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Harry Nilsson
15 November 2010
4.42pm
Joe
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Anyone else here a fan of Harry Nilsson? I've loved his music since I stole my parents' copy of Aerial Ballet when I was younger.

Nilsson was a friend to The Beatles - he first met them at Abbey Road while they were making The White Album.

John Lennon produced Nilsson's album Pussy Cats in 1974, and the pair wrote together (Old Dirt Road, Mucho Mungo/Mt Elga). He loomed large in the Lost Weekend, and after Lennon's death campaigned for restrictions on hand gun ownership.

But more than all of that, he was a truly great singer, one that most people have never heard of (apart from Everybody's Talkin' and Without You). This is from his debut album, Pandemonium Shadow Show (1967):

Has anyone seen the new film about him, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)? It hasn't come out yet here in the UK - I hope it does.

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15 November 2010
4.47pm
Joe
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John and Paul in '68: Nilsson for president: http://fortheloveofharry.blogs.....-1968.html

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15 November 2010
8.42pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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Without You was a okay cover of a Amazing song for Badfinger, so That makes me somewhat dislike him

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
15 November 2010
10.10pm
mithveaen
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Wait the Nilsson Joe talks about is the Nilsson of "I can't live... if living is without you"???

 

wow.. interesting. That song is nice but it's the only I have heard of him. If he was John and Paul's favorite he must be good. I'll check it out.. thanks Joe!!

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
15 November 2010
10.26pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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Here is Nilsson's version of Without You (which has the "I can't live… if living is without you" line)

 

And Here is the Badfinger original

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
16 November 2010
11.47am
Joe
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The same guy. He's often just known as Nilsson.

I prefer his cover of the Badfinger song over the original. He also did an album of Randy Newman songs, Nilsson Sings Newman, which is excellent.

You might also know this:

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16 November 2010
9.19pm
mithveaen
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Of course I do!! Wow!! I thought he was a two-hit wonder!

 

Any albums to start? Aerial Ballet?? Thanks for the recommendation!

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
16 November 2010
9.27pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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Yeah, any recommendations? Should We start with his first or with Aerial Ballet? Please help us!

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
17 November 2010
12.38am
mr. Sun king coming together
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Joe said

Has anyone seen the new film about him, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)? It hasn't come out yet here in the UK - I hope it does.

It is a few years old Joe. It was released on DVD earlier this fall. Also, What do Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks have to Do with him?


I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
17 November 2010
12.11pm
Joe
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Aerial Ballet was where I started. It's still probably my favourite album of his, though I never know if it's because I heard it first. But yes, get hold of a copy and, if you don't like it, Nilsson's probably not for you.

Van Dyke Parks arranged the songs for the Popeye film soundtrack, which Nilsson wrote. It's not as good as I'd hoped.

That documentary was made a few years ago, but it's only now getting distributed. I think it had a very limited cinema run, but the DVD is getting more attention.

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19 November 2010
3.09pm
Joe
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Just found this: Nilsson Sings Beatles playlist on YouTube. Some great stuff to listen to.

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19 November 2010
8.13pm
mr. Sun king coming together
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It also has some John Solo stuff I see

I tried to think of something powerful and moving… and failed.  "You were given a choice between war and dishonor - you chose dishonor, and you shall have war" - Winston Churchill
27 July 2013
5.07pm
parlance
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Slate.com has a review of the new book Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter by Alyn Shipton that posits Nilsson as the one man Lennon-McCartney. The article also mentions the 17-disc box set that comprises Nilsson’s entire recorded output for RCA, 1967–77, being released this Tuesday.

parlance

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27 July 2013
8.30pm
Joe
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It's out on Monday here in the UK. I've had it on pre-order since it was announced. I cannot wait. I've also pre-ordered the Shipton book (it's out in the US already, but not here till 29 August).

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27 July 2013
9.31pm
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Don't know much of what he did but Many Rivers To Cross is an amazing cover, certainly an artist i'll keep an eye out for. I got a bootleg years ago that tried to pass off MRTC, Mucho Mongo/Mount Elga and Subterranean Homesick Blues, all from Pussy Cats, as Lennon outtakes, damn good songs, need to get Pussy Cats.

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27 July 2013
9.54pm
Ben Ramon
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My favourite Nilsson record is the one he did with Randy Newman - Nilsson Sings Newman. Absolutely beautiful renderings of Newman's dark and bitingly cynical work. Aerial Ballet and Nilsson Schmilsson both feature some excellent tunes too.

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28 July 2013
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vonbontee
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"Jump Into The Fire" was a fantastic addition to that great extended sequence in "GoodFellas"

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
28 July 2013
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Linde
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I only know Everybody's Talkin', Coconut, As Time Goes By and that cover of Without You but I like those. Will certainly check out more of his stuff.

Oh he also did quite a good cover of Mother Nature's Son.

28 July 2013
10.01pm
Joe
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Ben Ramon said
My favourite Nilsson record is the one he did with Randy Newman - Nilsson Sings Newman. Absolutely beautiful renderings of Newman's dark and bitingly cynical work. Aerial Ballet and Nilsson Schmilsson both feature some excellent tunes too.

That's probably my second favourite after Aerial Ballet. I think everything he did up to Pussy Cats (which is pretty bad) is worth a listen.

There used to be a brilliant website called For The Love Of Harry Nilsson, which had tons of outtakes and rarities, but it went offline a couple of weeks ago. I assume the guy who ran it got leaned on by the record company to remove it, which would be a real shame. For years he was flying the flag online when no record label really cared about Nilsson's legacy.

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29 July 2013
1.40am
Funny Paper
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I think that Coconut song is wickedly brilliant, and deeply satisfying.

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