NILSSON'S FINAL VINYL, released in 1980 opens with "Harry" which is written and sung by Eric Idle (Pythonian legend) and if you think that's strange then wait until you hear the rest of the album. Even stranger, I think "Harry" might possibly be the best song on the album!
I love Nilsson like a mother and regularly return to his LPs and ALWAYS discover new gems and find myself re-laughing at the same jokes that I've heard before and each time I can understand it DEEPER and it's even funnier (hmmm...maybe I'm drinking too much).
Many critics write Nilsson off with 1974's "Pussy Cats" which is from the same lost weekend that John Lennon endured. Poor Harry's voice sounded like he was also swallowing the glass that his drink came with. But I find "Pussy Cats" fascinating and I also love "Duit On Mon Dei," "Sandman" and "...That's The Way It Is" is a cool album too.
I listen to ALL of Harry's music and if anyone dares to request the "POPEYE" soundtrack here on The Daily Pipe, dammit I will post it.
"Flash Harry" was never released in the U.S. (or on CD) even with an impressive all-star cast listed on the back cover. Produced by Steve Cropper with Bruce Robb at Cherokee studios, the guest musicians range from Ringo Starr to Dr. John with Lowell George, Van Dyke Parks, Keith Allison and many more. I LOVED Cherokee Studios. They tore the building down. With Mother Superior and Rollins Band, I spent many hours in those four walls laying down tracks and listening to the Robb Brothers talk about all the great musicians who had recorded there and I can only imagine how much cocaine that bunch of dudes did there in 1980. No wonder "Cheek To Cheek" sounded great!
Nilsson co-wrote only two songs on a short, five track Side One. "Best Move" is classic Harry and is written with Van Dyke Parks and 'Hazlewood' who I guess would be Lee. The other song is "Old Dirt Road" written with John Lennon six years earlier and featured on John's "Walls And Bridges" on Apple from 1974. It's an okay song that maybe wasn't screaming for a cover version, especially one with an extended guitar solo at the end. Side One closes with "I Don't Need You" which was a huge hit in 1981 for Kenny Rogers!!
Side Two is short on hidden treasures but has some tasty playing plus a Harry and Ringo co-write called "How Long Can Disco On" (unfortunately, the title is better than the tune). The album comes full circle and closes with Harry's tribute to Eric Idle via his rendition of the "Life Of Brian" classic "Bright Side Of Life." And I'll close in saying (also coming full circle) that this might possibly be the second best song on the album, strangely enough.
We love you, Harry Nilsson. Happy birthday and THANK YOU for all the great music!