The profound musical gifts of Harry Nilsson are on full display in THE RCA ALBUMS COLLECTION. This deluxe 17-CD box set, available now, presents Nilsson’s definitive 14 U.S. albums from RCA. Bonus material on those albums add up to 65 tracks, of which 26 are previously unreleased. Adding to the box set’s historical provenance are three newly-compiled CDs containing 58 tracks, of which an additional 29 tracks are previously unreleased.
In this first ever full-length biography, author Alyn Shipton traces Harry Nilsson’s life from his Brooklyn childhood to his Los Angeles adolescence and his gradual emergence as a uniquely talented singer-songwriter. With interviews from friends, family, and associates, and material drawn from an unfinished autobiography, Shipton probes beneath the enigma to discover the real Harry Nilsson. The book is in stores now.
A wildly entertaining, star-studded documentary that tells the story of Harry Nilsson. Director John Scheinfeld brings added emotion and intimacy to the story with over 50 Nilsson recordings, rare or never-before-seen film clips, home movies and personal photos. The DVD also contains 93 minutes of Bonus Material Deleted Scenes, Extended Sequences, an Alternate Ending and more.
Apple Films’ rock and roll vampire movie, Son Of Dracula, starring Harry Nilsson and Ringo Starr, is largely considered one of the worst — though, it’s fascinating simply because of that. As for the soundtrack album, it’s primarily for completists (and Paul Buckmaster fans), as it contains previously released tracks mixed with film dialog, incidental music and one new tune, the upbeat single “Daybreak” – a likable minor hit that simultaneously reflected the movie’s theme and Harry’s all-night lifestyle at the same time. But Son Of Dracula (the album), self-produced by Harry (and Ringo), is also interesting as another example of Harry’s penchant for “remixing” his own work – something he may have been first at when he re-tooled and re-released his first two albums as one LP, Aerial Pandemonium Ballet, in 1971.
This time Harry fuses his music with the album’s avant garde score, written and arranged by Buckmaster (of Elton John fame). Buckmaster had previously arranged the strings for Nilsson’s biggest hit, “Without You,” which is also included on this LP. It’s too bad that reissues have yet to include Buckmaster’s film score, sans voices. In what was starting to become a trend, Son Of Dracula tested the patience of RCA Records with an independent unpredictability that Harry’s true fans continued to find irresistible.
It Is He Who Will Be King (Buckmaster)
At My Front Door (Abner/Moore)
Count Down Meets Merlin And Amber (Buckmaster)
The Moonbeam Song (Nilsson)
Perhaps This Is All A Dream (Buckmaster)
Remember Christmas (Nilsson)
Intro/Without You (Ham/Evans)
The Count’sVulnerability (Buckmaster)
Frankenstein, Merlin And The Operation (Buckmaster)
Jump Into The Fire (Nilsson)
The Abduction of Count Down (Buckmaster)
The End (Moonbeam)(Nilsson)
Many thanks to Les Peterson for kindly providing this scan of the iron-on decal that came with the vinyl version of Son Of Dracula.
Lyrics & Dialogue From The Japanese CD Reissue
Here’s one of Harry’s rarest records. Never officially released to the public, this 70-second 45 is of the homemade variety – minus any artist information – and says simply, “A Souvenir – Also Sprach Schmilsson Schmixon.” It’s a satiric mash-up of “The Abdication of Count Down” and one of President Richard Nixon’s many Watergate speeches (as well as a title punning the theme music from 2001: A Space Odyssey). Apparently Harry noticed the similarities between his movie character’s resignation and Richard Nixon’s situation, which led to his resignation in August 1974, sparking this fusion into existence. A very rare Harry curio.
“Daybreak” was Harry’s only new composition submitted for Son Of Dracula, but he wasn’t the first one to release the song. Monkee Micky Dolenz issued this Nilsson-produced single a year before the film & LP — just one of a scant few outside production jobs by Harry. There were two slightly different versions released, as the Romar promo features a party/people atmosphere missing from the retail version. Speaking of the retail version, Micky’s own label didn’t spell his name correctly.