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Personal Best: The Harry Nilsson Anthology
Harry Nilsson
Personal Best: The Harry Nilsson Anthology
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
 
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #1
  •  Track Listings (21) - Disc #2

Although Nilsson didn't select the tracks for this two-CD collection drawn from his '60s and '70s work for RCA, Personal Best generously touches on the many sides of his musical personality: the whimsical (his layered vers...  more »

      
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CD Details

All Artists: Harry Nilsson
Title: Personal Best: The Harry Nilsson Anthology
Members Wishing: 18
Total Copies: 0
Label: RCA
Original Release Date: 2/28/1995
Release Date: 2/28/1995
Genres: Folk, Pop, Rock, Classic Rock
Styles: Contemporary Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Soft Rock, Oldies, Vocal Pop, Oldies & Retro, Psychedelic Rock, Album-Oriented Rock (AOR)
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2
UPC: 078636635422

Synopsis

Amazon.com
Although Nilsson didn't select the tracks for this two-CD collection drawn from his '60s and '70s work for RCA, Personal Best generously touches on the many sides of his musical personality: the whimsical (his layered version of the Beatles' "You Can't Do That"), the soaring ("Without You," "Don't Leave Me"), and the flat-out oddball (a cover of the Louis Jordan-Ray Charles classic "Early in the Morning"). Holding it all together is his tremendous melodic sense and a voice that was at first gorgeous, then ravaged by the artist's excesses. When he died in 1994, the world lost one of its truest originals. --Rickey Wright

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CD Reviews

Harry's Best Compilation!
Martin A Hogan | San Francisco, CA. (Hercules) | 06/20/2001
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Harry Nilsson was never one to be pegged. His choice of material was as diverse as his vocal range, and then some. Never one to stick to one genre, this Anthology is a wonderful collection.Beginning in 1964, the unknown singer/songwriter recorded his first song, "Stand Up And Holler" as performed by the Foto-Fi. It was not well recieved. However in 1967 the world took notice with the romantic "Everybody's Talkin'" from the Oscar winning film "Midnight Cowboy". His success continued with "I Guess The Lord Must Live In New York City", and the clever "Me And My Arrow". The world caught fire with the release of "Nilsson Schilsson" and the huge hits, Grammy-winning "Without You", the maddening funny "Coconut" and the hard rocker "Jump Into The Fire". Everyone now realized that Harry Nilsson was a voice to be reckoned with. As if to laugh at his serious critics, Harry released a new album titled, "Son Of Schmilsson", with tongue-in-cheeks songs like, "Joy", "You're Breakin' My Heart", "Spaceman" and "The Most Beautiful World In The World". His vocal renditions of each were nothing short of remarkable.Again, to turn the music world on it's collective ear, Harry released a 'serious' collection of standards titled, "A Little Touch Of Schilsson In The Night" with songs like, "Many Rivers To Cross", "Over The Rainbow", "As Time Goes By" and many others. People went crazy and the critics were pleasantly confused. The rest of this 2-Dics set contains nearly 50 songs. During this period, Harry became a music Industry favorite, befriending and sometimes working with the likes of 'The Monkees', 'Keith Moon', 'Albert Brooks', 'Anne Murray', 'Alice Cooper', 'John Lennon', 'Ringo Starr' and many, many others. Most of his music was meticulously produced by famed Richard Perry.Harry Nilsson released nearly 60 singles and over 30 albums and the best are represented here. If purchased only for the songs, "Everybody's Talkin'", "Without You", and "Over The Rainbow", this is a collection to cherish."
Everybody Loves Harry
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 05/27/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This generous 49-track collection opens with the autobiographical "1941" (the year Nilsson was born) and from there takes us on a musical journey that spanned two decades. While a gifted songwriter (the Monkees covered "Cuddly Toy" and Three Dog Night had a hit with "One"), it's surprising that his two biggest hits were written by others: the Top Ten "Everybody's Talkin'" (from "Midnight Cowboy") and the Grammy-winning "Without You" (by Pete Ham and Tom Evans of Badfinger). Here are some of my personal favorites:"You Can't Do That" - A loving tribute to the Beatles, and in Nilsson's arrangement he manages to work in snippets of no fewer than a dozen other Beatles songs. [The Beatles would return the favor when they each endorsed him as their favorite performer--Lennon would produce Pussy Cats in 1974.)"One" - I know this wasn't the hit version, but Nilsson's vocal performance on this song is perfect."I Guess the Lord Must Be in New York City" - A minor hit in late 1969. His vocals--especially when he reaches for those high notes--still gives me chills."Me and My Arrow" - Another minor hit taken from an animated film "The Point," which Nilsson wrote, narrated and sang. Simply charming."Without You" - As much as I love Badfinger's work, this is the definitive version of this song. Won a Grammy for Best Pop Vocal Performance in 1972."Jump Into the Fire" - I know I'm emphasizing his singles, but this song has a great groove and is Nilsson's greatest rock song."Joy" - A marvelous country-western sendup from arguably his best album "Nilsson Schmilsson.""You're Breakin' My Heart" - A terrific anti-love song. Best line: "You're breaking my heart / You're tearin' it apart / So #@$% you.""Remember (Christmas)" - A melancholy song, whose lyrics could serve as his epitaph: "Remember, life is just a memory/ Remember, close your eyes and you can see / Remember, think of all that life can be, remember.""Don't Forget Me" - Written in 1974, the lyrics would be prophetic: "And when we're older and full of cancer / It doesn't matter now, come on get happy / Cuz nothing lasts forever / But I will always love you." It wasn't cancer, but a heart attack that took one of popular music's most distinctive voices at the age of 52. We won't forget you, Harry. Not while your music still lives. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED."
The best from one of the best
Gordon Pfannenstiel | Russell, KS United States | 06/20/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"If you appreciate finely crafted pop/rock music and a one-of-a-kind knockout singer with a 4 plus octave range, it's pretty tough to go wrong with this collection. Harry Nilsson was one of the best ever, and 50 songs aren't enough, but what is here, particularly the period from 1967-1973, is incredible.

I really wanted to correct the plethora of misinformation that appears in "Marty from S.F.'s" review. First, Nilsson first recorded in 1962, not 1964, and that material (originally demos) is currently available. Also, I don't know how many singles Harry actually released (I'm thinking somewhere around 20-24), but it is nowhere near 60. Finally, from 1967 to 1981 (he didn't release anything after 1981), he released 14 albums. This does not include the soundtrack "Skidoo", for which he wrote some material, but certainly can't be considered a Nilsson album. It also does not include Son of Dracula or Aerial Pandamonium Ballet. Dracula (soundtrack to the terrible film) only included one new song (Daybreak) and A.P.B. was a remixed composite of Harry's first two LPs, released to capitalize on his new found popularity and respect after winning a Grammy for Everybody's Talking.

I love that Amazon provides this great forum for sharing POV, but I don't care for those who want to rewrite history. The facts are the facts...don't mess with 'em."