Ricky Nelson - Imperial 1958
It contains a handful of pretty wild rockers featuring great playing by Nelson's "house band"; unfortunately Rick's voice often sound strained or even shrill. This may be due to poor production, but could also indicate that his voice wasn't yet ready for this kind of material. Interesting that one of these rockers, "There Goes My Bay", was written by guitarist James Burton and bassist James Kirkland.
Among the ballads "Someday" has become an all-time Nelson favourite. It was later released as a single and became a no. 9 hit in 1958. Sharon Sheeley's up-beat pop ballad would also be released as a single, and to Rick's big surprise become his first no 1 hit-single. Another outstanding track is Rick's own song "Don't Leave Me This Way" ( my personal favourite on the album ). This was the first recording of a Rick Nelson original and it's interesting that his song-writing is so close to that of Baker Knight's, who would contribute many songs to Nelson's later singles and albums; among them hits like "Lonesome Town", "Never Be Anyone Else" and "Sweeter Than You". A great melodic acoustic guitar-solo from Burton makes this track an even greater recording.