Rick Nelson

Legacy [Capitol]

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AllMusic Review by

As a four-CD set spanning Rick Nelson's entire career, this will likely stand as the most thorough overview of the singer's music ever issued. This doesn't mean, though, that it's the best anthology of his work, unless you subscribe to the viewpoint that his post-mid-'60s records were about as good as his pre-mid-'60s ones, since a full two discs (or half) of this package is devoted to that post-mid-'60s output. Basically, it illustrates his trajectory in phases: disc one, as a good-to-great pop-rockabilly singer; disc two, as a still-good but not quite as vital teen idol in the late '50s and early '60s; disc three, as a fair but not great country-rocker; and disc four, as a has-been playing out the string with uninspired adult contemporary and revival tracks during his final years. The album is an impressive feat of cross-licensing, though, starting with three songs from his first singles (for Verve, and never easy to find on reissues), drawing a lot from his creative peak at Imperial, and then from his spottier efforts for Decca and other labels. All of his Top 40 hits are here, along with a dozen or so previously unreleased tracks, none too remarkable, as well as the 45-single versions of a few early hits. The song selection is very good, but not infallible: The absence of the moody "Mean Old World," which was about the best thing he did in the mid-'60s, is inexplicable. If you are a big fan and do like Nelson's country-rock phase, this is a reasonable investment, but if you don't, you should stick to those collections that focus on his 1957-1965 recordings.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 1:59
2 2:06
3 2:20
4 2:04
5 1:59
6 1:53
7 1:53
8 2:02
9 2:06
10 2:03
11 2:00
12 2:34
13 2:33
14 2:14
15 2:14
16 2:05
17 2:00
18 1:59
19 1:54
20 2:05
21 2:06
22 2:16
23 2:12
24 2:19
25 1:48
26 2:46
27 2:18
28 2:29
29 2:13
30 1:57
31
feat: Dean Martin
2:10

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1 2:35
2 2:42
3 2:38
4 2:35
5 2:23
6 1:56
7 2:40
8 2:13
9 2:22
10 2:18
11 2:07
12 2:07
13 2:36
14 2:33
15 2:26
16 2:58
17 2:29
18 2:23
19 2:21
20 2:32
21 2:16
22 2:33
23 2:16
24 1:56
25 2:05
26 1:55
27 2:12
28 2:23
29 1:38
blue highlight denotes track pick