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Harry Nilsson
Old 19th October 2009
  #31
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syntax's Avatar
 

+1 for The Point. I loved this record when I was a kid. I just bought the CD reissue for my own son. I'm going to have to dig up the old vinyl and compare.

How killer is the rhythm section on "Me and My Arrow"? The kick drum accents on this bit:"And in the morning when I wake up, she may be gone. I don't know"...bup-a-bump-bup-a-bump-bup-bup-bup-bup-bup-a..." get me every time.
Old 19th October 2009
  #32
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Im working on a version of "The Moonbeam Song"
Old 19th October 2009
  #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
...
That album had the similarly titled, but much more intimate, "Without Her." ("I spend the night in a chair / thinking she'll be there but she never comes...")

It's much more intimate -- and the technical limitations of the era are apparent -- but, that given, the arrangement and production are... just... really neat. Well... I'm a sucker for cello.
Love that song, sends a chill up the back. YouTube - Harry Nilsson - Without Her (The Music Of Nilsson, 1971)

Someone mentioned the Beatles being big fans of his, (they called him their fave solo artist and fave band) I've always thought Paul's Hey Jude type piano stuff was influenced by him.
Old 19th October 2009
  #34
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yep . . . Harry Nilsson is great! Lennon also stated a couple of times that Joe South was one of the best American songwriters. It's cool that the Beatles were listening to some good, yet 'semi' obscure writers

Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Someone mentioned the Beatles being big fans of his, (they called him their fave solo artist and fave band) I've always thought Paul's Hey Jude type piano stuff was influenced by him.
Old 19th October 2009
  #35
Lennon and Harry were by many accounts big drinking buddies and pals and it's been said that Harry was just never the same after Lennon was killed.


As I understand it (and apologies if it was covered above -- it's been a long minute since I was in this thread), it was Harry's acrobatic medley based on the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" -- that also worked in bits and pieces of maybe 15 or 20 other Beatles' numbers -- that brought Harry to their attention and eventual friendship with them.
Old 19th October 2009
  #36
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Mark Kaufman's Avatar
 

Yeah, they were all blown away by Pandemonium Shadow Show...and rightly so. A lost classic. We always remember Schmilsson and The Point.

The Point really is a marvelous bit of writing and recording...I never get sick of it, and anyone with kids ought to indoctrinate them properly, hint hint.

Love that pic of Harry in the bathrobe with the pipe on Nilsson Schmilsson...that's pretty much what I usually look like when recording home alone.

In fact...



RIP Harry.
Old 20th October 2009
  #37
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
As I understand it (and apologies if it was covered above -- it's been a long minute since I was in this thread), it was Harry's acrobatic medley based on the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" -- that also worked in bits and pieces of maybe 15 or 20 other Beatles' numbers -- that brought Harry to their attention and eventual friendship with them.
That and the Brandy Alexanders.


Laser
Old 20th October 2009
  #38
Gear Nut
 

Gotta get in on this Nilsson thread. The man was amazing.
Old 20th October 2009
  #39
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When I heard Aerial Ballet for the first time, it got to "One". The tears just rolled down my cheek. I remember the room, the personnel and the various perfumes in the air. George Tipton, genius. Harry, the same. If you can find them, search out the albums mastered by a Paul Williams (not the singer/songwriter). Great care was taken here. Avoid the CD of "A Little Touch Of Schmillsson In The Night" (horrific mastering) but instead, look for "As Time Goes By". Same album with a few extra tracks and beautifully mastered.

I love you Harry. Hope you're jammin' with John, upstairs.
Old 20th October 2009
  #40
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countdown

Bang bang shoot em up 1, 3 ,3.




That is all.



Continue....
Old 20th October 2009
  #41
N88
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There's a subversive depth to his writing. Something, I fear, which may not even be detected these days. The way we absorb information has changed. We used to look for deeper meaning. Now we glean what we can get off the surface of the flood.
Old 20th October 2009
  #42
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Sandman is a sweet record.
Old 20th October 2009
  #43
Quote:
Originally Posted by claveslave View Post
When I heard Aerial Ballet for the first time, it got to "One". The tears just rolled down my cheek. I remember the room, the personnel and the various perfumes in the air. George Tipton, genius. Harry, the same. If you can find them, search out the albums mastered by a Paul Williams (not the singer/songwriter). Great care was taken here. Avoid the CD of "A Little Touch Of Schmillsson In The Night" (horrific mastering) but instead, look for "As Time Goes By". Same album with a few extra tracks and beautifully mastered.

I love you Harry. Hope you're jammin' with John, upstairs.
It's a wonderful song.

Harry's range didn't stop with the musical scale.

Old 20th October 2009
  #44
N88
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Yeah. He had a magical way of creating a feeling tone.
Just thinking about Turn On Your Radio, for example, takes me to a very particular place.
Old 20th October 2009
  #45
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I was YouTubing last night and checked out a few of those televised versions of "Without Her". What an ASTONISHING voice he had...
Old 20th October 2009
  #46
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holy crap! i had forgotten about The Point! awesome record. like a time machine to my childhood. harry nilsson is awesomethumbsupthumbsup
Old 20th October 2009
  #47
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Quote:
Originally Posted by malaclypse View Post
holy crap! i had forgotten about The Point! awesome record. like a time machine to my childhood. harry nilsson is awesomethumbsupthumbsup
Think about the bubbles.
Old 22nd October 2009
  #48
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vincentvangogo View Post
Think about the bubbles.

you can take your teardrops and drop 'em in a teacup
Old 26th August 2010
  #49
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Since this thread has already been resurrected a couple of times I thought I'd give it another pump just to let people know that the documentary which was made about Harry a few years ago but never released will finally see the light of day starting the second week of September (the 10th I think). Hulu has the promo for it now. It's called:

Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)

Can't wait to see it!
Old 26th August 2010
  #50
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corky View Post
Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?) Can't wait to see it!
Thanks for the heads-up. I just added it to my "Save" queue in Netflix.
Old 29th October 2010
  #51
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Well, the documentary on Nilsson, Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everyone Talkin' About Him?), is finally out. I streamed it last night on Netflix. I highly recommend it. Even non-fans might enjoy it, because his life had one of those trajectories that fits nicely into cinematic narrative: Early poverty and rejection, then success, followed by a path of self-destruction, and, finally, redemption through love. An interesting life. Indeed, I couldn't help thinking that his life would make a great feature film.
Old 6th June 2011
  #52
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Well, it's never a bad time to resurrect a thread about Nilsson!
I've caught up on my Nilsson a good bit since the last time I read all of this, and I have a very deep respect for his songwriting. But with all that said and done, one of my favorite albums of his is "Nilsson Sings Newman"
I guess some of it has to do with me being a sucker for Randy Newman, but Harry's voice really takes it all to another level. I remember reading in a review of it somewhere that when you take Harry and have him sing Newman's songs you kind of "filter" out the emotional complexities of the songwriter singing his own songs. It also made it easier to put the spotlight on Harry's and Randy's singing and songwriting, respectively.

And +1 for Who's Harry Nilsson?
Great film! Being someone who Harry's songs have brought great wonder and joy to, it's awful to see all the pain he went through. At the same time it's interesting to see how all the interviewees loved Harry and really understood how great he was.
Old 6th June 2011
  #53
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Quote:
Originally Posted by N88 View Post
Nilsson was a huge influence on me, and made the first album I ever bought. I've sung I'll Never Leave You a million times. A Touch of... was nice, but I love his songwriting. He had that rare ability to create deceptive simplicity.

The Beatles once said Harry was their favorite something or other [songwriter, singer...?].
I think the Beatles said that Nilsson was their favorite band. They later found out he was a man and flew him out to England where he and Lennon formed a strong bond. (Not positive on this).

BTW, I love Nillson; lyrics, composition, arrangement, production and that voice. I would kill to have that voice.
Old 2nd July 2015
  #54
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Quote:
Originally Posted by corky View Post
Since this thread has already been resurrected a couple of times I thought I'd give it another pump just to let people know that the documentary which was made about Harry a few years ago but never released will finally see the light of day starting the second week of September (the 10th I think). Hulu has the promo for it now. It's called:

Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)

Can't wait to see it!

I just by chance watched this movie on Netflix tonight. FANTASTIC! One of the best documentaries I have ever seen about one of the most talented, eccentric, and unusual people ever. And a lot in there about songwriting and the transition to 16 track and how Harry took advantage of it. A must see!

Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin' About Him?)
Old 2nd July 2015
  #55
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Quote:
Originally Posted by theblue1 View Post
Lennon and Harry were by many accounts big drinking buddies and pals and it's been said that Harry was just never the same after Lennon was killed.


As I understand it (and apologies if it was covered above -- it's been a long minute since I was in this thread), it was Harry's acrobatic medley based on the Beatles' "You Can't Do That" -- that also worked in bits and pieces of maybe 15 or 20 other Beatles' numbers -- that brought Harry to their attention and eventual friendship with them.
Yeah... in fact Lennon mentions listening to Harry singing (recording) the original version of "without you" in the Lost Lennon Tapes and if my memory serves me correct, it was around the time Lennon left Yoko for his get-away to California... I think he mentioned Harry was one of the few with him on that rendezvous. I also think Lennon mentions that Harry lost his voice after some time. Not sure it was permanent or not.
Old 2nd July 2015
  #56
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PRobb View Post
There is a lovely version of that on Blood Sweat and Tears first album "Child is Father to the Man". The one with Al Kooper, NOT David Clayton-Thomas.
Not to hijack the thread but that was such a seminal album for me and really expanded my appreciation for music, arranging etc. To this day I still find Steve Katz's guitar tones compelling.
Old 2nd July 2015
  #57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarbyOhara View Post
Yeah... in fact Lennon mentions listening to Harry singing (recording) the original version of "without you" in the Lost Lennon Tapes and if my memory serves me correct, it was around the time Lennon left Yoko for his get-away to California... I think he mentioned Harry was one of the few with him on that rendezvous. I also think Lennon mentions that Harry lost his voice after some time. Not sure it was permanent or not.
This was all covered extensively in the documentary, including commentary from Yoko, John, Harry, Harry's wife, and others that were part of the action.

Very interesting stuff! It seems as if John Lennon's death may have affected Harry more than anyone, he was never the same after that.
Old 2nd July 2015
  #58
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DarbyOhara View Post
Yeah... in fact Lennon mentions listening to Harry singing (recording) the original version of "without you" in the Lost Lennon Tapes and if my memory serves me correct, it was around the time Lennon left Yoko for his get-away to California... I think he mentioned Harry was one of the few with him on that rendezvous. I also think Lennon mentions that Harry lost his voice after some time. Not sure it was permanent or not.
To be totally pedantic, the original version of Without You was written and performed by Badfinger.

Old 3rd July 2015
  #59
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sounds Great View Post
This was all covered extensively in the documentary, including commentary from Yoko, John, Harry, Harry's wife, and others that were part of the action.

Very interesting stuff! It seems as if John Lennon's death may have affected Harry more than anyone, he was never the same after that.
Ok, I will make an effort to find the documentary and watch it since I haven't seen it yet. I always liked Harry's nostalgia type of recordings... but they didn't go over too well at group parties back in the 70's and 80's. To me, his albums were more for personal listening.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toledo3 View Post
To be totally pedantic, the original version of Without You was written and performed by Badfinger.
No problem... but I was referring to Harry's original recording of that song which Lennon refers to in the Lost Lennon Tapes. I think Elliot emphasizes how close John and Harry were. It has been quite a few years since I listen to the LLT... so memory is a bit fuzzy.
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