Rick Nelson is one of the least celebrated and yet most profoundly memorable of all the rock stars of the late fifties and early sixties. His work spanned a time frame that included a lot of rock greats, and yet he stood shoulder to shoulder to them in delivering a phenomenal string of successes which no one other than Elvis Presley could keep pace with in his time. Yet today he is often seen in less than flattering terms, even though he is likely one of the greatest balladeers of the day. Anyone taking a good listen to such songs as "Lonesome Town", "Young World' and ""Never Be Anyone Else But You" can hardly deny his powerful and sensitive voice as a perfect vehicle for the songs. Unfortunately, Nelson is too often treated as more of a star than an artist.
Yet all of the proof of his ability is here in a collection of his greatest hits, which range from the early "Stood Up" to the more complex and appealing "Travelin' Man". There is quite a range of work here, from "Waiting In School" to "Be-bop Baby", from "Poor Little Fool" to "It's Late", and from "Hello, Mary Lou" to "Believe What You Say". My favorites here are a rocking rendition of "Just A Little Too Much", with some terrific guitar licks by his preferred studio back-up man, James Burton, and "Teenage idol", which shows Rick to considerable advantage later in his recording career. He later did some great covers of songs by everyone from Eric Andersen (a personal friend of Nelson's) to Dylan to his own "garden party" With a career that spanned more than thirty years before his untimely demise in an airplane crash, Rick Nelson remains one of rock's most under-appreciated artists.