On June 19, 2001, EMI's Imperial and Capitol labels reissued the company's entire Rick Nelson catalog on five CDs: Ricky/Ricky Nelson, Ricky Sings Again/Songs by Ricky, More Songs by Ricky/Rick Is 21, Album Seven by Rick/Ricky Sings Spirituals, and Playing to Win. The first four titles covered Nelson's seven albums, assorted singles, and an EP originally released on Imperial Records between 1957 and 1962, while the final one was a reissue of the artist's sole album for Capitol, originally released in January 1981, with singles and other bonus material. This promotional, not-for-sale advance CD samples tracks from the five discs, focusing on some of Nelson's biggest hits -- the chart-toppers "Poor Little Fool" and "Travelin' Man," plus Top Ten entries "Believe What You Say," "It's Late," and "Hello Mary Lou" -- along with some of his more unusual rarities, notably a solo version of the Billie Holiday suicide ballad "Gloomy Sunday," a track from his gospel EP, his rock & roll arrangement of Gershwin's "Summertime," and his cover of John Fogerty's anthem "Almost Saturday Night." The sampler gives a good sense of the contents of the five CDs in total, and, of course, it constitutes a collector's item.
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AllMusic Review by William Ruhlmann