Saturday, June 23, 2007

Number 599 - Harry Nilsson

Number 599

Harry Nilsson

"Without You"

Since this song is one of the more sadder songs ever written it made me think of just as equally sad songs. So here is a list (i can hear the world sighing (Oh no, not another f**kng list). This list is compiled by pop culture and here is the first 10.
1. He Stopped Loving Her Today - George Jones
2. The End of the World - Skeeter Davis
3. Last Kiss - J Frank Wilson (or Pearl Jam)
4. Tears In Heaven - Eric Clapton
5. Alone Again, Naturally - Gilbert O Sullivan
6. Concrete Angel - Martina McBride
7. I'll Be There - Escape Club
8. Send In the Clowns - Judy Collins
9. The End of the Road - Boys II Men
10. Hurt So Bad - Little Anthony and the Imperials or Linda Ronstadt
My choices would have been - All By Myself by - I Hope I Never by Split Enz - Epiphany by . Anyway for the rest of the list you can find it @
15.06.41 to 15.01.94
Although he synthesized disparate elements of both rock and pop traditions, singer/songwriter was at heart a maverick whose allegiance belonged to neither. His initial series of albums in the late '60s made him a personal favorite of the Beatles, who found a natural affinity with his knack for catchy melodies, witty lyrics, and extraordinary vocal range. Thought of as a songwriter first and a performer second, he became a pop star himself in the late '60s and early '70s with "Everybody's Talking" and "Without You." He lost some of his original audience, however, with subsequent detours into pre-rock styles of pop, and did little recording over the last 15 years of his life.
had been struggling to make inroads into the music business for over five years before his critically acclaimed 1967 album, Pandemonium Shadow Show. He made demos, sang commercial jingles, and shopped songs, all the while keeping his job at a Los Angeles-area bank. In the mid-'60s, he wrote a few songs with Phil Spector that were recorded by the Ronettes and the Modern Folk Quartet; occasionally he released records of his own. The Monkees recorded his "Cuddly Toy," and the Yardbirds did "Ten Little Indians" on a single in their waning days. But didn't quit his bank job until after the release of Pandemonium Shadow Show, which gave him creative rein in the studio for the first time, and showcased his three-and-a-half-octave voice to full advantage.
The album caught the attention of the Beatles (helped, no doubt, by its ingenious medley of classic Beatle tunes, "You Can't Do That"). John Lennon and named him as their favorite American singer at a press conference, an extraordinary accolade for an unknown. ( was sometimes even rumored to be joining the group.) Three Dog Night took his "One" into the Top Ten in 1969, and 's second LP, Aerial Ballet, continued the ambitious pop/rock direction of his debut, marrying his slightly eccentric, bouncy (if sometimes precious) tunes to baroque orchestral production. When one of its songs, "Everybody's Talkin'," was used as the theme for the Midnight Cowboy film, had his first Top Ten hit. The irony was that, although was primarily identified as a singer/songwriter, the song was actually a cover of a composition by folk-rocker Fred Neil.
"Without You" appeared on 1971's Nilsson Schmilsson, which included a couple of other hits, the faux-tropical "Coconut" and the surprisingly gritty "Jump Into the Fire," which rates as his hardest-rocking cut. During the first half of the 1970s, he continued to broaden his range from the well-crafted, peppy, sensitive tunes that had dotted his early releases, cutting some tougher, more sour work. He lost some of his constituency, however, with 1973's A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, a collection of pre-rock pop standards with an orchestra conducted by arranger Gordon Jenkins (most noted for his work with Frank Sinatra). His affection for the music wasn't entirely surprising, as there had always been a strong Tin Pan Alley flavor to much of his writing, but it wasn't exactly in step with the times.
Much of 's notoriety stems from a period in the mid-'70s when he was a drinking buddy of John Lennon in Los Angeles (where Lennon was living during a separation from ). The drunken pair were thrown out of L.A.'s Troubadour club in a well-publicized incident, following which Lennon offered to produce 's next album. The timing was not opportune; lost his voice during the sessions, rupturing one of his vocal cords, keeping it a secret out of fear that Lennon would abandon the project. Released as Pussy Cats, it was his last album to make the Top 100. During the same period, he also embarked on a project with another L.A.-based ex-Beatle, Ringo Starr, acting and writing music for the little-seen Son of Dracula film.
The upper register of 's voice, which was ultimately his greatest asset, had been permanently (though not irredeemably) damaged. After a few rather unsuccessful late-'70s album, withdrew from the studio into family life and other business ventures, spending much of his energies campaigning for gun control after Lennon was shot in 1980. In failing health in the 1990s, diagnosed with diabetes and suffering a massive heart attack, he died in early 1994, just after finishing the vocal tracks for a new album.~ Richie Unterberger, [All Music Guide]
For Gilbert O'Sullivan see Number 825
For Pearl Jam is @ MM Vol 1 Number 116
For Linda Ronstadt see Number 665
For Split Enz see Number 618 & Number 671
For The Monkees see Number 608
For The Beatles see Number 894 & Number 947
For John Lennon see Number 639
For George Jones see Number 544
For Eric Clapton see Number 537
For Frank Sinatra see Number 933
For Ringo Starr see Number 901
What did Rolling Stone think of Harry Nilsson?
Even before Harry Nilsson scored a hit, John Lennon and Paul McCartney, in 1968, proclaimed the Brooklyn-born, L.A.-based songwriter as their favorite American singer. This was shortly after the Monkees recorded his cute and cleverly nasty "Cuddly Toy" but before Three Dog Night reached the Top Ten in 1969 with a cover of his lyrically despairing "One," which Aimee Mann and others have subsequently rendered evergreen. As a singer, Nilsson got lucky when his wistful rendition of Fred Neil's "Everybody's Talkin' " became the theme for Midnight Cowboy.
Blessed with a tenor that could make angels weep and the smarts to know how to use it, Nilsson nevertheless failed to ignite the album charts until 1971's Nilsson Schmilsson. The hit single was Nilsson's powerful cover of "Without You," a previously overlooked cut written and first recorded by . The rest of the album established Nilsson as a talent of unusual depth and scope: Years before public escapades with future drinking buddy Lennon confirmed Nilsson's personal excesses, Schmilsson plays like a study in bipolar disorder. Beginning with the manic "Gotta Get Up" and continuing with the equally breezy and busy "Driving Along," the mood takes a dip with the skeletal and enchanted "Early in the Morning" before plummeting with the bluesy "Down." Side Two starts out with the Caribbean giddiness of "Coconut," then goes bonkers with "Jump Into the Fire," a wailing seven-minute bass-and-drum tantrum recently covered live by dance rock's LCD Soundsystem. On the albums that followed, Nilsson ventured into standards and ragged rock, but he would never again be this consistent or popular.[Rolling Stone]
Rolling Stone Top 500 Songs ranked this song at Number (We don't care even if the Beatles liked them) and the Album ranked at Number (Next!)
Search Artist here:1-2-3-A-B-C-D-E-F-G-H-I-J-K-L-M-N-O-P-Q-R-S-T-U-V-W-X-Y-Z
By The Year 1955 to 2005:



Anonymous Emotions said...

I've got to agree with your list, I love Eric Clapton! Thanks for the great read!

4:31 pm  

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