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Rio: Best of Michael Nesmith
Michael Nesmith
Rio: Best of Michael Nesmith
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Comprehensive 2008 two CD collection containing the best of Nesmith's later material featuring singles, album tracks, live recordings and more. As the majority of musicians will agree, once you've been in a highly successf...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Michael Nesmith
Title: Rio: Best of Michael Nesmith
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Music Club Deluxe
Release Date: 2/4/2008
Album Type: Import
Genres: Country, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Singer-Songwriters, Country Rock
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 5014797670921


Album Description
Comprehensive 2008 two CD collection containing the best of Nesmith's later material featuring singles, album tracks, live recordings and more. As the majority of musicians will agree, once you've been in a highly successful band it can be hard to avoid its achievements overshadowing your subsequent creative output. The former Monkee is no exception and has spent a far greater period of his life producing often ground breaking and never less than challenging music than he did with possibly TV's most infamous `manufactured' band. Most recently acknowledged as a pioneer of `Alt Country' this collection is a great introduction to some of the man's most challenging and successful solo material. 36 tracks including 'Rio', 'Magic', 'Flying', 'Navajo Trail', 'Cruisin' and many more. Music Club.

CD Reviews

+ 1/2 stars...Mostly the Newer Stuff
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 01/12/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Michael Nesmith has had to carry the baggage of having been a member of the Monkees throughout his career. As such he has not received the recognition due him as one of the leading pioneers of country/rock. His early RCA recordings with The First National Band were every bit as influential as anything by the Byrds, Flying Burrito Brothers or the Dillards.

Unfortunately, those early 70s albums are not covered here--except by some excellent live versions recorded two decades later. However, that's not to say that there isn't plenty of prime Nesmith here. On the contrary, over two discs and 36 songs there are numerous gems. Here's what you get:

Disc One

Tracks 1-4: These are from the 1977 album FROM A RADIO ENGINE TO THE PHOTON WING. The highlight is "Rio," which went top 40 in the UK. And with a running time of seven minutes, it's one of Nesmith's longest songs.

Tracks 5-10: These are six of the ten songs from Nesmith's 1979 release INFINITE RIDER ON THE BIG DOGMA. As with the previous album, Nesmith is not limiting himself to country/rock. Tracks like "Magic" have a 50's rock feel and "Flying" has elements of Caribbean rhythms.

Tracks 11-16: These six tracks come from 1982's TROPICAL CAMPFIRES, arguably Nesmith's best post-70s album--and perhaps his most endearing album. Nesmith's rendition of Cole Porter's "In the Still of the Night" is in a word, stunning. [Note: along with "Navajo Trail," these are the only two non-Nesmith originals.]

Disc Two

Tracks 1-2: These are also from TROPICAL CAMPFIRES.

Tracks 3-13: These are from 1999's excellent album LIVE AT THE BRITT FESTIVAL. Nesmith and his band--including pedal steel player Red Rhodes--run through a number of Monkees and First National Band tunes. [Note: the only live tracks not included from the original release are the TROPICAL CAMPFIRE songs, which are included in their studio versions.]

Track 14: This is from Nesmith's 1974 concept album THE PRISON.

Tracks 15-17: These are from 1968's WITCHITA TRAIN WHISTLE. For the most part these are heavily orchestrated versions of Monkees songs that are little more than curiosities even for the serious fan. [Note: Doug Dillard plays banjo and Red Rhodes plays pedal steel on "Nine Times Blue." Dillard also plays banjo on "Swee Young Thing."]

Tracks 18-19: These are instrumentals from the soundtrack to the 1983 movie Timerider--although the soundtrack wasn't released until 2000.

Track 20: Another song from INFINITE RIDER ON THE BIG DOGMA.

Overall, I found this an inexpensive way to buy on CD songs that I only had on vinyl. (I was able to purchase this new for only $5.99!) For fans of Michael Nesmith who don't already have a lot of his latter work, this purchase is a no-brainer. VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED [Disc-1, 76:08, Disc-2, 78:13]
A Handful of Crucial Songs
Rodney Underhill | San Diego, CA USA | 12/25/2009
(4 out of 5 stars)

"This CD contains some very important music from a very overlooked star. However, this CD may not be the most inexpensive way of obtaining these crucial cuts. "Yellow Butterfly", one of the most beautiful songs ever created, can be found on the Tropical Campfires CD and overall, that CD is generally a much better experience than this collection from a variety of sources and time periods. "Rio", which is not present on the Tropical Campfires CD, is another must have, so that does present a reason to pick up this CD in that you can buy this double collection and have both "Rio" and "Yellow Butterfly" on hand.

While many of the other songs contained on this CD are very good, much of the material are either live versions of songs where the studio versions (evidently not controlled by the artist) are not available for this CD or simply material that pales when compared with Rio and Yellow Butterfly.

So while you have live versions of key Nez songs such as "Silver Moon" and "Joanne" the studio versions are generally superior. Some of the other material simply isn't as compelling as the tracks culled from Tropical Campfires. My advice is purchase Tropical Campfires on CD and pay for the download of "Rio" so that you have that in your collection. Rio: Best of Michael Nesmith"
Nesmith's Rio and hits
M. Laux | 04/05/2010
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Fantastic disc. Nesmith is a prolific artist with a great sound. Really good stuff on this double-disc album."