Ricky - Imperial 1957
Tracks: 1. Honeycomb / 2. Boppin' The Blues / 3. Be-Bop Baby / 4. Have I Told You Lately That I Love You / 5. Teenage Doll / 6. If You Can't Rock Me / 7. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On / 8. Baby I'm Sorry / 9. Am I Blue / 10. I'm Confessin' / 11. Your True Love / 12. True Love / 13. Be-Bop Baby (single) / 14. Have I Told You Lately Tha I Love You? (single) / 15. If You Can't Rock Me (alt.)
This album has been released with on a 2 on 1 CD containing Ricky Nelson's first two albums both released in 1957. Nelson was only 17 at the time, and considering his young age, he sounds musically surprisingly mature on many of these early recordings. On the first album Nelson is backed by seasoned, but excellent studio-musicians like guitarist Joe Maphis and with the Jordanaires backing him vocally on several tracks. The songs are a mixture of Nelson's own rockabilly favourites and softer ballads to please a larger audience and his father Ossie, who played a big role during Nelson's early years as a recording artist. The bubblegum rocker "Be Bop Baby" which was his first Imperial hit-single is one my favourite early Nelson recordings; especially the slightly rougher single version. The Carl Perkins cover "Boppin'the Blues" is also quite good. Among the ballads "I'm Confessin" and "Honeycomb" stand out.
The song-writing Burnette brothers, who also were regular song contributers to Nelson, appear here as writers of the two bonus-track rockers "Waiting in School" and "Believe What You Say"; both hit-singles in 1958. On "Believe What You Say" Rick sounds much more confident than on the album's rockers, and the song features a terrific Burton guitar-solo.
The CD reissue is great including an informative 12 pages booklet.
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