Sunday, September 19, 2010

Nilsson Sings Newman

My next 1970 album is Nilsson Sings Newman

This album makes a nice companion to Randy Newman's 12 Songs, since it features Harry Nilsson singing some of the same songs ("Caroline", "Yellow Man", etc) with Newman backing him up on piano. Nilsson is a much better singer than Newman, and his vocals make the songs more accessible, but Nilsson Sings Newman was just as much of a commercial dud as 12 Songs. It's gained a lot of cachet over the years, and has become a favorite for lots of Nilsson (and Newman) fans over the last forty years.

Both albums are really short (the original 12 Songs + Nilsson Sings Newman could fit on one side of a 90 minute tape) and the combination makes for a nice Sunday morning listen. Here's my favorite song from the album, "Living Without You", where Harry does to Randy's original what he did to the similarly-titled Badfinger song -- turning a nice little song into a masterpiece.

I wish there were more Nilsson performances on youtube,
but he wasn't really into "performing".

No comments: