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Nilsson Sings Newman

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Editors’ Notes

Nilsson Sings Newman presents an audaciously unadorned collaboration between two mutually admired songwriters. At a time when glitz and pomposity was becoming the central element of rock ‘n’ roll, Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson redirected attention to the craft of song. Beyond their shared experience in the songwriting world, the two men shared an aesthetic sense, both gravitating to plaintive piano performances, both guided by a sardonic yet sensitive worldview. However, Nilsson had the more extraordinary voice, which he used to full effect on this album. With Newman providing piano accompaniment, Nilsson recorded layers upon layers of vocal takes, creating a vocal tapestry that at once intensifies the emotion of his voice and gives the album a celestial aura. Nilsson insisted on leaving in snatches of studio patter, thereby bringing attention to the artifice of record-making, and challenging the audience to confront the illusions of reality inherent in the listening experience. The album was a commercial flop, but it was also the first sign that Nilsson was more than a fine songwriter and singer — he was a visionary.

Customer Reviews

An enduring curio

This early seventies holiday for Randy and Harry is long on low key charm. It's too brillant guys, doing what they do best. The complete CD has a wonderful song not done elsewhere "Snow". I would also say Harry's is the definative version of "Love Story." So....why can't we have the whole album??????

Ahh! Nilsson Sings Newwman

I remember when I first heard this album. It was like it was recorded under an inch of yellow wax, so rich and mellow were the tones of the music. Newman's fantastic ability to capture the simple moments of our lives and then present them to us without any tricks or gimmicks is just proof of his genius. Nilssons' ability to stay out of the way of the music—not draw undue attention to himself—but just hand over the musical experience to the listener through his heart and voice, well, that's the stuff of genius as well. But, the previous reviewer asked a legitimate question. One that really deserves an answer. Where's the rest of the album? There's so much junk music out there for you to fool around with. Why do you deprive listeners of this real music?

Fantastic album...

...if only it was all here!! I've been dying to listen to "Snow" lately and can't seem to find it. :-(


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...
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