Nilsson Schmilsson is the seventh studio album by American singer Harry Nilsson, released by RCA Records in November 1971. It was Nilsson's most commercially successful work, producing three of his best-known songs. Among these was the number 1 hit "Without You", written by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of the group Badfinger. The album was the first of two Nilsson albums recorded in London and produced by Richard Perry. "Jump into the Fire" and "Coconut", both written by Nilsson, also became hits. The album performed well at the 1973 Grammy Awards, earning a nomination for Album of the Year, while "Without You" won the Grammy for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance. In 2006, Nilsson Schmilsson was ranked number 84 on Pitchfork's "Top 100 Albums of the 1970s". The album was ranked #281 in the 2020 revision of Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list.Wikipedia
This one took me by surprise. I didn't know anything about Nilsson before today. Turns out people used to call him "The American Beatle" and The Beatles were on record saying that Nilsson was their favorite American group. Turns out, yeah, he sounds a lot like an american version of early 70s Beatles. Surprisingly good! Also, he's the guy who did the "lime in the coconut" song. I always wondered why that song had such a presence in pop culture. It's because Nilsson had an outsized presence in pop culture for a hot minute. But he never toured or played big concerts and, after Lennin was killed, he stepped away from the music industry (they were good buds, apparently). That said, there were some killer tracks on this album and, apart from the last two tracks, I really enjoyed listening to it.
Confession, "Gotta Get Up" was my morning alarm song for awhile. I'd heard this album a few times when my dad played it in the car. I always enjoyed it but it never made a huge impression on me other than that song, so I was ready to give it a 3. But then "Without You" came on and I couldn't stop myself from belting the hell out of that chorus, and I was like no yeah this is a 4! And lest we forget the man gave us the gift of "Coconut" on this record. Bless you for that absurdity Harry Nilsson. This album may not have had a ton of cultural impact or influence, but man is it a fun listen.
I want to know everything I can about the infamous "Lost Weekend" where John Lennon and Harry Nilsson did everything they could to drink themselves to death. Apparently Nilsson was such a legendary boozehound that all Lennon would have to say about the time was, "I was drinking with Harry Nilsson" and everyone knew exactly what he was talking about. Lennon had such admiration for Nilsson that he was willing to follow the man to the end of the earth. Listening to this album, you hear why Lennon (and apparently the other 3 Beatles) sung Nilsson's praises. The three hits are the standouts, especially "Jump Into The Fire". That one obtained legendary status for scoring the Ray Liotta paranoia coke montage in Goodfellas. I bet Harry Nilsson loved Goodfellas. If you're ever running late somewhere and find the need to go just a tad over the speed limit, I highly recommend scoring your trip to "Jump Into The Fire". You'll find yourself looking up and thinking that helicopters are following you. The song alone is almost enough to rate this baby as a 5 (well, that and the album cover). Back to that Lost Weekend with Harry and Lennon: Apparently video footage of the night Lennon and Nilsson got kicked out of the troubadour because they could not stop heckling the Smothers Brothers doesn't exist. That just breaks my heart. I bet I'd like a movie about their Lost Weekend as much as I love Goodfellas.
My favorite Nilsson album. Nobody sounds quite like him. Has a sort of timeless quality. Amazing voice and gorgeous arrangements. Incredible range on display here in terms of emotions/moods captured and influences that he's woven together with impeccable pop craftsmanship. I feel like he sort of went off the rails in some ways after this album but this is him at his absolute apex. Love the album cover too. It's so bravely honestly vulnerably human, especially for the time. So comfortable with himself/who he is. I feel like it was a comically self deprecating way to balance the sheer beauty of the music. That and poke fun of the egos of so many other music performers.
Side 1 is an onslaught of weenie songs that's near almost impossible to listen to. Side 2 kicks off with another weiner: "Without You" . On that one he shows that he can sing, but I hate the song. Coconut is a fun novelty song - weenie but fun. He thankfully keeps away from the hotdog stand for a few songs but returns for the finale. I couldn't make it through the last song.
Lots to say. Only listened to the original tracklist and skipped the bonus stuff. Great things: Variety of style (this album moves through rock, pop and blues) and variety of vibe (every song has a different feel), strong performance (Nilsson's voice is extraordinary), wide instrumentation (accordion, harmonica, brass, piano, normal rock rhythm section), just really excellent songs overall. Love that "Jump into the Fire" is one big rock jam song, but it messes with the signal volumes so you get this OTT bass solo and so the whole thing doesn't really drag, maybe my favourite song on here. Things that make this album stand out: The vocal is strong in the mix, but the lyrics are enigmatic, compact and weird, the subject matter is normally quite simple (getting up, driving to work, being sleepy, the moon, being down, being in love whatever) but hard to work out what individual lines mean coz he says unusual things, he wears a dressing gown on the album cover, and the album name is just taking the piss out of himself. Also, this guy writes a beautiful song like "Without You" but follows it up with some cautionary tale about limes and coconuts. That shit is whiplash-level jarring and I love it, and I can't stay mad at him coz his voice is just excellent and the whole thing makes me laugh. Every song has grown on me after multiple listens. I really wanna listen to more of this so gotta be five stars.
Nilsson Schmilsson you couldn't even be bothered to get dressed for the album or even name it properly but these are some jams boy
Like if you combined John Lennon and Paul McCartney into one person, but in a non-derivative way
back in the seventies anybody could do the jamaican guy accent. people encouraged it even, hey man, do the coconut voice! Cmon haha! this poor fuck probably got asked to do the coconut voice at every party he ever went to and now all he has to show for it is a vaguely nauseating song. that's showbiz! three stars for you "mon" (just kidding, thats racist now)
Un album très agréable, sorti à une époque où Renaud n'était pas encore tombé dans la bibine.
yesterday the american rolling stones (flamin groovies), today the american beatle. what an incredible record. gorgeous way to start the day. fav track: jump into the fire
5 for the name of the album alone.. really really good.
Some great tracks. Must have listened to Jump into the fire 10+ times.
Absolutely smashing pop. Heard about the LP, knew a few songs, but never listened to it as a whole. Brilliant, shiny, fun pop. Why wasn't Lennon's material as collectively good on a single album?
Excellent album and my default choice for choosing a Nilsson album.
What an unexpected delight. I love the way "Without You," probably the definitive modern love song, is followed by the playful absurdity of "Coconut," then "Jump Into the Fire" takes us on a psych-rock odyssey. And it does all this without ever losing its focus or missing a beat.
Soulful, playful, and adventurous. I quite enjoyed this album, and although it is not modern by any means, it did occasionally brush into timeless.
It’s impossible not to love an album that bravely makes the tonal leap from Without You to Coconut… Stupendous! Every song brings a smile.
This is a symphonic pop masterpiece. Harry Nilsson employs techniques from Brian Wilson, the Beatles, and Phil Spector to create an idiosyncratic album that is occasionally silly, and always well produced and arranged. The lush orchestration complements the close harmonies perfectly to create something that has commercial appeal yet pushes the genre forward.
Think of this as the twee, desperate ramblings of an alcoholic American trying to keep up with the British invasion, then you may see the beauty of it as I do. Sure, it's 70% utter bobbins, fuelled by frozen margaritas and too many meetings with record execs, in the heat and ennui of affluent 70s California. Sure, some of those earworms are sung loud and desperately in the halls of asylums for the insane. But you can be sure when you've ratched Russian Doll and Gotta Get Up starts up for the seven thousandth time, a little smile will creep across your face and your your will tap along.
Wow I assumed the song Coconut was a cover and had no idea Nilsson was the origin of that legendary song haha! Also I could heavily hear that he had strong ties with the Beatles and when I read that he was mates with them and they were influenced by HIM I was not surprised. I love the witty word play in the lyrics and catchy melodies. It's light-hearted and fun. Entertaining and inventive. Can't believe this is yet another artist I didn't know about... It seems like Harry was an inventor and an ideas man. I think his music influenced a lot of people. I really like the sound of his voice because it reminds me of the Beatles. Would have loved to see him perform live.
I full bore love at least three tracks on this album without even putting it on. Early In the Morning, Coconut and Without You are all classics. And when I put it on you have the dance hall pop of Gotta Get Up too! This is a fantastic album, humour and a love of music all rolled into a really tight 40 minutes. Sublime.
Without You is so wonderful you'd buy the album just for that. Then you get this eclectic mix from The Beatles favourite singer (and favourite band). Jump Into The Fire is a great song that features the that bass legend, Herbie Flowers in one of his finest appearances. The whole album is breathtaking.
Hard not to love Harry Nilsson, he is so playful and earnest. Quite a few good songs here and I think they hold together pretty well as an album too.
The artist no one knows they know, and love. I realized I had never sat down and just listened to him. He's just everywhere.
4.0 - “Without You” is an indication of the quality of songs on this album. Every song is well composed, many take interesting risks or even seem built on a risk, the synthesized organ sounds come through as confident and bassy as early Elton John. Vocals are sharp and I’d put him up against Mariah on “Without You”, he just crushes on that track.
Sounds waaaaay ahead of its time. Right from the first track. Some songs sound like something you'd hear on the radio now. Can hear some Beatles influence. Decent songs though overall. I recognised 'Without You' and 'Coconut'. Struggled whether to give this a 3 or a 4 cos its not massively my kinda genre but as a whole album it is really well done, feels like a bit of an artistic masterpiece. So, 4/5
Had no idea "Without You" was originally from this album. "Coconut" is my favorite and also had no idea this is where it came from. Loved the bass guitar in "Jump Into the Fire"
Schmaltzy. Lame. Annoying. Like one of those films when you can tell they had fun making it, but it doesn't come across.
Nilsson has shown that he can put out high quality material like Everybody’s Talking (Theme from Midnight Cowboy) but this album is just classic dreck with songs like Without you and Coconut. Even the Spanish version Si no estas is pure shmaltz.
Very nice indeed!
I'm absolutely loving this album. I don't think there is a bad song on this record. There are some great highs and lows. I feel Nilsson has a great sense of humor. I'll keep this one handy
Brilliant. Knew a few Nilsson songs before, but this is incredible songwriting.
This is excellent, well written songs and a stone cold classic in without you. Loved it
Exceptional album. Really really enjoyed it, recognised a few of the songs but never knew who sang them.
Ik heb al jaren zo'n zwak voor dit album en voor Harry. Ik maakte een sprongetje toen ik zag dat dit album verscheen uit de "album-generator".
Plenty of 'wow never knew that was hin'
Rad! Loved the album and ashamed I never knew it. 4.6
un album che poteva essere uscito ieri per quanto è attuale a livello musicale, la voce trasmette un sacco di emozioni, estremamente godibile e non eccessivamente lungo
This is intriguing! It sounds like the sort of indie folk rock that had its moment in the 90s, like the Lemonheads when they stopped going punk. And yet it's not quite possible to say this would have influenced those 90s groups because the legend of this album is that it lingered in obscurity until a 90s rerelease. The production is bright and the album has an enjoyable pace. Give me this slice of the mid 70s that sounds just as fresh 45 years on.
Loved this album more than I expected! Definitely going into my regular rotation. Reminds me of my dad and learning about rock music.
Wow, so many gems on this album, I can't believe I never heard of Harry Nilsson!!
Quirky album. I dig it.
Fabulous ! Nan’s favourite album and for that reason and all the associated memories as well as the great tracks 5*
Obv. one of the greats. Jump Into the Fire is an unexpectedly fun jam!
Never heard of it, lovely to listen to.
Jasno mi je zašto su ga The Beatlesi toliko volili, prvi put slušan i baš mi se sviđa!!
Wall to wall pop perfection
No idea what to expect but this is awesome. so many great tunes. Will be listening to this again many times.
Surprised how much of this I knew
Early in the morning, bom vocal solo! Without you, clássica e Si Nos Estas, versão em espanhol. Coconut tem um hook bacana.
Damn, he was on fire on this album, eh? Great stuff! Fave track - "Coconut" such an iconic tune!
Good stuff, even the jokey songs
Definitely heard Gotta Get Up before. Some Beatles elements. Very nice album.
I listened to this a long time ago when I first got into John Lennon, he told me about this guy and everything was peachy. From what I remember it was pretty good
I didn't realize Harry Nilsson was responsible for so many absolute bops.
Excellent! Surprised I hadn't even heard of this one before. Playful, fun pop-rock with some very clever lyrics.
I've always loved this album, it was on the record player a lot during my teen years. Great voice, great variety of tracks and some real classics in there.
Really cool album. Actually never heard about Harry Nilsson and there’s deffo more great music to discover there!
Coconut—>put the lime in the coconut!
really enjoyed this one, took me back to the summer of 74’ when i wasn’t born yet! oh to go back to the days of not existing :’)
Already knew I loved this album. 'Jump into the Fire' is just an all-time great song. Really great songwriting and fun songs. Standout tracks: Gotta Get Up, Without You, Coconut, Let the Good Times Roll, Jump into the Fire
How did I miss this. One of the best albums ever created
Loved it! Great start to finish!
All-time great album
Delighted to learn the song from Russian Doll was old! I knew several of these but had no idea it was him. Listened all the way through several times!
I've waiting to hear this album on here, but It's hard to even know where to begin talking about it. I've become big fan of Nilsson in recent years and this album represents him so well- in every charming, messy and fascinating way. But... I mean, it's a lot to digest. My thought right off the bat was that this was probably a 4. But really, this album is everything that the absolute best, best albums are. It's musically adventurous, technically gorgeous, effortlessly endearing, and with an ear for pop songcraft that very few artists can touch. Nilsson also is also slightly off his rocker, which is probably the secret sauce behind the whole thing. There are pieces to this album that absolutely should not work together, but he makes them work. That's some kind of mad genius. Fave Songs (All songs, from most to least favorite): I'll Never Leave You, Jump into the Fire, Without You, The Moonbeam Song, Gotta Get Up, Down, Driving Along, Early in the Morning, Coconut, Let the Good Times Roll
Hadn't listened to it before. Great voice!!
Really stellar and beyond his time.
I'm shocked at how many great songs that aren't "hits" are on this album. Really fantastic writing and songs.
One of my favorite albums
I about lost my shit when Coconut came on. Should have known that Coke wasn’t clever enough to come up with a jingle like that
Put da lime in da coconut.
Riktigt gött album alltså. Omslaget går ju inte av för hackor det heller.
I love a good 70s singer/songwriter record, and this one's right up my alley.
Not just Lime In Coconut :)
Me identifiquei com o álbum, parece algo que eu faria se eu fosse músico. A faixa do coconut foi divertida :P
I recognize way too many songs from this and never knew who the artist was. Ive learned something today!
Not much to say, I just like it
Jonathon Coulton def was influenced by Nilsson. Show-tunsey. Feel good.
A couple perfect songs. Well produced.
Fun! Love the Coconut song.
This is Sunday morning spring cleaning music. Open the blinds, open the windows because and it’s just warm enough. The sun peeks through some clouds and you know it’s gonna stay out all day. It’s time to get out the swifter. Really enjoying the Beatles-esque voice meshed with a few electric guitar riffs. Reminds me of Carole King.
at times ween-esque, very poppy, good vocals
Probably my favorite of his. Smooth as hell. 7/10
Nice and cute album. Can tell that this one is a folk old classic