RCA Release 17-CD Harry Nilsson Boxset - Noise11.com
Harry Nilsson Boxset

Harry Nilsson Boxset

RCA Release 17-CD Harry Nilsson Boxset

by Roger Wink, VVN Music on May 15, 2013

in News

Harry Nilsson was one of the most enigmatic artists of the rock era. Unassuming, he called all four Beatles, Randy Newman, Keith Moon and Jimmy Webb his friends and was one of the only artists to attain mainstream success without performing live or touring.

Harry Nilsson Boxset

Harry Nilsson Boxset

RCA/Legacy are releasing a major retrospective of his career with The RCA Albums Collection, a 17-CD set, out July 30. The set includes all of Nilsson’s recorded output except for his first album, 1966’s Spotlight on Nilsson, his final album, 1974’s Son of Dracula which only added film dialog to tracks from Nilsson Schmilsson and Son of Schmilsson, 1980’s Flash Harry, and an unreleased album he recorded shortly before his death.

Included are his 14 RCA albums from Pandemonium Shadow Show (1967) to Knnillssonn (1977), complete with bonus tracks. The last three discs present rarities broken up into phases of his career. In total, there are 123 bonus tracks, 55 of which have never previously been released.

From the album press release:

Within THE RCA ALBUMS COLLECTION, every one of Nilsson’s 14 original albums is expanded with bonus material, starting with the first two, Pandemonium Shadow Show (1967) and Aerial Ballet (1968). On each of those, the full album sequence is presented in stereo, and then reprised in monaural sound. This marks the mono debuts of both programs in the digital era, and the first time they have been available in mono since their original releases 45-46 years ago, respectively. Aerial Ballet also adds a radio spot ad for the album as a bonus track, and with only a handful of exceptions, radio spots are then included for nearly every album in the box set.

Many of Nilsson’s albums have been the subjects of expanded edition reissues over the years. 1970’s 10-song Nilsson Sings Newman, for example, was reissued in 2000, as part of a Buddah Records series, and was expanded with an 11th song (“Snow”) and alternate versions of four songs. In the same Buddah series of 1999-2000, 1971’s Aerial Pandemonium Ballet added five bonus tracks, but this 2013 version ups the ante with newly-discovered Italian versions of five tunes, plus six tracks (four of which are full-length songs) documenting Nilsson’s visit to the BBC’s Saturday Club with compere Brian Matthew.

Likewise, there is the Buddah series expanded reissue of 1974’s Pussy Cats, produced by John Lennon (who once told a journalist, “Nilsson’s my favorite group”) at studios in Los Angeles and Hollywood in March and April 1974. This was the very beginning of John’s 18-month “Lost Weekend” hiatus from Yoko Ono , when May Pang rented a beach-front house in Santa Monica for John, Ringo, Nilsson, and Keith Moon (all of whom play on Pussy Cats). Listening to Pussy Cats, with its contributions by that all-star cast of “roommates” alongside Jim Keltner , Bobby Keys , Jesse Ed Davis , and others, and its freewheelin’ versions of Jimmy Cliff ‘s “Many Rivers To Cross,” Bob Dylan’s “Subterranean Homesick Blues,” Doc Pomus’ “Save The Last Dance For Me,” and the bonus tracks of the 1999 Buddah CD reissue, is a heady flashback to 1974.

The dozen swing era standards of 1973’s A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, from Irving Berlin ‘s “Always” and “What’ll I Do,” to Casablanca’s evocative “As Times Goes By,” could serve as a contemporary template for the likes of Michael Buble , Josh Groban , and Steve Tyrell . The orchestral sessions recorded in London were lushly arranged by veteran Gordon Jenkins (renowned for his long association with Frank Sinatra ). The LP also marked the debut of former Beatles press officer Derek Taylor as a producer. (It was Taylor who turned the Beatles on to Nilsson, when he gave them all copies of Pandemonium Shadow Show back in 1967). An entire album of completely different songs from the London sessions was issued by RCA Germany in 1988, A Touch More Schmilsson in the Night. Twenty-five years later in 2013, it provides six bonus tracks, among them “I’m Always Chasing Rainbows,” Bob Hope ‘s “Thanks For The Memory,” and two by Harold Arlen , “It’s Only A Paper Moon” and “Over The Rainbow.”

Throughout these expanded versions, there are a wealth of demos, single mixes, alternate versions, foreign language versions, radio advertisements, non-U.S. album rarities, and much more. These are put to excellent use on the three compilations entitled Nilsson Sessions (aka Sessions Schmessions). When he was first signed to RCA in early 1967, Nilsson’s humble request was for an office where he could work on his songs. He often answered phone calls there, as many can attest. That office became his laboratory of sorts, and the 18 tracks on Nilsson Sessions 1967-1968 bear witness to his experiments.

The 14 previously unreleased tracks on Nilsson Sessions 1967-1968 begin with five demos taped for the Monkees: “1941,” “World,” “Signs,” “Cuddly Toy” and “This Could Be The Night.” There are three outtakes from his Pandemonium Shadow Show debut, “As I Wander Lonely,” ” Miss Butter ‘s Lament,” and the previously unreleased “The Family.” Early previously unreleased takes of the classics “One,” “Together,” “Bath,” and “I Said Goodbye To Me” did not make the final cut for Aerial Ballet, and are heard here for the first time. Cover attempts of the Coasters’ “Searchin’,” the Addrisi Brothers’ “She’s Just Laughing At Me,” and Procol Harum’s “She Wandered Through The Garden Fence” were all scuttled. Finally, two rare, single-only tracks, “Sister Marie” and the Italian single “Leggenda” make their stereo debuts on Nilsson Sessions 1967-1968.

Nilsson Sessions 1968-1971 and Nilsson Sessions 1971-1974 carry on this unveiling of studio oddities, alternate versions, television rarities, etc. The box set’s concluding ‘souvenir’ track is the previously unreleased ode to Tricky Dick, “Also Sprach Schmilsson Schmixon.”


“Harry Nilsson: The RCA Albums Collection”

(RCA/Legacy 88697 91550 2)

CD 1: “Pandemonium Shadow Show”  Selections – Stereo: 1. Ten Little Indians 2. 1941  3. Cuddly Toy  4. She Sang Hymns Out Of Tune  5. You Can’t Do That  6. Sleep Late, My Lady Friend  7. She’s Leaving Home  8. There Will Never Be 9. Without Her  10. Freckles  11. It’s Been So Long  12. River Deep – Mountain High  Selections – Mono: 13. Ten Little Indians   14. 1941  15. Cuddly Toy  16. She Sang Hymns Out Of Tune  17. You Can’t Do That (single 47-9298)  18. Sleep Late, My Lady Friend 19. She’s Leaving Home 20. There Will Never Be  21. Without Her  22. Freckles 23. It’s Been So Long 24. River Deep – Mountain High

CD 2: “Aerial Ballet”  Selections – Stereo: 1. Daddy’s Song  2. Good Old Desk  3. Don’t Leave Me  4. Mr. Richland’s Favorite Song  5. Little Cowboy  6. Together  7. Everybody’s Talkin’  8. I Said Goodbye To Me  9. Little Cowboy 10. Mr. Tinker  11. One  12. The Wailing Of The Willow 13. Bath  Selections – Mono: 14. Daddy’s Song 15. Good Old Desk  16. Don’t Leave Me  17. Mr. Richland’s Favorite Song  18. Little Cowboy  19. Together  20. Everybody’s Talkin’  21. I Said Goodbye To Me  22. Little Cowboy  23. Mr. Tinker 24. One  25. The Wailing Of The Willow 26. Bath Bonus track: 27. Aerial Ballet radio spot (previously unreleased).

CD 3: “HARRY”  Selections: 1. The Puppy Song 2. Nobody Cares About The Railroads Anymore  3. Open Your Window  4. Mother Nature’s Son  5. Fairfax Rag  6. City Life  7. Mournin’ Glory Story  8. Maybe (single 74-0207)  9. Marchin’ Down Broadway (single 74-0207)  10. I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City  11. Rainmaker  12. Mr. Bojangles  13. Simon Smith And His Amazing Dancing Bear  BONUS TRACKS: 14. I Will Take You There – single mix 15. Waiting (from the motion picture Jenny) 16. Rainmaker – single mix  17. Mournin’ Glory Story – single mix (UK single 1765, previously unissued on CD) 18. Garbage Can Ballet – alternate version (previously unreleased) 19. HARRY Radio Spot (previously unreleased)  20. Voices Of Vista radio spots (previously unreleased).

CD 4: “Nilsson Sings Newman” Selections: 1. Vine St.  2. Love Story  3. Yellow Man 4. Caroline 5. Cowboy 6. The Beehive State 7. I’ll Be Home  8. Living Without You  9. Dayton, Ohio 1903  10. So Long Dad — BONUS TRACKS: 11. Snow  12. Love Story – alternate version 13. Cowboy – alternate version  14. I’ll Be Home – alternate version 15. Living Without You – alternate version

CD 5: “The Point!”  Selections: 1. Everything’s Got ‘Em  2. The Town – narration  3. Me And My Arrow 4. The Game – narration  5. Poli High  6. The Trial And Banishment – narration  7. Think About Your Troubles  8. The Pointed Man – narration  9. Life Line  10. The Birds – narration 11. P.O.V. Waltz  12. The Clearing In The Woods – narration 13. Are You Sleeping?  14. Oblio’s Return – narration  BONUS TRACKS: 15. Think About Your Troubles – alternate version  16. Life Line – alternate version 17. Down To The Valley – alternate mix with extended ending 18. I’ll Never Leave You 19. The Point! Travel Brochure radio spot with Bill Martin (previously unreleased)

CD 6: “Aerial Pandemonium Ballet” Selections: 1. Introduction 2. 1941 – slowed down track and remixed  3. Daddy’s Song – new vocals, guitar/piano out of sync  4. Mr. Richland’s Favorite Song – new background vocals and remixed  5. Good Old Desk – slowed down track and remixed  6. Everybody’s Talkin’ – dumped second voice and remixed 7. Bath – re-eq’d original tracks 8. River Deep-Mountain High – new vocals and remixed  9. Sleep Late, My Lady Friend – remixed  10. Don’t Leave Me – remixed  11. Without Her – new vocals and remixed 12. Together – new vocals, edited out bridge and remixed 13. One – remixed 14. Closing BONUS TRACKS:15. You Can’t Do That – remix  16. It’s Been So Long – Italian version (previously unreleased)  17. Sleep Late, My Lady Friend – Italian version (previously unreleased)  18. Without Her – Italian version (previously unreleased)  19. Cuddly Toy – Italian version (previously unreleased)  20. You Can’t Do That – Italian version (previously unreleased)  21. BBC Saturday Club introduction by Brian Matthew (previously unreleased)  21. 1941 – Live on BBC’s Saturday Club (previously unreleased)  23. Mr. Richland’s Favorite Song – Live on BBC’s Saturday Club (previously unreleased)  24. Nilsson talks with Brian Matthew (previously unreleased) 25. Together – Live on BBC’s Saturday Club (previously unreleased)  26. Good Old Desk – Live on BBC’s Saturday Club (previously unreleased)  27. Aerial Pandemonium Ballet radio spot (previously unreleased).

CD 7: “Nilsson Schmilsson”  Selections: 1. Gotta Get Up  2. Driving Along  3. Early In The Morning 4. The Moonbeam Song  5. Down  6. Without You  7. Coconut  8. Let The Good Times Roll 9. Jump Into The Fire 10. I’ll Never Leave You BONUS TRACKS: 11. Si No Estas Tu – Spanish version Of “Without You” (Spain single 3-10693) 12. How Can I Be Sure Of You  13. The Moonbeam Song – demo  14. Lamaze  15. Old Forgotten Soldier – demo 16. Gotta Get Up – alternate version  17. Nilsson Schmilsson radio spots

CD 8: “Son Of Schmilsson”  Selections: 1. Take 54  2. Remember (Christmas) 3. Joy (single 74-0755 As “Buck Earl”)  4. Turn On Your Radio  5. You’re Breakin’ My Heart  6. Spaceman 7. The Lottery Song 8. At My Front Door 9. Ambush  10. I’d Rather Be Dead  11. The Most Beautiful World In The World BONUS TRACKS: 12. What’s Your Sign?  13. Take 54 – alternate  14. Campo De Encino 15. Daybreak – single version  16. It Had To Be You/I’d Rather Be Dead 17. Son Of Schmilsson radio spot

CD 9: “A Little Touch Of Schmilsson In The Night” Selections: 1. Lazy Moon  2. For Me And My Gal  3. It Had To Be You 4. Always 5. Makin’ Whoopee! 6. You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do It) 7. Lullaby In Ragtime 8. I Wonder Who’s Kissing Her Now 9. What’ll I Do 10. Nevertheless (I’m In Love With You) 11. This Is All I Ask 12. As Time Goes By BONUS TRACKS:13. I’m Always Chasing Rainbows  14. Make Believe 15. Trust In Me 16. It’s Only A Paper Moon 17. Thanks For The Memory 18. Over The Rainbow

CD 10: “Pussy Cats” Selections: 1. Many Rivers To Cross 2. Subterranean Homesick Blues 3. Don’t Forget Me  4. All My Life 5. Old Forgotten Soldier  6. Save The Last Dance For Me 7. Mucho Mungo/Mt. Elga 8. Loop De Loop  9. Black Sails  10. Rock Around The Clock BONUS TRACKS: 11. Down By The Sea 12. The Flying Saucer Song 13. Turn Out The Light 14. Save The Last Dance For Me – alternate 15. Don’t Forget Me – demo 16. Black Sails – demo  17. Pussy Cats radio spots with Eddie Lawrence (previously unreleased)

CD 11: “Duit On MON Dei”  Selections: 1. Jesus Christ You’re Tall  2. It’s A Jungle Out There  3. Down By The Sea  4. Kojak Columbo  5. Easier For Me 6. Turn Out The Light  7. Salmon Falls 8. Puget Sound 9. What’s Your Sign?  10. Home  11. Good For God  BONUS TRACK: 12. Goin’ Down – alternate (previously unreleased)

CD 12: “Sandman” Selections: 1. I’ll Take A Tango 2. Something True 3. Pretty Soon There’ll Be Nothing Left For Everybody 4. The Ivy Covered Walls 5. Here’s Why I Did Not Go To Work Today 6. The Flying Saucer Song 7. How To Write A Song 8. Jesus Christ You’re Tall 9. Will She Miss Me? BONUS TRACK: 10. A Tree Out In The Yard (Central Park) (previously unreleased).

CD 13: “. . . That’s The Way It Is” Selections: 1. That Is All (single 10759) — 2. Just One Look/Baby I’m Yours – Harry Nilsson And Linda Laurence 3. Moonshine Bandit  4. I Need You  5. A Thousand Miles Away  6. Sail Away 7. She Sits Down On Me 8. Daylight Has Caught Me 9. Zombie Jamboree (Back To Back) 10. That Is All – Reprise BONUS TRACK:11. . . . That’s The Way It Is radio spot (previously unreleased)

CD 14: “KNNILLSSONN” (originally released 1977, as RCA 2276) Selections: 1. All I Think About Is You 2. I Never Thought I’d Get This Lonely 3. Who Done It? 4. Lean On Me 5. Goin’ Down 6. Old Bones 7. Sweet Surrender 8. Blanket For A Sail 9. Laughin’ Man 10. Perfect Day BONUS TRACKS: 11. Ain’t It Kinda Wonderful (from the motion picture The World’s Greatest Lover) 12. Sweet Lorraine – Harry Nilsson And Dr. John (previously unreleased) 13. Shuffle Off To Buffalo (previously unreleased) 14. Ballin’ The Jack – Harry Nilsson And Dr. John (previously unreleased) 15. All I Think About Is You – demo, Harry Nilsson And Dr. John (previously unreleased)16. KNNILLSSONN radio spot (previously unreleased)

CD 15: “NILSSON Sessions 1967-1968” – Selections: 1. 1941 – demo (previously unreleased) 2. World – demo (previously unreleased) 3. Signs – demo (previously unreleased) 4. Cuddly Toy – demo (previously unreleased) 5. This Could Be The Night – demo 6. As I Wander Lonely 7. The Family (previously unreleased) 8. Miss Butter’s Lament 9. Mr. Tinker – alternate version (previously unreleased) 10. Leggenda (Italian Single 1658) 11. Sister Marie (previously unreleased stereo remix) 12. She Wandered Through The Garden Fence (previously unreleased) 13. One – alternate version (previously unreleased) 14. I Said Goodbye To Me – alternate version (previously unreleased)  15. Searchin’ (previously unreleased) 16. She’s Just Laughing At Me (previously unreleased) 17. Together – alternate version (previously unreleased) 18. Bath – alternate version (previously unreleased)

CD 16: “NILSSON Sessions 1968-1971” – Selections: 1. You Are Here (previously unreleased) 2. The Cast And Crew 3. Garbage Can Ballet 4. I Will Take You There 5. Girlfriend (theme from The Courtship Of Eddie’s Father) 6. Wasting My Time – alternate mix (previously unreleased) 7. Rainmaker – alternate version (previously unreleased) 8. Open Your Window – alternate take (previously unreleased) 9. Postcard (previously unreleased) 10. Think About Your Troubles – alternate version (previously unreleased) 11. Marry Me A Little (previously unreleased) 12. Ballin’ The Jack (previously unreleased) 13. Gotta Get Up – demo (previously unreleased) 14. Down To The Valley – single mix (single 74-0362) 15. Buy My Album 16. Joy – alternate version 17. Blackbird (previously unreleased) 18. Paradise (previously unreleased) 19. Lucille (previously unreleased) 20. Early In The Morning – alternate versio

CD 17: “NILSSON Sessions 1971-1974” – Selections: 1. Walk Right Back 2. Jump Into The Fire – alternate version (previously unreleased) 3. Isolation 4. Without You – demo 5. Driving Along – demo 6. Gotta Get Up – demo 7. Coconut – demo 8. Old Forgotten Soldier – alternate demo 9. Down – demo 10. The Moonbeam Song – alternate demo 11. Jump Into the Fire – single version 12. Per Chi – Italian Version Of “Without You”  13. Joy – guitar demo 14. Joy – piano demo 15. You Made Me Love You (I Didn’t Want To Do It) – alternate version 16. Lullaby In Ragtime – alternate version 17. Always – alternate version 18. It Had To Be You – alternate version 19. I Want You To Sit On My Face (previously unreleased) 20. A Souvenir – Also Sprach Schmilsson Schmixon (previously unreleased)

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