Rick Nelson

Another Side of Rick/Perspective

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A reissue that combines 1967's Another Side of Rick and 1968's Perspective onto one CD. By 1967, Nelson's records were no longer selling, and were out of step with contemporary trends. So, why not, someone must have reasoned, try to put Nelson in step with contemporary trends on Another Side of Rick? It was about as good a strategy as any, considering that his tried-and-true rock ballad format wasn't working. But giving him fruity, psychedelic Baroque production was not the answer, indeed yielding rather embarrassing results. Nelson showed good taste by covering three Tim Hardin songs, but producer John Boylan's five songs (one co-written with Nelson) not only weren't that good, but weren't a good match for the vocalist. Nelson wasn't totally blameless, penning one of the album's crummiest songs, the overdone pop-psychedelic "Marshmallow Skies," with James Burton. At one point during the cover of "Georgia on My Mind," the musicians suddenly slip into double-time, as if they can't wait to get the album over with. Although released in August 1968, Perspective had actually been recorded 16 months earlier, an indication that Decca wasn't exactly eager to keep Nelson in the forefront of the market in the late '60s. Like Another Side of Rick, this found him making ill-advised efforts to modernize his sound with a more orchestrated production that often verged on the rococo. Nelson did have good taste in selecting material, covering songs by Paul Simon, Richie Havens, Harry Nilsson, and Randy Newman, none of whom (except Simon) were very well known by the public in 1967; indeed, Nelson covers five Newman songs in a row to end the album, creating the effect of an aborted "Nelson Sings Newman" concept record. Producer John Boylan added most of the remaining tunes, including the odd "Hello to the Wind (Bonjour le Vent)" (co-written with Nelson), which, with its Burt Bacharach-type, piano-based melody and brief interlude of spoken French narration, might find a comfortable home on some lounge music reissue.

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