The Best of Rick Nelson, Vol. 2

by: Rick Nelson

Focusing primarily on Rick's early-'60s material for Imperial, this 27-cut disc is not quite as rocking as Volume One, but still offers plenty of worthy moments. It includes all of his massive, mid-tempo teen idol ballad hits of the era: "Young World," "A Wonder Like You," "Teenage Idol," "It's Up to You," and the number one hit "Travelin' Man." Teen ballads they might have been, but James Burton's masterful guitar licks and Nelson's assured, committed delivery placed them leagues above other teen-idol hits of the period. Of more interest to serious fans are the inclusion of several minor hit singles and covers of R&B tunes. And of course, there's the first-class rockabilly hit "Hello Mary Lou" (penned by Gene Pitney), perhaps his best recording of the decade. His surprisingly raucous cover of "Summertime" features, amazingly, the same bassline used as a hook on the Blues Magoos' psych-pop-garage hit "(We Ain't Got) Anything Yet" years later. The pleasures of this CD are modest but consistent. ~ Richie Unterberger

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