Sunday, August 21, 2011


YEAR: 1972


TRACK LISTING: Take 54, Remember (Christmas), Joy, Turn On Your Radio, You're Breaking My Heart, Spaceman, The Lottery Song, At My Front Door, Ambush, I'd Rather Be Dead, The Most Beautiful World In the World

BONUS TRACKS: In 2006 the album was remastered and released with the following bonus tracks: What's Your Sign?, Take 54 (Alternate Take), Campo de Encino, Daybreak, It Had To Be You (Jam Session)

HIDDEN TRACKS: On the original album there were two brief songs inserted between tracks which were not listed on the song list. Between "Take 54" and "Remember (Christmas)" is a horror movie-type track I have always called "Son of Schmilsson". Between "The Lottery Song" and "At My Front Door" is a false start comedy intro to "Remember (Christmas)".

IMPRESSIONS: Generally SON OF SCHMILSSON is considered to be something of a failure because of the dissipated (read: drunken) condition Nilsson was in at the time as well as the fact that it is a very eccentric (read: uncommercial) album. I contend that it is his best album in spite of the former and very much because of the latter. This is, after all, the album which contains Nilsson's very own "Imagine": "Remember (Christmas); one of the most beautiful songs ever written. "The Most Beautiful World In the World" is both silly and very beautifully written and performed. "Spaceman", "The Lottery Song" and "I'd Rather Be Dead" remain some of my favourite Nilsson songs as well and "You're Breaking My Heart" is hilarious fun with a nice touch of venom. Critics constantly make me laugh by bemoaning the absence of anything new and then, when an artist gives it to them, they condemn it. This album goes to the "humour in music" question once again that Frank Zappa (and later Ween) would address and vindicate; Nilsson does the same with this wonderfully written and performed gem.
MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: Remember (Christmas), You're Breaking My Heart, Spaceman, The Lottery Song, I'd Rather Be Dead, The Most Beautiful World in the World

GUEST ARTISTS: Klaus Voorman (bass, saxophone, electric guitar), Peter Frampton (electric guitar, acoustic guitar), Ray Cooper (percussion, tambourine, congas), George Harrysong aka George Harrison (slide guitar on "You're Breaking My Heart"), Chris Spedding (bouzouki on "Remember (Christmas)"), Red Rhodes (pedal steel guitar on "Joy"), Paul Buckmaster (orchestral arrangements on "Spaceman"), Richard Perry (percussion, arrangements), Senior Citizens of the Stepney & Pinner Choir Club No. 6 London England (choir on "I'd Rather Be Dead")

FACT SHEET: SON OF SCHMILSSON is Harry Nilsson's 8th album. Nilsson was being pressured to come up with a quick follow-up to his megahit Grammy-winning 1971 album NILSSON SCHMILSSON which featured the monster hit "Without You". Paul Buckmaster, who arranged the orchestra on "Spaceman" previously provided the same function on early Elton John albums. The cover photo derives from the filming of "Son of Dracula" starring Harry Nilsson and Ringo Starr from which the bonus track "Daybreak" is taken.

No comments:

Post a Comment