Album: Memphis Sessions

"Memphis Sessions" is a 1986 album by American rock-and-roll artist Ricky Nelson, featuring twelve tracks produced and taped at the famous music studios in Memphis, Tennessee. The album is a testament to Nelson's diverse musical style and skill, spanning genres such as rockabilly, nation, and blues. "Memphis Sessions" not just showcases Nelson's excellent vocal variety and musical expertise, but also admires the abundant and storied tradition of Memphis music.

Background and Recording
Having had an effective recording career stretching back to the 1950s, Ricky Nelson had a string of hits throughout the 1960s and early 1970s. However, his popularity subsided in the late 1970s, leading to a break from recording and touring. In 1985, Nelson was approached by manufacturer and engineer Steve Buckingham, who was impressed with Nelson's live performances and wished to tape-record an album that recorded the essence of his live noise.

Nelson agreed, and the recording for "Memphis Sessions" began at the popular Ardent Studios in Memphis. The album was taped live, with the entire band playing together in the studio. This approach brought new energy and spontaneity, capturing the true essence of Nelson's live efficiency.

Music and Style
"Memphis Sessions" encapsulates a variety of designs, showcasing Nelson's adaptability as an artist. The album opens with a rollicking rockabilly number, "That's Alright Mama", which pays tribute to among Elvis Presley's early hits. This sets the tone for an album that is steeped in the bluesy, country-infused noise of Memphis.

Throughout the album, Nelson demonstrates his capability to switch effortlessly in between different designs and genres. Songs such as "Dream Lover" and "Send Me Somebody to Love" display his tender and emotive side, while tracks like "Honey Don't" and "One Night" are energetic rock-and-roll numbers that return the early days of his career.

The album features a number of covers, including a heartfelt rendition of the Hank Williams traditional, "I Can't Help it if I'm Still in Love with You", and a bluesy take on Aretha Franklin's "Do Right Woman, Do Right Man". These analyses showcase Nelson's deep gratitude for the musical heritage of Memphis and his ability to make each tune his own.

Crucial Reception and Legacy
Upon its release, "Memphis Sessions" received typically positive evaluations from critics, who praised Nelson's return to form and the album's authentic Memphis sound. The album's live recording design allowed Nelson's vocals to shine through, with many noting his ability to communicate feeling and sensation with excellent ease.

Unfortunately, "Memphis Sessions" would mark completion of Ricky Nelson's almost 30-year recording career as he tragically passed away in an aircraft crash simply a few months after the album's release. The album, therefore, serves as a poignant reminder of Nelson's tremendous skill and his deep connection to the roots of rock and roll.

In the years since its release, "Memphis Sessions" has gotten a cult following amongst fans and music enthusiasts alike, being valued for its authentic noise and event of Memphis music. It is not just a showcase of Ricky Nelson's excellent profession, but likewise a testament to the enduring effect and tradition of the artists and artists who have travelled through the hallowed halls of Memphis's well-known studios.

Artist: Ricky Nelson

Ricky Nelson, a pop & country icon, actor, and musician. Born into a showbiz family, his talent shone in music, TV, and films. Read his inspiring quotes here!
More about Ricky Nelson

Other Albums by Ricky Nelson