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Harry Nilsson’s early career is divided by two personalities. The first existed in the late '60s and early '70s, when he was a bright-eyed singer and songwriter, brimming with ideas and energy. This person gradually morphed into the Nilsson of the mid- and late '70s, irritable and sullen, weighed down by addiction and frustration. At the moment where it mattered most, Nilsson was able to fuse these two aspects of his life, making Knnillssonn, his final album for RCA, a work of disarming truth and poignancy. It was the first album completely written and arranged by Nilsson since 1972’s Son of Schmilsson and it echoes that album with its grand orchestral arrangements — there are also hints of Nilsson’s calypso-inflected collaborations with Van Dyke Parks. And yet, Knnillssonn is not quite like anything else in his catalog. There is a sleepiness and resignation inherent in the album that makes the listener know that the singer understood this might be his curtain call. But the music is steady and full, even valiant, like an old schooner cutting across the bay once again.


Born: 15 June 1941 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '50s, '60s, '70s, '80s, '90s

Although he synthesized disparate elements of both rock and pop traditions, singer/songwriter Harry Nilsson was at heart a maverick whose allegiance belonged to neither. His initial series of albums in the late '60s made him a personal favorite of the Beatles, who found a natural affinity with his knack for catchy melodies, witty lyrics, and extraordinary vocal range. Thought of as a songwriter first and a performer second, he became a pop star himself in the late '60s and early '70s with "Everybody's...
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