21 Songs, 1 Hour 1 Minute

EDITORS’ NOTES

Over the course of a bold and highly erratic recording career Harry Nilsson assembled a core list of signature songs, some of which became — against all odds — popular on the radio (“Everybody’s Talkin’,” “Without You,” “Coconut”) and many more of which were made famous by others or simply admired within songwriting circles (“One,” 1941,” “Good Old Desk,” “The Puppy Song,” “Me and My Arrow”). Nilsson was an unrepentant prankster, and he spent most of his life subverting his audience’s expectations, but what comes through time and again is his irrepressible wit, his acidic storytelling, his exquisite melodies, and his faithful, sometimes-angelic voice. Running through all his songs is a deep current of melancholy — sometimes it comes through in the lyrics, sometimes in his voice, and sometimes it’s just in the somber, wistful arrangement, as in “The Moonbeam Song.” Of all the popular songwriters of his generation, Nilsson was the only one that never gave up his war against the obvious.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Over the course of a bold and highly erratic recording career Harry Nilsson assembled a core list of signature songs, some of which became — against all odds — popular on the radio (“Everybody’s Talkin’,” “Without You,” “Coconut”) and many more of which were made famous by others or simply admired within songwriting circles (“One,” 1941,” “Good Old Desk,” “The Puppy Song,” “Me and My Arrow”). Nilsson was an unrepentant prankster, and he spent most of his life subverting his audience’s expectations, but what comes through time and again is his irrepressible wit, his acidic storytelling, his exquisite melodies, and his faithful, sometimes-angelic voice. Running through all his songs is a deep current of melancholy — sometimes it comes through in the lyrics, sometimes in his voice, and sometimes it’s just in the somber, wistful arrangement, as in “The Moonbeam Song.” Of all the popular songwriters of his generation, Nilsson was the only one that never gave up his war against the obvious.

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