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Thread: Harry Nilsson

  1. #1
    Border Desperado WS82Classics's Avatar
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    Default Harry Nilsson

    Some of my latest musical moods have brought me into the music of one Mr. Harry Nilsson. An under-rated, sometimes over-looked performer, he released some of the biggest hits of the late 60's and early 70's with "Everybody's Talkin'," "Without You," and "Coconut." With some of his earlier Beatles covers, he managed to curry favour with the Fab Four and forge lasting friendships with John Lennon, Paul McCartney, and Ringo Starr.

    Purchased a couple of albums of his recently--"A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night" and "Nilsson Schmilsson." The former is one of the first ever albums of pop standards to come out of a rock musician, setting the template for future releases by the likes of Ringo and our own Glenn Frey, among others. The latter is widely regarded as one of the best albums of the classic era of rock/pop music. Few singular talents could meld together dissonant sounds and styles to form an appealing musical palette the way he did.


    Linked are some of Nilsson's better, somewhat more obscured moments, with admittedly a good bit of partiality to material from the "Nilsson Schmilsson" album.

    "Gotta Get Up," which sounds like a cross between a Beatles out-take and a Billy Joel song: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4wgrzp1DCs4

    "Driving Along," social commentary written through the prism of a taxi driver: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nBmYU8oh77w

    "The Moonbeam Song," a dark, surrealistic journey in song-form: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=btyelrNYCtU

    "Down," a funny take on the blues: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Beibmc1fpSw

    "Space Man," something most of us would aspire to: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5P-fDTXu_io

    "Makin' Whoopee," the most prominent cut from the "Touch of Schmilsson" album: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVkWf8QDCq0
    All carrot, no stick.

    "He's just another power junkie, just another silk scarf monkey. You'd know it if you saw his stuff. The man just isn't big enough."--Glenn Frey/Don Henley

    "You think you know me, but you haven't got a clue."--John Lennon/Paul McCartney


  2. #2
    Administrator sodascouts's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harry Nilsson

    I do have a Nilsson album - kind of - it's the one where Stevie Nicks appears. I definitely enjoy it.

    Always in our hearts, Never forgotten

  3. #3
    Border Rebel Lisa's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harry Nilsson

    "Without You" ("I can't live, if living is without you...I can't give, I can't give anymore..")
    Harry Nilsson had a tremendous hit with this song during the early 'seventies.
    I think he also did some of the singing on some of the Ringo Starr solo songs during the 'seventies, from listening to the harmonies.
    I bought the albums "Nilsson Schmilson" and "Son of Schmilsson" when they were released way back then.

  4. #4
    Stuck on the Border Annoying Twit's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harry Nilsson

    Quote Originally Posted by Lisa View Post
    "Without You" ("I can't live, if living is without you...I can't give, I can't give anymore..")
    Harry Nilsson had a tremendous hit with this song during the early 'seventies.
    I think he also did some of the singing on some of the Ringo Starr solo songs during the 'seventies, from listening to the harmonies.
    I bought the albums "Nilsson Schmilson" and "Son of Schmilsson" when they were released way back then.
    He wrote some songs for Ringo (e.g. Easy For Me), and did multi-layered backing vocals on two of Ringo's 50s cover songs which really made those songs. "Only You" from the Goodnight Vienna album, and in particular "You're Sixteen". Here's "You're Sixteen" featuring Harry backing vocals and Paul McCartney doing a vocal impersonation of a kazoo as a solo. IMHO it worked, and this went to number one.

    [ame]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vkR7u_sOtHI[/ame]

  5. #5
    Border Desperado WS82Classics's Avatar
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    Default Re: Harry Nilsson

    That Ringo song ALWAYS reminds me of Bob Seger right at the beginning--One of the few Ringo songs I dig. Nilsson also co-wrote "Old Dirt Road" with John Lennon for the latter's 1974 "Walls & Bridges" LP. The song also appeared on the former's last ever studio release, 1980's "Flash Harry," as a bonus track.

    The album to which I think Soda referred is the Nilsson tribute album "For the Love of Harry," which featured Stevie Nicks and Ringo Starr duetting on "Lay Down Your Arms." The album also features Randy Newman doing a take on "Remember(Christmas)," in addition to Marc Cohn's version of "Turn on Your Radio" and Al Kooper's version of "Salmon Falls." The less that is said about Fred "B-52" Schneider's garbage take on "Coconut" the better.

    Listened to his "Son of Schmilsson" album a few times, and I can easily say it is NOT his finest work. As much as I love his music, songs like "Take 54," "You're Breaking My Heart," "I'd Rather Be Dead(than Wet My Bed)," and "The Most Beautiful World in the World" really don't do it for me(T54 in particular really makes me scratch my head).

    Some more selections...

    "Me and My Arrow": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1CY0WHknr5U
    "Joy": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0hyQm2DYtgk
    "The Lottery Song": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tvawZV_k2xw
    "Lazy Moon": https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e1A7_as80fQ
    All carrot, no stick.

    "He's just another power junkie, just another silk scarf monkey. You'd know it if you saw his stuff. The man just isn't big enough."--Glenn Frey/Don Henley

    "You think you know me, but you haven't got a clue."--John Lennon/Paul McCartney


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