Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Aerial Pandemonium Ballet
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock
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Harry takes flight in remade masterpiece...
Wayne Klein | My Little Blue Window, USA | 10/25/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"With the luxury of success, Harry Nilsson decided to retool his first two albums. He went back and re-recorded vocals, changed arrangements, varied tempos to produce an album that stands as one of his finest. APB finds Harry in both great voice and with a top notch batch of self penned songs and remakes. The rearrangements work for almost all the songs on this disc. River Deep, Mountain High sounds better than the original (an awkward horn part disappeared replaced by a vocal part), but still manages to come off sounding dated and stilted (even by 1971 standards). Everything else sounds marvelous and if not an improvement on the original versions is at least the equal of them (for example in Mr. Richland's Favorite Song Harry manages to dovetail a witty reference to his song One which became a hit for 3 Dog Night quite a bit after the original was released).The bonus tracks are a welcome addition to this great album. Harry's remake of Isolation although not radically different from John Lennon's captures both the sense of desperation from the original while adding a melodic vocal as a counterpoint to the sparse arrangement. Walk Right Back (with Cathy's Clown interpolated) captures Harry at what he did best; he could generate interest with just voice and piano. The treat from the original 8 track version of the album at the end is a delightful surprise.The booklet ranks as one of the best from a reissued album. Curtis Armstrong's essay is both informative and fun to read. The mastering and sound quality could only have been imrproved if it were done in a higher resolution format (i.e., HDCD or 24 bit mastering). The entire album sounds spectacular captures the esssence of the original vinyl while improving upon it.APB stands as one of Harry's finest albums (along with the more successful Nilsson Schmillson and Son of Schmillson)and the songwriting hasn't aged a bit. That speaks volumes and is the true testimony to the greatness of an artist."
Kudos to Buddah!
Kayla Rigney | USA | 10/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"The silencing of Harry Nilsson's voice rocked my world. For years, I mourned the fact that there would be no more albums in his remarkable catalogue. Then, came the import Camden rereleases with extra tracks, and now this American labor of love.I admit that I found the choice of Aerial Pandemonium Ballet surprising -- it's not Harry's best album -- but it's growing on me. A lot. Buddah Records made a wise decision in making this release.For one thing, the liner notes by Curtis Armstrong (yes, THE Curtis Armstrong) are a delight to read and take me back to the days when LPs reigned. Secondly, Aerial Pandemonium Ballet is a rare instance of an artist taking two of his early albums, blending them and sharpening the tracks when his voice was at its peak. And then we have the Bonus Material...The haunting track Isolation is worth the purchase price alone, but Walk Right Back... There's something profoundly ironic about hearing Nilsson singing the Everly's classic. Walk Right Back was written by Sonny Curtis shortly after Buddy Holly's death. It's a one-verse song. It's luminous. It's the last track on the CD. And it says it all."Walk Right Back to me this minute... I'm so lonesome every day."Thanks to Buddah Records and this CD, Harry Nilsson's legacy lives. And his amazing voice walks right back into my heart one more time."
The first "remix" album?
rockland6674 | Massachusetts, USA | 11/10/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Aerial Pandemonium Ballet" was Nilsson's 1971 remix project, on which he took tracks from 1967's "Pandemonium Shadow Show" and 1968's "Aerial Ballet" and re-worked them, remixing some songs, recording new vocals, and slowing down tempos. It was a new concept at the time of this album's release, and people didn't quite know what to make of it: The album only managed to reach #149 on Billboard's album chart, and dropped off the chart after only three weeks. This CD is worth a listen, though, especially for those who are familiar with the original versions of these songs.Some of these re-worked versions are, of course, more effective than others: For the remix of "Without Her" (not to be confused with "Without You"), Nilsson re-recorded his vocals in a higher key, and added a guitar which was muted until the last verse on the original. The result is startlingly different, yet just as good as the original, which is one of my favorite Nilsson songs. The re-worked version of "Daddy's Song," which also appears on the "All-Time Greatest Hits" CD, is superior to the original version, which appeared on first pressings of the "Aerial Ballet" vinyl LP (The CD booklet erroneously states that this song only appeared on promotional copies of the LP), as well as later CD reissues. While I prefer the original versions of "1941" and "Good Old Desk" over the slowed-down versions presented here, the only re-worked song which flat-out doesn't work is "Together," where the musical backing sounds clunky and awkward and the ending segues VERY awkwardly into "One."This CD reissue includes five bonus tracks. The best of these is a cover of the Everly Brothers' "Walk Right Back," recorded during the sessions for the "Nilsson Schmillson" LP. This song alone is worth the price of the CD: It's one of the best songs Nilsson recorded. The disc concludes with a short, unlisted track which Nilsson recorded especially for the 8-track version of "Aerial Pandemonium Ballet." This track showcases Nilsson's wonderfully offbeat sense of humor: He was informed by someone at RCA that the four programs on an 8-track tape needed to have identical running times, and this was his solution."