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Nilsson Schmilsson

Harry Nilsson

1971

Buy At Rough Trade
Nilsson Schmilsson
Album Summary

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

Rating

3.42

Votes

13222

Genres

  • Rock
  • Pop
  • Country
  • Folk
  • Singer Songwriter

Reviews

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Tue Jan 26 2021
4

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.

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Wed Jan 13 2021
4

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.

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Tue Apr 20 2021
4

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

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Tue Aug 10 2021
4

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.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
5

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.

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Thu Aug 05 2021
4

Like if you combined John Lennon and Paul McCartney into one person, but in a non-derivative way

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Mon Oct 10 2022
1

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.

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Tue Apr 27 2021
3

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)

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Wed Mar 31 2021
5

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.

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Tue Feb 01 2022
5

Soulful, playful, and adventurous. I quite enjoyed this album, and although it is not modern by any means, it did occasionally brush into timeless.

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Fri Oct 27 2023
4

Nilsson was in regular rotation at our house when I was little. I remember my sister and I very dramatically singing and dancing to Without You long before it was covered by everyone under the sun. :) We also listened to "The Point" all the time.

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Sat Oct 28 2023
4

He got three “oh that’s who that is” on this album.

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Mon Aug 02 2021
3

Un album très agréable, sorti à une époque où Renaud n'était pas encore tombé dans la bibine.

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Thu Apr 01 2021
1

Schmaltzy. Lame. Annoying. Like one of those films when you can tell they had fun making it, but it doesn't come across.

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Mon Oct 16 2023
1

I LOVE IT WHEN EVERY SONG ENDS BY FADING OUT IT'S MY FAVORITE WAY TO END A SONG I LOVE HOW THEY KEEP DOING IT OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN "Without You" is a good song, "Gotta Get Up" is solid, and then "Jump Into the Fire" has its moments. Everything else is generic bullshit or worse. Apparently The Beatles cited Harry Nilsson as the 𝘣𝘦𝘴𝘵 American singer AND LYRICIST. Which sure, I guess "she put de lime in de coconut, she drank 'em bot' up" is an all-time classic and thought-provoking lyric that The Beatles themselves thought they absolutely had to praise Nilsson for his genius (not to say there aren't good lyrics on this album, but holy shit most of them are so fucking dull or downright awful). Fuck this album, and especially fuck Coconut, the fact that that song was popular enough to be widely broadcast on radios is fucked up. No wonder boomers are fucked up.

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Wed Feb 03 2021
5

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

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Tue May 11 2021
5

5 for the name of the album alone.. really really good.

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Mon Apr 12 2021
5

Some great tracks. Must have listened to Jump into the fire 10+ times.

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Sat Oct 23 2021
5

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?

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Fri Dec 31 2021
5

Excellent album and my default choice for choosing a Nilsson album.

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Sun Jan 09 2022
5

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.

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Fri Feb 11 2022
5

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.

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Sun Apr 10 2022
5

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.

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Tue May 10 2022
5

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.

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Tue Jun 07 2022
5

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.

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Wed Jun 29 2022
5

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.

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Sun Sep 18 2022
5

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.

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Sat Nov 04 2023
5

This album is me in the 70s, a child trying to understand the adult world. Listened to this album and understood the bittersweet joys of grownup life, a series of fleeting joys and all too real heartache, plus our own limitations and mistakes.

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Sat Jan 23 2021
4

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.

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Tue Feb 02 2021
4

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.

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Wed Jun 30 2021
4

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.

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Thu Mar 18 2021
4

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

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Mon Jul 24 2023
4

Well this was a pleasant surprise. This whole album is excellently produced, you really notice it in the first couple songs with all the different instruments popping in from all sides, and it sounds great. It was only when I got to the chorus of 'Without You' that i recognised the song, which apparently this is a cover version, but damn he really sells it. The highlight of the album for sure, but I couldn't really pick a weak track out. Maybe having 'Coconut' right after that is an odd choice, but it's a fun silly song so i can't stay mad at it.

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Sat Nov 04 2023
4

Solid. A nice cool, fun listen, Lots of classics you have her about. I was surprised to find 'Jump Into The Fire" was his song - ["Goodfella" fans will instantly recognize this!]

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Tue Dec 12 2023
4

Pretty good, schmitty good. Segall Smeagol is also worth a listen

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Tue Dec 12 2023
4

Harry Nilsson can remind me of Laura Nero, which is not how I expected to start this, and the reasons haven't quite unblurred, but they might include a Broadway of aroma around the large piano, the relentlessly cheerful horns, his immense lungs - which he does use more selectively that Nyro - and an imagined "ta da!" I hear at the end of half the songs, which I otherwise like quite a bit. Just that Broadway is not my swing. The peaks here are stunning: Jump Into The Fire, with its propulsion and Herbie Flowers' amazing rubber bass, has been a playlist stalwart since I heard it you-know-where, Without You is one of the few pure virtuoso belters that I can love, and Coconut, once just novelty, makes me wonder about different sorts of repetition and iteration in songs, from mindless mantras, through hymn-like variation to this ultimate form, which is of hypnotic, subversive insinuation, slinging off its disguise as a joke to reveal what is actually voodoo. Nilsson was a Satanist, wasn't he? Good man, that'll knock back on the point I knocked off for "the river's far too deep without you" in the mockingly saccharine final track.

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Thu Jan 14 2021
3

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"

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Sat Dec 31 2022
3

Culturally interesting in general but also ragged/rococo round the edges and overstuffed productionwise. Did we need tubas and glockenspiels and xylophones and .. and ... and?. "Without You" into "Coconut" must be one of the more significant segues in all of '70s pop-rock, manifesting two of that lurid decade's worst tendencies – outright mawkishness and excessive belief in its own cleverness, respectively (though the latter shows that HN coulda been a contender as a crooner). Today, "Coconut" is no better than a novelty track, and not a particularly good one. "Moonbeam Song" is just about the best cut – lovely that one (though likening it to Taoist poetry is a bit much, editors). "Let the Good Times Roll" is utterly forgettable. "Jump Into the Fire" is very cool and the only thing that sounds remotely edgy, and not just for the Goodfellas inclusion, but rather the rollicking drummy and hitching guitar close-out. One knows all the right people were present at the creation and no doubt it was a fun ride for many of them – larkiness may be the album's dominant effect. Certainly HN had all the right mates (starting with Lennon), but the sunny-funny quality reads today like an inside joke not all that worth knowing. Nor does one feel particularly compelled to go explore the rest of his catalog. The ultimate 3.5 but rounding down mainly to be contrarian.

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Tue Jun 27 2023
3

The songs are pretty great, you’ve probably heard a lot of them before, but didn’t know they were by Harry Nilsson. The coconut song, however, is maddening. The production on this record is great and is the highlight for me, since a lot of these songs kind of feel like kids songs. One final thought: All records should be 35-40 minutes long. It’s the perfect run time for a record. I think the constraint of timing on vinyl was a great thing - it forced artists to put their absolute best work on a record, no filler, and as a result many records felt more cohesive than records do now. Long live the LP length record.

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Sat Dec 23 2023
3

No. 75/1001 Gotta Get UP 3/5 Driving Along 4/5 Early in the Morning 3/5 The Moonbeam Song 3/5 Down 3/5 Without You 4/5 Coconut 2/5 Let The Good Times Roll 3/5 Jump Into The Fire 3/5 I'll Never Leave You 2/5 Average: 3,0 Nothing to not like here, also nothing really great.

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Tue May 07 2024
3

Most of the songs on this album are pleasant enough, easy-listening stuff. Nothing really stands out, except for when he goes hard, like during "Down." And that was awkward and didn't work very well. "Without You" is a recognizable power ballad. "Coconut" is cringey.

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Sat Dec 31 2022
2

The stellar and diverse production on this record can’t distract from the overwhelming lack of engaging songwriting. It’s as though Nilsson doesn’t know how seriously to treat this record, jolting between sincere reflections and downright bizarre affectations in the space of the same track. His reputation as one of the Beatles’ favourite songwriters makes sense from a production standpoint but ultimately the songs on this album seldom leave an impression.

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Wed Jan 11 2023
2

Trodde faktiskt han hade skrivit Without you, och så är det Badfinger. Habilt, men nä.

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Mon Oct 10 2022
1

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.

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Wed Mar 20 2024
1

💤💤🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮🤮👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻👎🏻

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Thu Jan 14 2021
5

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

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Thu Feb 25 2021
5

Brilliant. Knew a few Nilsson songs before, but this is incredible songwriting.

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Mon Feb 01 2021
5

This is excellent, well written songs and a stone cold classic in without you. Loved it

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Tue Feb 16 2021
5

Exceptional album. Really really enjoyed it, recognised a few of the songs but never knew who sang them.

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Thu Jul 22 2021
5

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".

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Tue Aug 10 2021
5

Plenty of 'wow never knew that was hin'

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Sat Oct 16 2021
5

Rad! Loved the album and ashamed I never knew it. 4.6

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Sat Nov 13 2021
5

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

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Tue Dec 07 2021
5

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.

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Wed Dec 08 2021
5

Loved this album more than I expected! Definitely going into my regular rotation. Reminds me of my dad and learning about rock music.

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Thu Jan 06 2022
5

Wow, so many gems on this album, I can't believe I never heard of Harry Nilsson!!

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Tue Jan 18 2022
5

Fabulous ! Nan’s favourite album and for that reason and all the associated memories as well as the great tracks 5*

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Wed Mar 09 2022
5

Obv. one of the greats. Jump Into the Fire is an unexpectedly fun jam!

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Tue Mar 22 2022
5

Never heard of it, lovely to listen to.

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Mon Apr 04 2022
5

Jasno mi je zašto su ga The Beatlesi toliko volili, prvi put slušan i baš mi se sviđa!!

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Sat Apr 23 2022
5

No idea what to expect but this is awesome. so many great tunes. Will be listening to this again many times.

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Tue May 31 2022
5

Surprised how much of this I knew

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Thu Jun 02 2022
5

Early in the morning, bom vocal solo! Without you, clássica e Si Nos Estas, versão em espanhol. Coconut tem um hook bacana.

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Thu Jun 16 2022
5

Damn, he was on fire on this album, eh? Great stuff! Fave track - "Coconut" such an iconic tune!

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Mon Jul 04 2022
5

Good stuff, even the jokey songs

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Fri Jul 08 2022
5

Definitely heard Gotta Get Up before. Some Beatles elements. Very nice album.

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Mon Jul 18 2022
5

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

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Wed Jul 20 2022
5

I didn't realize Harry Nilsson was responsible for so many absolute bops.

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Mon Aug 22 2022
5

Excellent! Surprised I hadn't even heard of this one before. Playful, fun pop-rock with some very clever lyrics.

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Tue Aug 23 2022
5

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.

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Fri Aug 26 2022
5

Really cool album. Actually never heard about Harry Nilsson and there’s deffo more great music to discover there!

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Fri Sep 16 2022
5

Coconut—>put the lime in the coconut!

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Fri Sep 23 2022
5

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 :’)

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Fri Sep 30 2022
5

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

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Tue Oct 11 2022
5

How did I miss this. One of the best albums ever created

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Sat Nov 19 2022
5

Loved it! Great start to finish!

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Thu Dec 15 2022
5

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!

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Wed Dec 21 2022
5

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

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Mon Jan 09 2023
5

Hadn't listened to it before. Great voice!!

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Sat Jan 14 2023
5

Really stellar and beyond his time.

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Tue Jan 24 2023
5

I'm shocked at how many great songs that aren't "hits" are on this album. Really fantastic writing and songs.

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Tue Feb 21 2023
5

I didn't know this man's name at all, then the first track on the album is a song I really like! I had thought for years that it was by some more recent indie band or something. Also "Coconut." It was a surprise. This is the kind of 70s music I usually like, but with more piano and I think more... sadness? Wistfulness? Weirdness? I liked "Gotta Get Up" (of course) and "Jump Into the Fire," which has an excellent instrumental break towards the end. Many were good. I will return to this one.

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