Tuesday, January 13, 2009

think about your troubles

Harry Nilsson is one of my favorite singer/songwriters. Think About Your Troubles is classic Nilsson. This particular song is bundled with many other great songs within a story called The Point - which was an ABC 1971 movie of the week. I remember sitting at the foot of the bed in my parent's bedroom watching this brilliant animation and enjoying every song in it.

The narration for the film was first made with Dustin Hoffman and the re-recorded for contractual reason's by Ringo Starr. Not only the music was Nilsson's but the fable as well.

"I was on acid and I looked at the trees and I realized that they all came to points, and the little branches came to points, and the houses came to point. I thought, 'Oh! Everything has a point, and if it doesn't, then there's a point to it.'" - Harry Nilsson

Better music through chemistry - David Finlayson

I remember wanting the album and surprised when I found it that it opened up to have a the story illustrated inside. A lot of bang for the buck. I learned to draw each character and scene and was asked by my sister Jennie to use her chalkboards at Floyd Elementary and later Westminster Elementary to draw the story as the record played. I couldn't really tell if the kids enjoyed it because I was too busy illustrating each segment of song.

The album was lost somewhere a long the way and I missed having it. Only every now and then would I hear Me And My Arrow as a sound bed for a television commercial. The album wasn't on the shelves at the record stores - it became a rarety by the late seventies. I remember when I was living in Atlanta checking out all the used LP stores for it. No luck.

It was great to see that a CD of The Point was released and I bought it. Brook also found and gave me a DVD of The Point film a few years back. One day though, I'll find the LP - if not just for the storybook insert. Good stuff.

Another favorite Nilson record is his A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night. Here Nilsson took old standards like Lazy Moon, As Time Goes By, and Always. It was an album that didn't go over well but is a great work. I found that one on CD as well - very happy to have it in my collection.

I love the way that Harry Nilsson could morph from work to work - changing styles and sounds - and it always come out Nilsson. John Lennon and Nilsson were good friends and John was supposed to produce a record with Nilsson. That album never happened - but what if it had?

Once while driving back from leading worship in Bessemer, I stopped by a music store that was open and found a used anthology of Nilsson. Harry Nilsson has some songs out there that people will remember, Without You and Courtship of Eddie's Father - but there is so much of his work that is so much better and rarely heard if ever.

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