Rick Nelson

Rick's Rarities 64-74 - Ace 2004

Tracks: 1. I've Been Lookin' [#] / 2. I Need You [#] / 3. Stop the World and Let Me Off [#] / 4. Your Kind of Lovin' / 5. Freedom and Liberty [#] / 6. Fire Breathin' Dragon / 7. Peddler Man [#] / 8. Blue Moon of Kentucky / 9. Outside Lookin' In / 10. Helpless [Without Backing Vocals] / 11. Helpless [With Backing Vocals] [#] / 12. Take a Broken Heart / 13. It Doesn't Matter Anymore / 14. They Don't Give Medals / 15. Try to See It My Way / 16. Freedom and Liberty [#] / 17. I'm Called Lonely / 18. Moonshine / 19. Lady Came from Baltimore [#] / 20. I Think It's Going to Rain Today [#] / 21. Promises / 22. My Bucket's Got a Hole in It [Live][#] / 23. California Free [#)


This Rick Nelson was really a big positive surprise for me. The CD contains rarities from his Decca period ; from 1964-74.

I never cared very much for his early Decca albums ( up till his formation of the Stone Canyon Band - the two country albums are okay), and most of the songs from that period that are included here, are in fact better than a great deal of what was originally released.

The opening track, Sonny Curtis' "I've Been Lookin'" is among these positive surprises. Recorded in 1964 with great guitarist James Burton, it's a track that comes pretty close to the sound of his great Imperial recordings.

"I Need You" is not the same song that was released as a single on Imperial, but the song is almost as fine, which says quite a lot, since "I Need You" is one of my all-time Rick Nelson favourites.

Most of the non-album singles which are also included are pretty good, though not outstanding.

Next positive surprise for me was the unreleased song "Freedom and Liberty" which Rick wrote himself. A beautiful song with a tasteful sparse arrangement showing that Rick as early as 1965 was beginning to develop the sound that would eventually blossom with the Stone Canyon Band. The lyrics may sound a little naive today, but there is an innocent charm to them too. The re-recorded version in a more country-flavoured style from 1967 is equally good; both versions are included here.

A previously unreleased Jerry Fuller song can also be found here. Fuller wrote a lot of Rick best songs for Imperial, and "Peddler Man" is a song which reminds me a lot of "Travellin' Man", and it's almost as great. Interesting that it features the great Byrds guitarist Clarence White.

Rick's self-penned single "I'm Called Lonely" was also "new" for me; a fine song from his country-period. "Moonshine" is song untypical of the material Rick usually chose; recorded just before the formation of his own band. The previously unreleased "Lady From Baltimore" which though it sounds like a demo-recording is great performance, showing the early incarnation of the Stone Canyon Band, featuring Allen Kemp, Randy Meisner and Shanahan. Same band gives a fine performance of "I Think It's Going to Rain Today".

"Promises", the B-side to "She Belongs to Me", is another Nelson original which is CD released here for the first time. The song was also a highlight on the fine Live album from 1969, "Rick Nelson in Concert - The Troubador 1969".

Last track is another Stone Canyon Band recording, featuring the Dennis Larden line-up. "California Free" would have fitted nicely onto the "Windfall" album; yet another Nelson original.

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