groove

Harry Nilsson

About

Harry Edward Nilsson III (June 15, 1941 – January 15, 1994), sometimes credited as Nilsson, was an American singer-songwriter who reached the peak of his commercial success in the early 1970s. His work is characterized by pioneering vocal overdub experiments, returns to the Great American Songbook, and fusions of Caribbean sounds. A tenor with a 3+1⁄2 octave range, Nilsson was one of the few major pop-rock recording artists to achieve significant commercial success without ever performing major public concerts or undertaking regular tours.Born in Brooklyn, Nilsson moved to Los Angeles as a teenager to escape his family's poor financial situation. While working as a computer programmer at a bank, he grew interested in musical composition and close-harmony singing, and was successful in having some of his songs recorded by various artists such as the Monkees. In 1967, he debuted on RCA Victor with the LP Pandemonium Shadow Show, followed by a variety of releases that include a collaboration with Randy Newman (Nilsson Sings Newman, 1970) and the original children's story The Point! (1971). He created the first remix album (Aerial Pandemonium Ballet, 1971) and recorded the first mashup song ("You Can't Do That", 1967). His most commercially successful album, Nilsson Schmilsson (1971), produced the international top 10 singles "Without You" and "Coconut". His other top 10 hit, "Everybody's Talkin'" (1968), was featured prominently in the 1969 film Midnight Cowboy. A version of Nilsson's "One", released by Three Dog Night in 1969, also reached the U.S. top 10.During a 1968 press conference, the Beatles were asked what their favorite American group was and answered "Nilsson". Sometimes called "the American Beatle", he soon formed close friendships with John Lennon and Ringo Starr. In the 1970s, Nilsson, Lennon and Starr were members of the Hollywood Vampires drinking club, embroiling themselves in a number of widely publicized, alcohol-fueled incidents. They produced one collaborative album, Pussy Cats (1974). After 1977, Nilsson left RCA, and his record output diminished. In response to Lennon's 1980 murder, he took a hiatus from the music industry to campaign for gun control. For the rest of his life, he recorded only sporadically. In 1994, Nilsson died of a heart attack while in the midst of recording what became his last album, Losst and Founnd (2019).

The craft of Nilsson's songs and defiant attitude he projected remain touchstones for later generations of indie rock musicians. Nilsson was voted No. 62 in Rolling Stone's 2015 list of the "100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time", where he was described as "a pioneer of the Los Angeles studio sound" and "a crucial bridge" between 1960s psychedelia and the 1970s singer-songwriter era. The RIAA certified Nilsson Schmilsson and Son of Schmilsson (1972) as gold records, indicating over 500,000 units sold each. He earned Grammy Awards for two of his recordings; Best Contemporary Vocal Performance, Male in 1970 for "Everybody's Talkin'" (a song previously written and recorded by Fred Neil) and Best Pop Vocal Performance, Male in 1973 for "Without You".

Articles

June 9, 2022

The A’s Announce Debut Album, Cover “He Needs Me”: Listen

Amelia Meath and Alexandra Sauser-Monnig take on the Harry Nilsson and Shelley Duvall Popeye song, plus “Why I’m Grieving,” on the new album Fruit

pitchfork.com

January 5, 2022

Father John Misty Cruises Back into View With a Zany, Romantic Ballad

The first glimpse of the sardonic songwriter's new record dazzles with Harry Nilsson melodies and batshit Wizard of Oz imagery

www.rollingstone.com

November 10, 2021

Rick Jarrard, Producer for Jose Feliciano, Jefferson Airplane and More, Had Died

Rick Jarrard, the Grammy Award-nominated producer who crafted hits for Jose Feliciano, Jefferson Airplane and Harry Nilsson, and counted Elvis Presley among his circle of friends, died Oct. 13 from undisclosed causes.

www.billboard.com

June 15, 2021

The Story of Harry Nilsson’s Only Live Performance of “Without You”

On what would have been the late singer-songwriter’s 80th birthday, a look back at his heartbreaking onstage rendition of his biggest hit.

pitchfork.com

March 29, 2021

Malcolm Cecil, Producer for Stevie Wonder and Co-Creator of Revolutionary TONTO Synth, Dead at 84

Massive module was also used by Isley Brothers, Quincy Jones, Gil Scott-Heron, Diana Ross and Harry Nilsson

www.rollingstone.com

February 1, 2021

OK Human

Rivers Cuomo pays tribute to his hermit orchestral-pop heroes, name-checking Harry Nilsson, Serge Gainsbourg, and Pet Sounds. But of course, it's all Weezer in the end.

pitchfork.com

January 5, 2021

Watch Alice Cooper cheer up Harry Nilsson’s son, Zak, with a new song

Zak Nilsson is suffering from end-stage colon cancer The post Watch Alice Cooper cheer up Harry Nilsson’s son, Zak, with a new song appeared first on NME | Music, Film, TV, Gaming & Pop Culture News.

www.nme.com

December 11, 2020

Chris Cornell’s Posthumous Covers Album ‘No One Sings Like You Anymore’ Released

Recorded in 2016, album features renditions of songs by John Lennon, Prince, Harry Nilsson and more

www.rollingstone.com

Discs

Losst and Founnd

October 4, 2019

Play on spotify

Sessions 1967-1975 - Rarities from The RCA Albums Collection

October 20, 2017

Play on spotify

Popeye (Music From The Motion Picture / The Deluxe Edition)

September 29, 2017

Play on spotify

Nilsson Sessions 1971-1974

July 30, 2013

Play on spotify

Nilsson Sessions 1968-1971

July 30, 2013

Play on spotify

Nilsson Sessions 1967-1968

July 30, 2013

Play on spotify

Knnillssonn

July 1, 1977

Play on spotify

That's the Way It Is

June 1, 1976

Play on spotify

Sandman

January 1, 1976

Play on spotify

Duit On Mon Dei

March 1, 1975

Play on spotify

Pussy Cats

August 19, 1974

Play on spotify

A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night

June 1, 1973

Play on spotify

Son Of Schmilsson

July 10, 1972

Play on spotify

Aerial Pandemonium Ballet

June 1, 1971

Play on spotify

Nilsson Schmilsson

January 1, 1971

Play on spotify

The Point!

December 1, 1970

Play on spotify

Nilsson Sings Newman

February 1, 1970

Play on spotify

Harry

August 1, 1969

Play on spotify

Skidoo

December 19, 1968

Play on spotify

Aerial Ballet (Mono Version)

July 1, 1968

Play on spotify

Aerial Ballet

July 1, 1968

Play on spotify

Pandemonium Shadow Show

January 2, 1967

Play on spotify

Pandemonium Shadow Show (Mono Version)

January 1, 1967

Play on spotify

Spotlight On Nilsson

January 1, 1966

Play on spotify