Nilsson Schmilsson

Widely regarded as Nilsson's 'magnum opus' (it was, at least, his most commercially successful album) I would guess that more non-Nilsson fans have this one recording in their collections than any other of his others.  While it is not even in my top three favourites it does feature several seminal Nilsson tracks and will eternally be associated with his biggest ever success - the massive number one single and Grammy winning cover version of Badfinger's 'Without You'.(1)

Because of the attention it has drawn through being the album that had 'that song' on it Nilsson Schmilsson has undoubtedly been released more times than Harry's others - at least five times on CD and many more LPs - it was the first of Harry's albums to be remixed in Quadraphonic.(2)

  There is a much sought after MFSL gold CD but, if that cannot be found, the recent BMG Heritage CD is also excellent (and has great bonus tracks as well!)

So...to the album itself...there seems to have been a perception of Harry as having been a promising young artist who had somewhat 'lost his way'.  The success (mainly critical - not so much commercial) of his early albums had seen him very much in the role of a rising star and had led to approaches to write film scores for eminent Hollywood legends and the opportunity to create a cartoon TV movie - but neither of these 'sidelines' did much to further his development as a successful 'pop star'.  His decision to record an LP featuring only the songs of another young star was also a brave (but not necessarily career-furthering) move and the same could be said, to some extent, for the revisionist LP Aerial Pandemonium Ballet.

All Nilsson's work so far had been produced by George Tipton and Tipton's trademark, quirky arrangements were very much part of the 'Nilsson Sound' throughout.  So the first (and biggest) departure for this new album was his replacement by Richard Perry - another young American with a well-earned and ever-growing reputation.  Another was Harry's defection from LA to London.  He had his flat in Curzon Place in Mayfair (incidentally, the flat in which both 'Mama' Cass Elliot and Keith Moon died!) and Perry, especially, was keen to record in England's Capital City to try to recreate the sort of sound produced by The Beatles and Elton John on their records made there.

So Trident Studios in Soho were booked for June 1971 and Perry prepared for the sessions.  Biggest problem was Harry's lack of finished material to record in them! He had lots of fragments and demos but not much that he could present to the assembled session musicians, count-in and go! Perry says in the liner notes for the BMG Heritage reissue that he and Harry walked up and down Oxford St the day before recording began looking for songs to record.  But, dissatisfied with Elton John 'rejects' Perry decided to take Harry's fragments and record theme in standard song format, leaving him to write lyrics and record the vocals later!  As it happened the sessions became quite improvisatory - great musicians like Herbie Flowers, Chris Spedding and Gary Wright just joined in as Harry sat fiddling at the piano and finished versions just 'arrived'.

 

Gotta Get Up

The album opener had been around for more than three years.  A demo version is included on the BMG Heritage version which was produced by George Tipton during the Aerial Ballet sessions in 1968. As Curtis wrote in his notes for the Harryfest 2001 Listening Party it was clear that Harry realised it needed more time in the 'oven' to be ready.  The previous version released as a demo on the UK Camden release is much more akin to the solo piano version of the final song as Harry featured in his BBC special (note the completed version, no alternate sections and ascending piano part at the end.).  Obviously the first 'demo' version had gone some way down the line towards being used in AB - way past a 'normal' piano/vocal demo anyway but was dropped from that release even though it ended up a song short due to the sacrifice of Daddy's Song.  Maybe, also, Harry could have thought that it would not sit comfortably alongside 'Bath' which has a similar sort of theme (getting up and getting ready for a new day) and he would have probably been quite unwilling to sacrifice the more 'arcane' song.

The song itself is a medium-tempo piano-based rocker (with a nod to reggae in the heavily accented guitar part on the released version).  The mix is at times a little unbalanced with the lazy, brass chords quite low down (especially compared to how much more prominent we would have expected from Tipton).  The lyrics include one of Nilsson's first direct references to sexual activity: 'He came to town and he would pound her for a couple of days'.  At least in the afore-mentioned 'Bath' you had to read between lines with at least a hint of a dirty mind to start with but here Harry gets 'open' for the first time...he would go further, of course in days to come!

Driving Along

Harry was never happy with this song and thought it should have not been included. However, I believe it is a good as most on this LP.  A good vocal lead over a well-produced backing track and an efficient guitar solo from John Uribe make it a very listenable track with maybe just a hint of 'unfinishedness' about it.  The car starting up near the beginning is much more prominent in the Quad mix and, of course, comes out of a different speaker!  The middle 8 is weaker than the rest of the song although saved by lovely harmony vocals.  Interestingly, Harry and Richard add mellotron strings to the last verse and 'fade' - although I cannot help but wonder if this is one of the tracks that Rick Wakeman clearly recalls recording with Nilsson.  Rick is never credited on a Nilsson and, when I have spoken to him about it, he simply cannot remember which songs he appeared on but they must have been 'London' tracks and he was, at the time, the most famous exponent of the mellotron in London (having used it to great effect with Bowie and others).  Hmmm...(3)

Early In The Morning (Hickman-Jordan-Bartley)

Recorded in the RCA studios in Hollywood this is basically just an organ/voice demo of the jazz standard (Dallas Bartley was a jazz musician from Missouri best known for playing with co-writer Louis Jordan and nowadays for his songs featuring in the popular musical 'Five Guys Named Moe'.  The other writer was Leo Hickman).  I find it quite interesting that Harry is credited as organist on the recording as well as vocalist.  Let me tell you its quite something to play that syncopated part and sing the blues over it at the same time!  My guess is that if Harry did indeed play the organ then he added the vocals over his organ recording! I certainly can't do both at the same time!

Harry alters the lyrics to the song somewhat, of course. In the third verse he refers to a diner called 'Dooky Chase' which is a restaurant in New Orleans - one of the only safe meeting places for black people in the city in 1941 when it opened.

The Moonbeam Song

From my earliest listenings to Son Of Dracula (see When Harry Met Harry) - my first moments in Harry's company - this has been one of my favourite Nilsson tracks.  I was captivated by the long, dreamy phrases. the superlative voice control, the exquisite layered harmonies...Oh, I can go on...the beautifully produced instrumental track with 'space' between the instruments allowing them all to be heard individually, the lovely, lazy feel the whole song has...enough!  (Oh, go on?)

You get the idea, I'm sure!  Actually, the only thing I was slightly unsure about was the use of the word 'crap' in the song.  We just didn't have that word in England in the mid 1970s!  When it arrived we used it as it was used here to mean 'rubbish' and, in my household at least, it was used completely without offence for some time. Then, one day, my dad, who I never heard swear in his entire life, used it once in someone else's company and was met by a very shocked face!  In the intervening few years it had become a coarse synonym for excrement!  We stopped using it after that!

Back to the song...the first thing you noticed are the doubled guitars - sounding like like a 12-string but...not.  The bass guitar has a clarity to it I can only liken to Carol Kaye's work on mid-60s Beach Boys Classics - but then the fretless, jazzy phrases from the same instrument are completely different - the syncopated use of the bass on this song are one of its finest features.  I didn't become aware of Herbie Flowers (the bassist in question) until the supergroup 'Sky' appeared on the scene.  He was part of that ensemble (along with guitar supremo John Williams, Kevin Peek and percussionist Tristan Fry).  I loved his driving bass on tracks like 'Hotta' but best of all I loved his 'Tuba Smarties' - Herbie could play all forms of 'bass' including bass tuba!

Interestingly, at the end of the song the mellotrons are credited to 'Moonbeam Harry'.  Hmmm...again!(4)

Down

This is another of the songs I was first familiar with through Son of Dracula before I heard it in its original place on NS. And it is another Richard Perry 'tour de force' of a production!  Just compare a recording like this with something by, say, Phil Spector (an interesting choice seeing is was at a Spector party that Harry and Richard first met!) Whereas Spector was famous for his 'wall of sound' in which individual instrument sounds were partly sacrificed to the god of the 'overall' sound in this and other similar cuts from the Schmilsson albums Perry gives us just as impressive an instrumental montage whilst maintain utter clarity of sound (another reason why these albums were perfect for 'surround sound', Quad or DTS mixes - for comparison's sake listen to Brian Wilson's 'Imagination' - now I like it anyway but it REALLY comes alive in the superbly defined DTS mix!).

This time it is Klaus Voorman's opportunity to pump out the bassline, which he does to great effect.  Voorman was regarded as the nearest thing to a McCartney-type bassist - not surprising since he had been a friend and colleague of The Beatles since their Hamburg days - and, of course, the cover artist for 'Revolver' etc.)  Helping Voorman drive the song are double drummers Jim Keltner and Jim Gordon

But the musician who makes his mark on this track most noticeably is Jim Price.  Price was a Texas born 'hornblower' and had played brass with the Rolling Stones, Delaney and Bonnie and most recently on George Harrison's triple album epic 'All Things Must Pass' (along with several other musicians amongst those assembled for NS). Price was to make some great contributions to Nilsson's next few albums but it is definitely on the 'Schmilssons' that he made his best mark.  While there is brass on the opening track (and arranged by Price) the mix keeps them away from the attention whereas here, on this raunchier, 'bluesier' number Perry lets them ride the mix and appear in all their glory!  Price takes the trumpet and trombone parts and Bobby Keys the sax lines - they were to become an essential and much loved ingredient in the Nilsson sound over the next few years.

Without You (Ham-Evans)

Funny...but this is still the first song on side two even though I'm sure I haven't played the LP in over twenty years...

Where does one start?  I guess with the piano...

(that's me on the left playing 'Without You' on Harry Nilsson's own piano in son Zak's front room.  Wow!)

Because I almost always regard this as a 'sister' song to 'Remember' for many, may years I simply assumed that the pianist on Without You was Nicky Hopkins and I was quite surprised when perusing the credits once more to discover I was wrong!  Gary Wright was a psychology student who had taken up music and played with the band 'Spooky Tooth' from 1967. Surprisingly, given the contribution the piano part makes to the success of the recording, Wright's role in the massive success of Without You have been historically very much under-stated (rather akin to the Wakeman/Cat Stevens story outlined below) - Wright does not even mention his contribution on his own official web page, yet it must be at least in the top two most successful recordings of his career (the other being 'Dream Weaver', of course).  Reading between the lines of what Wright says about his part in liner notes it seems Perry originally wanted a more complex piano part (probably more akin to Hopkins part in 'Remember') but Wright wanted to keep it simple - never more evident than in the opening and his use of bare fifths.  But it is the space allowed by such frugality in Wright's part that allows the other instruments to make the most of their roles and yet not take an ounce of attention away from what is probably one of Harry's finest ever vocal performances.

Harry's voice sits majestically in its upper register without ever needing to lapse into falsetto, doubling itself unobtrusively in harmony from the 2nd verse onwards.  The song builds with Paul Buckmaster's strings(5) providing crescendos until the emotional impact explodes in the final choruses and Harry ascends, glides and soars to add the gloss to one of the finest achievements in recording history.  We Nilsson fans do tend to take this song for granted - after all we hear it so often.  Even non-Nilsson fans hear it, probably, every few weeks on some TV programme, radio station or wedding reception.  It is on more best of 'Love Songs' compilations than any other song (has anyone ever tried to count them?) and it is only when listening once more with 'fresh ears' as I have done today that we can truly appreciate what a special song this is. 

The story goes that Pete Ham and Tom Evans were just down the hall from Harry and Richard as they were completing the final mix of 'Without You'.  They were invited in, given champagne and played the song at full volume.  What a special moment that must have been for the pair - reportedly speechless - a highlight in the tragic tales of their lives...a moment of sublime realisation that they had, indeed, contributed to something so very, very special. 

Coconut

Zer...zer...zer...zer...I love the well-known phrase which begins 'From the sublime...'. 

Coconut is not exactly 'ridiculous' but it certainly makes a sharp contrast on many levels with its immediate predecessor on Nilsson Schmilsson.  But then, it was never intended to be a serious work of art and, for what it is, Coconut is something of a classic as well!  I can imagine its sessions being full of corpseing - Herbie Flowers obviously remembering them humorously if his comments in Curtis's liner notes for BMG are an example.  He said (no doubt with a large smile on his face), "Coconut had quite complicated chord changes."  Coconut has only one chord throughout!  Nilsson had been to Hawaii and noticed the fun sound and rhythmic qualities of the word 'coconut' and started to compose the song while driving down the freeway in LA.  Perry regarded the song as a bit of a cartoon and the whole idea of the song (the cause is itself the cure) is, of course, the basic idea behind homeopathy!  Maybe Harry was onto something (more likely, though, he was on something!)

There is nothing particularly technical or exciting about the basic music of 'Coconut' - it's just a piece of fun, and its main feature is Harry's vocal performances and characterisations.  He plays all roles in the story through layering and overdubbing and it became a popular cut on the LP - even becoming the follow-up single to 'Without You' (which must have surprised a few non-suspecting buyers!)

In recent years the song has come  to prominence again through its recent usage in several major movies and on TV:  most notably it is sung over the closing credits of Quentin Tarantino's ultra-violent and bloody 'Reservoir Dogs'.  After all the gunfire, knife-slashing and a surprisingly moving ending that familiar guitar pattern and Nilsson's voice sing this silly, party song in an ultra-ironic twist to give the perfect jolt to the emotions needed - anyone who thinks movies are over when the action ends do both musicians and directors a bit of a disservice! The song also featured in the Sandra Bullock/Nicole Kidman vehicle 'Practical Magic' and 'Daddy Day Care' with Eddie Murphy.  The song even cropped up in the cult-cartoon series 'The Simpsons' as Homer lounged in a hammock singing 'You put the beer in the coconut and throw the can away!'. Finally, Coca-Cola used the song in an advertising campaign for 'Coke with Lime' - 'put the lime in the coke, you nut!'.

Harry's appetite for silly voices and drop-in vocal effects is easily sated in this performance - ands it also provides another outing for his 'cast of characters' routine.  Of course, there is also plenty of good singing as well!  Also of interest is the range of percussion employed.  Its funny, though...the only image I regularly see in my mind on listening to 'Coconut' is the trio of bowler-hatted gorillas from the BBC special!

Let The Good Times Roll  (Lee)

Leonard Lee (from the well-known rock and roll duo Shirley and Lee) wrote this song in 1956 and it was a hit later that year - some DJs refusing to play it as they claimed it had 'suggestive lyrics' ('rock' originally had a sexual connotation - 'rock me all night long' virtually being a substitute for another 4-letter word starting with 'f' in more modern terminology. By coincidence it was also recorded by Louis Jordan and Dallas Bartley who wrote 'Early In The Morning'.

Harry had performed this song at the BBC concert earlier in 1971 but, on that occasion, he had turned it into a very clever medley with 'Walk Right Back' and 'Cathy's Clown'.  Ever since I've known that I tend to have thought that the medley might have been well-placed here as well for (in my opinion) this is a bit of a throwaway on the album - a filler, for want of a better word.

At least it would be - if not for Harry's vocal gymnastics.  It certainly sounds like one of those tracks that might have started with Harry sitting at the piano and everyone else just joining in - shame Herbie didn't have his tuba, that might have fitted in just perfectly!  Anyway, it's a straight read of the song on this occasion and while the instrumental parts are unspectacular Harry overdubs several lines of harmony that lift the song from the mundane to a somewhat loftier perch. The track also marks the one and only appearance of Harry on record soloing on harmonica - he and Richard just found it lying around the studio, picked it up and played! Still one of the lesser cuts on the album, though, I think (although Richard Perry, for one, disagrees).

Jump Into the Fire

On more recent CDs this has become a seven minute epic with extended instrumentals, manic, powerful drumming (the 'solo' section is actually a duet with the uncredited Roger Pope playing along with Jim Gordon) and detuned bass all adding to the mix.  This is probably the 'loudest' or 'heaviest' track recorded in Nilsson's career - certainly thus far - and it works well and is generally well regarded by the public that remember it (it was another Top 40 single, after all).

It is also memorable for being one of the songs we see performed 'live' in Son of Dracula (the movie).  We don't have much footage of Harry performing so it is nice to be able to treasure every snippet!

Harry's voice is heavily echoed throughout (what isn't?) and the song has a great rock feel to it.  I have something of a liking for riff and pedal based rock (with Asia's 'Time and Time Again and 'Sole Survivor' at the top of the tree!) and, although I adore Nilsson's ballads so much more than most of his attempts at a 'heavier' type of music, this song is certainly one of my preferred choices amongst Harry's 'rock' efforts.

It comes to life even further in surround sound.  The DTS experience at full volume is an 'ear-bleeder' to match any other - and leave your head spinning...yet you still have a smile on your face!

I'll Never Leave You

Nilsson Schmilsson signs off with the last recording arranged and conducted by George Tipton (a very good friend...!) Recorded in Hollywood before the rest of the album was begun it is a marvellous song in just about every way.  Musically, there is so much to listen to...'Cabinessence' type, banjo pizzicati, those exquisitely placed triangle notes, the romantic cellos, brooding brass.  Every time you listen there is more to enjoy...I just heard the little duet between bassoon and cor anglais, for example.

Compositionally, it is probably the most complex piece Nilsson ever composed with delicate but unexpected key changes, metre changes, several different sections of music coming together effortlessly to make a whole...beautiful!

And the icing on a wonderful, rich cake? Harry's voice, of course - shown off here to its very best with use of most of his oft-mentioned wide range and that fantastic breath control (just how did he manage to maintain that sort of control with all those cigarettes???)

 

BONUS TRACKS:

a)  BMG Heritage version

Si No Estas Tu

...or 'Without You' in Spanish.  Both verses and the first chorus are sung in Spanish but the final choruses revert to the original recording. The fade is also slightly shorter.

How Can I Be Sure of You

This is an early version of what would later become 'Good For God' from 'Duit on Mon Dei'. The chorus (which was ultimately discarded) is beautiful and decorated with a somewhat bizarre yet rather attractive bass guitar part.  This was recorded 2 months after the NS sessions.  Strangely, for a bonus track, this song was one of two in this selection picked up on by acclaimed film director Ridley Scott and used in a major movie. 'A Good Year' - starring Russell Crowe features this, the George Tipton 'demo' of 'Gotta Get Up' and 'Jump Into the Fire' in its soundtrack.

The Moonbeam Song (demo)

Very different arrangement from the final version.  Harry plays a delicate high piano part at the beginning before moving into a part more reminiscent of 'Down' later.  Other instrumentalists seem to be improvising and trying to work out 'what works' and what doesn't - some things you hear here stay through to the final version while most are discarded.  Of course, the biggest difference is the lack of those harmonies...

Lamaze

Harry's son Zak was born using the 'Lamaze' birth-technique.  Harry contributed music to a documentary film ' The Story of Eric' about 'Lamaze' and this piece was recorded 'as a joke' during the sessions.  There is some very nice music and lots of silly Nilsson humour!  The song recorded for the documentary 'I am Waiting' is still unreleased.

Old Forgotten Soldier (demo)

This song finally appeared 3 albums later on Pussy Cats but by then, of course, Harry's voice was damaged.  This is basically the same track as on the Camden release (see below) but extra backing vocals were found on the multi-track tape that were 'missed' in the earlier vault-trawl!

Gotta Get Up (1968 version)

This is the version mentioned above from the Aerial Ballet sessions and I hesitate to list it as a 'demo'.  technically it may well be but this is, to all intents and purposes, a fully produced album track and it would not have been out of place on AB, Harry or even APB. Cool! (As mentioned above it also features in the movie 'A Good Year'.)

There are three 'secret' tracks as extras on the CD featuring radio promos for the album. Richard Perry talks about the LP and Harry.

b) UK Camden version

Without You (demo)

This is the very first demo of Harry sitting at a piano playing and singing what was to become his biggest hit.  Lovely to hear in this simple, intimate way - not to compare  with the final version but to appreciate the journey Harry and Richard took this song on before it arrived at the Grammys.  Harry puts plenty of passion into this early performance but there are lots of mistakes in the piano part. Its a wonderful thing about CD reissues that we now often get the opportunity to hear gems like this one.

Driving Along (demo)

Just like it says...Harry knew what he wanted for the middle 8 but it wasn't written yet so we get a 'feel' of what he means then it fades.

Gotta Get Up (demo)

This is a pre-sessions demo of the song.  The final structure of the song is now complete (up to and including the ascending piano part at the end but without the discarded sections from the Tipton version) and this demo is very similar to the BBC concert version.

Coconut (demo)

Harry employs lots of his vocal tricks here but this is otherwise a 'no frills' reading of the song with a very simple acoustic guitar accompaniment.  Listening to this makes me think how much we've all come to take bonus tracks for granted. Twenty years or so ago I'd have been so excited at the thought of adding new, unreleased recordings to my collection.  Here we have Harry's demo for a much loved song and its easy to think - "Oh yeah...that's OK..."  whereas its far more than that!  It's nice to hear the care Harry put into some of these demos and how well he sings on them.

Old Forgotten Soldier (demo)

A different demo from the one listed above.  Here the piano is heavier (even more reminiscent of 'Down') - the song 'calmed down' a lot in its final realisation - to its betterment, I think.  I find it interesting that this song dates from 1971 as it almost sounds here as though it could have fitted into The Point (musically, I mean...I'm not sure how the character might have fitted into the story!)  Anyway, the vocals are simply excellent once again!

Down (demo)

Listen out for the stereo piano! Tracks like this perhaps show us all how very much we missed out on due to Harry's refusal to perform live on stage for he really does seem so happy to just sit and perform.  It is quite extraordinary the quality of the vocal performance - demo after demo...little bits of extra ornamentation, swoops to falsetto lines of alternate/counter melodies we've never heard before.  I repeat - don't just leave these demos on the shelf!  I haven't played the Camden CD since the BMG version came out and I've been missing out on these demos.  Give 'em a spin!

The Moonbeam Song (demo)

This is, undoubtedly, an earlier demo version than the other one.  The songs is less complete and it has not yet been relaxed into compound time (or at least until the same old 'Down' style piano starts about 1'03" in...).  Harry obviously got into a particular type of 'groove' on the piano around this time when improvising/composing.  It is interesting to compare his piano playing styles over the years.  Back in the days of the 'Monkees demos' he was playing straight, full chords or adding slight arpeggiation (often in triplet la the intro to Cuddly Toy on PSS) but by 1971 he has developed this bluesy 'vamp' style which is cropping up in demo after demo here.  It does show us as well that Harry was actually composing at the piano.  I believe that in earlier days he had usually composed songs with a guitar.

Jump Into the Fire (single version)

Just what it says.  Three and a half minutes rather than seven this is more concise and balanced as a song...but I wouldn't say I prefer it to the longer version.  The instrumental break is still quite extended, however - especially for a single!  Even in the 70's you didn't normally get such a long guitar solo on a single! 

c) other miscellaneous recordings

Per Chi

...or 'Without You' - in Italian this time!

Without You (demo - extended)

I have heard one more version of the demo that is included on the Camden release.  This has a few seconds more at the start where Harry is whistling the tune over his piano chords.  He then asks for the headphones level to be adjusted

 

(1) Nilsson is very regularly erroneously credited with having composed 'Without You'.  It was written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans from Beatles acolytes 'Badfinger' and the tragic tale behind their constant battle to be recognised for their achievement was at least a contributory factor in the suicide of each of them.  The mistake persists up to the present day, though - I have heard very recently Mariah Carey's version announced on radio as a cover of 'Nilsson's Without You'.  I guess it was a bit embarrassing for Harry himself as well as leaving the rather ironic legacy that his two biggest career hits were not self-composed whereas the vast majority of his oeuvre was.

(2) Quadraphonic was the 1970's predecessor of Dolby Digital 5:1 and DTS surround sound.  It required a special stylus to be fitted to the turntable and a special amplifier - it did not catch on and it was another twenty years before the DVD age led to the widespread use of 'surround sound'.  Four of Nilsson's albums were released on Quad - this one, Pussy Cats, Duit on Mon Dei and Sandman.  While there is a great deal to remark on for the first two of these the latter pair sound almost the same as the standard LP.  I made CD transfers of the quad LPs but these were just a rough attempt without proper equipment.  Harry's son Zak Nilsson gave me copies of his professionally made transfers when I visited his home on New Year's Day 2001 - these are proper DTS discs and I am still very grateful to him for this gift.  I will refer to the different mixes etc. on my reviews of both NS and (more so) PC on these pages. As a final note...I have also seen a Quad version of Son Of Dracula referred to as well but I have certainly never seen one or heard it.  It is not listed on Harry's discography so I assume (for now) it never existed.

(3) Rick joined Yes for the first time before the 'Yes Album' tour which began in London on 17th July, 1971 making his involvement in the NS sessions a distinct possibility.

(4) Record labels were notoriously 'protective' of the artists in the early 1970s.  Quite often artists were not credited on the official records for their work.  Rick regularly tells the story of how he never received a credit (or even got paid!) for his work on the Cat Stevens hit 'Morning Has Broken'.  Rick wrote the entire arrangement and it is undisputable that the piano work on that song is its stand-out feature and the biggest contributory factor to its becoming a Number One hit.  On the next Nilsson album we will see much more evidence of this 'hiding' of artists - Ringo Starr is credited as Ritchie Snare, George as 'Harrysong', Eric Clapton as Derek Claptoe etc.  Also...there is the credit itself on 'Driving Along' - mellotrons by Harry and Richard? Rick is, of course, Richard C Wakeman! I honestly think I've solved the Wakeman/Nilsson conundrum here!

(5) Paul Buckmaster is a London-born musician - a cellist son of a Concert Pianist - who had risen to prominence as arranger for the emerging Elton John.  His contributions to hits like 'Without You, Carly Simon's 'You're So Vain' and Elton's 'Your Song' - which features the very same piano as 'Without You', by the way - should have made him more of a well-known name in the Music Industry.  He still works today with artists including Ben Folds, Backstreet Boys and Bon Jovi.

 

 

Final note:  This was the first of Harry's albums that he used to help promote Buckminster Fuller's Slum Clearance Project fro Harlem, New York.  On the paper inner sleeve of the LP was printed, "If you enjoyed this album buy Derek Taylor's book 'As Time Goes By' and check out Buckminster Fuller's Slum Clearance Project for Harlem."  A book of songs from Nilsson Schmilsson and Son of Schmilsson was released (also containing a few other songs such as 'Me and My Arrow' and 'I Guess the Lord...') was published with blueprints for the project and other Buckminster Fuller architectural plans included!

 

 

 

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