A two-fer CD reissue combining two 1965 LPs onto one disc. Best Always isn't bad, although there's little to distinguish it from the other easygoing pop-rock albums he made during the period, except for the slightly higher quality of the material. "Mean Old World," both more forceful and moodier than anything else he cut in 1964-1965, is by far the best song, but there are some OK numbers from the pens of Johnny Burnette and Jerry Fuller; Jimmy Seals and Dash Crofts also contribute to a couple of tunes, "Only the Young" (written by Seals and Charles Eugene) boasting a quite good pop melody. Rick stretches his vocal range on the cover of the Skyliners' "Since I Don't Have You" and gives a taste of his upcoming move into country with a version of "You Don't Know Me." Even by the modest standards of Nelson's early Decca albums, Love and Kisses is a tepid, stagnant collection. Some of the cuts sound vaguely updated with harder-edged guitars than unusual, and there's a hint of his future country direction with the cover of Roger Miller's "I Catch Myself Crying." But had the album never appeared, it wouldn't have added to or subtracted a whit from the total sum of his legacy. Three of the numbers were featured in Nelson's forgotten Love and Kisses film, including the embarrassing single "Come Out Dancin'."
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AllMusic Review by Richie Unterberger