Search - Ricky Nelson :: Playing to Win

Playing to Win
Ricky Nelson
Playing to Win
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1

Nearly 10 years after his comeback with the Stone Canyon Band, Rick Nelson's career declined again when he returned to EMI in 1981. Paul McCartney expressed interest in producing the latest effort from the former teen idol...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Ricky Nelson
Title: Playing to Win
Members Wishing: 3
Total Copies: 0
Label: Capitol
Release Date: 6/19/2001
Album Type: Extra tracks, Original recording remastered
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Styles: Oldies, Country Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 724353245320, 0724353245351

Nearly 10 years after his comeback with the Stone Canyon Band, Rick Nelson's career declined again when he returned to EMI in 1981. Paul McCartney expressed interest in producing the latest effort from the former teen idol, but, due to corporate politics, the album was instead assigned to Phil Spector cohort Jack Nitzsche. Nelson, however, basically produced the sessions himself. Always adept at picking material, he covers rockabilly-derived tunes by the likes of John Fogerty ("Almost Saturday Night"), Graham Parker ("Back to Schooldays"), and John Hiatt. In addition to two Nelson originals, he revives "Believe What You Say." The rerelease is supplemented with six bonus tracks, including a previously unreleased version of Hiatt's "Radio Girl" and Rocky Burnette's "Tired of Toeing the Line." The label refused to release the track and Burnette's own version became a Top 10 hit. --Bill Holdship

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CD Reviews

In Winning Form
Ian Cooke | Wenatchee, WA United States | 08/10/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Rick Nelson returned to his Rock and Roll Roots with the release of 1981's "Playing To Win." It was his first offical release after a four year absence from the record stores.Burning out of the grooves with the opening to "Almost Saturday Night," Rick proves he could rock with the best of the current Rock scene. Scoring with a contempary remake of "Believe What You Say," Nelson hits it right in the pocket. Other excellent rockers include "Back To School Days," "Don't Look At Me" and "I Can't Take It No More."Rick shows he could still sing a ballad like no one else interperting Ry Cooders, "Do The Best You Can" and John Hiatt's "It Hasn't Happened Yet." Nelson provides two excellent originals with a Little Featish "The Loser Babe Is You" and the rocking "Call It What You Want." The lyrics of both songs revel a glimpse into Rick's world.Bonus Tracks include the first song Rick recorded for Capitol, "Tired Of Toeing The Line." John Beland plays Lead Guitar on this track recorded before Beland formed The Burrito Brothers. Unfortuantely, Capitol declined to release this wonderful song and Rocky Burnette went Top 10 with it soon after. "Doll Hospital," Give 'Em My Number" and "Rave On" also score.The weakest cuts are "Little Miss American Dream" and the previously unreleased "Radio Girl."With 16 songs, great Liner Notes by Jim Ritz and a outstanding remastering job, this is a excellent addition or introduction of Rick Nelson and his music. No wonder he was the only 50's rock and roll artist to have new albums chart from the 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's.One final note, the late Bob Hyde did the Nelson family and fans a GREAT service in reissuing this album."
Early 80s rock'n'roll
Dino | Scotland | 07/21/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"Rick Nelson's voice was grainier by the time of this release in 1981, compared to his youth and hits such as Poor Little Fool, Lonesome Town and countless others. Compare his original 50s hit Believe What You Say to the version on this CD: the 80s arrangement owes more to contemporary American rock music than the Jordanaires-backed original hit. It's none the worse for that - Nelson should be congratulated for producing music with a modern feel, rather than merely duplicating his past. Other up-beat songs, including Almost Saturday Night (written by John Fogerty) and the Chuck Berry homage Back To Schooldays, stand out as quality additions to Nelson's enormous back-catalogue. Desperate not to be seen as a fifties revivalist, Nelson's self-penned Call It What You Want, plus others written by John Hiatt, prove he was still a relevant artist in his fourth decade in the music industry. The bonus tracks on this CD, recorded at the same sessions as the original album, are generally strong, particularly Give'Em My Number and Radio Girl."
A wonderful album made better
Dino | 06/28/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I loved this album when it first came out. Unfortunately it came out when Rick was having difficult times in terms of commercial success, so this great album did not generate the kind of sales that it deserved. But it was and is a killer album. The opening cut, John Fogerty's "Almost Saturday Night," is worth the price of the CD by itself. Rick's renditions of John Hiatt's "It Hasn't Happened Yet" and Ry Cooder's "Do the Best You Can" (aka "The Tattler") are nearly definitive. There is not a weak cut on the album. I have been waiting for years for this to make it to CD and now it is finally here as a part of Capitol's "Ricky Nelson" series. The CD re-release is made even better by the addition of six new cuts, including the superb "No Fair Falling in Love" (a classic Rick Nelson song) and two more John Hiatt songs. This CD is a must for all Rick Nelson fans and for all fans of great rock and roll. Rick was at his best on this album. The band, led by the wonderful guitarist Bobby Neal (who sadly died in the same plane crash that took Rick's life) was tight and rockin'. The sound is excellent."