Live, 1983-1985 was the concert album that Rick Nelson fans probably know best, issued by Silver Eagle Records in 1986 in the wake of Nelson's sudden, tragic death and heavily promoted as an LP, before Rhino Records grabbed up the CD rights three years later. Nelson was still near the top of his game when he did the Los Angeles and Chicago shows represented here -- his band might not have had figures in it as recognizable as the members of the Stone Canyon Band from the dawn of the 1970s later became, but they were never less than first-rate. The performances here aren't as passionate, inspired, or involved as his work on the 1969 concert recordings from the L.A. Troubador, and some of the editing is unfortunate (why do "That's All Right" and a handful of other numbers fade up?), but this is still a well recorded and performed show, with a song selection that covers most of Nelson's career. Casual listeners will love it, though serious fans may find it too predictable -- it's no substitute for the surprises and enlightenment found on, say, Stay Young: The Epic Recordings, or the breadth and range of hits and LP cuts on The Best of 1964-1975 or Legacy, just 54 minutes of enjoyable music.
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AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder