Harry Nilsson, Pussy Cats (1974)
Interesting play having the producer’s name and face sharing the billing – but then when that producer is John Lennon and it’s just a few years out from The Beatles being a thing, long enough to know they weren’t rushing back, short enough to be pining the fact that the musical world was changed forever by their efforts…Here Harry Nilsson all but comes apart at the seams. Listen to Old Forgotten Soldier. Man, vocally, he is fried. He ruins his voice around this time and on this record and some say he never recovered. Lennon was neck-deep in a “Lost Weekend” that saw him cheating on Yoko, jamming with anyone that would have him (including Paul – and it’s really not worth hearing) and hanging big time with Ringo and with Nilsson (and the rest of the Holiday Vampires, and again, anyone else that would have him). So it’s a fucking mess of a record basically. But I was quite new to it – love Nilsson but hadn’t heard this one until just a few years back. And I really love it. The confusion and the hijinks and madness to it are one component. Somewhere in there – and it was always in there with Nilsson (and arguably so with Lennon too) there’s heart. Huge heart. Full to bursting. That was always the conundrum – and the fascination – with Nilsson. So full of heart but so keen to pretend like he wasn’t wanting to show it, never wanting to admit to vulnerability. But it’s there in every second song, or in every second breath. I’m on a recent/ish quest to gather a great many of Nilsson’s recordings on vinyl. So this was a nice one to add to the pile.
Sample Track: Many Rivers To Cross
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