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Duit On Mon Dei

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Editors’ Notes

Along with John Lennon and Randy Newman, Van Dyke Parks was one of Harry Nilsson’s spiritual brothers. Like Nilsson, Parks was a pop eccentric, drawn to orchestral arrangements and surreal wordplay, and like Nilsson, he could not resist the gilded image of a beautiful melody. Their first collaboration was 1975’s Duit On Mon Dei — a pun on the British Monarchy’s motto “Dieu et mon droit,” meaning “my divine right.” Parks coordinated the arrangements and overall feel for many of the tracks, and also contributed piano. “Maestro” Parks infected Nilsson with his obsession with Caribbean music, and the hallmark of Duit On Mon Dei is the steel drumming of Robert Greenridge. Parks’ calypso-inflected arrangements were a good look for Harry, and the two men shared an innate love for woozy, wobbly rhythms. Parks’ arrangements can be goofy, but he always provides them with a certain stateliness, which, along with Nilsson’s supreme singing and contributions from a bevy of top musicians—including Dr. John, Jim Keltner, Bobby Keys and Ringo Starr—keeps the songs from becoming jokey.

Customer Reviews

Nilson Lives!!!!

I've been a Harry Nilson fan since the early 70's, thanks to my mom. Harry was ahead of his time. The man was extremely talented and produced songs that are still being sung today. This album remindes me of the unique style he had for music. This is actually a very good album. Harry you will always live in my heart.

Hidden charms

I must respectfully disagree with the iTunes review - there are a couple of standouts on this album. Salmon Falls is a serious and epic recording, (albeit on a strange subject matter.) It has a different, more fully-crafted quality than the rest of the record. Other than that, "turn out the light" never fails to entertain me.

Biography

Born: June 15, 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...
Full Bio