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Old 04-18-2012, 10:35 PM   #1 (permalink)
Janszoon
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Join Date: May 2007
Location: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
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Default Nilsson for Fnck's Sake




Harry Nilsson

Welp… I wrote a nice long piece about his guy in my journal and got zero responses, and reviewed one of his albums in my other journal and got very few responses, but nevertheless I can't believe there's not thread dedicated to him on MB. An amazing pop songwriter and without a doubt one of the greatest male vocalists of the 20th century, Harry Nilsson definitely fits the mold of the musician's musician. Once cited by the Beatles as their favorite artist as well as their favorite "band", he was also the songwriter of "One" (made famous by Three Dog Night) and "Coconut", and his version of "Everybody's Talkin'" is the one that made the song famous.

A perpetual outsider, never really "cool", Nilsson was nevertheless one of the towering figures of English language music during the 60s and 70s. In many ways, the closest comparison I can come up with for Nilsson is Isaac Brock. Like the Modest Mouse frontman, he excelled at writing music that was often humorous and self-effacing, but with a raw emotional undercurrent of despair. He came from a rough background and battled personal demons throughout his mercurial existence, but despite that (or maybe because of it) he succeeded in releasing some of the most beautiful, heartbreaking music of his era. I mean who else can do vocals that manage to be both immeasurably sad and a hilarious impression of a trumpet simultaneously?

Some examples from throughout his career:










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