In The Middle (Memphis Sessions Mix)
04 It Shall Remain
05 It's All Over Now (Memphis Sessions Mix)
06 Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone (Memphis Sessions Mix)
07 That Ain't The Way Love Supposed To Be (Original Mix From The 16-Track Master)
08 In My Heart
09 Almost Saturday Night (Memphis Sessions Mix)
10 Dream Lover (Original Mix From The 16-Track Master)
11 True Love Ways (Memphis Sessions Mix)
12 Sleep Tight, Good Night Man (Memphis Sessions Mix)
13 Rave On (Memphis Sessions Mix)
14 Dream Lover (Memphis Sessions Mix)
15 Send Me Somebody To Love (Previously Unissued)
16 Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone (Previously Unissued)
17 Almost Saturday Night (Previously Unissued)
18 Rave On (Previously Unissued)
From EP Four You (10" mini-LP)(Nu-Disk) 1981:
19 Lay Back In The Arms Of Someone (EP Version)
20 Almost Saturday Night (EP Version)
21 Rave On (EP Version)
I am very grateful that I have bought all FOUR Bear Family box sets on Ricky Nelson, covering his entire career, with detailed discography and pictures. All the songs, plus the missing ones, are of course found in the box set. But each box set, if you still can find it, will cost you over $200 each. Therefore, this 2 CD set is the best and most reasonably priced way to obtain Rick's recordings prior to his death. Of course, if you are more interested in his most popular recordings, like Hello Mary Lou, Teenage Idol, Garden Party, etc., you can find them elsewhere. But according to many people in the music industry, during his time with Epic, Rick was reverting back to his roots: rockabilly and contemplating a come-back. It was also ironic that he died in the DC-3 once owned by Jerry Lee Lewis, who recorded A Great Ball of Fire...
By the way, Amazon.ca was incorrect in stating that this is a single disc set. If you are a dedicated Ricky Nelson fan like myself, this 2 CD set is indeed a treasure, reminding us of the final phase of Ricky's career. The sound was also excellent, and the price indeed is reasonable. Highly recommended. I hope you found this review helpful.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential Nelson Recordings,
This review is from: The Complete Epic Recordings (2CD) (Audio CD)Ever since I read Joel Selvin's fine Ricky Nelson biography "Idol For a Generation" I have been impatient to hear Nelson's two unreleased Epic albums recorded in 1978 and 1979.
The first "Back to Vienna" is a very ambitious project produced by Al Kooper. Stylistically, the music is pretty far away from what Nelson had recorded earlier with his Stone Canyon Band, although the predecessor, "Intakes" which is also are included in this 2 CD release, has numbers that turned Nelson in new directions.
Many different musicians and songwriters were involved with "Back to Vienna" and when it finally was ready for release Epic Records dared not put it out. When in 1993 on the CD 'Stay Young " you could hear four tracks from the cancelled project, you could only wonder what could have made Epic hesitate to release it. Especially "Mama You've Been on My Mind" and "Carl of the Jungle" are beautiful recordings with Nelson at his very best. Also "Conversation" and "New Delhi Freight Train" seemed convincing, so desire to hear the album as a whole grew even further.
Now, all ten tracks can be found on this "Epic Compilation" and it's quite obvious that the company made a big mistake by not releasing the album in 1978. True, the four previously released tracks are among the best, but all 10 tracks are nicely and originally produced in interesting arrangements, and with "Every Day I Have to Cry Some" and "What is Success" I have certainly found two new Nelson favorites.
The following year Nelson went to Memphis to record again; this time with Larry Rogers as producer and with the intention to record a more basic and simple album. Despite the fact that Nelson sounds really inspired and the recording sessions were very successful, only the single release of "Dream Lover", which even became a minor hit, were originally released. Nelson left Epic for Capitol Records and the album was shelved. However, Epic did release an EP with four of the tracks a few years later, with new overdubs.
A few months after Nelson's death most of the tracks from the unreleased "Rockabilly Renaissance" were released as "The Memphis Sessions"; an album which I obviously was soon to buy. Producer Steve Buckingham, had remixed and overdubbed many of the tracks, which many people thought was a big mistake. Personally, I must admit that I was quite satisfied, although one could argue that there was a little too much1980's sound on the drums. All songs showed a Nelson at his very best, and the choice of songs was both varied and successful. It can be difficult to highlight individual, as all are actually top-notch. Nelson's ability to convey both the pure rock and melodic ballads characterize the entire album, and I won't hesitate to call the performances of "Stuck in the Middle," "Lay Back in the Arms of Someone," "True Love Ways," "Sleep Tight Good Night Man', and of course "Dream Lover', classics.
Two fine ballads were inexplicably not included on "Memphis Sessions", so there were for me also two entirely "new" songs from "Rockabilly Renaissance" this CD release. Both "It Shall Remain" and "In My Heart" hold the high level of the rest the album.
Together with "Intakes", which was released in 1977, this is one of the finest releases with Rick Nelson, documenting that he was far from finished aa a creative artist during the last years of his career. Very nice and informative notes in the booklet and most importantly - the music sounds great.
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The Complete Epic Recordings (2CD) by Rick Nelson (Audio CD - 2012)
CDN$ 27.99 CDN$ 27.91