More Songs By Ricky - Imperial 1960
Nelson had been one of the pioneers of rock'n roll, who in 1960 had had several big rock'n roll hits like "Believe What You Say", "Waiting in School" and "I Got a Feeling". But rock'n roll or rockabilly had always only been part of Nelson's repertoire. He was from the very beginning an artist with great versatility . This had shown in his choice of songs for new singles. Ballads like "Lonesome Town" and "Someday" had been just as popular as his rock'n roll singles.
In 1960 the popularity of rock'n roll was on the downward, and this shows on "More Songs by Ricky". The terrific rocker and single "Mighty Good", which was released to pave the way for a new album, had only managed to peak at 38; so it's no surprise Nelson and the people around him felt like trying out new fields and sounds. But recording old standards like "Baby Won't You Please Come", "Here I Go" and "Time After Time", obviously wasn't the way for him.
The mixture of ballads, rockers and standards which had characterized his first 4 albums, is continued on the 5th. One difference may be that the rocking tracks appear slightly softer. Moreover, some tracks come very close to jazz, and there is a use of female voices and horns and strings on several tracks.
Nelson's back-up band James Burton, James Kirkland, Richie Frost and Gene Garf are behind him on the rocking tracks and Baker Knight, one of Nelson's favourite songwriters, contributes 3 of these rockers; best of those probably is "Proving My Love". My favourite track in that genre is "Make Believe".
Among the ballads "I'm Not Afraid" and "I'd Climb the Highest Mountain" are as good as most of his older soft songs.
The CD's final two bonus tracks are both great; especially Baker Knight's ballad "You Are the Only One" ( even though it does sound a little like a remake of "There'll Never Be Anyone Else") and "Milk Cow Blues" is Rick rocking with his young band. Like the other Nelson 2 on 1 releases there are fine informative sleeve notes with it!