The profound musical gifts of Harry Nilsson are on full display in THE RCA ALBUMS COLLECTION. This deluxe 17-CD box set, available now, presents Nilsson’s definitive 14 U.S. albums from RCA. Bonus material on those albums add up to 65 tracks, of which 26 are previously unreleased. Adding to the box set’s historical provenance are three newly-compiled CDs containing 58 tracks, of which an additional 29 tracks are previously unreleased.
In this first ever full-length biography, author Alyn Shipton traces Harry Nilsson’s life from his Brooklyn childhood to his Los Angeles adolescence and his gradual emergence as a uniquely talented singer-songwriter. With interviews from friends, family, and associates, and material drawn from an unfinished autobiography, Shipton probes beneath the enigma to discover the real Harry Nilsson. The book is in stores now.
A wildly entertaining, star-studded documentary that tells the story of Harry Nilsson. Director John Scheinfeld brings added emotion and intimacy to the story with over 50 Nilsson recordings, rare or never-before-seen film clips, home movies and personal photos. The DVD also contains 93 minutes of Bonus Material Deleted Scenes, Extended Sequences, an Alternate Ending and more.
Following the moderate success of Nilsson Sings Newman and The Point!, Harry enlisted the production help of Richard Perry, booked London’s Trident Studio and set out to make the most rock n’ roll album of his career. Nilsson Schmilsson signaled a shift away from the heavy orchestration, multi-layered harmonies and rich production that characterized his 1960s output, and toward a more organic, raucous approach to music making; a massively successful move that would yield a pair of Top 40 singles (“Coconut” and “Jump Into the Fire”) as well as a worldwide #1 (“Without You”).
In addition to the chart toppers contained within its iconic picture sleeve were some of the most adventurous, beautiful songs in his repertoire. Musicians have built entire careers around the success of performances half as good as “Early In The Morning,” but here Harry knocks it out with just an organ and his voice. An intense, gorgeous LP that in true Nilsson fashion, left him with no other choice but to make a sequel.
Here’s a wacky promotional item used to promote Nilsson Schmilsson. A two-sided shopping bag (with TV’s Sanford And Son on the other side) featuring a pregnant Harry and the tag line, “Harry Is A Mother.” Outside of landfills, you can bet there aren’t many of these 40-year-old oddities around anymore. Thanks to Les Peterson for the share.
A successful album gets reprinted all over the world. The Harry Nilsson cover below is from Korea, but contains the music of Nilsson Schmilsson. The second image below features crown jewels. The third item, an 8-track version, features either a stock classical composer or a really bad drawing of Harry.
Bud Scoppa’s Rolling Stone lead review for Nilsson Schmilsson, dated Feb. 17, 1972, is hands down the most intelligent thing ever written about Harry in the magazine in more than 40 years. Click below to read how Scoppa gets it right.
Gotta Get Up
Early in the Morning
The Moonbeam Song
Let the Good Times Roll
Jump into the Fire
I’ll Never Leave You