This U.K. import is the second in a series of three separate two-fer releases gathering Michael Nesmith's first six albums with additional materials -- such as the three previously issued bonus tracks included on this package. While each album contains a substantially different backing band, they are both continuations of the intricate country & western-influenced songs that Nesmith was both writing and covering in the early '70s. The 1971 release Nevada Fighter was the third and final from the First National Band, containing a bevy of both highly melodic originals -- much in the same vein as Magnetic South and Loose Salute. As a songwriter, it is hard to beat the collection of tunes Nesmith corralled for these albums. "Propinquity (I've Just Begun to Care)" ranks among the compositions that Papa Nez had been woodsheding during his final days as a Monkee -- a version of which can be heard on the odds-and-sods Missing Links, Vol. 3 collection. The song's intrinsic beauty didn't escape the ears of Nesmith's influences, as Earl Scruggs included a cover on his disc I Saw the Light (1972). His contemporaries also took note of Papa Nez's prowess. The Nitty Gritty Dirt Band rendered a sublime version of not only "Propinquity," but also "Some of Shelly's Blues" on their Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy release (1970). Speaking of cover material, both titles include a few defining versions of country & western standards "Tumbling Tumbleweeds" (Sons of the Pioneers), "Rainmaker" (Harry Nilsson), and a sentimental "I Looked Away" (Derek & the Dominos). The trio of bonus material is of particular note, as very little seems to exist from these sessions. The two covers are "Rose City Chimes" -- which was originally done by Hank Thompson as well as Jim & Jesse -- and Merle Travis' anti-tobacco anthem "Smoke! Smoke! Smoke! (That Cigarette)." The one original, "Cantata & Fugue in C&W," is an upbeat boot-stomper of an instrumental that dates circa Tantamount to Treason. This extended-play disc is the ideal way for prospective enthusiasts to collect these recordings.
AllMusic Review by Lindsay Planer