For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Quaco » 21 Jun 2010, 19:36

I'd say somewhere in the middle! I used to see that stuff all the time. Less so now.
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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby B » 22 Jun 2010, 01:54

The later albums might not be what you expect but I love them. Kind of the same way I'm into late 80s Alex Chilton stuff. Sandman is probably my favorite of those.

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Bungo the Mungo » 22 Jun 2010, 01:58

That Nilsson song that's used in Goodfellas - the scene towards the end when Ray Liotta is being tailed by the cops and he's snorting coke every five minutes - it's a rocky kind of thing that I didn't expect of HN. Representative?

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Quaco » 22 Jun 2010, 02:31

potatoes from the slow cooker wrote:That Nilsson song that's used in Goodfellas - the scene towards the end when Ray Liotta is being tailed by the cops and he's snorting coke every five minutes - it's a rocky kind of thing that I didn't expect of HN. Representative?

That's "Jump Into the Fire". It makes sense once you're into him, it's not that out of character, but it's kind of like his "Helter Skelter" or "Revolution". He has a lot of stuff that is "crafted" that, therefore, you wouldn't like!

One might say he's the missing link between Randy Newman and The Beatles. But he covers a pretty wide range...









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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Six String » 22 Jun 2010, 19:10

I bought the dvd of The Point for my granddaughter to watch when she comes over to spend the night. We have great fun watching it and talking about the different characters and apparently she sings Me and My Arrow at her house quite a bit. Makes this Grandpa proud! :oops:

When I saw the show on television I was a teenager and too hip for kiddy shows. I only watched it because it was Nilsson.

I can't wait for Yellow Submarine to be rereleased this year (so I'm told).

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Balboa » 26 Jun 2010, 10:07

So I listened to this for the first time today -

Image

It's always hard to get a real feel for something on one time round, but I really enjoyed it. As with most of his records, the playing is great, the arrangements (when they are there) are pretty great ('Will She Miss Me' is a great track, I'm guessing it is autubiographical, but it seems pretty full on - some lyrics 'Everytime I See Myself and Wonder If I'll Ever Learn' or even 'Everything I Say Means Nothing' - pretty heavy stuff).

It kinda splits itself between the more ballady type material - 'Somethin True', the aforementioned track, then there are a couple of comedy tracks, 'The Flying Saucer Song' (again, I liked it, kinda like Harry's version of 'The Gift' or something!), 'Jesus Christ You're Tall' - I'll listen again.

Anyone else?
Of course, I was mostly stoned at the time.

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 26 Jun 2010, 15:12

Balboa wrote:So I listened to this for the first time today -

Image

It's always hard to get a real feel for something on one time round, but I really enjoyed it. As with most of his records, the playing is great, the arrangements (when they are there) are pretty great ('Will She Miss Me' is a great track, I'm guessing it is autubiographical, but it seems pretty full on - some lyrics 'Everytime I See Myself and Wonder If I'll Ever Learn' or even 'Everything I Say Means Nothing' - pretty heavy stuff).

It kinda splits itself between the more ballady type material - 'Somethin True', the aforementioned track, then there are a couple of comedy tracks, 'The Flying Saucer Song' (again, I liked it, kinda like Harry's version of 'The Gift' or something!), 'Jesus Christ You're Tall' - I'll listen again.

Anyone else?


Oh sure. I like it a lot. It is a better bag of songs than the more highly rated Pussy Cats - certainly an album worthy of rediscovery. Of course you miss the great singing of his earlier records, and there is just enough weirdness to put off casual listeners - but this album and Knnillssonn stand as the two best arguments in favor of latter-day Harry.
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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Moleskin » 26 Jun 2010, 17:53

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:
Balboa wrote:So I listened to this for the first time today -

Image

It's always hard to get a real feel for something on one time round, but I really enjoyed it. As with most of his records, the playing is great, the arrangements (when they are there) are pretty great ('Will She Miss Me' is a great track, I'm guessing it is autubiographical, but it seems pretty full on - some lyrics 'Everytime I See Myself and Wonder If I'll Ever Learn' or even 'Everything I Say Means Nothing' - pretty heavy stuff).

It kinda splits itself between the more ballady type material - 'Somethin True', the aforementioned track, then there are a couple of comedy tracks, 'The Flying Saucer Song' (again, I liked it, kinda like Harry's version of 'The Gift' or something!), 'Jesus Christ You're Tall' - I'll listen again.

Anyone else?


Oh sure. I like it a lot. It is a better bag of songs than the more highly rated Pussy Cats - certainly an album worthy of rediscovery. Of course you miss the great singing of his earlier records, and there is just enough weirdness to put off casual listeners - but this album and Knnillssonn stand as the two best arguments in favor of latter-day Harry.


Indeed, I love Knnillson. It's like being surrounded by clouds.
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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Sneelock » 26 Jun 2010, 18:37

there's a point I've been wanting to make about Nilsson's later stuff.
I'm not sure if I should start with "pussycats" or "son of.." as the signpost for what I want to talk about.
"pussycats" is where his voice, perhaps his greatest asset as an artist, is obviously shot. He brings it back from the brink but I think it's fair to say, from 'pussycats' on that his voice is not the same as it was before.
"son of..." is where people started to say he wasn't going about things right. most of what I heard about that record, even from people who liked it is that Harry should have been behaving himself.

so, I'm not sure where to start "his later stuff" but these are both qualities that I think need to be on the table when we talk about it. His voice wasn't what it once was and he didn't seem to think about what was "best for his career"

okay, so if you enter into this last phase of his RCA career with these things in mind, I think the records are terrific - I really do. If you are of the opinion that his songs and his voice are more to your liking on his early stuff then it's a pretty easy argument to make and I'm sure there are many people who will agree with you. not me. I think he's one HELL of an artist and pretty much straight across the board.

take "sandman". the song "pretty soon there'll be nothing left for everybody" is far from the greatest song anybody ever wrote. It is far from the best singing anybody ever did, let alone Harry Nilsson. I think it's still a BOSS TRACK. the song is clever. the chorus is tricky. the singing is warm given the hopelessness of the lyric. this is a great track from a great record.

Harry had character. whatever skills he did or didn't keep - he kept this. I think his later RCA stuff is RICH in character and I think it's dynamite stuff.

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Sneelock » 26 Jun 2010, 18:42

you see Sinatra in his later years (like "concert for the Americas" or something) and his voice is pretty shot but he pulls it off. he did it with will and with character. Nilsson was a more playful character but I think he did a similar thing. he didn't sing like an angel anymore - I'll give you that. But, listen to "salmon falls" or something and I think he sings like a fallen angel. to each their own but I think both types make for good singing.

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Sneelock » 26 Jun 2010, 18:48

oops. I did the 'fallen angel' bit a year ago! oh well.

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 26 Jun 2010, 18:55

I think that both you and the generic person you imagine debating are correct. Harry's records from Son on are a big letdown from what came before. How could they be anything but? His stretch up to that point is almost unworldly. His artistic focus is remarkable throughout all of those albums.

Then it appears the boozing, drugs and whatever other demon he was struggling with cause him to lose concentration. Then much of his voice. And so those last few albums show him as a former five-tool player suddenly reduced to one or two tools. But the thing is - among those tools he still had left was his force of personality - and that was one monster of a tool! An erratic, hoarse-voiced Harry Nilsson still had Harry's imagination, wit, energy, understanding of the popular song, and general "don't give a fuck" attitude. He went from one of the greatest recording artists the world had ever seen to just a pretty fucking marvelous cult artist. No shame in that.

What do you think the world would have made of Harry Nilsson if his recording career had started with Son of Schmilsson?
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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Sneelock » 26 Jun 2010, 19:12

pretty much what they make of him now except he wouldn't be known for his best known song.
I'll boomerang the question back. what if "coconut" was his best known song instead of 'without you'?

the 'imaginary person' I'm debating goes by the name "critical consensus". I like those records and most people, except dedicated Harry Nilsson fans, don't think very much of them. I've read at least a dozen snubs of records I think are very good. sorry if I seem defensive, I just think those last RCA albums are very good indeed.

I think, in many ways "coconut" was a far more characteristic Nilsson track than "without you" was. I think from "son of .." on, these records have a lot of rewards for people who like the guy who sang "coconut"

I love his early stuff but "coconut" is not to be trifled with!

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Sneelock » 26 Jun 2010, 19:19

so Davey, when you listen to "all I think about is you" do you think "oh man, he lost it, what a shame"?
not me. when I hear it I think, in a very few years, he left an amazing batch of recordings. I think the vocal on that track is emotional in a way that maybe only a used up, partied out former rock stars vocal's could be. I think his songs are spottier but I think the albums stand tall on their own merits.

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Sneelock » 26 Jun 2010, 19:21

what if "coconut" was his best known song instead of 'without you'?


now that I think about it, I think this will come to pass if it hasn't already.

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Goat Boy » 26 Jun 2010, 19:29

Apologies if it's been asked before but what's the best place for a beginner to start?
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 26 Jun 2010, 19:39

Sneelock wrote:so Davey, when you listen to "all I think about is you" do you think "oh man, he lost it, what a shame"?
not me. when I hear it I think, in a very few years, he left an amazing batch of recordings. I think the vocal on that track is emotional in a way that maybe only a used up, partied out former rock stars vocal's could be. I think his songs are spottier but I think the albums stand tall on their own merits.


Nah - I think it is great. It reminds me why I loved Nilsson in the first place. He never completely lost his superpowers. That is what makes his later years so frustrating. You keep seeing glimpses of that guy that he could be.

I'm probably the wrong guy to have this conversation with, cause I even consider Nilsson Schmilsson a bit of a letdown. I think the guy before that was Beatles/Stones/Dylan/James Brown great. I think the guy after was still Jonathan Richman great. I think critical consensus treats him like he was always Jonathan Richman great (no great shame as Richman is indeed wonderful) - but overall Harry Nilsson was a lot better than that. He beats the hell out of the likes of Syd Barrett and other cult artists that tend to be revered these days.
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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 26 Jun 2010, 19:41

Goat Boy wrote:Apologies if it's been asked before but what's the best place for a beginner to start?


Aerial Ballet or Pandemonium Shadow Show. Pandemonium was the debut, but Aerial is a a touch better. But one of those two for sure. Any other album and his career arc won't make as much sense to you.
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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Sneelock » 26 Jun 2010, 19:44

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:I'm probably the wrong guy to have this conversation with, cause I even consider Nilsson Schmilsson a bit of a letdown. I think the guy before that was Beatles/Stones/Dylan/James Brown great. I think the guy after was still Jonathan Richman great. I think critical consensus treats him like he was always Jonathan Richman great (no great shame as Richman is indeed wonderful) - but overall Harry Nilsson was a lot better than that. He beats the hell out of the likes of Syd Barrett and other cult artists that tend to be revered these days.



that's part of what I love about the cover of "Sandman"
this guy was obviously cool with putting that picture of himself on the cover. obviously he didn't give a fuck what anybody thought.
maybe this attitude wasn't good for career moves but it sure makes for a special place in my heart.

goat boy, I think "aerial ballet" shows off his songwriting, "nilsson sings newman" shows off his singing and "nilsson schmilsson" shows off why his cult persists and why we wear such funny hats.

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Re: For The Love Of Harry - The Nilsson Thread

Postby Goat Boy » 26 Jun 2010, 19:49

Cheers, Davey.
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


Copehead wrote:a right wing cretin like Berger....bleating about racism