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Showing 1-10 of 51 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 80 reviews
on October 28, 2011
As I sit here listening to the angelic voice of Harry Nilsson, I am amazed by the power his voice has on my emotions. The layers and layers of gorgeous harmonies with the simple accompaniment of a honky-tonk piano make for a brilliant combination.

Most people my age only remember Randy Newman for the song "Short People." Best of Randy Newman They probably don't even realize that this is the fantastic composer responsible for the soundtracks of many of the Pixar films their children watch over, and over, and over... "You've Got A Friend In Me" Disney Pixar Greatest still makes me smile every time.

Harry Nilsson is mostly remembered for his hit with Badfinger's "Without You." He was a supremely talented songwriter, too. Father of the original mash-ups without the use of computer programming and digital voice enhancement. "Walk Right Back" Aerial Pandemonium Ballet and "You Can't Do That" Personal Best: The Harry Nilsson Anthology are products of his genius and multi-track recording.

His three-and-a-half octave range is put to good use by the layering of multiple vocal tracks.

I had never heard any of these songs before, but I have huge respect for both of these artists. I bought this CD to see how they worked together.

WOW! I tell you what.
WOW!

My favorites are "Living Without You" and "I'll Be Home," but "Dayton, Ohio 1903" and "The Beehive State" are high up there, too. "Love Story" is a sweet melody, but it annoys my teenagers when I sing along with the chorus. Tough cookies.

The addition of the demo tracks is truly a bonus. Just a small peek into the recording process.

The only bad thing I can say about this album, is that it is missing one of the most moving songs I have ever heard. Randy Newman's "Sail Away." Sail Away: The Songs of Randy Newman It's like a sales pitch the slave traders used to bring native Africans to America. Harry Nilsson's rendition is so heartbreaking, it makes me cry. That's the Way It Is

There are other versions Renaissance out there, but Nilsson's is my favorite.

Buy this wonderful album. It'll grow on you and make you want to sing along with Harry.

Then, like me, you will probably get "Sail Away" to complete the set.

The fifth Beatle is sorely missed.
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on August 3, 2017
When Harry Nilsson first recorded this album, Randy Newman was far from a household name. Or, rather, farther from being a household name than he is now. Still to come in Newman's career were "Sail Away," "Good Old Boys," "Trouble in Paradise," and his only hit single, "Short People."
That Nilsson had the taste and savvy to record this great collection of early Newman songs is not only a tribute to Newman, it's a testament to Harry himself. He was an idiocyncratic, multi-talented near-genius who was never in better form than on this album.
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on March 7, 2011
This was one of my favorite albums in the early 70's. My father played it many times and I'm happy to say it is just as good as I remember. Harry Nilsson was one of the few greats. He was a songwriter himself and a very good one, but in this album he pays tribute to Randy Newman, who just won a second Academy Award for his song We Belong Together from Toy Story 3. Randy played the piano on the album and does a wonderful job, but Nilsson makes the songs come to life with his wonderful voice. This CD also includes some different takes of a few songs, which while interesting are really not as good as the ones he chose for the album. I also found it fun to hear some innocent things that today in our so very PC world would never have made it. Take Yellow Man, for instance. A cute, catchy tune, but man, everyone would think he was a bigot today for writing it and Harry also for singing it. One of my very favorites, Carolyn, shows the control he had over his voice, which was more a musical instrument if you ask me. If you like Harry Nilsson, this is a must for your collection.
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on January 25, 2016
Nilsson's voice is incredible and Newman's songs are incredible, and this would definitely get a 5-star from me if the sound editing were better. However, the orchestration overpowers the voice too often. It's difficult to listen to because the softs are too soft and the louds are too loud. It's frustrating to have to keep adjusting the volume.
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on October 13, 2016
Whoever had the idea to match these two up knew what he was doing. Harry and Randy were perfect together. It`s just a shame we couldn't have had more of these. I bought the LP when it first came out and the CD later because I just love listening to it in my car.
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on April 9, 2015
i have been a lover of the soaring 3 octave voice of the late harry nilsson and that combined with the lyrics of randy newman makes for one of the true perfect cds extant. (for another perfect cd, try "chicken skin music".) i have been listening to this cd since it was in vinyl form and never tire of it. harry, you're still my guy,
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on August 20, 2013
I love Harry's voice (much more than I enjoy Randy Newman's (sorry)) and this album which was critically acclaimed at the time of release but not a hit with the public is a rare treat. Harking back to earlier times, with an unmistakable American stamp (released at a time when the British influences are in full swing) this album is sweet, sad and sentimental. Singer songwriters united!!
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on March 1, 2000
Wow! I hope the Nilsson re-releases don't stop until the entire catalog has been covered!
This is a tremendous album, mixing Nilsson's pure and perfect voice with the music and poetry of Randy Newman. The result is a sparse and deceptively simple work that has found its way deep into my heart and soul and will stay with me forever.
The digital remastering is wonderful; it's like hearing everything for the first time. The gem of the album, though, is the previously unreleased "Snow", with its sad lyric and heartfelt vocal from Harry. The liner notes said they had recorded Newman's "Linda" as well, but it is now lost - what a shame!
If you are a Nilsson fan, there's no debate: you've got to have this. If you are new to Nilsson's catalog, this is a nice entry point into his earlier (and best) work.
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on January 23, 2017
Live them both. Big Nilsson fan. Wish he was still here all these years.
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on June 10, 2014
I worship Harry Nilsson. This is a wonderful album with my only slight criticism being that some of the arrangements seem to be a little underworked. But the guys voice is at it's incomparable peak and these tunes are, for me, among the best of Newman's considerable body of work. Vine Street is the masterpiece here (surpasses Van Dyke Park's also wonderful rendition), but 'It's So Hard' is very moving, Yellow Man is a definite upgrade from the Newman original and this package includeds a number of intersting alternate takes. It's not Schimillson (nothing is) and is for sure in Nilsson's second tier of work, but really all told a beautiful and wonderfully generous take on some fine songs by a man who new a fine song when he saw one. It's so great that at the same time he was making this record he was writing his own unqualified masterpieces and still chose to take the time out to do this homage to a gifted comtemporary.
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