In 1979 Harry Nilson took a hiatus from recording what would turn out to be his final (full) album, Flash Harry, in order to act as musical director behind filmmaker Robert Altman’s 1980 film, Popeye. Co-produced by Bruce Robb, with arrangements by Van Dyke Parks, Nilsson composed all of the film’s original songs. An inspired […]
Archive for the 'Harry Nilsson' Category
Van Dyke Parks is a true conversationalist. He speaks in fluid lines, quickly but with great care devoted to each word. At the moment, the producer, songwriter, and arranger — who’s worked for Disney, crafted teenage symphonies to God with Brian Wilson, and arranged strings for everyone from Joanna Newsom to Skrillex – is elucidating […]
Jelly Roll Morton may have penned “Whinin’ By Blues”, but no one actually nailed the whine quite like Harry Nilsson. What would have likely devolved into caterwaul in the hands of lesser vocalists, Nilsson employed as one of his signature vocal tics. Two best, and favorite, examples: the obvious – Nilsson’s take on Fred Neil’s […]
Beginning today, and running for two weeks, you can stream the excellent Harry Nilsson documentary Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?) in its entirety. Highly recommended. Also, be sure to read the interview we did with the filmmaker John Scheinfeld earlier this year. Film after the jump.
Aside from his entree into an enduring friendship with the Fabs, Nilsson’s re-arranged cover of the Beatles “You Can’t Do That“ (featured on his sophomore LP, Pandemonium Shadow Show) was also his first hit on the U.S. charts. In true Nilsson form the track is rife with multi-tracked vocals and peppered with twenty-something references to […]
In the summer of 2007 the documentary Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?) saw a limited engagement (read: single viewing) at the Egyptian Theatre in Hollywood. I was fortunate to be in attendance, and for the next three years kept an eye out for a wider release and/or DVD distribution. […]
Stay tuned for our interview with filmmaker John Scheinfeld per his documentary Who Is Harry Nilsson (And Why Is Everybody Talkin’ About Him?). In the meantime, check out Nilsson’s cover of John Lennon’s “Isolation;” a track I’ve has on steady repeat the past couple of months. A cover, it somehow surpasses John’s, excellent, original. A […]