Rick Nelson

Very Thought of You/Spotlight on Rick

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Two 1964 albums are combined onto one CD on this reissue, which adds historical liner notes. Nelson's mid-'60s albums would have seemed like far more respectable efforts had they been able to escape comparison with a fast-changing rock scene. As it was, the innovations of the British Invasion, Beach Boys, Phil Spector, and much more made his records, as professional and pleasant as they were, seem hopelessly outdated. The Very Thought of You was passable, mostly medium-tempo pop-rock that did little to either embarrass the singer or raise the listener's temperature. The title track was a Top 40 hit, and his last, it turned out, for six years. There are obscure songs by Mann-Weil ("I Don't Wanna Love You") and Charlie Rich ("Just a Little Bit Sweet"), but it all sounds like pleasant throwaway filler, the best cut being his cover of the great lost Drifters-like tune "I Wonder" (a small hit in 1961 for the Pentagons). Nelson continued to tread water on Spotlight on Rick, which had some average contributions by above-average writers like Baker Knight and Jerry Fuller. An energetic stab at Chuck Berry's "I'm Talking About You" and a nice tune from the pen of ex-Cricket Sonny Curtis ("Don't Breathe a Word"), were mild highlights.

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