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Pandemonium Shadow Show

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Editors’ Notes

Recorded at RCA studios in Los Angeles at the peak of the “Summer of Love,” 1967’s Pandemonium Shadow Show is at once emblematic of its era and entirely outside of it. While his peers were consumed with all things freaky and loud, Harry Nilsson embraced ornate orchestration and the woozy march-times of circus music. The album has a natural affinity with Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, from the same year, and the connection is made explicit with a reading of “She’s Leaving Home,” a song that sports the bittersweet elegance that was to become Nilsson’s stock in trade. The Beatles, in turn, got turned on to Nilsson through “You Can’t Do That,” which is at once a masterful parody and sincere tribute to the Lennon-McCartney catalog. While Nilsson might have been attracted to the gilded melodicism of McCartney, his sardonic writing was much nearer to Lennon, who later became one of his closest friends and allies. The snappy sing-alongs of Pandemonium Shadow Show often disguise personal revelations, coated in dark wit.

Customer Reviews

One great record

But yet everyone must be too busy listening to Pete Wentz to care or comment...Dear Harry, we love you forgive the sins of the less edjucated [sic]

Nilsson-tastic

Seriously. Everyone knows the Beatles--how about the guy whom the Beatles thought was magnificent? That's right, the Beatles were pretty much obsessed with this very album... but no, let's listen to the Jonas Brothers. If only everyone knew about Harry Nilsson and his marvelous songwriting... Well, anyways, I thought it was splendid and I SO wish Harry was alive. :\

Beatles favorite American Artist

The documentary that's out right now: Who Is Harry Nilsson And Why's Everyone Talkin' About Him? will hopefully shine some light on a man who's career never really got the full respect it deserved. "Genius" really applies to very few successful music artists. He truly was one.

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...
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