The August 2013 issue of Uncut Magazine has given Harry Nilsson’s upcoming The RCA Albums Collection a 9-out-of-10 rating! Reviewer Bud Scoppa calls the 17-CD box set, in stores July 30th, a “much-needed career overview of the forgotten solipsistic genius of rock’s golden age, in which the strike-outs turn out to be as fascinating as the home runs.” Here is an excerpt:
While the stoned and tie-dyed hordes were overrunning the West Coast during 1967’s Summer Of Love, Harry Nilsson was holed up in Hollywood’s RCA Studios with Jefferson Airplane producer Rick Jarrard and an assortment of top LA session musicians working on his debut album. The 26-year-old was one of an elite coterie of literate, relatively short-haired iconoclasts that included Randy Newman and Van Dyke Parks. These were the true radicals of the era, beholden to no trends or movements, each conjuring up his own visionary world while simultaneously keeping alive the values and conventions of American musical tradition from Stephen Foster to Tin Pan Alley.
But even among these buttoned-down renegades, Nilsson stood apart, with his three-and-a-half octave vocal range and childlike sense of wonder, his refusal to be ingested into any genre or to perform in public. This studio rat was rock’s Wizard Of Oz, enchanting listeners from behind a shroud of mystery. He comes into focus as never before on The RCA Albums Collection, which contains the 14 LPs he recorded for the label between 1967 and ’77 in accurate reproductions of their original sleeves, adding 123 bonus tracks, 55 of them previously unissued, the whole of it filling 17 discs.